LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A historic Little Rock church celebrated a big anniversary Sunday morning.

This is the 159th anniversary year for Bethel A.M.E. Church. The church was founded during the Civil War, only a few decades after Arkansas became a state.

Pastor Truman Tolefree said that they are not only celebrating the church itself, but the people who have made this milestone possible.

“We’re so very happy in this celebration of the individuals who have made it all possible,” Tolefree said. We know above all God is still on the throne, we’re still giving the same service every day that we did 158 years ago.”

The church started at 9th and Broadway before moving to its present location on West 16th Street.