Education : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

At the establishment of the AME Church in Africa, the church used to have education as its prime priority. However. over time this avluable principle in mission faded away. To this end my question is, has the church stopped to care about its people, or is education not a worthwhile exercise to be practised in Africa? Has the church decided to rest the entire responsibilty of education on the Goverment? In Namibia, and at our church Ebenezer, we have children who completed high school and cannot go to college due to poverty, others whose parents cannot pay their school fees etc? What is the official standing of the AME Church on education, nowadays?

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001


Good question(s). I can't speak for the Connection, of course, but I set a long range goal of establishing a school at every church that I am blessed to pastor. I consider that shoukd be the goal of every AME Church. Here in the Tenth Episcopal District, The Reverend Dr. Cecelia Willimans Bryant established two elementary schools in Texas with a long range goal of adding grades through high school. This effort will continue under the administration of Bishop Young. I think establishing schools for our children should be a major priorty so that our children can get the kind of education they cannot get in most public schools. I sent my children to private school until we moved to a school district that was acceptable to us. I have noticed that many of our preachers and bishops are quietly sending their children to private schools also. Blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001

Ahh.... Pastor Paris's last sentence is particularly noteworthy. Not only do many of our pastors have their kids in private schools but even many of our black PUBLIC school teachers have their own children enrolled in PRIVATE schools!!! This choice by black school teachers represents a fundamental statement about non-edorsement of a product. Rev. Biwa's concerns about our somewhat silent abdication on education is fully justified. I am thrilled to know that Rev Cecelia Williams has founded two elementary schools. More of course is needed. What we really need is a Connectional committment to SECONDARY education. Why is it that Hebrew schools, Catholic and Episcopalian secondary schools are more populous yet the AME Church and the black community in general exceeds the population of Hebrew, Catholic and Episcopalian schools? Overreliance on the government, particularly the Federal govt., will not aid in helping those who really need the help. The help must come from within our innercircles. QED

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001

I've never had my kids in public school. My son went to private school until we came to our present location where they were too expensive. Since that time both he and my daughter have been home schooled by my wife. My son is now 13, and my daughter is 9.

Our primary reasons: Safety, non-Christian influences, teacher strikes, and the liberal/humanist NEA agenda. We MIGHT put them through public high school since we live in a religious/conservative area. We're still seeking God on that one.

My sister in Arizona also home schools her children. She actually started while living in Los Angeles. My mother's quote to her: "If you love your children you won't put them in the LA public school system." That's pretty hard line, but I see her point. By the way, Mom is a nurse in the Northern CA public schools.

If I might brag on my wife for a moment...If you ever meet a successful home schooler you'll find they are extraordinary people. When I go to the city home school association meetings I'm amazed at the quality of individuals participating. For one thing they are very creative. They make it work. Like my family many aren't wealthy either, but they sacrifice material gain for the kids.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001

One other interesting thing I saw up in Washington state. Three churches running private schools detached the schools from their churches, and combined the schools into a Christian school district. The schools still met on the grounds of the three churches, but paid the churches rent. No longer were they considered ministries of the churches, but tenants. It set up a synergistic connectionalism (see my new word?) between the schools that wouldn't have existed if they'd remained part of the church. They helped each other out.

Keys to success: The parties were similar in doctrine. One was a Foursquare Gospel church in the city, one was an AG church in the suburbs, and one was an AG church in a nearby town. Second, the schools were large enough to not require financial help from the churches. Once you separate the churches shouldn't contribute anymore.

At any rate, it's only been done in a few places around the nation, but once they did it they immediately began receiving calls from all over. The AME schools might consider something similar.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001

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