History of the A.M.E. Church

In 1787, Richard Allen and Rev. Absalom Jones withdrew from the St. George Medtodist Church, in Philadelphia, PA., because of “unkind treatment” and restrictions placed upon worshippers of African descent. They founded the Free African Society, which promoted education for slaves and self-help among the people of African descent. The A.M.E. Church evolved out of this organization.

In 1816, Richard Allen formally organized the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Richard Allen was the founder and the first elected and consecrated Bishop of the A.M.E. Church.

Our Name

African: The term “African refers to people of African descent who founded our church. Richard Allen advocated human dignity and religious liberty for people of African descent in America. While the membership of our denomination is primarily African American, the A.M.E. Church is open to all who profess Christ, regardless of race.

Methodist: Richard Allen accepted the doctrins and polity of the Methodist Church as appropriate for his people. The term “Methodist” refers to a systematic method and habit of religious duty. The A.M.E. Church is a member of the larger body of Methodist Churches.

Episcopal: “Episcopal” refers to the form of government under which we operate. The highest office in the A.M.E. Church is the Bishop. The Bishop oversees the work of the church.