All people are welcomed! We are a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church worshipping the ONE true God, the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
The word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent or heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it is for persons of African descent only.
The church’s roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.
The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) 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 AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy.
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 Methodist Episcopal Church 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 Richard Allen as the pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interference from Methodist who were not of African descent, 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 Church.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique and glorious history. The AME Church rejected the negative theological interpretations which rendered all persons except people of European descent as second class citizens. Ours is a theological declaration that God is God all the time and for every body, all people groups.. The church was born in protest against slavery and the dehumanization of God’s people.
The People's A.M.E. Church : In the city of Chelsea MA about 1877 a group of 12 people banded together to pray and to study God’s Word. The People’s A.M.E. Church evolved from this group of twelve.