Why is the AME denomination the best kept secret in the world?

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I have read on this discussion board that our denomination is the best kept secret in the world. I am new the denomination and I am puzzeled why or if that statement is true. I am so excited about our history and also our future. Being in a connectional church is such a plus for church growth. And at a time when statistics show more people want a closer relationship with God the AME church is deeply rooted in the Wesleyan tradition with an emphasis on the Holy Spirit. We are a highly educated denomination. So why is it that we are the "best kept secret" in town. Though I live in Montana the people that I tell about the AME church are excited especially since the AME church has been in Montana since the late 1800's. We came out to establish churches during the gold rush era. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. And let's spread the good news about our church!!

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001


Some of that may have to do with the fact that the church at large is a pretty well-kept secret. The focus of the world today is strongly in the camp of the enemy. In the USA, the focus of media is on the travesty of humankind, our weaknesses, our temptations, and if we need to examine the church, it is with the denigrating eye of the exposee. Athletes and entertainters acquiring salraies and contracts that are spiralling out of control, the acumulation of wealth rather than the disemination to help the poor, the acquisition of status - these are the foci of the world.

Meanwhile back at the Christian ranch, the Church of God (not referring to the denomination, but the body of Christ), is still plugging along. America's undercurrent of school violence, terrorist threat, sexual exploitation and inundation, and greed have left this nation spiritually hungry. For those who remember their roots, the call of the Church is strong and beckoning. For those who had no roots, Miss Cleo and her 200 phone numbers are filling the gap.

The Church at large and the AME Church specifically have opportunities to evangelize and spread both the Good News and its impact in today's communities. Our successes are often at a personal level, where individual victories are won for our Lord, or where a community is positively changed by the actions of its local assemblies. This is where each of us is making a difference, lighting individual candles that collectively push back or extinguish the darkness.

Let us continue the important work of ministry: clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and shut-in, teaching and encouraging our youth, caring for those in our communtiies, and preaching the discipline of Christian life. If we continue this, our work will slowly overcome its anonymity.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Jerryl thank you for your words of inspiration. I want to share how the AME church and our beliefs are helping in a tradionally white community, Bozeman Montana. On May 13th my church St. Paul Community Church will have it's first Baptism we are six months old now. The person to be baptised is blind, in a wheel chair and is 65 years old. She has never attended church. Because they only told her she was bad. She has known about me for years. And called and said she wanted to be baptised at our church. On August 6, 2001 I and my church will officially be an AME congregation at Annual Conference. Our small congregation in working in one of our nursing homes on a daily basis. When I am asked why we do these things I simply said. "I read the mission statement of the AME church and it says for us to do these things." I am so proud to be AME and very proud that my home church Wayman Chapel has given birth to another church in this state. It is always good to hear from you and Rev. Payne.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Let me employ some old saws which we had heard so often that some of us have become sensitized to them and think they no longer apply The first one is: "The Black man has been so busy making history that he (she) didn't take time to write it." It has often been my experience while researching information for an AME website, which I maintain and a newsletter which I edit, that too little information has been recorded and much of what has been recorded has not been preserved in a place which, is easy to access.

Secondly, a favorite of my high school band director was, "He who tooteth not his (her) horn, his (her) horn will not be tooted." No one knows what we have done and are still doing like we do. Furthermore, others don't even care enough to find out what we are about unless we constantly make them aware of it.

Thirdly, as I stated in another post, We have too often loved our neighbor and NOT ourselves. Too often we have forgotten the fact that only FOUR African Americans have ever become Senators in US history because doing so might put them in a position to be nominated for or even become the next President or Vice President of the nation.

Already we seem to have forgotten the fact that countless African American citizen were disenfranchised and their votes totally misrepresented and ignored in the last General Election. Too often we have allowed the few wonderful achievement of the 1960s to cloud the issue, so that now some of us "think" that we have "arrived". Thus, we no longer tell the story. But tell the story we must, and in doing so we must constantly use that words of Saint Philip the Evangelist, "Come and see."

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

I have been an A.M.E. since 1994 I was a member of St. Peter A.M.E. Church in Warsaw N.C. but in August 20, 2000 I was transfered to St. James A.M.E. Church Keanasville N.C. Anyway I am what is known to the North Carolina Annual Conference to be the Youngest Minister to be admitted to the an annual conference at the age of 15, Iam 16 now. Im also in the N.C. Conference Board of Examiners first year class. I think that the A.M.E church is the Best organized Church in the world. Simply because we have a book that was written after the word of God to aids us in what we do. Many think that we are following that Disciplne more so than the word of God! not so! we are following God's word where it say's let every thing be done in Decency and in order. Others don't understand us because we are Methodist and we have a mehtod of doing things.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

You know I did not know anything about the AME church until I began playing for one. It was a small rural church. After I joined the church and realized the large connection, I was amazed. Being Baptist, I was really glad to see it. I think the reality is this: most persons are attracted to life. The AME presented very little life until after I became a part of it. People assume that one must be wealthy or highly educated to be member of an AME church. Most people fail to realize that we are the oldest black denomination. They also forget that it was the AME church that was involved in the struggles for liberation although other leaders were from other denominations. We are rich in history, and knowledge. We have however lacked the one thing that draws crowds i.e. charisma. We shall be revived with charisma and it will not be based on the extraordinary but on the reality of a liberating God using a liberated church. Because only a few of us are on television or radio or even have a mega-church ministry, we are not seen as something the people would feel comfortable in. That needs to be changed and it begins with ministers who are not only ambitious for power, prestige, and perpetuation, but who are actually ministry minded and God led. I believe the Bible assures us that all who follow Him will do exploits in His name. We're still here. We donot need to imitate others to draw to our denomination, we just need to continue in the founder's vision for the church and our motto.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

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