AME Bishop Fathers : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

How do and have the Bishops of the A.M.E. church see themselves as Fathers of their flocks? What scripture and church teaching can be used to illustrate this aspect of the Bishops?

Thank you.

-- Anonymous, June 05, 2001


Dear Mr. E. M. Davillier,

Would you please explain in more detail as to how you arrived at the conclusion that bishops of the AME church see themselves as fathers of their flocks. Have you interviewed all 19 bishops of the AME church? Can you defend your thesis with sound arguments that AME bishops are the fathers of their flocks?


-- Anonymous, June 05, 2001

One form of address for Bishops in our church has always been Reverend Father In God, as will be noted when presenting candidates for ordination or consecration. They are also often refereed to as Episcopal Fathers. Their spouses are somtimes lovingly called Mothers.

Without having researched the reason why, my guess would be it is based on Saint Paul's advice to respect our elders as fathers. (Not necessarily confined to but including the clergy).

Presently our Church has a total of 30 Bishops, one of whom will now be addressed as Reverend Mother In God or our Episcopal Mother and her spouse may perhaps lovingly be called Father.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2001

Our Bishops have not ALWAYS been referred to as "Reverend Fathers in God." This nomenclature began to creep into the AME Church around 1844 and was erroneously adopted from the Protestant Episcopal Church as well as the title, Right Reverend _____. This was never in keeping with METHODISM,especially (the original) British Methodism but we soon began to adopt practices, procedures, and customs from other denominations that were certainly foreign to Methodism and not in keeping with Methodist Polity and procedures.

Also, all Bishops wives are NOT properly entitled to the title, "MOTHER." Only when they have served in South Africa, Southern Africa, and Central Africa are they accorded that title after proper initiation and ceremonies by the conference missionaries which include among other things, dressing them in Black robes, leopard skin collars, and leopard skin caps.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2001

While these titles may not apply to all Methodist Churches. The denomination, not Methodism, sets it's own standards. The term "Right Reverend" usually is one used in the Catholic and Episcopal Church where there are varying degrees of Bishops such as Right Reverend, Very Reverend, and Most Reverend etc.

While these terms usually don't apply in Methodism, since Richard Allen--our founder and first Bishop--chose the title Right Reverend it does apply to African Methodism. This is indicated by the title of Allen's own autobiography, "The Life Experiences and Gospel Labors of the Right Reverend Richard Allen".

A.M.E. Bishops are therefore, rightfully called, "Right Reverend". My Episcopal District is also not in Africa and we have as lomg as I remember referred to our Episcopal Supervisors as Mother.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2001

Sorry,Mr. Matthews, the AME Church is not a DENOMINATION, it is a CONNECTION; METHODISM is a DENOMINATION! And there is no record that the AME Church through its General Conferences ever officially adopted such title. RIGHT REVEREND or RIGHT MR are titles that are not only particular to the ranks of clergy but to the ranks of the secular as well for Britain and its empire. The AME Church CONNECTION has officialy adopted no such title, although many AMEs use it erroneusly.

Secondly, the Title of Richard Allen's Autobiography was not named by him with the title of Right Reverend, only 20 years later did the title RIGHT REVEREND appear. Read "The Romance of African Methodism" by George A. Singleton and Turner's Polity by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner to get a better understanding of the subject matter.

Finally, before you put your foot in your mouth again, rather while you are taking it out, I never stated that the wives of Bishops have to be currently serving in a South, Southern, or Central African District to be accorded the title, MOTHER; I stated that she must have served in one of those areas to be accorded the title, MOTHER. To make it a bit more clear to you, the only living Bishops wives who have served in that area are Mrs. Belin, Henning, Young, Chappelle, Ingram, Williams, Richardson, James, Brookins, Murph, C. E. E. Thomas, and Robert Thomas.

I hope this lends sone understanding and enlightenment. Otherwise, you will continue singing the song, "The green grass grows all over me."

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2001

The previous statement by Pooyeet, to me, seems arrogant. This is a discussion board and people should restrain themselves from insulting or hurting others on this forum.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2001

Dear Rev. Hanse,

I agree with you that we christians who are trying to be like Jesus Christ should never say or do anything to hurt another individual. I have noticed that during the past few weeks that Satan has attempted to disrupt this bulletin board with personal attacks such as name calling. We can attack one another viewpoint but we need not give Satan the victory by attacking one another. The bible says that the enemy came to kill, steal, and destroy. I am going to request that all christians who love God pray that they will submit themselves to the Holy Spirit before posting comments on this board. There is power in the blood of Jesus and I rebuke you Satan in the name of Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I will not allow you to use me on this bulletin board.


-- Anonymous, June 12, 2001

The definition of the word DENOMINATION as found in the Merriam Webster Dictionary.: A religious organization uniting local congregations in a single legal and administrative body.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2001

Denise, the author, Ms. Poteet, was not speaking about denomination in the sense that Webster defines but according to Methodist Polity; and it is true, Methodism is the denomination; AME, AME Zion, CME, United Methodists, Free Methodists, Wesleyan Methodists, etc are CONNECTIONS. It appears that persons here on this bulletin board get a bit "sour -faced" when they are corrected. You can look up any denominations in any dictionary you wish, but it will not take the place of what we know the true meaning to be. Since you can quote us the dictionary definition of DENOMINATION, look up the dictionary's definition of words such as "nigger", Emancipation Proclamation, etc and you will find out that it is not our definition.

So, stop trying to suck up to those who wear their feelings on their sleeves, as you often do on this bulletin board, and stop trying to pervert the truth. The AME Church is not a denomination and (most) active Methodists know this, it is one of the Connections of Methodism.

And one thing I can say about the person to whom you are throwing stones, Ms. Poteet! She is sharp, knowledgeable and has the experience to correct us whenever we err or stray, especially in AME doctrines, polity, discipine, theology and history. Rather than hint around about your likes and dislikes, why not email her personally and take her on, "one-on-one" like a REAL CHRISTIAN woman would do.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2001

i think that we have gotten to hung up on words on this subject. Peoples feelings who the authors are not talking too are being to quick to defend people who are not responding for themselves. If you considered Ms. Poteet comment to be bashing htat brother, then you MUST see that Dr. Thomas and Rev. Rogers have to work their differences out. I feel that the personal emails should be kept personal. If you desire to meet, then you should be in L.A. right now with the restof the leaders of the church at hte General board Meeting then you can discuss your diffeences face to face and then see what will you say or will you shut up then.

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2001

Sis Jones:

Contrary to your opinion Sis Poteet was way out of line in her comments. She made them publicly in this forum and did not do the REAL CHIRstian woman thing. All of this unnecessary animosity sholuld cease.

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

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