Because churches were conveniently located nearby, only two churches were organized within the expansion area. As stated earlier, Mount Lebanon A. M. E. Zion Church (#365) was established in 1850 as a Methodist mission to the city's free blacks and slaves; it is the oldest black congregation in both Elizabeth City and northeastern North Carolina. It remains today the largest black Methodist congregation in the city. Some of the residents who were attracted to Elizabeth City during the early twentieth century were Roman Catholic, a denomination that historically had few members throughout the Albemarle region. A local parish was founded about 1920 and by 1927 there were about twenty members when property was acquired for construction of a church, with the admission that "even this modest start is in anticipation of future needs rather than of present requirements" (The Independent, October 21, 1927). By 1931 a church and school (#145) were constructed, and the church served the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and later the black St. Catherine Catholic congregation as well until 1991 (The Daily Advance, October 17, 1927: Sanborn Map 1931).