TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– One of Terre Haute’s most historic sites held their annual fundraiser on Saturday.

The Historic Allen Chapel Barbeque helps the church raise money for their operations. Pastor Tess Brooks Stephens said it was one of the premier events the church puts on each year.

“We look forward to seeing the familiar faces, we look forward to seeing the new faces, we look forward to the opportunity to be able to mingle and talk with the community, to interact,” she said.

The church, founded back in 1837, has a rich history. Brooks Stephens said it has a connection to Hiram Revels, the first Black U.S. Senator, famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the underground railroad.

Cynthia Handley, a lifelong member of the church, wants to see that history celebrated in the community. She said the fundraiser was important to keep the church going– and something she marked on her calendar each year.

“I enjoy it very much. I look forward to it every year,” she said. “When the time comes, they say, ‘Oh okay, you got to do your pies, and you got to do your cakes, on and on and on,’ and I love cooking. That’s the way it was with my mom, and her mom, and her mom.”

Brooks Stephens said the fundraiser helps them continue to work towards the goal of the Allen Chapel– one its had for many decades.

“The church has a huge significance in this community as far as taking place in community activism, providing for members of the community and also being a vital part in education,” she said. 

The church is working to start a community garden, and establish a minority business center as well. While Saturday was about fundraising and food, Brooks Stephens said she hopes to see their services expand in the future.

“We are all-purpose and we don’t know what we will see from Sunday to Sunday,it’s important for us to keep a close relationship with the community so we can fulfill their needs,” she said. 

For more information on how you can support the church, you can contact the Allen Chapel.