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 In 1787, Rev. Richard Allen, Rev. Absalom Jones, and a band of followers withdrew from the St. George Methodist Church in Philadelphia because of the "unkind treatment" and discrimination with which these worshippers of African descent faced. They felt they no longer could worship in a congregation that could not affirm them fully as children of God with equal potential and worth. Allen and the followers began worshipping in a blacksmith shop. They founded The Free African Society, which was the beginning of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1816, Richard Allen and representatives from several; African churches met and a church organization of "connection" was organized as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Richard Allen was the founder and first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. They began the first African American denomination; it allowed and still allows people of African descent self-respect, dignity, and the freedom to worship God wholly, participating to fullest measure in the building of God's kingdom.


The motto of the A.M.E. Church is:  God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Man Our Brother.

 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. Each local church of the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society.

In our tradition there are several documents that help to inform our distinctive understanding of the Christian faith. We rely on The Book of Doctrine  and Discipline of the AME Church; The AME Hymnal; The AME Book of Worship; Episcopal Salutation; Historical Statement; Articles of Religion; and The Gospel Labors of R. Rev. Richard Allen.

  The A.M.E. Church recognizes and observes two holy sacraments Baptism and Holy Communion. The modes of baptism in African Methodism are pouring, sprinkling, and immersion. Regardless of the mode administered, baptism is powerful symbol of regeneration and initiation into the community of faith-Christ's Church. Holy Communion serves as a memorial of the death and suffering of Chris and celebrates the abundant life we have through him.


African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa of that it is for people of African descent only. It does mean that those Americans who founded it were of African descent, and we proudly recognize this fact.

Methodist refers to the church's membership in the family of Methodist churches. Richard Allen, the founder and first active bishop, felt that the form and format of Methodism would best suit the needs of the African community.

Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The episcopal form of government means that the chief executive and administrative officers of our denomination are our 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 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 who have accepted Jesus Christ as the guiding example of their lives. We also believe in the third person of the God head, the Holy Spirit, who enables the believer to become a true and effective servant of God. Jesus Christ is the spiritual head of the Christian Church.




 


 

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