Should AME & AMEZ merge (question revisited) : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

On July 19th 1999 Bro. Dickens raised this question and I believe with the present list of postings along with the finance ideas of Bro. Dickens should we ressurect this question?

Looking Forward to any responses

God Bless You All

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2001


My position on this topic has not changed since 7/19/99. Unification is in the best interest for AME & AME-Z. Unity breeds strength and strength breeds confidence. In fact as one poster responded later in that thread, all Black Methodism should be united. Talks are being initiated about the CME and AMEZ uniting. The esteemed retired pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, addressed the National Baptist Convention, USA [NBC] in September and urged that the 40 year split between the Progressive National Baptist [which he helped found] and NBC should be closed. He is urging reconcilliation between both conventions. If East & West Berlin can reunite, surely disciples of Christ can do the same thing. Afterall, the flight of our youth from our rolls require some deep soul- searcing about the future of our Zion. QED

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2001

NO, the AME Church and AME Zion church should not merge; I was once a member of the AME Zion Church and now am an AME. The Bishops in the AME Zion Church are very dictatorial, unlike anything you have seen and they represent both the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. They leave pastors out at will, sit them down without any re-dress, have no financial accountabliity, and can stay in an Episcopal District for 20 or more years.

Secondly, the AME Zion Church is a very small denomination. With the exception of North Carolina, New York, New England, Alabama, and the upper part of South Carolina, they are almost non-existent.

Thirdly, when they stop lying and saying that they are older than the AME Church, which everyone knows to be a farce, maybe there can be some dialogue.

In the next post, I will give you a list of the AME, AME Zion, and CME Churches by state and then you will understand what I mean to be true.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2001

There are many dangers in the concept of a merger between the AME and AME Zion churches. The first that should be addressed is the Episcopal Bench. If you combine the AME and AME Zion Churches how do you distribute power. Who gives it up? Who retains it?

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2001

I believe all AME's have a certain "signature", or at least one of popular ones of the church, attached to them and we find it easier to identify and deal with personalities, concerns and spiritual influences because we recognize these "signatures". Therefore, I am completely against merging with the AMEZ's because we would have too many new unenculturated people to have to deal with and the battles would never end. The AME Church is a connection and usually has a sense of community where everybody pretty much understandst the purpose. If they don't, they are quickly informed. Personally, I don't feel like having to entertain the concerns of a completely different group of religious leaders who have run on another track for as long as they have. Also, I am not that fund of the AMEZ's because they don't seem to be as strong as we are about national issues and civil rights initiatives. Numbers can weaken as well as strenghthen. Consider Gideon's army, Judges 7.

Also, as greedy and hateful as some of us are, the AMEZ's could suffer.


-- Anonymous, October 05, 2001

I think we need to wait and see if the AMEZ and CME are really going to merge in the next three years. We are too powerful alone to join with anyone else. I am in totall disagreement with merging. Let all the others merge and we need to keep doing our own thing.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2001

I believe that we have talked about a merger for more than a decade. The notion of a merger requires very careful study. The distribution of assets, episcopal power, reshaping of districts, the retention of denominational traditions...all of this must be considered. Because of all that is at stake, I do not believe we will ever engage in such a merger. I believe we should look at what we have in common and how we can work together in some areas. That will be enough for me. I value who we are and where we have come from to much to throw that all away.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2001

I consider that there are enough differences in the AME and the AMEX to warrant different denominations. After all, if we look at the Methodist family of churches, we have many denominations within the same family. I think that is good for Methodism overall.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2001

Prayerfully, power, capital, size, financial strength, or numerical strength will dictate on serious discussion concerning the merger of our churches. Maybe we should have a serious conversation concerning the benefits of such a merger. How would such a merger enhance the spread the Gospel of Christ? How would local churches benefit? How would a combined Missions efforts benefit? How would our educational institutions benefit? Would resources be conserved? What impact would this new organization have upon the world stage? etc.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2001

Judging by the responses to this question a super-majority are against black Methodist unification. I would like to pose a question for the anti-unification audience. Are the problems cited for why unification is problematic really irreconciliable differences? It is one thing to remain steadfast on certain theological principles but another to maintain artificial separation based on historical or cultural idiosyncracies. I thought the we declared victory over the ignoble expression, "seperate but equal" status nearly 50 years ago. Again, I use the international reference about the reunification of East & West Berlin. At the close of the Cold War these cities recognized that the immoral wall of seperation should be eliminated to signal total German brotherhood and comraderie. Should black Christendom be any different? I would hope that Psalm 133:1 be understood as a mandate for both AME, CME & AME-Z. QED

-- Anonymous, October 10, 2001

Bill, Your example of the reunification of West and East Berlin is good. However, the AME, CME, and AME-Z were founded separately with major differences, some of which remain.

For example, the AME Church (of Allen) was basically founded by Free Africains. Richard Allen believed that Africians should be self- governing and self-sufficient.

The CME Church came out of slavery. It was founded by the ME Church South as a means of keeping the freed slaves within the confines of the ME Church South, and out of the AME Church.

I have no data on the AMEZ. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

The point is that this would not be RE-unification but three independent bodies coming together.

Even today, the AME Church tends to be more militant thean the CME Church. That is one thing that would have to be resolved.

I personally think that there are too many differences in theological ideas for the merger. I think that rather than developing a monolith, "The Black Church", we need more "black" denomonations so that our people can move into a church where they can be comfortable. For example, I (and many others) tend to be more conservative than most black churches. Hence, we do not have a voice in the church. The monolith called the "black church" is percieved to be super liberal, a position that I am uncomfortable with.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 10, 2001

Bro Paris, If you're uncomfortable in a group where liberals dominate, why not go to a church where conservatives dominate? I'm speaking of course of churches in the evangelical movement. From Fundamental Baptist to Charismatic, there are a wide variety of theologies to choose from. As one with a Methodist background you might be comfortable in the Nazarene, Free Methodist, or Weslyan denominations. They have roots in the holiness movement, are Weslyan in theology, and a political liberal would be hard to find in their congregations. Of course these are not historically black churches, but they welcome people of all races.

Being a minister you're not likely to change denominations lightly, but who knows? Maybe God will direct you that way down the road. Keep it in mind. I've changed churches a time or two myself, moving from a mainline church to the evangelical movement. I know what it's like to feel like the outsider, swimming against the tide all the time. Unless you feel called to be a "voice crying in the wilderness", it's liberating to be able to relax and worship where you fit in.

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2001

It is not about comfort. It is about God's will. God has given me a mandate to remain in AME Church and that is where I will live and where I will die.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2001

Of course the denominations should merge and many of the small churches should merge also. We need to stop worrying so much about territory and dim witted doctrine and serve the Lord.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2001

Having read some of the comments of my AME brothers and sisters in Christ, I feel some perspective from the AMEZ side of the isle is in order. The reasons to consider whether to merge or not has to be based on whether we can be a more effective instrument for people to find Christ,through how we minister to them. While I have read some very well expressed arguments about why we should not merge, I am not convinced that Black People with a mind to do God's service can't bring about an evolution of any of our current establishments. While I agree that a merger would be problematic, it is not impossible. So the question becomes whether we can be more effective if we unite and if so should we try. We just might need to become closer team mates. I would like to caution you my sisters and brothers that as we dialogue along these lines that civil words and factually accurate exchange of information is how to arrive at the true conclusion. AMEZ is flawed in some areas and strong in others. This statement is true of all entities that man has devised. While God is a creator,man has to make things better by evolving them. I have been both AME and AMEZ. God can and has used both. We must ask ourselves is this the best we can do for Him?

-- Anonymous, December 31, 2001

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