THE HISTORY OF BLACK METHODISTS FOR CHURCH RENEWAL:
On Saturday, August 19, 1967, the all-Black, segregated Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Episcopal Church elected its 14th and final Episcopal leader, Bishop L. Scott Allen. This election and the ensuring service of consecration were the final acts to be performed by the jurisdiction. At midnight, that Saturday night, the Central Jurisdiction ceased to be, ending the period of open segregation of the races in the Methodist Episcopal Church. A sad chapter in Methodist history was now closed. With the dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction a serious and nagging question remained for Black Methodists: Will there be a permanent place in the new United Methodist church for Black Methodists? The history of race relations within the Methodist Church has in many ways mirrored the history of race relations in American society. The question was important because it spoke to the historical reality that the Methodist Church had never accorded blacks equal status as Christian sisters and brothers. This was so—despite the tremendous contributions that Black Methodists had made to the church. In 1967, many members of the now defunct Central Jurisdiction felt uncertainty about the status of Black Methodists in this new United Methodist Church. Groups of Black Methodists met frequently to discuss the problem of racial equality in their new denomination. That following year, March 1968, BMCR was born.
‘Black Archives Matter’
Timothy Binkley, archivist at Perkins School of Theology’s Bridwell Library, started a Black Archives Matter initiative. It’s grown to include other libraries at Southern Methodist University under the title Black Archives Matter at SMU. Archivist Timothy Binkley at United Methodist Perkins School of Theology goes all out to collect, process, publicize African-American materials for a United Methodist seminary library. Read more here.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Were African-Americans “Add-Ons” to the United Methodist Church?
Or, were we “part of the church from the get-go.” Find out here.
Saint Mark UMC | 8305 S. Gramercy Place Los Angeles CA 90047
Phone: 323-753-3535 Fax: 323.753.3711
Pastor Gary: 323 359-0259 (Mobile)
African Americans have played important roles in the development of the United States. The recognition of our role in growth and development from a historical perspective is an important step in celebrating the contributions of individuals and the collective changes the African American community has brought about. As Methodists, we continue to celebrate our heritage, deepen our faith, and build stronger communities.
The rich diversity of hymnody and song, born out of the African American experience, is part of a collection which contains 46 hymns of Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley, an American Methodist minister and gospel music composer. People of all ethnicities should take time to reflect on the contributions of African Americans and note the strong connections to the church and the community.