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AME Church History
 
The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George’s MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. George’s made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME. The Church was officially organized in 1816.
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Our Name

The African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Word AFRICAN means that our church that our church was organized by people of African decent and heritage. It does not mean that our church was founded in African, or that it is for the people of African descent only. It simply means that those Americans who founded it were of African descent, and we proudly recognize this fact.

METHODIST – Our church is a member of the family of Methodist Churches. Our founder (Richard Allen) was impressed with the Methodist emphasis upon the “plain and simple gospel”. As part of the family of Methodist Churches, we follow the teachings of John Wesley.

EPISCOPAL – This refers to the form of government under which our church operates. The Episcopal form of government is taken from the Catholic and the Anglican Churches, indicating that the chief executive and administrative officers of our denominations are our Bishops.

 
 
 
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Founder

Richard Allen
+ He was the founder and first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
+ BORN A SLAVE when America was an English colony.
+ Received NO FORMAL EDUCATION – he was self taught.
+ Work, saved and BOUGHT HIS OWN FREEDOM
+ FOUND CHRIST at age 17 – after hearing a Methodist circuit rider preach he underwent a conversion experience that would shape his entire life.
+ GUIDED the growth and organization of the A.M.E. church
+ DEVOTED his life to achieving freedom and equality for Blacks.
 
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