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AME Historical Facts

1. Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established the A.M.E. Church/denomination in Philadelphia in 1787. 2. The motto of the A.M.E. Church is "God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family", which was adopted at the General conference in StLouis Missouri in 2008. The tradtional motto is: "God our Father, Christ our Redemeer, Man our Brother" 3. The basic foundations of the beliefs of the A.M.E. church can be summarized in the Apostles' Creed and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion 4. The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the A.M.E. Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of (1) preaching the gospel, (2) feeding the hungry, (3) clothing the naked, (4) housing the homeless, (5) cheering the fallen, (6) providing jobs for the jobless, (7) administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and (8) encouraging thrift and economic advancement 5. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has been one of the forerunners of education within the African-American community. A.M.E. colleges within the United States are :Allen University (Columbia, SC) ,Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, FL) , Morris Brown College (Atlanta, GA) , Paul Quinn College (Dallas, TX) , Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH) and Shorter College (North Little Rock, AR) .Theological Seminaries within the United States are: Jackson Theological Seminary , Payne Theological Seminary and Turner Theological Seminary. 6. In 1988, Reverend John Bryant was named Bishop of the AME Church at its General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. He was assigned to the church's 14th Episcopal District, which covered 101 churches in several West African countries. Bryant, now known as Bishop John, was accompanied to Africa by his wife, Reverend Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, or Rev. Dr. C, who founded a new branch

of the AME church in Ivory Coast and became the first woman to sit on the Chieftancy Stool of a tribal group in Tiara, Sierra Leone. Bishop John is now the Bishop of the 4th Episcopal District. 7. The first female AME bishop in church history was Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie. 8. What A.M.E means: African: The AME church was organized by people of African descent. The church was not founded in Africa, nor is it only for persons of African descent. The church is open to people of all races. Methodist: The church's roots are in the Methodist church. Members of St. George's Methodist Church left the congregation when faced with racial discrimination, but continued with the Methodist doctrine and the order of worship. Episcopal: The AME church operates under an Episcopal form of government. The denomination leaders are bishops of the church. Episcopal, in this sense, refers to the form of government under which the church operates 9. The A.M.E. Church has 20 Episcopal Districts- in the United States, Canada, The Carribean, South America, African and Euprope(England). Churches are imerging in India as well. 10. There were four pioneers instrumental in the development of the AME Church. Those men were known as the Four Horsemen.They were: Henry McNeil Turner - Twelfth Bishop of the AME Church. Established the AME Church in West & South Africa. Daniel Payne - Sixth Bishop of the AME Church. First Bishop in the AME Church to have formal theological seminary training. Most responsible for the AME Church's attention toward trained Ministry. Founded Wilberforce University in 1856. William Paul Quinn - Fourth Bishop of the AME Church. Organized Churches in Missouri and Kentucky. Delivered the first written Episcopal Address at the General Conference in 1848. Richard Allen - Founder and First Bishop 11. In September of 2006, In the Beginning Bible Study was founded and later Lily of the Valley A.M.E. Church was admitted into the Chicago Annual Conference in October 2007. 12. The revised A.M.E. Hymnal was published in 1897, which included hymns, chants, and doxologies.

13. Reverend Dr. Alphonse Reff began his work in the ministry in 1962. On July 1, 1988, Reverend Alphonse Reff, Sr. became Reverend Dr. Alphonse Reff, Sr. after receiving his Doctorate of Divinity from Monrovia College, Sims School of Religion and Industrial Training, Inc. Monrovia, Liberia West Africa by Presiding Bishop Vernon Byrd. 14. President Obama spoke at the A.M.E. General Conference in St.Louis Missouri in 2008 where an estimated 30,000 attended. 15. Bishop Phillip R. Cousin rendered the opening prayer to usher in America's first Black Commander-in-Chief, President-elect Barack Obama at Grant Park in Chicago Illinois for the Election Night Rally. 16. A list of notable A.M.E. members: Byron Cage, John Legend, Billy Dee Williams, Rosa Parks, Cicely Tyson, Dave Winfield, Arsenio Hall, LL Cool J, and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. 17. Mother Saint James A.M.E. Church in Minneapolis was established in 1836 and is the oldest A.M.E. Church in Minnesota. 18. In 1994, Ted and Chessie Blakey donated a silverplated Communion set from the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Yankton, South Dakota to the South Dakota Historical Society. Allen Chapel was one of the first AfricanAmerican churches in South Dakota. The church is no longer operational, yet still stands as a historical landmark. 19. Mother Bethel Church was a stop on the Underground Railroad (network of houses creating a link from the south to Canada, where escaped slaves would be allowed to remain free). Aided in great part by his wife Sarah, Allen would hide, feed and clothe escaping slaves. Large sums of money were collected in order to facilitate a slave's flight to freedom. Some current members of the Mother Bethel AME church are descendants of those who were escaped slaves assisted by Mother Bethel. 20. Today the AME Church comprises 2.5 million members, 8,000 ministers, and 6,200 congregations in 19 Episcopal districts and hosts 115 annual conferences 21. Lucretia Mott, abolitionist and women's rights advocate, abolitionist and journalist Frederick Douglass, and William Still, a moving force behind the Underground Railroad, were among those who spoke from the rostrum at Mother Bethel in Philadelphia PA.

22. St. James A.M.E. Church in St.Paul Minnesota began publishing the Helper, which included information on jobs and housing. 23. Presiding Elder Alphonse Reff became an integral figure in the collaboration between Harvest Preparatory School (a Minneapolis Charter School) and Wayman AME Church - a first in the city of Minneapolis. 24. Former U.S. Congressman, the Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake is the senior pastor of the more than 20,000 member Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens, and President of Wilberforce University in Ohio. 25. The A.M.E. Church symbol: The Cross - The cross symbolizes the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the power of Salvation, and God's abounding Grace. The Anvil - The anvil represents the enduring spirit of the founding fathers of the African American Church. A converted blacksmith's shop served as one of the first AME places of worship. It was called Bethel, meaning "house of God". The anvil is known as an indestructible object. They are unwearable and lasts through multiple lifetimes. And so it is with God. He cannot be worn down or broken. He is eternal. The anvil represents the beginning of the AME Church as well as the longevity and lasting strength of our Lord. 26. Before becoming a bishop of the AME Church, William H. Heard was the Minister to Liberia and a member of the South Carolina legislature (1880-1882). 27. In 1948 that women were authorized by the AME church to be ordained local deacons, in 1956 women were ordained local elders, in 1960 that women were ordained fully to the itinerant ministry in the AME church, in 1973 that women were made presiding elders in the church. 28. William Paul Quinn - Fourth Bishop of the AME Church. He Organized Churches in Missouri and Kentucky. Delivered the first written Episcopal Address at the General Conference in 1848. 29. Hiram Rhodes Revels was ordained a minister in the A.M.E. Church in 1845 preached in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Maryland, Missouri, and Kansas in the 1850s. He was the first Arican American to serve in theUnited States Senate. 30. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is a connectional organization. Each local church is a part of the larger connection. The Bishops are the Chief Officers of the Connectional Organization. They are elected for life by a majority vote of

the General Conference, which meets every four years. Bishops are bound by the laws of the church to retire following their 75th birthday. Presiding Elders are the assistants, like middle management, whom the Bishops appoint to supervise the preachers in a Presiding Elder's District. A Presiding Elder District is one portion of an Annual Conference, which in turn is one part of the Episcopal District over which a Bishop presides. In the Presiding Elder District, the appointed Presiding Elder meets with the local churches that comprise the District, at least once every three months for a Quarterly Conference. The Presiding Elder also presides over a District Conference and a Sunday School Convention in his or her District. At the end of an Annual Conference year, the Presiding Elder reports to the Bishop at the Annual Conference and makes recommendations for pastoral appointments. Pastors receive a yearly appointment to a charge (church), on the recommendation of the Presiding Elder and with the approval and final appointment of the Bishop. The pastor is in full charge of the Church and is an ex-official member of all boards, organizations and clubs of that Church. 31. The purpose of the local lay organization is to get the membership of the local church involved in spiritual and political areas of the AME Church. The Purpose is also to learn about the rules, regulations and duties of the members, officers and the pastor of each local church. 32. The W.M.S. President that established the Young People's Department is Mrs. Anne E. Health. The Y.P.D. was established in 1915, under the auspices to the Women's Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 33. Sarah Allen was the Wife of Richard Allen and the First Missionary. The FIRST MISSIONARY PROJECT was to Look after the physical condition and care for the preachers. 34. In June 1844, the African Methodist Episcopal Church Magazine made its appearance under the management of Rev. George Hogarth. It was a monthly publication. 35. The General Conference is the legislature of the A.M.E. Church. It meets every four years to elect bishops and to make laws. The A.M.E. Church has a Bishop's Council and Judicial Council. The Departments of the A.M.E. church are there to serve the needs of the church. The work of each department is directed by a General Officer, who is elected by the General Conference.

36. The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church serves as our ecclesiastical constitution, outlining the Articles of Religion, the General Rules and Rituals, and other services of the Church. 37. The Basic Colors of the A.M.E. Church are White and Purple. White represents Purity; that state which all True Christians constantly strive to achieve. Purple Represents Christ's Blood on the Cross. 38. The shape of the emblem is in the form of a three-pointed shield; the three points being symbolic of the official motto of the A.M.E. Church. "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother." An anvil and cross occupy the center of the Emblem. The anvil represents the blacksmith shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the founder, Richard Allen, with a few followers, established the first African Methodist Episcopal Church; the cross represents the Church. 39. In 2004 Rev. Carolyn Tyler Guidry and Rev. Sarah Davis joined Bishop McKenzie as female bishops in the A.M.E. Church. 40. The Class Leader system is one of the hallmarks of Methodism. One of the historical reasons for Methodism's tremendous growth in England and America in the 1700's, the class leader system was the pre-cursor to the small group movement in business. Qualified leaders help individuals gain insight into God's work, through group discussion and interaction, as well as personal application in every day life. It provides the church with an important connection with all members while providing for the ministerial needs of the members. The class system allows people to be an active and knowledgeable part of the community. 41. Founded in 1871, Bethel A.M.E. Church is the oldest black church in Cedar Rapids. It was the only black church for over forty years until Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1914. In 1928, Bethel A.M.E., under the leadership of Julia Reed, began the Allen Lincoln Douglas banquet, a tradition that continues today. 42. Coppin Chapel was formed in 1915, by a group of Methodists from Missouri. Its first pastor was Rev. Matthew R. Rhonene, a native of Trinidad, British West Indies. After several moves, the church settled at its current location in 1969. In 1988, the church hosted a campaign stop by presidential hopeful Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.

43. St. Peter's A.M.E. Church was founded in 1880 as the Neal Union Mission. The current structure was built in 1953, following a fire, which destroyed the previous building. 44. Wayman A.M.E. Church was organized in 1919 due to the need for an A.M.E. church in Minneapolis' north side. The church was incorporated in 1928. 45. In 1921, W.E.B. DuBois spoke at St. Mark's A.M.E., commemorating Duluth, Minnesota's chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. 46. St. Mark's A.M.E. Church is the oldest black church in Duluth, MN. The building is on the National Registry of Historical Landmarks. 47. Malone A.M.E. Church was the first black Church in Sioux City Iowa and has been in existence since 1883. The Church was officially named in 1887 after Presiding Elder John W. Malone who also served as Pastor in 1884. 48. Rev. Dr. Alphonse Reff who is the Presiding Elder of the Saint Paul/ Minneapolis District, is the founder of The Richard Allen Math and Science Academy in North Minneapolis Minnesota.


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