In 1787, in response to growing practices of racism by the local Methodist Church, a small band of believers, led by Richard Allen, began a movement that allowed people of African descent self-respect, dignity, and the freedom to worship God wholly, participating to the fullest measure in the building of God’s Kingdom. Out of this movement was born the A.M.E. Church. It is the oldest denomination formed by people of African descent in the United States.
THE MISSION of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional needs of all people by spreading Christ’s liberating gospel through word and deed.
God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family
Bethel After Jacob was sent away after receiving a blessing from Isaac, he dreamed of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven and angels ascending and descending on it. The Lord spoke to him in this dream. “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel. (From Genesis 28 KJV)
African denotes that the church was organized by American people of African descent and heritage. People of every race attend.
Methodist refers to the Church’s membership in the family of Methodist Churches.
Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The chief executive and administrative officers are bishops. Their authority is given them by the General Conference (elected representatives of the entire denomination). Their responsibilities are to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church, including presiding over annual conferences, making pastoral appointments, ordaining deacons and elders, organizing missions, and generally promoting the interest of the denomination.
Church refers to the “Christian Church”, which is a community of people who believe in God and have accepted Jesus Christ as Guide and Master of their lives. Jesus Christ is the head of the Christian Church.