Presentation on theme: "Beginnings Challenges Changes"— Presentation transcript:
1Beginnings Challenges Changes Black MethodismBeginningsChallengesChanges
2African Methodist Episcopal Church The African Methodist Episcopal Church was started in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by a group of disinherited Americans whose forefathers came from Africa. The leader of this group was a 27 year old "African," Richard Allen. At that time the word "African" was used to designate those persons whom we now call African American.
3Five Characteristics of Black Church Experience Black controlledInvolved in the everyday life of the peopleProvide members with a sense of worthiness and identityEmphasize evangelism with direct witness to saving love of Jesus ChristAdaptive to changing conditions of society while challenging oppressive forces
4Early Methodism Response to Black Americans Offered emotionalism and religious enthusiasm (Revivalism)Lagged behind Baptists in obtaining black congregationsRevivalism offered escape from intolerable economic and social conditions
5Remember Betty?Black “girl” in Philip Embury’s Class at the John Street Methodist Society in New York, 1766.Several Northern societies integrated earlySouthern societies begin practicing segregation and racial selection earlyAsbury concerned about racial segregation but knew no way to affect change
6Early Black MethodismWhatcoat’s journals record increased incidences of segregation, especially concerning the sacrament of Holy Supper.Asbury and Whatcoat “adjust” to the growing white desire for segregated worshipGeneral Conference 1800 allows for the ordination of black preachers as deaconsElder ordination not until 1812
7Early Black MethodismHarry Hosier ( ) was born a slave in North Carolina. Following the Revolutionary War he gained his freedom from his Maryland master, and was converted to Methodism. His sermon, "The Barren Fig Tree," preached at Adam's Chapel, Fairfax County, Virginia, in May of 1781, was the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African-American.
8Early Black MethodismHosier became famous as a traveling evangelist up and down the Atlantic seaboard. He was a companion on evangelistic trips with Asbury, Coke, Jesse Lee, and Freeborn Garrettson, and was heralded as one of the greatest preachers of his time. His influence was one of the most important factors in the early spread of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America.
9Early Black MethodismMother African Zoar Church began in 1792, when a group of African Americans withdrew from Old St. George's Church to protest discrimination there. The dissident group, calling itself "African Zoar" (HE: “good will”) was recognized by St. George's in 1794 and grew to become the mother church of several local Methodist congregations, including Tindley Temple, Raven Memorial, Mount Zion, and St. Thomas.
10Pattern of Black Denomination Formation Integration with White congregationExperience of SegregationSeparate Meeting Times establishedSeparate Meeting Places establishedBlacks found independent churchIndependent churches fashion a denomination
11Early Black MethodismRichard Allen ( ), the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was born a slave in Philadelphia. After purchasing his own freedom as a young man, he joined St. George's Methodist Church, from which in 1787 he led a dramatic withdrawal of black members. Allen soon became pastor of the group and was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Asbury. When the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized nationally in 1816, Allen was consecrated its first Bishop.
12Richard Allen Licensed to preach - 1784 Ordained Deacon by Asbury – 1784Stages “Walkout” of St. George Church -1787Organizes Free African Society – 1784Mother Bethel Church started
13FREE AFRICAN SOCIETYAllen, along with Absalom Jones, came together to form the Free African Society (FAS) on April 12, The Society, though not religiously affiliated, proved much like a church in serving the black community. NAACP founder, W.E.B. DuBois, writing a century later, called the FAS, "the first wavering step of a people toward organized social life." Organized as an altruistic society for extending mutual aid to the widowed, sick, and jobless, it was funded by dues-paying members.
14Mother Bethel ChurchAllen received permission from St. George Church to build a church on the site where he purchased the land for St. Thomas's years earlier. Allen bought a blacksmith shop and had it hauled by a team of his own horses to 6th and Lombard. Bishop Asbury presided over the church's dedication on July 29, 1794.
15Mother Bethel ChurchBut tensions develop over who owns the deed to the church.Discipline claimed the “church at large” owned the buildingMembers of Mother Bethel wanted to own the property1796 – Articles of Association of Bethel AME Church formed.1830- Convention of Colored Men of U.S. held there. Bishop Allen presided.
16Mother Bethel ChurchMother Bethel Church was a stop on the Underground Railroad.The ground on which Mother Bethel stands is the oldest parcel of real estate continuously owned by African-Americans in the United States.The first black boy scout troop was founded at Mother Bethel Church.
17Convention of 1816 African Methodist Church formed Polity identical to Methodist EpiscopalException: no presiding eldersAllen elected first BishopSlave owners could not become members
18Two Important AME Aspects Took a strong stance against discrimination and segregation; has always counted whites among its membershipWork of Richard Allen seen as expression of Nationalism, the challenging of economic and political policies detrimental to Black Americans.
19Allen’s Nationalism Movement A leader of the free black community in Philadelphia, Allen also served as one of the spokesmen for the forces opposed to the American Colonization Society, an organization that proposed sending freedmen back to Africa. His campaign against the colonizationists resulted in the first meeting of the National Negro Convention Movement in a loosely organized group that functioned as a public platform for black abolitionists and community leaders.
20Freedom’s JournalFreedom's Journal, the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States, was published weekly in New York City from 1827 to John B. Russworm edited the journal alone between March 16, 1827 and March 28, Later, Samuel Cornish served as co-editor (March 16, 1827 to September 14, 1827). Richard Allen was a regular contributor (see web site)
21African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 1796 Peter Williams, James Varick, Christopher Rush and other African Americans of the John Street Methodist Church, a white church in New York City, hold separate meetings in October.1801, William and others incorporate the Zion Chapel into the Methodist Episcopal ChurchSchism causes division of an “Asbury” Congregation from the Zion congregation
22Peter Williams“Peter Williams, Sr., was for a number of years the sexton of the John Street Methodist Church, in which position he became distinguished among the white communicants for his fidelity and piety. He joined with other Negroes desirous of independent church action and established the Zion Church, out of which emerged the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church”From The History of the Negro Church by Woodson, Carter Godwin, ( ), pg. 95
23African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 1820 Rev. William Stillwell leads a congregationalist schism from New York Methodism. Zion Chapel goes with Stillwell for a while.“Asbury” congregation and Zion Chapel reunite in 1821 to form the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in American.Several elders ordained following year.
24African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 1820 Zion and Asbury hold organizational meeting to form own denomination, October1821 Zion, Asbury and four other congregations hold conference in New York City to establish a new organization separate from Richard Allen's Methodists, June 211822 Zion pastor, James Varick elected first bishop of denomination1824 New group officially breaks ties with the white Methodist denomination 1828 First General Conference of the A.M.E Zion Church held
25Peter Spencer ( )Peter Spencer was born a slave in Kent County, Maryland. When freed, he moved to Wilmington. He was soon an active in community and in his church, Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church. In protest against the church's racial discrimination Spencer led almost forty members out of Asbury to form Ezion M.E. Church.
26African Union ChurchEight years later, in 1813, still frustrated by the Methodist Episcopal church's discrimination, the Spencer and William Anderson led another group away from the church. They founded an independent church, the Union Church of African Members, the first African American controlled church in America. Spencer served as pastor and elder minister until his death. The Union Church spread quickly to include congregations in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.
27African Union ChurchMethodist Episcopol in polity with one exception: congregations appointed own pastors.Bishops called PresidentsForms the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church of the United States of America and Elsewhere (1865)