Our History


Our namesake, Rev. Aaron McNeil, a pioneer, churchman, educator and community leader, came to Hopkinsville Kentucky in 1896 as the first black Episcopal priest in Hopkinsville and first rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard. The building for the church of the Good Shepard, at 604 East Second Street, was constructed in 1896 with funds raised by Nat Gaither, president of the Bank of Hopkinsville and Hunter Wood Sr., publisher of the Kentucky New Era. It also served as the first school and library in Hopkinsville for African Americans. From the beginning, the Church was truly a community center. Aaron McNeil House was incorporated in 1972 and in 1983 the Center was designated a Kentucky Landmark. Crisis Relief Services operated out the United Way Offices and Aaron McNeil had been operating as two separate United Way Agencies until the end of 1991. Their merger came about during United Way's annual programs review process. Effective January 1, 1992, the boards of Aaron McNeil and Crisis Relief merged.