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Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church of Bakersfield was organized in the 1800's by a few immigrants from South Carolina.

The immigrants were brought here to work by large land owners at the time, Carr and Higgins. These immigrants, desiring spiritual growth, began meeting in their humble homes while looking for their first official church. The first minister of Cain Memorial was Rev. Michael Gibson from 1880 thru 1904.


This small group of immigrants was organized of different faiths. The only requisite of this group was to be a Christian and wanting a place to worship God. Worship meetings were held in the mornings and Sunday school in the afternoon.


The group traveled a 10 miles distance to meet with a Mr. Vessel, a Methodist to make a deal on occupying a building on his property at California and "O" Streets. Initially, the church was utilized by the Methodist and Baptist congregations. After a few years of combined efforts and much growth, the Baptist decided to move out and found a location at the intersection of 13th and P Streets. This church was called the Second Baptist Church because the First Baptist Church was a white congregation on Truxtun Avenue. The Methodist congregation obtained their own church building and in 1891 the Methodist became incorporated.


In 1899 Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church became the official name taken after Bishop Richard Harvey Cain who was chosen in 1880. It is written of Bishop Cain that he was always willing and ready to administer to the necessities of the people and render satisfaction to his brethren; he was kind, genial, affable, strong and a willing pioneer, a firm and staunch friend, a polished orator, a firm and persistent representative and approachable.

Bishop Richard Harvey Cain.jpg
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