Black church

The term black church or African-American church refers to Protestant churches that currently or historically have ministered to predominantly black congregations in the United States. While some black churches belong to predominantly African-American denominations, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), many black churches are members of predominantly white denominations, such as the United Church of Christ (which developed from the Congregational Church of New England).[1]

Most of the first black congregations and churches formed before 1800 were founded by free blacks – for example, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Springfield Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia); Petersburg, Virginia; and Savannah, Georgia.[2] The oldest black Baptist church in Kentucky, and third oldest in the United States, was founded about 1790 by the slave Peter Durrett.[3]

After slavery was abolished, segregationist attitudes in both the North and the South discouraged and even prevented African Americans from worshiping in the same churches as whites. Freed blacks most often established congregations and church facilities separate from their white neighbors, who were often their former masters. These new churches created communities and worship practices that were culturally distinct from other churches, including forms of Christianity that derived from African spiritual traditions.

African-American churches have long been the centers of communities, serving as school sites in the early years after the Civil War, taking up social welfare functions, such as providing for the indigent, and going on to establish schools, orphanages and prison ministries. As a result, black churches were particularly important during the civil rights movement.



Negro Baptist Church Silver Hill Plantation
African American Baptist Church, Silver Hill Plantation, Georgetown County, South Carolina

Evangelical Baptist and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century. They appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Blacks found opportunities to have active roles in new congregations, especially in the Baptist Church, where slaves were appointed as leaders and preachers. (They were excluded from such roles in the Anglican or Episcopal Church.) As they listened to readings, slaves developed their own interpretations of the Scriptures and found inspiration in stories of deliverance, such as the Exodus out of Egypt. Nat Turner, a slave and Baptist preacher, was inspired to armed rebellion, in an uprising that killed about 50 white men, women, and children in Virginia.[4]

Both free blacks and the more numerous slaves participated in the earliest black Baptist congregations founded near Petersburg, Virginia, Savannah, Georgia and Lexington, Kentucky, before 1800. The slaves Peter Durrett and his wife founded the First African Church (now known as First African Baptist Church) in Lexington, Kentucky about 1790.[5] The church's trustees purchased its first property in 1815. The congregation numbered about 290 by the time of Durrett's death in 1823.[5]

Following slave revolts in the early 19th century, including Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831, Virginia passed a law requiring black congregations to meet only in the presence of a white minister. Other states similarly restricted exclusively black churches, or the assembly of blacks in large groups unsupervised by whites. Nevertheless, the black Baptist congregations in the cities grew rapidly and their members numbered several hundred each before the Civil War. (See next section.) While mostly led by free blacks, most of their members were slaves.

In plantation areas, slaves organized underground churches and hidden religious meetings, the "invisible church", where slaves were free to mix evangelical Christianity with African beliefs and African rhythms. With the time, many incorporated Wesleyan Methodist hymns, gospel songs, and spirituals.[6] The underground churches provided psychological refuge from the white world. The spirituals gave the church members a secret way to communicate and, in some cases, to plan rebellion.

Slaves also learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. In the South until the Great Awakening, most slaveholders were Anglican if they practiced any Christianity. Although in the early years of the first Great Awakening, Methodist and Baptist preachers argued for manumission of slaves and abolition, by the early decades of the 19th century, they often had found ways to support the institution. In settings where whites supervised worship and prayer, they used Bible stories that reinforced people's keeping to their places in society, urging slaves to be loyal and to obey their masters. In the 19th century, Methodist and Baptist chapels were founded among many of the smaller communities and common planters.[7] During the early decades of the 19th century, they used stories such as the Curse of Ham to justify slavery to themselves.[7] They promoted the idea that loyal and hard-working slaves would be rewarded in the afterlife. Sometimes slaves established their own Sabbath schools to talk about the Scriptures. Slaves who were literate tried to teach others to read, as Frederick Douglass did while still enslaved as a young man in Maryland.

River baptism in New Bern
"Wade in the water." A postcard of a river baptism in New Bern, North Carolina, around 1900.

Free Blacks

Free Blacks in both northern and southern cities formed their own congregations and churches before the end of the 18th century. They organized independent black congregations and churches[8] to practice religion apart from white oversight.[9] Along with white churches opposed to slavery, free blacks in Philadelphia provided aid and comfort to slaves who escaped and helped all new arrivals adjust to city life.[10]

In 1787 in Philadelphia, the black church was born out of protest and revolutionary reaction to racism. Resenting being relegated to a segregated gallery at St. George's Methodist Church, Methodist preachers Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, and other black members, left the church and formed the Free African Society. It was at first non-denominational and provided mutual aid to the free black community. Over time, Jones began to lead Episcopal services there. He led most of its members to create the African Church, in the Episcopal tradition. (Butler 2000, DuBois 1866).

In the fall of 1792, several black leaders attending services at St. George's Methodist Church and had recently helped to expand the church. The black churchgoers were told to sit upstairs in the new gallery. When they mistakenly sat in an area not designated for blacks, they were forcibly removed from the seats they had helped build. According to Allen, "...we all went out of the church in one body, and they were no longer plagued by us". While he and Jones led different denominations, they continued to work closely together and with the black community in Philadelphia.... It was accepted as a parish and on July 17, 1794 became the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. In 1804 Jones was the first black priest ordained in the Episcopal Church. (Butler 2000, DuBois 1866).

Richard Allen, a Methodist preacher, wanted to continue with the Methodist tradition. He built a congregation and founded the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). By July 29, 1794, they also had a building ready for their worship. The church adopted the slogan: "To Seek for Ourselves." In recognition of his leadership and preaching, in 1799 Bishop Francis Asbury ordained Allen as a Methodist minister. Allen and the AME Church were active in antislavery campaigns, fought racism in the North, and promoted education, starting schools for black children.

Finding that other black congregations in the region were also seeking independence from white control, in 1816 Allen organized a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first fully independent black denomination. He was elected its first bishop in 1816. While he and Jones led different denominations, they continued to work closely together and with the black community in Philadelphia. Soon thereafter, Allen. Jones, and others began soliciting funds, again with the help of Rush. Their appeals met with resistance from white church leaders, many of whom had been supportive of the black community, but disapproved of a separate black church.

Petersburg, Virginia had two of the oldest black congregations in the country, both organized before 1800 as a result of the Great Awakening: First Baptist Church (1774) and Gillfield Baptist Church (1797). Each congregation moved from rural areas into Petersburg into their own buildings in the early 19th century. Their two black Baptist congregations were the first of that denomination in the city and they grew rapidly.[2][11][12]

In Savannah, Georgia, a black Baptist congregation was organized by 1777, by George Liele. A former slave, he had been converted by ordained Baptist minister Matthew Moore. His early preaching was encouraged by his master, Henry Sharp. Sharp, a Baptist deacon and Loyalist, freed Liele before the American Revolutionary War began. Liele had been preaching to slaves on plantations, but made his way to Savannah, where he organized a congregation.[13] After 1782, when Liele left the city with the British, Andrew Bryan led what became known as the First African Baptist Church. By 1800 the church had 700 members, and by 1830 it had grown to more than 2400 members. Soon it generated two new black congregations in the city.[14]

Before 1850, First African Baptist in Lexington, Kentucky grew to 1,820 members, making it the largest congregation in that state. This was under its second pastor, Rev. London Ferrill, a free black,[3] and occurred as Lexington was expanding rapidly as a city. First African Baptist was admitted to the Elkhorn Baptist Association in 1824, where it came somewhat under oversight of white congregations. In 1841, Saint Augustine Catholic Church was established by the Creole community of New Orleans. This church is the oldest black Catholic parish in the United States. In 1856 First African Baptist built a large Italianate church, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[15] By 1861 the congregation numbered 2,223 members.[16]


Sunday in Little Rock, Ark., 1935. (3109755087)
Outside of a Black church in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1935.
During the church service at a Negro church in Heard County,... (3110583408)
Church goers in Heard County, Georgia, 1941.

After emancipation, Northern churches founded by free blacks, as well as those of predominantly white denominations, sent missions to the South to minister to newly freed slaves, including to teach them to read and write. For instance, Bishop Daniel Payne of the AME Church returned to Charleston, South Carolina in April 1865 with nine missionaries. He organized committees, associations and teachers to reach freedmen throughout the countryside. In the first year after the war, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church gained 50,000 congregants.[17]

By the end of Reconstruction, AME congregations existed from Florida to Texas. Their missioners and preachers had brought more than 250,000 new adherents into the church. While it had a northern base, the church was heavily influenced by this growth in the South and incorporation of many members who had different practices and traditions.[18] Similarly, within the first decade, the independent AME Zion church, founded in New York, also gained tens of thousands of Southern members. These two independent black denominations attracted the most new members in the South.[19]

In 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee, with support from white colleagues of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, more than 40 black Southern ministers, all freedmen and former slaves, met to establish the Southern-based Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church (now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church), founded as an independent branch of Methodism. They took their mostly black congregations with them. They adopted the Methodist Doctrine and elected their first two bishops, William H. Miles of Kentucky and Richard H. Vanderhorst of South Carolina.[19][20] Within three years, from a base of about 40,000, they had grown to 67,000 members, and more than ten times that many in 50 years.[21]

At the same time, black Baptist churches, well-established before the Civil War, continued to grow and add new congregations. With the rapid growth of black Baptist churches in the South, in 1895 church officials organized a new Baptist association, the National Baptist Convention. This was the unification of three national black conventions, organized in 1880 and the 1890s. It brought together the areas of mission, education and overall cooperation. Despite founding of new black conventions in the early and later 20th century, this is still the largest black religious organization in the United States.[4] These churches blended elements from underground churches with elements from freely established black churches.[8]

The postwar years were marked by a separatist impulse as blacks exercised the right to move and gather beyond white supervision or control. They developed black churches, benevolent societies, fraternal orders and fire companies.[22] In some areas they moved from farms into towns, as in middle Tennessee, or to cities that needed rebuilding, such as Atlanta. Black churches were the focal points of black communities, and their members' quickly seceding from white churches demonstrated their desire to manage their own affairs independently of white supervision. It also showed the prior strength of the "invisible church" hidden from white eyes.[23]

Black preachers provided leadership, encouraged education and economic growth, and were often the primary link between the black and white communities. The black church established and/or maintained the first black schools and encouraged community members to fund these schools and other public services.[8] For most black leaders, the churches always were connected to political goals of advancing the race. There grew to be a tension between black leaders from the North and people in the South who wanted to run their churches and worship in their own way.[24]

Since the male hierarchy denied them opportunities for ordination, middle-class women in the black church asserted themselves in other ways: they organized missionary societies to address social issues. These societies provided job training and reading education, worked for better living conditions, raised money for African missions, wrote religious periodicals, and promoted Victorian ideals of womanhood, respectability, and racial uplift.[4]

Civil Rights Movement

Black churches held a leadership role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Their history as a centers of strength for the black community made them natural leaders in this moral struggle. In addition they had often served as links between the black and white worlds. Notable minister-activists of the 1950s and 1960s included Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, Bernard Lee, Fred Shuttlesworth, Wyatt Tee Walker and C. T. Vivian.[25][26]

Politics and social issues

The black church continues to be a source of support for members of the African-American community. When compared to American churches as a whole, black churches tend to focus more on social issues such as poverty, gang violence, drug use, prison ministries and racism. A study found that black Christians were more likely to have heard about health care reform from their pastors than were white Christians.[27]

Most surveys indicate that while blacks tend to vote Democratic in elections, members of traditionally African-American churches are generally more socially conservative than white Protestants as a whole.[28] Same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues have been among the leading causes for activism in some black churches,[29] though a majority of black Protestants remain opposed to this stance.[30] Nevertheless, some denominations have been discussing this issue. For example, the African Methodist Episcopal Church prohibits its ministers from officiating same-sex weddings, but it does not have a clear policy on ordination.[31]

Some members of the Black clergy have not accepted the same-sex marital ideology. A group known as the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), maintains their disdain for gay marriage. The CAAP president, Reverend William Owens, claims that the marriage equality act will cause corruption within the United States. The organization insists that a real union is between a man and a woman. They also believe that the law prohibiting gay marriage should have been upheld. The CAAP members agree that the Supreme Court had no right to overturn the constitutional ruling.[32]

Black theology

One formalization of theology based on themes of black liberation is the Black theology movement. Its origins can be traced to July 31, 1966, when an ad hoc group of 51 black pastors, calling themselves the National Committee of Negro Churchmen (NCNC), bought a full-page ad in The New York Times to publish their "Black Power Statement", which proposed a more aggressive approach to combating racism using the Bible for inspiration.[33]

Black liberation theology was first systematized by James Cone and Dwight Hopkins. They are considered the leading theologians of this system of belief, although now there are many scholars who have contributed a great deal to the field. In 1969, Cone published the seminal work that laid the basis for black liberation theology, Black Theology and Black Power. In the book, Cone asserted that not only was black power not alien to the Gospel, it was, in fact, the Gospel message for all of 20th century America.[34][35]

In 2008, approximately one quarter of African-American churches followed a liberation theology.[36] The theology was thrust into the national spotlight after a controversy arose related to preaching by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor to then-Senator Barack Obama at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago. Wright had built Trinity into a successful megachurch following the theology developed by Cone, who has said that he would "point to [Trinity] first" as an example of a church's embodying his message.[37]

As neighborhood institutions

Although black urban neighborhoods in cities that have deindustrialized may have suffered from civic disinvestment,[38] with lower quality schools, less effective policing[39] and fire protection, there are institutions that help to improve the physical and social capital of black neighborhoods. In black neighborhoods the churches may be important sources of social cohesion.[40] For some African Americans the kind of spirituality learned through these churches works as a protective factor against the corrosive forces of poverty and racism.[41][42]

Churches may also do work to improve the physical infrastructure of the neighborhood. Churches in Harlem have undertaken real estate ventures and renovated burnt-out and abandoned brownstones to create new housing for residents.[43] Churches have fought for the right to operate their own schools in place of the often inadequate public schools found in many black neighborhoods.[44]


Like many Christians, African-American Christians sometimes participate in or attend a Christmas play. Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is a re-telling of the classic Nativity story with gospel music. Productions can be found at black theaters and churches all over the country.[45][46] The Three Wise Men are typically played by prominent members of the black community.

Historically black denominations

Throughout U.S. history, religious preferences and racial segregation have fostered development of separate black church denominations, as well as black churches within white denominations.

African Methodist Episcopal Church

Richard Allen
Richard Allen

The first of these churches was the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). In the late 18th century, former slave Richard Allen, a Methodist preacher, was an influential deacon and elder at the integrated and affluent St. George's Methodist Church in Philadelphia. The charismatic Allen had attracted numerous new black members to St. George's. White members had become so uncomfortable that they relegated black worshipers to a segregated gallery. After white members of St. George's started to treat his people as second-class citizens, in 1787 Allen, Absalom Jones, also a preacher; and other black members left St. George's.

They first established the non-denominational Free African Society, which acted as a mutual aid society. Religious differences caused Jones to take numerous followers to create an Episcopal congregation. They established the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, which opened its doors in 1794. Absalom Jones was later ordained by the bishop of the Philadelphia diocese as the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church.

Allen continued for some years within the Methodist denomination but organized a black congregation. By 1794 he and his followers opened the doors of the all-black Mother Bethel AME Church.

Over time, Allen and others sought more independence from white supervision within the Methodist Church. In 1816 Allen gathered four other black congregations together in the mid-Atlantic region to establish the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church as an independent denomination, the first fully independent black denomination. The ministers consecrated Allen as their first bishop.[9]

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion or AME Zion Church, like the AME Church, is an offshoot of the ME Church. Black members of the John Street Methodist Church of New York City left to form their own church after several acts of overt discrimination by white members. In 1796, black Methodists asked the permission of the bishop of the ME Church to meet independently, though still to be part of the ME Church and led by white preachers. This AME Church group built Zion chapel in 1800 and became incorporated in 1801, still subordinate to the ME Church.[47]

In 1820, AME Zion Church members began further separation from the ME Church. By seeking to install black preachers and elders, they created a debate over whether blacks could be ministers. This debate ended in 1822 with the ordination of Abraham Thompson, Leven Smith, and James Varick, the first superintendent (bishop) of the AME Zion church. After the Civil War, the denomination sent missionaries to the South and attracted thousands of new members, who shaped the church.[47]

National Baptist Convention

The National Baptist Convention was first organized in 1880 as the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention in Montgomery, Alabama. Its founders, including Elias Camp Morris, stressed the preaching of the gospel as an answer to the shortcomings of a segregated church. In 1895, Morris moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and founded the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., as a merger of the Foreign Mission Convention, the American National Baptist Convention, and the Baptist National Education Convention.[48]

Church of God in Christ

In 1907, Charles Harrison Mason formed the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) after his Baptist church expelled him. Mason was a member of the Holiness movement of the late 19th century. In 1906, he attended the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. Upon his return to Tennessee, he began teaching the Pentecostal Holiness message. However, Charles Price Jones and J. A. Jeter of the Holiness movement disagreed with Mason's teachings on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Jones changed the name of his COGIC church to the Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in 1915.

At a conference in Memphis, Tennessee, Mason reorganized the Church of God in Christ as a Holiness Pentecostal body.[49] The headquarters of COGIC is Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. It is the site of Martin Luther King's final sermon, "I've Been to the Mountaintop", delivered the day before he was assassinated.[50] The Church of God in Christ is the nation's largest predominantly African American denomination.[51]

Other denominations

Worshippers at Holy Angel Catholic Church on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, by John H. White, 1973.

See also



  1. ^ Sutton, Charyn D. (1992). Pass It On: Outreach to Minority Communities, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
  2. ^ a b "Gillfield Baptist Church, Petersburg, Virginia" Archived 2008-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, Virginia Commonwealth University Library, 2008, accessed 22 Dec 2008
  3. ^ a b H. E. Nutter, A Brief History of the First Baptist Church (Black) Lexington, Kentucky, 1940, accessed 22 Aug 2010
  4. ^ a b c Maffly-Kipp, Laurie F. (May 2001). "The Church in the Southern Black Community". Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  5. ^ a b Robert Hamilton Bishop's An Outline of the history of the church in the state of Kentucky, during a period of forty years (containing the memoir of Rev. David Rice), T. T. Skillman, 1824, pp. 230–33.
  6. ^ Rosemary Skinner Keller (2006), "Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America: Women and religion: methods of study and reflection", Indiana University Press, p. 997
  7. ^ a b Anne H. Pinn, Fortress Introduction to Black Church History, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 2002, p. 2.
  8. ^ a b c Abdul Alkalimat and Associates. Religion and the Black Church. Introduction to Afro-American Studies (6th ed.). Chicago: Twenty-first Century Books and Publications.
  9. ^ a b "Africans in America: The Black Church". Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  10. ^ Rimsa, Kelly. "The Underground Railroad in Indiana". Archived from the original on 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  11. ^ "Civil War history lesson: Petersburg, Virginia, embraces and expands its past",, 9 March 2005, accessed 22 Dec 2008
  12. ^ "First Baptist Church, Petersburg", African American Heritage, accessed 22 Dec 2008
  13. ^ "George Liele", Africans in America, PBS, accessed 14 Jan 2009
  14. ^ Raboteau, Albert J. (2004). Slave Religion: The 'Invisible Institution' in the Antebellum South. Oxford University Press. pp. 139, 141. ISBN 9780195174137. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  15. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  16. ^ John H. Spencer, A History of Kentucky Baptists: From 1769–1885, Vol. II, Cincinnati, OH: J.R. Baumes private printing, 1886, p. 657, accessed 23 Aug 2010
  17. ^ "Daniel Payne", This Far by Faith, PBS, 2003, 13 January 2009.
  18. ^ James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 53-54, accessed 13 Jan 2009
  19. ^ a b "The Church in the Southern Black Community", Documenting the South, University of North Carolina, 2004, accessed 15 Jan 2009
  20. ^ "Roots of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church", Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Official website, accessed 15 Jan 2009
  21. ^ Anne H. Pinn, Fortress Introduction to Black Church History, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 2002, p. 56
  22. ^ James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Church in the United States and South Africa, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 54.
  23. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619–1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1994, p. 222.
  24. ^ James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, accessed 13 Jan 2009
  25. ^ "We Shall Overcome: The Players". Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  26. ^ "The Black Church", Brotherly Love, Part 3: 1791–1831
  27. ^ "The Diminishing Divide ... American Churches, American Politics". June 25, 1996. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  28. ^ Fears, Darryl (2004-11-02). "Gay Blacks Feeling Strained Church Ties". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  29. ^ Jeffrey S. Siker, Homosexuality and Religion: An Encyclopedia, 2007, p. 49.
  30. ^ "Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage". 29 July 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  31. ^ Hahn, Heather. "Gay pastor's removal brings sadness, defiance". United Methodist Church. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  32. ^ Baptiste, Nathalie. "What Some Black Church Leaders Have Wrong About Gay Marriage -- and Civil Rights". The American Prospect. Prospect. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  33. ^ Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "A Closer Look at Black Liberation Theology", National Public Radio.
  34. ^ Obama and His 'White Grandmother' from The Wall Street Journal
  35. ^ Cornel West and Eddie S. Glaude, eds, African American Religious Thought: An Anthology, 2003 ISBN 0-664-22459-8, p. 850.
  36. ^ Powell, Michael. "A Fiery Theology Under Fire", The New York Times, May 4, 2008.
  37. ^ TUCC Talking points Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine; see also [ Margaret Talev, "Obama's church pushes controversial doctrines"], McClatchy Newspapers, March 20, 2008.
  38. ^ Root shock: The consequences of African American dispossession, Journal of Urban Health. New York: Springer. Volume 78, Number 1 / March 2001.
  39. ^ Douglas A. Smith, "The Neighborhood Context of Police Behavior", Crime and Justice, Vol. 8, Communities and Crime (1986), pp. 313-41.
  40. ^ Mary Pattillo-McCoy, "Church Culture as a Strategy of Action in the Black Community", American Sociological Review, Vol. 63, No. 6 (December 1998), pp. 767-84.
  41. ^ Bruce Makoto Arnold. "Shepherding a Flock of a Different Fleece: A Historical and Social Analysis of the Unique Attributes of the African American Pastoral Caregiver".
  42. ^ Wendy L. Haight, "'Gathering the Spirit' at First Baptist Church: Spirituality as a Protective Factor in the Lives of African American Children", Social Work, Vol. 43, 1998.
  43. ^ "Abyssinian Development Corporation". Abyssinian Development Corporation.
  44. ^ Azi Paybarah, "A Harlem Church Sues to Operate Charter School Archived January 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine", October 25, 2007.
  45. ^ Black Nativity Archived 2008-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Black Nativity Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ a b Moore, John Jamison, D.D (1884). History of the A.M.E. Zion Church in America. Founded 1796, In the City of New York. York, Pa: Teachers' Journal Office.
  48. ^ "History of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc". Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  49. ^ "The Story of Our Church". Archived from the original on 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  50. ^ "Chronology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr". Archived from the original on 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  51. ^ "Largest Religious Groups in the USA".
  52. ^ Baptiste, Nathalie. "What Some Black Church Leaders Have Wrong About Gay Marriage -- and Civil Rights". The American Prospect. Retrieved 14 March 2017.

External links

Battle of Kara Killisse (1915)

The Battle of Kara Killisse (Lit. Black church, Turkish: Karakilise Muharebesi), also known as the Battle of Malazgirt, was a battle on the Caucasus front in July 1915 after the Battle of Manzikert. In Russian historical literature, this engagement is considered as a part of "Alashkert defensive operation" (9 July-3 August).

Previously in the summer of 1915 the Russians attacked Turkish positions northeast of lake Van but they underestimated the size of their enemy. They were defeated at the Battle of Manzikert. This success encouraged the Turks under Abdul Kerim Pasha to advance towards the Russians in the Eleşkirt valley while the Turks were pursuing the remnants of Oganovki's army across the Ağrı mountains they spread out and Russian general Yudenich took the opportunity to counterattack from the west with some 20.000 reinforcements mostly Cossack units to encircle them. in the following battles between 5–8 August the Turks retreated south but the Russians succeeded only partially. The Turks lost some guns, large provisions and 10.000 killed and wounded and 6.000 became prisoners. Due to difficulties the Russians could not gain total advantage and retreated from the town of Van and Turks occupied it on 3 August.

Biserica Neagră

Biserica Neagră or Black Church (German: Schwarze Kirche; Romanian: Biserica Neagră; is a church in Brașov, a city in south-eastern Transylvania, Romania. It was built by the German community of the city and stands as the main Gothic style monument in the country, as well as being the largest and one of the most important Lutheran (Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania) places of worship in the region.

Black conservatism

Black conservatism is a political and social philosophy rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the conservative ideology around the world. Since the Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968), the African American community has often identified politically with liberalism. Black conservatives emphasize traditionalism, patriotism, self-sufficiency, free market capitalism, and strong cultural and social conservatism within the context of the black church. In the United States it is often, but not exclusively, associated with the Republican Party. Melissa Harris-Lacewell (now Melissa Harris-Perry), an outspoken liberal commentator, defines black conservatism as "advocating the idea that African Americans must be entirely self-sufficient, and demanding no official recognition of or redress for any historical or contemporary inequalities stemming from racial discrimination."The Reconstruction era began the greatest shift of conservative African Americans in American politics in modern history. During the Reconstruction era, black voters began to align themselves more with the Republican party and its conservative ideologies. Under Roosevelt's administration, during his first two terms, there was not a single piece of civil rights legislation that was made into law and in the following election the black vote became more split. In 1964, the Kennedy-Johnson campaign promoted civil rights as a central issue and during their administration, they passed anti-discrimination legislation, gaining the black vote. Since then, the Democratic Party has held a majority of the black votes in America.


Brașov (UK: , US: , Romanian: [braˈʃov] (listen); Latin: Corona; German: Kronstadt; Transylvanian Saxon: Kruhnen; Hungarian: Brassó) is a city in Romania and the administrative centre of Brașov County.

According to the latest Romanian census (2011), Brașov has a population of 253,200 making it the 7th most populous city in Romania. The metropolitan area is home to 382,896 residents.Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 kilometres (103 miles) north of Bucharest and 380 kilometres (236 miles) from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the historical region of Transylvania.

The city is notable for being the regional capital of the Transylvanian Saxons of the Burzenland administrative area in the past, and a large commercial hub on the trade roads between East and West. It is also the birthplace of the national anthem of Romania.

Broadstone, Dublin

Broadstone (Irish: An Clochán Leathan) is one of the three neighbourhoods that make up present-day Phibsboro in Dublin, Ireland. The most southerly of these, it begins just two kilometres north of the Liffey Bridge at Ormond Quay. The area is triangular, bounded by Phibsborough Road and Constitution Hill to the West, North Circular Road to the north, and Dorset Street and Bolton Street to the south-east. The postal district for the area is Dublin 7.

Candler School of Theology

Candler School of Theology is one of seven graduate schools at Emory University, located in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. A university-based school of theology, Candler educates ministers, scholars of religion and other leaders. It is also one of 13 seminaries affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Cismont, Virginia

Cismont is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, Virginia.Castle Hill and Grace Episcopal Church are listed the National Register of Historic Places.Zion Hill Baptist is a historically Black Church in Cismont. In December 1974, Dr. R. A. Johnson was pastor.

Covesville, Virginia

Covesville is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, Virginia, United States. Covesville is located 15.7 miles (25.3 km) southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia and has a post office with ZIP code 22931.The community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Covesville Historic District. In addition, Cove Presbyterian Church, Redlands, and Edgemont are individually listed on the National Register in the community.Covesville First Baptist Church is a historically Black Church in Covesville. On December 8, 1974, the church hosted Little Rev. Michael Dandridge in a benefit for the purchase of a communion table. This event was sponsored by Sister Marion Dowell.

First African Baptist Church (Richmond, Virginia)

The First African Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia is a prominent Black church. Founded in 1841, its members initially included both slaves and freedmen. It has since had a major influence on the local black community. At one point, it was one of the largest Protestant churches in the United States.

Homophobia in ethnic minority communities

Homophobia in ethnic minority communities refers to any negative prejudice or form of discrimination within the ethnic minority communities worldwide towards people who identify as – or are perceived as being – lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), known as homophobia. This may be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred, irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs. While religion can have a positive function in many LGB Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, it can also play a role in supporting homophobia.Many LGBT ethnic minority persons rely on members of their ethnic group for support in terms of racial matters. However, within these communities, homophobia and transphobia often exists within the context of ethnocultural norms on gender and sexual orientation, with one American researcher claiming that "a common fallacy within communities of color is that gay men or lesbians are perceived as 'defective' men or women who want to be a member of the opposite gender".There is a lot of difficulty regarding how to categorise homosexuality throughout different cultures, In recent times, scholars have argued that Western notions of a gay and/or heterosexual identity only began to emerge in Europe in the mid to late 19th century. Behaviors that today would be widely regarded as homosexual, at least in the West, enjoyed a degree of acceptance in around three quarters of the cultures surveyed in Patterns of Sexual Behavior (1951).Homophobia within ethnic minority communities creates a double bind to those it impacts. Members of these groups experience racial and ethnic discrimination from the larger society that they live in addition to homophobia within their ethnic/racial groups. This discrimination creates the need for a supportive community to undo the psychological damage of discrimination. They find that neither environment tends to their needs as someone who experiences multiple levels of discrimination.

James H. Cone

James Hal Cone (1938–2018) was an American theologian, best known for his advocacy of black theology and black liberation theology. His 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power provided a new way to comprehensively define the distinctiveness of theology in the black church. His message was that Black Power, defined as black people asserting the humanity that white supremacy denied, was the gospel in America. Jesus came to liberate the oppressed, advocating the same thing as Black Power. He argued that white American churches preached a gospel based on white supremacy, antithetical to the gospel of Jesus. Cone's work was influential from the time of the book's publication, and his work remains influential today. His work has been both used and critiqued inside and outside the African-American theological community. He was the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary until his death.

Jeffery Tribble

Jeffery Tribble is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (A.M.E. Zion) Church and a professor of ministry with research interests in Practical Theology, Congregational Studies and Leadership, Ethnography, Evangelism and Church Planting, Black Church Studies, and Urban Church Ministry. Academics and professionals in these fields consider him a renowned thought leader. Tribble's experience in pastoral ministry allows for his work to bridge the gap between academic research and practical church leadership.

Keene, Virginia

Keene is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, Virginia, United States. As of the 1990 census, the town had a total population of 10.

The town is known for being the location of the last sighting of a passenger pigeon in the wild, by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt had "the first Camp David", called Pine Knot, here from 1905.

Christ Church Glendower, Plain Dealing, and The Rectory are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is a historically black church in Keene. In December of 1974, the pastor was Rev. Frank Montague. The church held a Christmas Bazaar on Saturday December 14 of that year, sponsored by the Keene Birthday Club.


Lernapar (Armenian: Լեռնապար; until 1978, Haykakan Pamb or Russified as Pamb Armyanskiy - both meaning "Armenian Pamb" as distinguished from Sipan, the Kurdish Pamb - and Gharakilisa - meaning "black church") is a small village in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia.

Peter Spencer (religious leader)

Peter Spencer (1782–1843) was an American freedman who in 1813 founded the Union Church of Africans in Wilmington, Delaware. The denomination is now known as the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, or A.U.M.P. Church for short. Born into slavery in 1782 in Kent County, Maryland, Spencer was freed after his master died, by the terms of his will.Spencer moved north to Wilmington, Delaware, which had a large free black population. He contributed to the development of the free Africa-American community in this city. There he founded the Union Church of Africans in 1813. (This followed the 1793 establishment in Philadelphia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by Richard Allen, which was the first independent black church. It had ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1816, when several congregations formed it as a denomination, electing Allen as bishop.

In 1814, Spencer called for the first annual gathering of the Union Church, an event now known as the Big August Quarterly. This has drawn members of this denomination and their descendants together in an annual religious and cultural festival, which continues to be held in the early 21st century.Thomas Garrett, a Quaker in Wilmington who was an abolitionist and active in the Underground Railroad as a “conductor” of refugee slaves, helped Spencer buy land to build the Mother Church on French Street in Wilmington. Over the course of his lifetime, Spencer began 31 churches, nearly all of them with schools. He became known as the “father of the independent black church movement.”

Sam Black Church, West Virginia

Sam Black Church is an unincorporated community in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60 on the Midland Trail, a National Scenic Byway. The community is named for Sam Black Church, a Registered Historic Place which is nearby.

St. Thaddeus Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Thaddeus (Armenian: Սուրբ Թադէոսի վանք, Surb Tadeosi vank' ; Persian: کلیسای حضرت تادئوس‎, Kelisā-ye Ḥaẓrat-e Tādeus) is an ancient Armenian monastery in the mountainous area of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran.

Also known as Kara Kilise (the "Black Church") (Azerbaijani: Qara Kilsə; Persian: قره‌ کلیسا‎, Qare Kelisā), it is located about 20 kilometers from the town of Chaldiran. The monastery and its distinctive Armenian conical roofs are visible from long distances.

Wilderness, Virginia

Wilderness is an unincorporated community on the border of Orange and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia. The community is centered at the intersection of Virginia primary 20 and Virginia primary 3.The name likely comes from the nearby thick forest known as The Wilderness Forest, where a Civil War battle nearby known as the Battle of the Wilderness occurred. Locust Grove is the official mailing address for Wilderness.

Pilgrim Baptist Church is a historically Black church in Wilderness, in 1974 Rev. Earl Bledsoe was pastor.

Yancey Mills, Virginia

Yancey Mills is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, Virginia, United States. Today, Yancey Mills is the site of the intersection of U.S. Route 250 and Interstate 64, the location of Western Albemarle High School, Henley Middle School, Brownsville Elementary School, and a pair of gas stations.

It is named for Charles Yancey, a businessman who ran a tavern, store, mill, and distillery in the area, which became known as Yancey's Mill. A post office was established there, though was eventually moved to nearby Hillsboro. The mill still stands, under the name of R.A. Yancey Lumber Corporation.The Miller School of Albemarle was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.The Piedmont Baptist Church is a historically Black church in Yancey Mills. In 1974, the church was the site of NAACP meetings.

US black church denominations and leaders
General themes

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.