Welcome to www.AME3.org,
The Official Website of the AME Church | Third District.Here are a few of the exciting upcoming events in the Third District. For a complete listing of district events at AME3.org, please see the Planning Calendar.
Other information that is available on this website includes:
- The Mission of The African Methodist Episcopal Church
- The History of the 3rd Episcopal District and a map showing our geographical area.
- List of the 3rd Episcopal District Connectional and District Officers
- List of the 3rd Episcopal Districts Societies and Organizations
- 3rd Episcopal District Directory
- Presidential Greetings from Wilberforce University and Payne Theological Seminary as well as links to each.
ABOUT THE AME CHURCH
AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHThe word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it was for persons of African descent only. The church’s roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel. Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. It means that the church is governed by bishops. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.
THE VISIONAt every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and to serve the needy. It is also the duty of Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training.
THE PURPOSESThe ultimate purposes are:
- make available God’s biblical principles,
- spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and
- provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people.
THE OBJECTIVEIn order to meet the needs of every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2) Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) the history and significance of the AME Church, (5) God’s biblical principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.
THE HISTORY OF THE 3rd District A.M.E. CHURCH"The Methodist movement was the form. The African experience with God is the essence." From the early days of life in North America different kinds of people gave their contributions. The continent was in the possession of the inhabitants called Indians. Africans were brought here under duress. Cultures crossed Sch other and merged. As American Methodism traces its history, let us note that.... Read more.
“God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family.”Bishop Daniel A. Payne proposed to the 1856 General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church convening in Cincinnati, Ohio that the episcopal seal should include the denominational creedal statement, God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Man Our Brother. This declaration of A.M.E. faith identity became the denominational motto until 1908, when a surge of pentecostalism in 1906 in Los Angeles at the Azusa Street mission, the former site of First A.M.E. Church, convinced African Methodists to alter the motto. Hence, the 1908 General Conference meeting in Norfolk, Virginia placed on the published minutes, God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Ghost Our Comforter, Man Our Brother. The 1912 General Conference convening in Kansas City, Missouri retained the altered statement of A.M.E. belief. The centennial General Conference of 1916 meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, however, made no reference to new the A.M.E. motto, and since that time Bishop Payne’s original formulation of the motto appeared on all denominational documents and published materials. At the 2008 General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri an inclusive motto was adopted and now declares God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family. The evolution of our motto demonstrates that African Methodists engage in ongoing assessments of our theology and how God speaks to us in changing circumstances. Dennis C. Dickerson Retired General Officer
APOSTLE’S CREEDI believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead; and buried. The third day he arose from the dead’ he ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
ARTICLES OF OUR FAITH1. OF FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this God-head, there are three persons of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 2. OF THE WORD OR SON OF GOD, WHO WAS MADE VERY MAN The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the God-head and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. 3. OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST Christ did truly rise from the dead, and took again his body with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and sitteth until he returns to judge all men at last day. 4. OF THE HOLY GHOST The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. 5. THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES FOR SALVATION The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scriptures, we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church. The Names of the Canonical Books:
1) THE GENERAL CONFERENCEThe General Conference is the supreme body of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It is composed of the Bishops, as ex-officio presidents, according to the rank of election, and an equal number of ministerial and lay delegates, elected by each of the Annual Conferences and the Lay Electoral Colleges of the Annual Conferences. Other ex-officio members are: the General Officers, College Presidents, Deans/Presidents of Theological Seminaries; Chaplains in the Regular Armed Forces of the U.S.A. The General Conference meets quadrennially (every four years), but may have extra sessions in certain emergencies.
2) COUNCIL OF BISHOPSThe Council of Bishops is the Executive Branch of the Connectional Church. It has the general oversight of the Church during the interim of General Conferences. The Council of Bishops shall meet annually at such time and place as the majority of the Council shall determine and also at such other times as may be deemed necessary in the discharging its responsibility as the Executive Branch of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Council of Bishops shall hold at least two public sessions at each annual meeting. At the first, complaints and petitions against a Bishop shall be heard, at the second, the decisions of the Council shall be made public. All decisions shall be in writing.
3) BOARD OF INCORPORATORSThe Board of Incorporators, also known as the General Board of Trustees, has the supervision, In Trust, of all Connectional property of the Church and is vested with authority to act in behalf of the Connectional Church wherever necessary.
4) THE GENERAL BOARDThe General Board is in many respects the administrative body and is comprised of various departmental Commissions made up of the respective Executive-Director, the General Secretary of the AME Church, the Chief Financial Officer, the members of the various Commissions, and one Bishop as presiding officer with the other Bishops associating.
5) JUDICIAL COUNCILThe Judicial Council is the highest judicatory body of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It is an appellate court, elected by the General Conference, and is amenable to it.
Born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1760, Richard Allen went on to become an educator, writer, minister and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Benjamin Chew, a Quaker lawyer, owned the Allen family, which included Richard’s parents and three other children. Chew eventually sold the Allen family to Stokeley Sturgis, a Delaware planter.
At age 17 Allen was converted to Methodism by an itinerant preacher. Allen’s master, Stokeley Sturgis, was said to have been influenced by Allen to become a Methodist as well. After his conversion, Sturgis offered his slaves the opportunity to buy their way out of slavery. In 1783, by working at odd jobs for five years, Allen managed to purchase his freedom for $2,000. In the meantime, Allen began to preach in Methodist churches and meetings in the Baltimore area. Through his Methodist connections, Allen was invited to return to Philadelphia in 1786. Upon arriving in the city he joined St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, where he became active in teaching and preaching.
As the number of African Americans attending St. George’s increased, racial tensions mounted. Allen preached at 5:00 a.m. in special services on Sunday mornings to approximately 50 African American Methodists. When they attended the regular morning service, segregated seating was instituted. With this segregation, Allen became convinced that a separate church was necessary for the black congregants. In 1787 Allen and a number of other African American Methodists walked out and formed a separate church that would become Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Methodist church in the United States specifically for African Americans. Seven years later, on July 29, 1794, Bethel was dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury. Richard Allen served Bethel Church as its pastor, and he was ordained a deacon by Asbury in 1799.
Other African American Methodist churches were formed in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. On April 9, 1816, after two decades of conflict with white Methodism, Allen and other African American Methodist preachers hosted a meeting in Philadelphia to bring these churches together and to form a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Allen was elected bishop, and with his consecration became the first African American bishop in the United States. By the time Allen died at his home on March 26, 1831, the AME church was well-established in the United States and supported missions in several countries overseas.
Allen cared passionately about education and opened a day school for African American children. He abhorred slavery, worked actively for abolition, and maintained his home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. He was committed to self-determination for African Americans in the United States, and eventually opposed all colonization plans for African Americans in other countries.
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