How did the A.M.E Church get to Africa? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

When did the A.M.E Church go to Africa and who were the leaders who were instrumental in doing this. I would also love to hear where are first churches were planted. Thanks

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002


Reverend Rogers,

Bishop Henry McNeil Turner first ventured to South Africa in 1898 to discuss a proposed affiliation of the Ethiopian Church with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. James Dwane, a former Wesleyan who found that money he had raised in England for an African college were placed in a general operating fund, had come to America the year before to negotiate the affiliation. The AME Church began to plant churches in South Africa between 1900 and 1904. Some clegymen were disappointed by the imposition of power the AME's enforced (position-wise) but the saddening conditions of the South Africans and the helped the institution of churches increase.


-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

Strike "and the" in the last sentence.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

Thank you Rev. Stocker, when you say "proposed affiliation" with the Ethopian church do you mean the Coptic church? This is fascinating.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

No, not the Coptic Church of Egypt which is over nineteen centuries old. The Ethiopian Church was founded in 1892 by Mangane Mokone.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

According to an article on the black church in the encyclopedia Africana, Rev. Daniel Coker was the first AME missionary to the continent of Africa in 1820.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Rev. Rogers thank you for the topic and I also want to thank Rev. Stocker for the response provided. What is often missed in the history of the AME Church in South Africa is when an emphasis is put on the "men of God", as opposed to what "women of God" had done to facilitate the existence of the AME Church, at least in Southern Africa. Charlote Mannye Maxeke, a singer and a first black women in South Africa to obtain a Bsc degree, was critical in the coming to being of the AME Church. She connected the AME Church, in the US, with the Ethopian Movement (different from the Ethopian Church) under the leadership of Rev. Mangena M. Mokone, her uncle. She studied at Wilberforce University (Ohio state), sponsored by Bishop Turner. And, the connection came about, between the Ethopian Movement and the AME Church, because of this humane gesture of Bishop Turner. It was out of having comparatively understood the history and values of the AME Church and of the Ethopian Movement that she connected her uncle to Bishop Turner.

Rev. James Dwane, a member of the Ethopian Movement, together with others, were mandated by a convention of the Movement to go over to the US to talk learn about the AME Church. It was not a coincident that he, together with the delegation that met Bishop Turner, went to the US. In addition, they were mandated to also discuss a merger between the two given the values and history they shared.

What I do not agree with from Rev. Stocker is a suggestion that the Ethhopian Movement went to negotiate an affiliation, therefore subdued to the AME Church in the US. Part of the reason why Rev. Dwane rescinded from taking the process forward, by establishing the Ethopian Church (here is the difference from the former, is precisely because he realised that what was to be a merger became an affiliation. But, partly, it was because he saw himsef benefiting from this process by being a Bishop/Superintendent and when that failed he left.

If I may, let me also say a word about Father Mokone. He was an educated man, a principal of Kilnerton College (in Pretoria), as well as a clergyman in the Methodist (Wesleyan) Church. He protested the treatment of black clergy and their congregations by the white Missionaries of the same Church. He led the clergy and congregation out of the Methodist Church to form the Ethopian Movement. It is this movement that greatly contributed in the formation of the liberation movement in South Africa. Ask the African National Congress (ANC) - the party that is forming today's government in SA, they will confirm this. Ask the Women's League of the ANC, they will let you know that the first President of the Women's League, in formative years, was none other than Charllote Maxeke.

Comparing the Free African Society of the Richard Allen and the Ethopian Movement of Mangena Mokone, the only difference is that the other took place in the US while another to place in South Africa. And, the other took place earlier than the another. There is only a difference of about 50 years of the founding of the AME Church in SA, compared to the US.

May it also be clearly stated; the AME Church in SA was not founded by missionary efforts. Bishop Turner came into an organised formation which was obligated to the AME Church. It was not planted by the AME Church, they formed themselves prior to the coming of Bishop Turner into SA.

Although cessations have occured in the past, especial during the formative time of the AME Church in Souhern Africa, by Rev. Dwane, and recently by Rev. Khumalo, who established the AME Church (in Africa - 1980s), and Rev. Lionel Louw (not sure of his Church's name), that is why connectionalism is the srong feeling of the people in SA. In fact, at least for me, I believe that what was needed by the forebears should be realised through my generation. It is not to be realised by cessation but engagement.

Let me stop here. There are written materials that are prescribed in Universities' theological faculties on Independent Churches in South (ern) Africa with reference to the above. I will contact you about the reading materials.

Thank you once more for the question (did not proof read this response).

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

God bless you Rev. Klass!! for this valuable information. I am new to our great denomination and I want to learn as much as I can about our history around the world. We are NOT a U.S church, we are a global church and to that end we must know about one another. i would appreciate any other information that you have and thank you for lifting up the many female leaders who were active in South Africa. One thing I find interesting is that the SA church was already formed when it became AME. That is important for it speaks volumes regarding the committment south africa has had over the years to the A.M.E. In the United States there is much that is taught about church history in Europe but very little to none taught about church history on the continent of Africa. I do ask that our leaders in Africa share some of their rich history on the board. Again Rev. Klass thank you for your informative post.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa written by James T.Campbell is an excellent work. I highly recommend it. Your zeal is infectious!! Keep the faith!! Peace. M.L.Jones

-- Anonymous, October 13, 2002

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