Documenting the American South Logo
Loading

A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church:
Being a Volume Supplemental to A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
by Daniel Alexander Payne, D.D., LL.D., Late One of Its Bishops: Chronicling the
Principal Events in the Advance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1856 to 1922:
Electronic Edition.

Smith, C. S. (Charles Spencer), 1852-1923.


Funding from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition supported the electronic publication of this title.


Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc.
Images scanned by Jill Kuhn Sexton
Text encoded by Apex Data Services, Inc., Joby Topper, and Jill Kuhn Sexton.
First edition, 2001
ca. 1.6M
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
2000.

        © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Source Description:
(title page) A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Being a Volume Supplemental to a History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, by Daniel Alexander Payne, D.D., LL.D., Late One of Its Bishops, Chronicling the Principal Events in the Advance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church From 1856 to 1922
(spine) A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church 1856-1922 Vol. II
Charles Spencer Smith
570 p.
Philadelphia
Book Concern of the A.M.E. Church
1922
Call Number BX 8443 .S65x (Dacus Library, Winthrop College, Rock Hill, SC)


        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
        The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
        Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. Encountered typographical errors have been preserved.
        All footnotes are moved to the end of paragraphs in which the reference occurs.
        Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
        All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
        All em dashes are encoded as --
        Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
        Running titles have not been preserved.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.


Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

Languages Used:

LC Subject Headings:


Revision History:


        

Illustration


        

Illustration


        

Illustration


A HISTORY
OF THE
AFRICAN METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH

BEING

A VOLUME SUPPLEMENTAL TO A HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, BY DANIEL
ALEXANDER PAYNE, D.D., LL.D., LATE
ONE OF ITS BISHOPS


CHRONICLING

THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN THE ADVANCE OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH FROM 1856 TO 1922

BY

CHARLES SPENCER SMITH, D.D.
Author of Glimpses of Africa, West and Southwest Coast.

BOOK CONCERN OF THE A. M. E. CHURCH
631 PINE STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
D. M. BAXTER, MANAGER
1922


Page 2

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE REPRESENTING THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS

        We, the Committee on the History of the Church, appointed by the Council of Bishops, met on June 5, 1922, in Allen Hall, 631 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

        We examined the manuscript presented by Bishop C. S. Smith, Historiographer, and are pleased to make a favorable report on its contents.

        We heartily approve of the work, and commend the writer for the fair and most interesting way the matter is presented.

        L. J. COPPIN, Chairman.

        W. D. CHAPPELLE.

        J. ALBERT JOHNSON.

        Committee on Publication:

        L. J. COPPIN, Chairman

        J. ALBERT JOHNSON.

        W. D. CHAPPELLE.

        I. N. ROSS.

        J. R. HAWKINS.

        Copyright, 1922, by

        D. M. BAXTER

        Printed in the United States of America


Page 3

PREFACE

        AT the twenty-sixth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which convened in St. Louis. Missouri, May, 1920, the author was elected Historiographer in lieu of assignment to an Episcopal District. In the order named, Bishop D. A. Payne, Bishop B. W. Arnett, Bishop H. M. Turner, and the Rev. John T. Jenifer (all deceased) preceded him in the position of Historiographer. The present task is to chronicle the doings of the Church from 1856 to 1922.

        The march of the African Methodist Episcopal Church may, for convenience, be divided into five general periods; the Sowing Period, 1787-1816; the Formative Period, 1816-1840; the Progressive Period, 1840-1863; the Expanding Period, 1863-1880; the Developing Period, 1880-1922. Bishop Payne's History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church fully covers the first two periods; and the third, partly. In the preparation of his history, Bishop Payne was greatly handicapped by the lack of authentic records, which is equally true of the author of the contents of this volume. History to be invested with intrinsic value must be buttressed by well authenticated facts. It is sheer folly--a monumental blunder--to attempt to make tradition, imagination, or rhetoric, either one or all, the foundation of accredited history.

        The material from which the present volume is framed is chiefly documentary and from works of reference, though the latter are few. The documents available are General and Annual Conference Minutes. The works of reference are the History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, D. A. Payne; Centennial Retrospect History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. J. T. Jenifer; Outlines of History, D. T. Tanner; an Apology for African Methodism, B. T. Tanner; Recollections of Seventy Years, D. A. Payne; My Recollections, A. W. Wayman; African Methodism in the South, W. J. Gaines; Scraps of African Methodist Episcopal History, James A. Handy; Africa and African Methodism, A. L. Ridgell; The Budget, 1787-1904, B. W. Arnett; Encyclopedia of African Methodism, R. R. Wright, Jr.; South African Letters, L. J. Coppin; Blue Book of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa, C. S. Smith.

        The reprinting in full of the Journals of the General Conferences of 1844 and 1860, and part of 1864 and 1868 is demanded, first, by the exigencies of the times in which they convened; and second, by the fact that presumably, there is but one copy of each now extant. The reprinting in full of the first three sessions of the South Carolina Annual Conference is required; first, because of the momentous issues immediately preceding and following the period which they cover; second, because they concretely define the three strategic points from which African Methodism expanded throughout the South, namely, Charleston,


Page 4

S. C., Savannah, Ga., and Wilmington, N. C., and third, because they will reveal to this generation the intrepid, daring, and heroic courage of the trailblazers who bore the banner of African Methodism throughout the regions made desolate and devastated by the ravages of war, but most gloriously enriched by the triumph of freedom. Moreover, the author probably has the only copy now available.

        A personal reference may be permitted. The author reached his seventieth birthday March 16, 1922. Of these seventy years, fifty-three were spent in public life, fifty-one of which were were devoted to the Christian ministry. He lived in the South from 1869 to 1878, and again from 1887 to 1900. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the Alabama Legislature, 1874-1876. Hence the opinions expressed and the observations made anent the Reconstruction Period in the South are based on personal knowledge and experience, and underlie the sundry opinions and observations expressed and set forth in this volume.

        In conclusion the author begs to quote a very pertinent observation from the preface to McTyeire's History of Methodism: "No one, with proper ideas, ever looked over a life that had been lived, or a book that had been written, without feeling and seeing that it might have been bettered."

CHARLES S. SMITH.

Detroit, Michigan, October 1, 1922.


Page 5

CONTENTS


Page 6


Page 11

To the Trailblazers, whose self-sacrificing and heroic labors made possible the expansion and development of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the West and South, this Volume is affectionately dedicated.


Page 13

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY STATEMENTS

        Period of Agitation 1787-1816--Period of Organization 1816-1820--First Period of Expansion 1820-1840--Second Period of Expansion 1840-1844--First Period of Development 1844-1851.

        WHILE the task of the author begins with the year 1856, in order to link up with the events from 1787 to 1856, he has deemed it advisable to construct the framework of the whole according to the plan indicated by the subheadings following the Preliminary Statement. What may be noted under the sub-headings from 1787 to 1856 should be regarded as a summary of the major events in the progress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from its inception to the terminus of the third period of its expansion in 1856. This progress is noted in detail in Payne's History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Volume I. It should be borne in mind that prior to 1863, the operations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States were practically limited to the regions outside of slave territory. Even here there was a limitation by reason of the sparsity of colored people dwelling on free soil. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island constituted the area in which there was opportunity for the exploitation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It should be noted that Western Canada afforded an additional area for successful endeavor on the part of said Church.

        The agitation that was begun in Philadelphia in 1787 for the organization of colored Methodists into a society separate and apart from the control of the white Methodists became infectious and speedily found supporters in other communities. The spirit of the time seemed to be ripe for the movement that was inaugurated by Richard Allen and his compeers.

        In 1816, at the time of the organization of the African Methodist


Page 14

Episcopal Church, sixteen delegates, representing five churches, participated in the proceedings. Of this number Philadelphia furnished five; Baltimore, six; Wilmington, Del., one; Attleborough, Pa., three; Salem, N. J., one.

        The agitation that had existed in Philadelphia and Baltimore prior to 1816 favoring the organization of colored Methodists into an independent organization had evidently reached Charleston, S. C. While Richard Allen and Daniel Coker headed the movements in Philadelphia and Baltimore, Morris Brown led one in Charleston. In the latter place it assumed form in 1817-18. At this time the organization numbered about one thousand. In 1822 the number had increased to nearly three thousand. Associated with Morris Brown in the work of organization were Henry Drayton, Charles Carr, Amos Cruickshanks, Marcus Brown, Stewart Simpson, Harry Bull, John B. Matthews, James Eden, London Turpin, and Aleck Houlston. They acquired a lot upon which they built a commodious but modest house of worship. They also owned their own "field of graves," which is to be understood as meaning a burial-ground. They were greatly elated over their success in being able to worship God under their own vine and fig-tree. Their rejoicing, however, was short-lived.

        An uprising of slaves in Charleston, in 1822, led by Denmark Veasey and Gullak Jack, having been discovered, the authorities of the State and city deemed it wise to suppress all assemblages of free colored people and slaves. Thus African Methodism in South Carolina was stifled to death in its infancy.

        None of the religious leaders who were associated with Morris Brown were implicated in the uprising. But rather than submit to being deprived of the right to worship God according to their own conscience, Morris Brown, Henry Drayton, Charles Carr, and Amos Cruickshanks emigrated to Philadelphia. James Eden, with a majority of the followers of Morris Brown, became members of the Scotch Presbyterian Church. James Eden subsequently sailed with the first emigrants who went from Charleston to Liberia, where he lived for many years. His death was lamented by all who knew him.

        Joseph M. Corr, who was elected secretary of the Baltimore Annual Conference in 1856, was among those who emigrated from South Carolina after the Veasey uprising was exposed.


Page 15

He was a native of Charleston and a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city prior to 1822.

        In 1819 William Lambert, a licentiate, was sent to New York to secure an opening for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        In 1820 Daniel Coker, one of the founders of, and the first bishop-elect in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, went to Liberia, West Africa, and subsequently to Sierra Leone, a British Colony adjacent to Liberia. While in Liberia, he acted for some time as the representative of the American Colonization Society. While in Sierra Leone he devoted much of his time to the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was its first missionary to the Dark Continent, though Bishop Campbell claimed that one Rev. Boggs was the first.

        As early as 1822 a debate arose in the Baltimore Annual Conference relative to the Western Territories and the Annual Conference under whose jurisdiction they should be placed. The record refers to it as "the country west of the Allegheny Mountains." The record is silent as to whether at this time there were African Methodist Societies in any part of this vast territory.

        There is strong ground for presumption that the African Methodist Episcopal Church had gained a foothold in Charleston, S. C., prior to 1822. Among the charges reported at the Baltimore Annual Conference of that year was "South Carolina City," with fourteen hundred members. This "South Carolina City" evidently meant Charleston, S. C.

        In April, 1822, Washington and Georgetown, D. C., and Piscatawa became a part of the Baltimore Annual Conference. In the same year the Philadelphia Annual Conference ordained Charles Buttles for the express purpose of sending him as a missionary to Africa. This purpose, however, was not carried out.

        In 1824 the Philadelphia Annual Conference included five churches in Western Pennsylvania and six in Ohio, one of which was in Cincinnati.

        In 1825 the Baltimore Annual Conference refused the request of Moses Freeman to be sent as a missionary to Haiti. He was appointed pastor of Bethel Church, Baltimore.


Page 16

        In 1827 Scipio Beans was chosen by the Baltimore Ann Conference to be a missionary to Haiti. He went at once his field of labor.

        In 1830 Jacob Roberts and Isaac Miller, of Santo Domingo were received into the Baltimore Annual Conference. At same Conference Samuel Ente offered to go as a missionary Santo Domingo. The same year Richard Robinson, of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was received into the Baltimore Annual Conference.

        On August 28, 1830, the Western Annual Conference was organized at Hillsboro, Ohio, embracing all the territory west of the Allegheny Mountains. There were 15 ministers and 1,194 communicants.

        In 1839 the total lay membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was 9,018. From 1816 to 1840 it had extended its operations into two additional States, Ohio and Indiana. This brings us to the second period of expansion, 1840-1844.

        In 1840 N. C. W. Cannon was appointed a missionary to all the New England States. In the same year the Canadian and the Indiana Annual Conferences were organized--the former to embrace all Canada, and the latter all the territory west and southwest of the Mississippi River. That which gave to the second period of expansion a distinctive setting and an historic value was the memorable achievements of William Paul Quinn, who was selected by the General Conference in 1840 as a missionary to the States west of Ohio. He was the first and the only person to be chosen by a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to do general missionary work. It is estimated that in 1840 there were about 18,000 colored people in Indiana and Illinois. These people were chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits. At the General Conference of 1844 Elder Quinn reported that he had established 47 churches with 2,000 members. He also reported traveling elders, 20 traveling preachers and 27 local preachers; 50 Sunday schools with 200 teachers, and 2,000 scholars; temperance societies had been organized and 17 camp meetings established.

        When the physical and legal difficulties that Elder Quinn had to encounter are considered--that the hounds of slavery


Page 17

were scenting his footsteps at every turn he took; that many of the white people were domineering while his own people were timid; that the Fugitive Slave Law practically established a system of espionage over the movements of the colored people in the North that deterred them from going into slave territory--that despite these untoward circumstances and galling restrictions, he should have possessed the moral and physical courage to defy the slave power by planting the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in two great slave centers, Louisville, Ky., and Saint Louis, Mo., makes one, even at this distance of time, feel like reviving the plaudits that greeted him when he submitted his report to the General Conference of 1844. He had the faith and daring of Paul, the intrepidity of Francis Asbury, and the blood and iron of Bismarck. He was matchless in heroism, superb in courage, and relentless in his attacks on the foes of his people. He was a militant soldier of the Cross. He was a giant in his day. The General Conference of 1844 manifested its deep appreciation of his herculean accomplishments by electing him to the bishopric. His life and labors are both a lesson and a rebuke to the timid and faint-hearted of this day; to those in the North who shrink from accepting a place in our ministry in the South because there are Jim Crow cars and other restrictions and inconveniences to which colored people in that section are subjected. What are Jim Crow cars, restrictions, and inconveniences of the present compared to the hardships, restrictions, and inconveniences imposed by slavery? At times William Paul Quinn could find no other means of conveyance than an ox-cart and there were times when he had no place to lay his head. Only a super-man could have borne the brunt of the battle as he did and gloriously triumphed. There is dire need to-day for many of this type.

        In June, 1844, the African Methodist Episcopal Church Magazine made its appearance under the management of Rev. George Hogarth. It was a monthly publication.

        The decade between 1844 and 1854 may be regarded as the first period of development. At the session of the Baltimore Annual Conference in 1845, a series of strong and comprehensive resolutions on education were presented by Daniel A. Payne, Henry C. Turner, Thomas W. Henry, Adam S. Driver,


Page 18

James A. Shorter, John Henson, and Daniel W. Moore. It was ordered that the resolutions be sent to each Annual Conference with a respectful request for their adoption. At this Conference A. W. Wayman was ordained a deacon. A very peculiar situation developed in the Philadelphia Annual Conference during the session of 1845. It was none other than the superannuation (illegal, of course) of Bishop Morris Brown, who had been stricken with paralysis while he was presiding at the Canadian Annual Conference of 1844. The superannuation of a bishop by an Annual Conference was clearly the usurpation of authority that belongs solely to the General Conference.

        The Ohio Annual Conference met this year in Columbus and made a distinct gain in constructive work by creating "The Union Seminary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church." It is in order to say that at this session of the Ohio Annual Conference a committee was appointed to select a tract of land for the purpose of erecting a seminary of learning on the manual-labor plan. They selected one hundred and seventy-two acres of land in Franklin County, Ohio, twelve miles west of Columbus. The consideration was $1,720, to be paid in installments. The Book Concern was reported to be in a very unsatisfactory condition.

        The Baltimore Annual Conference of 1846 made it the duty of the preachers to form educational societies in their respective charges. It also ordered fasting and prayer among the churches on the first Friday in September. It provided for the delivery of a missionary sermon in 1847. A resolution was offered favoring organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Zion Wesley Connection, to be considered at the session of 1847. At the New York Annual Conference of 1846, a resolution was adopted providing for a Preachers' Aid Society. A message was also prepared and approved to be sent to the Evangelical Christian Alliance to convene in London, England, on the nineteenth day of August, 1846.

        It may be interesting to note that in the year 1846, the African Methodist Episcopal Church existed in fourteen States, namely: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan,


Page 19

Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri; also in Canada. There were six Annual Conferences--Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Canadian. There were about 71 stations and circuits and 296 churches and preaching-places, 3 bishops, 62 elders, 48 deacons, 66 licensed preachers, 96 local preachers and 17,375 lay members within those 6 Conferences. A Home Missionary Society was organized in the Ohio Annual Conference, and divided into three districts--the Cincinnati, Sandusky, and Ypsilanti (Michigan).

        In 1847 the Baltimore Annual Conference adopted a list of questions for the examination of applicants for admission. At this session a petition was received from the first colored Wesleyan Methodist Independent Society of Baltimore, which had been organized about the year 1841, asking for admission into the Connection. D. A. Payne introduced a resolution in favor of establishing a mission on the West Coast of Africa. A constructive movement was initiated in the New York Annual Conference of 1847, providing for the appointment of a committee to draft a constitution for a Sunday School Union to be known as the "Allen Sunday School Union." In this year the Ohio Annual Conference appointed a committee to secure the services of a lawyer to obtain a charter for Union Seminary. Another committee was appointed to draft a course of studies. In this year, on June 5, Bishop Edward Waters departed this life at Baltimore, Md.

        The year 1848 was pregnant with events of major importance to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Chief among these was the assembling of the eighth General Conference in the city of Philadelphia. Some of the doings of this General Conference were: the indefinite postponement of a recommendation of the Episcopal Committee to elect another bishop; the readoption of the constitution and by-laws of a missionary society which was organized in 1844; the establishment of a Book Depository in each Conference; the ordering of the Monthly Magazine to be made a quarterly, and a weekly paper to be printed to be called the Christian Herald; the adoption of a plan for common schools drafted by M. M. Clark; the appointment of D. A. Payne as Historiographer; and the equal division of the "two-cent money" at each Annual Conference--one half to be retained in the Conference


Page 20

to pay the bishops' salaries and to aid distressed itinerant, superannuated and supernumerary preachers; the other half to be sent to the General Book Steward to aid the Book Concern Further legislation had respect to the trial of a bishop; the definition and limitation of the power of trustees; requiring exhorters to employ their time and talents in the Sunday schools as teachers, and to lead and manage weekly prayer meetings; making a local preacher eligible to the order of a deacon after he had preached four years, on the request of the church through the Quarterly Conference. The phase of legislation that made this General Conference memorable was the decreeing:

That if any minister, preacher, exhorter, or member of a society who has been lawfully married, and shall separate and marry again while the other is living, he or she shall be expelled, and shall never be readmitted during the lifetime of the two parties; and that any minister who shall marry such knowingly shall forfeit his standing in the Connection.

        As it relates to the Annual Conferences of 1848, it is worthy of note that the Indiana Annual Conference received a petition from a society of colored Methodists in New Orleans praying that body to consider establishing the African Methodist Episcopal Church in their city. The petition was presented by Charles Doughty, a native Louisianian, and a licentiate in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The petition was accepted, the prayer granted, and the bearer of the petition was ordained a deacon and sent back to take the pastoral charge of the "Louisiana Missions," subsequently called Saint James' Church. There was considerable agitation among the churches in the cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, growing out of a struggle for supremacy between pastors and trustees. The course of this agitation and its termination are fully set forth in Payne's History, Volume I, pages 223-229.

        During the next three years, 1849-1851, among the events to be noted was the adoption of a resolution by the Baltimore Annual Conference (1849) to establish a mission in Africa and in the West Indies. The purpose of the resolution, however, did not materialize. This was caused by the desire to do being mistaken for the ability to perform. In 1849 emblems of


Page 21

mourning were found to be in evidence throughout the Connection due to the departure from this life of Bishop Morris Brown, in Philadelphia, on May 5. An interesting question that arose in the Philadelphia Annual Conference (1850) related to the right of certain female members to organize themselves into an association for the purpose of conducting evangelical and missionary work independent of the Annual Conference. At this Conference, the last Friday in June was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer for the abolition of slavery. This call to fasting and prayer was stimulated by the effects of the "Fugitive Slave Law." A committee was appointed to collect all the information possible relative to the history of the Church in the Philadelphia Conference, and to transmit the same to D. A. Payne. The Ohio Annual Conference (1850) organized a society to be known as the "Christian Herald and Book Concern Society." It also passed a resolution condemnatory of slavery, though it chose to be silent on the subject the year previous. Among the literary productions of 1850 was a very interesting account of a trip from New Albany, Ind., to Saint Louis, Mo., by J. M. Brown. This interesting narrative is to be found in Payne's History, Volume I, pages 242-244. At the Baltimore Annual Conference (1851) Bishop Quinn appointed Willis Nazrey his assistant or suffragan bishop until the next ensuing General Conference. This action was in keeping with a precedent established by Bishop Allen and Bishop Brown. Bishop Allen made Elder Morris Brown his assistant and Bishop Brown made Elders Edward Waters and W. P. Quinn his assistants. The question of the rights of stewards engaged much of the time of this session of the Baltimore Annual Conference. A long dissertation on the subject is to be found in Payne's History, Volume I, pages 244-249. In the Philadelphia Annual Conference (1851) resolutions were adopted condemnatory of the scheme of the American Colonization Society to deport free colored people to Liberia, West Africa.

        To the writer the wisdom of said action is questionable. The condition of the free colored people in the slave States was not as favorable as that of the bondmen. They were between the upper and nether millstone. The attempt of the American Colonization Society to form a government of colored people,


Page 22

by colored people, and for colored people on the West Coast of Africa, was a laudable undertaking. Had the condemnators and opposers of the American Colonization Society lent it their encouragement and support, Liberia to-day might be occupying a commanding position among the smaller nations of the earth; and there would have been less force to the slogan of Marcus Garvey, "Back to Africa." There are many colored people in this country ready, willing, and anxious to find a refuge beneath a flag that will mean to them in truth and reality protection for life, liberty, and property. Better that the bodies of these should fatten Africa's prolific soil than that they should be incinerated in bonfires in America.

        The New York Annual Conference, session of 1851, adopted an address to be sent to the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the West Indies, in which they were urged to be represented in the General Conference of 1852. Bishop Quinn closed the Conference with a characteristic address. In referring to the appointments he said:

I receive the places from you. Now, give me all good places and I will give good places to you all. When a preacher goes to an appointment and the people resist and starve him out, it is wrong for any other preacher to go and preach to them.

        Referring to ministerial comity, he said:

Do not cut and slash things because A or B had the charge there before you. Our work is not to tear down but to build up, to strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die.

        He sounded the following note of warning:

The brethren should exercise caution in forming unions with parties of men who have no permanent nor legal foundation--dissatisfied, split-off, or rebellious characters. It is not wise to preach for such.

        He ended with an observation on race relations, saying:

We should work together. Nine times out of ten when we look into the face of a white man, we see our enemy. A great many like to see us in the kitchen, but few like to see us in the parlor. Our hope is in God's blessing on our own wise, strong, and well-directed efforts.

        The address is to be found in full in Payne's History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Volume I, pages 256-57.


Page 23

        There was considerable contention in the Canadian churches this year (1851), and at the session of the Canadian Annual Conference every minister was impeached for:

Rebellion against the Government and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in electing Samuel H. Brown to Superintend the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada until the sitting of the General Conference.

        The difficulty was overcome by Rev. Brown voluntarily relinquishing all claim to the office of General Superintendent, and throwing himself on the mercy of the bishop and Conference. This was accepted as satisfactory and all who were charged with rebellion were forgiven. This Conference adopted a strong deliverance on the subject of slavery. It decried that institution as:

A gross outrage against humanity, a positive violation of every one of the Ten Commandments, destructive of all political, moral, and religious rites; which is in itself theft, murder, robbery, licentiousness, concubinage, adultery, and everything else that is sinful and devilish between heaven and earth.

        The only items of business other than the routine that characterized the Indiana Annual Conference were: the adoption of a resolution favoring the presiding eldership; a declaration in favor of reducing the representation to the General Conference to at least one half; the reception of the first colored Methodist Church in Sacramento, Cal.; and the sending of pastoral letters to the churches in New Orleans, La., and Louisville, Ky. R. M. Johnson, who had been appointed to raise money to establish a seminary within the bounds of the Conference, reported a failure in consequence of the "Black Laws" of Indiana and other States.

        The General Conference of 1852 convened in the city of New York on May 3. Bishop Quinn presided. M. M. Clark, A. W. Wayman, and Edward C. Africanus were chosen secretaries. One hundred and thirty-nine persons were enrolled as members, though all were not present. D. A. Payne preached the opening sermon. Text: 2 Corinthians, 2. 16. Subject: "Who is sufficient for these things?" Bishop William Paul Quinn, who was the only bishop in the Church at the time, read the Quadrennial Address. It was an admirable composition.


Page 24

Among the needs of the Church to which he called attention were: the election of an additional bishop; the creation of the office of presiding elder; relief for the Book Concern; the revision of the Discipline; the reduction of the number of dele gates to the General Conference; and the licensing of women in the Church. As to the latter, he stated that he had given the subject some thought, but not enough to warrant him in expressing an opinion as to its merits.

        The chief acts of this General Conference may be summarized as follows: voting adversely on the proposal to license women to preach; and the election and consecration of Willis Nazrey and D. A. Payne as bishops. The ordination sermon was preached by M. M. Clark. The consecration service was conducted by Bishop Quinn, assisted by several elders. At this time I am forced to offer a criticism concerning the contention of Bishop Payne that priority of ordination and not priority of election determines seniority. The Bishop's point of contention will best be seen through his own language:

If five or ten men were elected at the selfsame moment, but one could be ordained at a time, and the first ordained is necessarily the senior of those who may be elected by the same ballot.

        The Bishop's contention runs counter to the practice of Episcopal Methodism relative to what constitutes seniority in the episcopacy. The first and paramount requisite is election; consecration is secondary. In the balloting for bishops at the General Conference of 1852, Willis Nazrey received nine more votes than did D. A. Payne. While it is true that they were both elected on the same ballot, the fact that Willis Nazrey received nine more votes than D. A. Payne shows that Willis Nazrey was the first choice of the General Conference. This establishes his priority of election over D. A. Payne. It is hardly thinkable to those who knew Bishop Payne's modesty and meekness that he would have been responsible for such a contention. It discloses the ambition of humanity, and Bishop Payne was human.

        The report of the committee on Revision of the Discipline regulating the composition of the General Conference relative to the basis of representation and the mode of election was rejected. The name of the Christian Herald was changed to the


Page 25

Christian Recorder. Among the distinguished visitors introduced to the Conference were Dr. Pennington, of the Presbyterian Church; Dr. Thompson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, president of the Ohio Wesleyan University; and Rev. Charles Avery, founder of Avery College, Allegheny, Pa., an institution of learning for the education of colored youth. W. T. Catto was elected general Book Steward; M. M. Clark, editor of the Christian Recorder; and W. H. Jones, traveling Book Agent.

        For the first time the Church was divided into Episcopal Districts, three being formed, namely: the first, including the Philadelphia and New England Annual Conferences; the second, the Baltimore and New York Annual Conferences; the third, the Indiana and Canadian Annual Conferences. Bishop D. A. Payne chose the first district, Bishop Nazrey the second, and Bishop Quinn the third.

        At the close of the General Conference the three bishops met and organized themselves into a body to be known as the "Council of Bishops." The following decisions were rendered at their initial meeting:

        The first number of the Christian Recorder was issued July 1, 1852. At the New York Annual Conference (1852), held in the city of Buffalo for the first time, the humorous situation was presented of sixteen members being impeached for maladministration. I say the situation was humorous, as it appeared to have been a case of "tit for tat." The whole of the West Indies was placed under the supervision of a missionary whose name is not disclosed.

        The Book Concern and the Union Seminary were the chief


Page 26

objects which engaged the attention of the Ohio Annual Conference in 1852.

        There is but little to be noted in the proceedings of the Indiana Annual Conference in the year 1852. The Conference was greatly elated by the receipt of the intelligence that the officers of the South Hanover College, in Jefferson County, Indiana, had made provision for the education, free of charge, of three colored youths of that State. This year the New England Annual Conference was organized in New Bedford, Mass., on June 10, Bishop D. A. Payne presiding. T. M. Ward was elected secretary. The Conference boundaries embraced all the territory included in the New England States.

        But little business was transacted at the Baltimore Annual Conference of 1853. Bishop Nazrey was the sole presiding officer. His opening address was terse and practical.

        At the Philadelphia Annual Conference of this year, Bishop Nazrey presiding, Dr. J. J. G. Bias presented a document condemnatory of African Colonization, and advised those of our people who intended to migrate to go to Canada, Haiti, or the British West Indies. A comprehensive report on the Book Concern was submitted by M. M. Clark, General Book Steward and Editor. Bishop Nazrey took occasion to stress the duty of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to foreign missions. "We have as much right," said he, "to look after perishing Africa and the West India Islands as any other Christian Church upon the face of the earth."

        The Canadian Annual Conference was presided over by Bishop Quinn. H. J. Jones of the Philadelphia Annual Conference was received as an itinerant elder. London and Hamilton were made stations. A change was made in some of the circuits.

        This year Bishop Quinn presided over the Indiana Annual Conference. William A. Dove was admitted on probation. Basil L. Brooks, John Turner, and Elisha Weaver were ordained elders. The three latter subsequently became outstanding figures in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A matter of record, which is not entirely clear, concerned the relation of Asbury Church, in Louisville, Ky., to the Indiana Annual Conference. The matter was investigated but not definitely settled.


Page 27

        Bishop Quinn was the presiding officer of the Ohio Annual Conference which convened in Washington, Pa., on September 17. A. R. Green and Hiram Revels were the secretaries. These two subsequently attained great distinction, Hiram Revels being the first of his race to be elected a United States Senator.

        Bishop Quinn presided over the session of the Baltimore Annual Conference which met in 1855. A. W. Wayman was the secretary. Number of lay members reported, 5,508. The opening of correspondence with the Liberia Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church was recommended. C. Dunn, G. W. Moore, W. H. G. Brown, C. Hicks, J. M. Brown, J. L. Brister, C. F. Carr, and C. Dodson were elected delegates to the General Conference of 1856.

        The Philadelphia Annual Conference met this year at Philadelphia. Bishop Nazrey presided, assisted by Bishop Quinn. Joshua Woodlyn was the secretary. W. H. Jones resigned as agent of the Book Concern. The Committee on Missions advised the establishment of a Home and Foreign Missionary Society. Bishop Nazrey again pleaded for foreign missions, claiming that in the early days of the African Methodist Episcopal Church it had missions in Africa and Santo Domingo. The Bishop rendered a decision as to what would be a justifiable process of law; also as to members being in debt to one another. Dr. J. J. G. Bias, S. Smith, J. P. B. Eddy, J. M. Brown, Robert Collins, A. Johnson, L. J. Conover, and H. Dickerson were elected to the General Conference of 1856.

        Bishop Quinn presided over the New York Annual Conference. Leonard Patterson was the secretary. The number of lay members reported was 2,088. Edward Johnson and J. E. Dallas, of New York city, and Green Willis, of Long Island, were elected delegates to the General Conference of 1856.

        The New England Annual Conference convened at Providence, R. I. Bishop Nazrey presided. W. M. Watson was the secretary. Six hundred and sixty-one lay members were reported. There is no record of delegates to the General Conference of 1856 having been elected. Bishops Payne, Quinn, and Nazrey were present at the Canadian Annual Conference which convened in Chatham, July 21, 1855. The lay membership reported was 2,090. Benjamin Stuart startled the Conference by the introduction of a resolution petitioning the


Page 28

General Conference of 1856 to set aside the work in Canada into an independent body. The action of Benjamin Stuart was all the more startling because he had been a member of the Philadelphia Annual Conference for many years, and a resident of Canada only about twelve months. Then again, he was noted for his timidity, and it was never surmised that he would initiate such a bold movement. However, the man and the movement both appeared at the psychological moment. The resolution met with a prompt response in the hearts of all present. The three bishops assented to the measure as needful, just and beneficial. Bishop Quinn was apparently elated. The occasion was momentous and it signalized the first step toward the formation of the British Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The Ohio Annual Conference, which met in Columbus, in August, 1855, was distinguished by the presence of the three bishops. J. P. Underwood and Edward Davis were elected secretaries. Rev. Asbury and Rev. John F. Wright were introduced to the Conference. The latter delivered an address touching the proposal of the Cincinnati Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church to establish a school of a high order for the education of the colored youth. The address of the Rev. Wright was greatly appreciated and the Conference tendered him a vote of thanks. The report of the Board of Managers of Union Seminary was not encouraging. It was reported that a movement was on foot among the members of Marshall Circuit, Michigan, to establish an institution of learning to be called "Quinn Seminary."

        The three bishops were present at the session of the Indiana Annual Conference which met September 1, 1855, at the camp ground of the Lost Creek Settlement in Vigo County. Among those admitted on probation were Page Tyler and W. R. Revels. W. A. Dove was received into full membership; 3,503 lay members were reported--an increase of ten. A benevolent society in New Orleans sent a donation of $47. A communication was received from T. M. D. Ward giving an account of the California Mission. Recommendations were adopted appointing a committee to receive proposals from the Methodist Episcopal Church for co-operative work in education; to secure an interest in Union Seminary, and failing to do so to select a location


Page 29

somewhere in the State of Indiana or Illinois for a seminary; and to establish a publication to promote the interest of the work within the bounds of the Conference.

        This year (1855) witnessed the birth of a new Annual Conference--the Missouri. It convened September 13, in the city of Louisville, Ky. Bishops Quinn and Payne were present. John M. Brown, of New Orleans, was the secretary. The Conference began with a lay membership of 1,698. The ministerial corps contained a number of strong characters. The over-shadowing significance of the organization of this Conference lies in the fact that it took place in one of the strongholds of slavery. Again we are confronted with the force of the term "super-man." The Missouri Annual Conference was brought into existence by super-men, abounding in faith, courage, and daring.

MEETINGS OF GENERAL CONFERENCES: 1820-1856

        1820, Philadelphia, Pa., July 9; 1824, Philadelphia, Pa., May 1-11; 1828, Philadelphia, Pa., May 12-27; 1832, Baltimore, Md., May 10-21; 1836, Philadelphia, Pa., May 2-11; 1840, Baltimore, Md., May 4-14; 1844, Pittsburgh, Pa., May 6-20; 1848, Philadelphia, Pa., May 1-23; 1852, New York, N. Y., May 3-20; 1856, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5-20.


Page 30

CHAPTER II
THIRD PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1851-1856

        Pioneer Work in California--The First Society--Joseph Thompson, First Pastor--Difficulties with Sinister Local Preachers--Incorporation of First Society--T. M. D. Ward Arrived in California--John M. Brown Entered New Orleans in 1852, Remained until 1857--Arrested Five Times--J. W. Early, a Retrospect--Went from Virginia to Missouri--Joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church--Licensed to Preach--Ordained a Deacon--At New Orleans in 1842--Planned Organization of First Society--Charter Secured in 1848--Saint James' Chapel, New Orleans, Dedicated--Rev. Early Proved Very Successful in Establishing Churches in Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa.

        THAT the epoch-making movements may be chronicled in their order as to time, three of them will be narrated under the heading of the Third Period of Expansion, 1851-1856. Charles Stewart, a local preacher, was the first to plant the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in California. He sailed from New York on board the S.S. "Brother Jonathan," December 1, 1851. His route was via Panama, which place he left January 17, and arrived at San Francisco on Thursday, February 11, 1852.

        On Sunday, February 14, he held a prayer meeting in the home of Mr. Edward Gomez, whom he had formerly met on the Danish island of Saint Thomas, now one of the Virgin Islands belonging to the United States. His wife was also known to Brother Stewart, as he had previously met her in New York city. After prayer meeting he visited the room of James Nicholson, Henry Butler, James Barton, and Henry Lewis, all of whom, from a religious viewpoint, he found to be salt which had not lost its savor. On Tuesday, February 16, at twelve o'clock noon, he again visited those four brethren, and engaged in a season of prayer and communion concerning the spiritual condition around them. In their prayers they entreated the Lord to show them what to do, and before parting concluded that on the next day three of them would go out and seek a place wherein worship could be held. The prayer


Page 31

meeting lasted for two hours. In searching for a place in which to hold religious services, they succeeded in renting a house for forty dollars a month. The owner was an Englishman--a carpenter. They engaged him to make a small pulpit and sixteen benches, for which they paid him one hundred dollars. On Monday, February 22, 1852, the house was dedicated, and sacrament administered by the Rev. George Taylor (white) of Boston, Mass. On Thursday, February 25, the first weekly prayer meeting was held. It was attended by a goodly number of people. On March 1, 1852, there arrived from England a colored preacher by the name of Joseph Thompson. He had been ordained by the Wesleyan Methodists. He was accepted as the pastor of the colored church. Shortly after he had assumed the pastorate, certain parties whose stay in California had been anything else than commendable, approached Rev. Thompson with the view of persuading him to receive them as local preachers in good standing. Brother Stewart remonstrated against this on the ground that the applicants were not of good moral character. Despite this remonstrance, they were received by Rev. Thompson, and on the following Sunday two of them occupied the pulpit. One of them was made treasurer. At the next period when the rent for the church was due and the landlord appeared for his money, it was found that the treasury was empty, though forty-five dollars had been collected. When Rev. Thompson called upon the treasurer and his associates, they informed him that they had no money, and if the landlord had the key to let him keep it. At this juncture Rev. Thompson, who seemed to be much distressed, called on Brother Stewart and apprised him of the failure of the treasurer to pay the rent. Brother Stewart remarked that he was not surprised. Determined not to be baffled, he engaged a lawyer by the name of Aldrich, from New Orleans, to draw up an act of incorporation for an African Methodist Episcopal Church. After the act of incorporation had been prepared, it was taken to the mayor for his signature and the seal of the city. The mayor not only readily signed the document and affixed the seal, but he promised to give them one hundred dollars when they were ready to build. He said that the Act of Incorporation should be taken to Sacramento, the capital of California, to have the Governor sign and affix


Page 32

the seal of the State. On Saturday, April 29, 1852, Rev. Thompson started for Sacramento. Upon his arrival there he stopped at the home of Rev. Barney Fletcher, formerly of New Orleans, to whom, as well as to other persons, he made known his mission. The next day, Sunday, he preached for them, and at the evening service they gave him a collection amounting to forty dollars. Monday, May 1, he waited on Governor Calhoun, who graciously received him, heard his story, signed his papers, and gave him one hundred dollars in gold. The kind Governor directed him to go to the Adam Express Company, where he received a gift of another one hundred dollars. He also received one hundred dollars from the Townsend banking house, as well as a letter to their house in San Francisco. Rev. Thompson received such financial aid while in Sacramento that he was enabled to return to his home with four hundred and fifty dollars. This greatly cheered the heart of Brother Stewart. In San Francisco the Townsend banking house and the Adams Express Company each gave Rev. Thompson one hundred dollars. Mr. Argentai, an officer of the Government, gave two hundred dollars. Lawyer Aldrich gave fifty dollars, while numbers of others contributed building material sufficient to erect a house. A lot was leased from the Presbyterian Church on Stockton Street, and a contract entered into for the erection of a church to cost nine hundred dollars. On August 8, 1852, the building having been completed, was dedicated by the Rev. George Taylor. Six days after, August 14, Brother Stewart sailed for home on board the S.S. "Oregon." While his stay was brief and his work local, it was nevertheless effective, and prepared the way for the coming of the Rev. Thomas Marcus Decatur Ward, who justly may be styled the original trailblazer of African Methodism in California. He was the first ordained minister to labor on the Pacific Coast as a representative of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was assigned to that field by Bishop Quinn in 1849, but did not succeed in reaching there until the close of the year 1852. In establishing the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on the Pacific Coast, Rev. Ward encountered great difficulties and hardships. On account of the gold-mining industry, California had become a rendezvous for adventurers from all parts of the United


Page 33

States and Canada. In the mad rush to secure the material, things possessing a moral and spiritual value were overlooked. Life was largely that of the Ishmaelite. Hence the moral atmosphere reeked with corruption. Conscience was perverted. Freebooters, with all their disregard for law, order, and decency, reigned supreme. A preacher was looked upon as a nuisance, a thing to be despised. Deaf ears greeted the solemn tones of the preaching of the gospel. A wild orgy of dissipation and licentiousness prevailed. Is it any wonder that amid these untoward circumstances the heart of the preacher often quaked, and was at times sorely tempted and tried? This also accounts for the slow growth of all Christian endeavor during that reign of wickedness on the Pacific Coast.

        It will be remembered that in 1841 Charles Doughty, of New Orleans, La., appeared before the Indiana Annual Conference with a petition asking for the establishment of an African Methodist Episcopal Church in New Orleans, and that his request was granted. On September 29, 1852, Rev. John Mifflin Brown entered New Orleans to take charge of the affairs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, having been sent there by Bishop Quinn. This was certainly a bold adventure. Being a free man, figuratively speaking, he carried with him the shackles of his enslavement; for was it not possible for some over-zealous supporter of slavery to trump up a charge against him, and by the aid of the intrigue of the officers of the law, impose a heavy fine, in default of the payment of which he would be held as a chattel until the fine was paid? While this was a possibility, fortunately it was not his fate. He remained in New Orleans for five years, during which period he was arrested five times because he refused to prohibit slaves from attending his church services. Though the members of his church were free people of color, occasionally one or more slaves would slip in during the hours of worship as silent listeners. It has been said that the Rev. Brown's frequent arrest was due not so much to the disposition of the officers of the law to hamper and punish him, as it was to the envy and jealousy of his own people. During Rev. Brown's labors in New Orleans four societies were organized; one church was built at a cost of three thousand dollars, known as Morris Brown, and one was purchased at a cost of two thousand dollars,


Page 34

known as Trinity. He was pastor of Saint James' Church for three years. He was then appointed by Bishop Payne to take charge of the New Orleans Mission, which consisted of Morris Brown and Trinity. Other places in Louisiana besides New Orleans, in which he established churches, were Algiers and Covington. In 1857 he left New Orleans to assume the pastorate of Asbury Chapel, Louisville, Ky.

        Another historic character who deserves special mention is the Rev. Jordan Winston Early, who was born in Franklin County, Va., June 17, 1814. In 1826 his family removed from the State of Virginia to that of Missouri and located in Saint Louis. In 1828 he was converted and attached himself to a religious society. He served as superintendent of a Sunday school. In 1853 he was licensed as an exhorter. When about eighteen years of age he resolved to learn to read and write. Having no opportunity to attend school, he sought the aid of a Presbyterian minister who sympathized with him and offered to teach him in the evenings. The offer was gladly accepted. As he was employed on a boat plying between Saint Louis and New Orleans, which caused him to be frequently absent from Saint Louis, his progress in learning was slow. He persevered in studying until he was able to read. Through the favor of one of the mates attached to the steamer on which he was employed, he learned to write. He was required to compensate both the Presbyterian minister and the mate for the instruction they gave him. Up to 1832 he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, but as African Methodism had been introduced in Saint Louis through the efforts of William Paul Quinn, and a small society organized, he connected himself with it. For some years he had been preparing to preach the gospel. In 1836 he applied for a license to preach, which was granted him by George W. Johnson, a member of the Ohio Annual Conference. For the first two years of the existence of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Saint Louis, meetings were held in private houses, and on account of the growing power of slavery they were necessarily obliged to proceed very cautiously. These were perilous times, and none but men and women of brave hearts, true courage, and daring, were able to brook the terrible pressure of the law and public sentiment. The effect of Nat Turner's insurrection in


Page 35

Virginia, which took place on Sunday, August 21, 1831, was still felt. This insurrection had caused the slaves and free people of color to suffer untold barbarity and persecution in many of the Southern States. In course of time Rev. Early and others obtained a small log cabin, near the end of Main Street, in which they held meetings. The society grew rapidly in numbers, which necessitated the securing of larger quarters. An old mission house, located at the corner of Seventh and Washington Streets, was obtained from the Presbyterians. This was repaired, made stronger, and decorated. The mission house having become too small to accommodate the society, they secured a large hall on Broadway over an engine-house near the center of the city. As the membership increased and the meetings became more popular, the officers of the society began to discuss the advisability of buying a lot on which to build a suitable house of worship. At the end of two years they purchased a lot at the corner of Eleventh and Green Streets, on which they erected a church building. It was built of brick and cost five thousand dollars. It had an auditorium with a gallery, was seated with pews, and had a basement where Sunday school and class meetings were held. This was in the year 1840.

        In 1838 Rev. Early was ordained a deacon by the Indiana Annual Conference, which met at Indianapolis, Ind. He had often expressed a desire to extend the work of the Church wherever opportunity would permit. Having occasion to visit and remain some time in the cities of Burlington and Dubuque, Iowa, he took advantage of his stay to try and create a sentiment in favor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This he also did at Galena, Ill., where his business often called him. Here a lot was purchased and preparations made for building a church. Rev. Early dug the first stone from the quarry which was used in laying the foundation. Great effort and much sacrifice were required to complete the structure. This church in after years became a flourishing station, and was the place of Bishop Shorter's conversion in 1859.

        In the year 1842 business caused Rev. Early to spend much time in the city of New Orleans, where he began planning for the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and where he became closely allied with a number of men who


Page 36

were members of the Masonic fraternity, and with whom was led to confer on the utility of making an effort to organize a religious society. They agreed to try the project, provided permission could be obtained from the State authorities. Among those with whom he conferred was James Hunter, a man of worth and integrity. Among his friends was a member of the Legislature of the State of Louisiana, whom he persuaded to bring a bill before that body authorizing the establishment of an African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Legislature passed an enactment granting the organization of a religious society for free people of color, provided they should meet at a time between sunrise and sunset. In 1848 they secured a charter under those restrictions, a copy of which will be found in the Appendix. They were obliged to meet in private houses and that with great caution. They often had to conceal themselves from the police, meeting in an obscure room as far back from the street as possible; and keep a watchman near the entrance to the alley so that he might signal the worshipers in case they were being spied on, and thus enable them to disperse without being detected. No one of the present generation can form the least conception of the terror and disquietude that free colored people experienced who lived in the slave-holding States. As has been well said:

That infamous system of human oppression aimed to crush out all the light of the human soul. It made no compromise with wisdom or worth. All it called for was the utter subjection of the slave--soul, body, and spirit--in consequence of which there was constant jealousy exercised toward free colored people, for fear that they might diffuse some practical knowledge among the slaves or excite them to a desire for freedom.

        This seemed to fill the minds of the slaveholders with constant dread and apprehension and it led to the appointment of patrols who, like thirsty bloodhounds, kept vigil over the movements of the enslaved--more particularly over the movements of free colored people. Many devices were resorted to by the free colored people to evade the infliction of cruelty. The members of the society were kept continually under the surveillance of the slaveholders and other enemies of the infant church. In course of time a lot was purchased on Roman


Page 37

Street, on which was erected an attractive house of worship. It was dedicated "Saint James' Chapel."

        In 1851 Rev. Early returned to Saint Louis and began to expand the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He organized the mission at Carondelet with twenty-five members. In 1853 he organized a mission at Kirkwood. He subsequently established missions at Saint Charles, Roche Port, Washington, Jefferson City, Louisiana, Booneville, Saint Joseph, and Weston, all in the State of Missouri. It will thus be seen that he proved a powerful factor in supplementing the labors of William Paul Quinn in planting the African Methodist Episcopal Church west of the Mississippi River. The success of his work in that region as well as in New Orleans was phenomenal.


Page 38

CHAPTER III
SECOND PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1856-1863

        Tenth General Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, May, 1856--Episcopal Address Read by Bishop Payne--Majority and Minority Reports on Slavery--Interesting Discussion--Strong Debates on Both Sides--An Episcopal Seal Ordered to be Manufactured--General Conference of 1856 Noted for its Constructive Legislation--The Near Approach of Civil War--James Lynch--Preacher and Statesman--The Eleventh General Conference, Pittsburgh, Pa., May, 1860--Full Proceedings in Appendix--Provisional Proclamation of Emancipation Went Into Effect.

        THE Tenth General Conference convened in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5, 1856. Devotional services were conducted by Bishops Quinn, Nazrey, and Payne. A. W. Wayman, Rev. James, and G. W. Brodie were elected secretaries. A. E. Green was chairman of the committee appointed to draft rules for the government of the General Conference. The following were among the delegates in attendance: J. P. Campbell, G. Hogarth, M. M. Clark, William H. Jones, Dr. J. J. G. Bias, John Peck, H. J. Young, A. W. Wayman, J. A. Warren, Peter Gardner, W. R. Revels, M. T. Newsome, R. M. Johnson, William Moore, R. Robinson, J. R. V. Morgan, J. P. B. Eddy, Elisha Weaver, and A. Woodford. The Episcopal Address was by Bishop D. A. Payne. It was informing, illuminating, and pungent with the flavor of intellectualism. It was by far the ablest deliverance that had been presented to a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Some of the more striking passages were as follows:

Respecting the ministry we feel, as heretofore, that we all ought to cultivate our minds by the study of every science--physical, mental, and moral--so that we may be better qualified to study the Bible. No man should be more enlightened than the Ambassador of the Cross because no position is so commanding and no office freighted with such important results as his. Of all the ministers of Christ there are none who have more need of being thoroughly educated than those in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The literary advantages which the great Head of the Church has opened to our access demands
Page 39

our gratitude, our praise, our love. Twenty-one years ago there were but two institutions of learning of a high order in the whole United States where colored men could be educated in the same classes and on equality with white men. These were at Oberlin, Ohio, and Oneida, N. Y.

        A number of changes in the Book of Discipline were recommended. Emphasis was laid on the duty of the General Conference to give earnest attention to the cause of missions. It was pointed out that there had been a failure to prosecute the missionary work in Africa and Haiti which had been established in 1836. The report of the general Book Steward and Editor was comprehensive. The establishment of the office of General Traveling Agent was recommended. It was also recommended that the office of General Book Steward and the office of Editor be combined in one person. Other questions that engaged the attention of the General Conference were those relating to the churches in Canada, slavery, divorce, dress, Council of Bishops, bishops' residence, missions, and education. Peter Gardner, J. A. Shorter, J. R. V. Morgan, H. Young, A. Woodford, and W. R. Revels constituted the Committee on Slavery. The committee presented two reports--a majority and a minority. This produced a protracted and exciting debate that occupied the larger portion of two days. Among the other recommendations in the majority report was the following:

That page 124, in the Book of Discipline, 13th and 14th lines from the top, be altered so as to read: "The buying and selling of men, women, and children, except with an intention to free them immediately; or if he or they do not immediately emancipate them, he or they shall be immediately expelled."

        The minority of the committee contended that the existing provisions of the Book of Discipline relative to slavery were sufficient, and that there was no need for this amendment. The motion to adopt the majority report was lost. Among those who favored its adoption were Dr. Bias, J. A. Warren, M. T. Newsome, M. M. Clark, and H. J. Young. Among those who opposed its adoption were R. M. Johnson, J. P. Campbell, William Moore, R. Robinson, and J. R. V. Morgan. Those who favored the majority report held that the minority report was not sufficiently radical, while those who favored the minority


Page 40

report expressed the opinion that the majority report was too radical and might interfere with mercy and justice. The advocates of the majority report inclined to the belief that a state of things similar to those existing in the Methodist Episcopal Church was about to be introduced into the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Bias said:

The Methodist Episcopal Church was once a truly apostolic church, but she suffered slavery to get into her bosom like a little acorn--an acorn that developed itself, struck its roots deep into its heart, threw its gigantic trunk up towards heaven, and made almost everybody tremble before its monstrous aspect.

        John Morgan was the leader of those who favored the adoption of the minority report. Those for whom he spoke seemed to be strongly inclined to the idea that the adoption of the majority report would do more harm than good; and that it would prove a hindrance to the progress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the slave States where it was then operating--Louisiana, Kentucky, and Missouri. The crux of the debate seemed to rest on the question whether church members holding slaves should emancipate them immediately as proposed by the majority report, or whether they should practice gradual emancipation as approved and advocated by the minority report. The contention of the minority indicated that they were afraid of offending the "good slave-holders"--those whom it was claimed were treating their slaves as though in the fear of God. The advocates of the minority report evidently forgot, if they ever knew, John Wesley's pronunciamento that "Slavery is the sum of all villainies."

        From 1848 to 1852 the Book of Discipline contained the following rule relative to divorce:

If any minister, preacher, exhorter, or member of our Society, who has been married shall separate and marry again while the former companion is living, he or she shall be expelled and shall never be admitted during the lifetime of the parties; and any minister who shall marry such knowingly shall forfeit his standing in the Connection.

        At the General Conference of 1852 the rule was altered so as to allow any one of the members to marry after obtaining a legal divorce, provided it was based on the act alluded to by our Saviour in the Sermon on the Mount. For some reason


Page 41

this amendment was not inserted in the Discipline. Dr. Bias moved the adoption of the rule on divorce as amended and adopted by the General Conference of 1852. This motion provoked quite a lengthy discussion which ended in indefinite postponement. A debate on the question of dress was precipitated by a motion to amend the rule on dress in the Book of Discipline so as to require each and all of our Annual Conferences to faithfully carry out the rule at each session; and provided that a minister was to be suspended for its violation, and that the preachers should conform to the requirement of putting off all superfluous and costly apparel. Though the amendment was opposed by such stalwarts as Dr. Bias, E. Weaver, J. R. V. Morgan, and A. R. Green, it was adopted by a vote of 24 for to 21 against.

        Another motion which provoked sharp debate provided for the appointment of three or five elders in each Annual Conference to be known as the

Bishops' Advisors in matters pertaining to the Conference and the removal of preachers, etc.

        Among the supporters of this measure were A. R. Green, R. Robinson, J. A. Shorter, and William Moore. It was lost by a vote of 15 for to 29 against. The question of requiring bishops to live within the boundaries of their respective districts was indefinitely postponed by a vote of 23 for to 2 against.

        Among other proceedings may be noted: the rejection of the proposal of the Cincinnati Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church to establish, or aid in establishing, a school of a high order for the education of colored youth on the ground that its promoter, Dr. Durbin, was an avowed colonizationist, and, therefore, nothing good could come out of it; the adoption of the report of the Committee on Missions favoring the organization of a Parent Society with headquarters at Baltimore; the limiting of the membership of the General Conference to traveling preachers who had traveled six full years in the Connection, and one regularly licensed local preacher of four years' standing for every eight hundred lay members reported at the previous Annual Conference; the requirement of a majority vote of all the members of the General Conference present and voting, and the laying on of the


Page 42

hands of a bishop and six elders, as prime requisites for constituting a person a bishop; prohibiting a preacher from remaining on one station or circuit longer than two years, and in one city longer than four years, except the Editor and General Book Steward; providing for checking the danger of destroying our itinerant general superintendency by dividing the Connection into dioceses, and amending section 3 of the Book of Discipline so as to require the bishops to travel at large among the people, and to visit every circuit and station, providing that while one might have charge of a specific Conference, yet in any Conference where the interest of the Connection should require the presence of a bishop, in the absence of the one appointed to that Conference, or jointly with him if present, it would be lawful for him to go; providing that in all cases of difficulty where the presence of a bishop was required it should be the duty of the bishop nearest to attend, when official notice was given by the officers of the church fixing the salary of a bishop at two hundred dollars a year, with board for himself, wife, and children under twelve years of age, also house-rent, fuel, and traveling expenses; stipulating that in estimating the allowance for a traveling preacher, the same provision for board, house-rent, fuel, and traveling expenses was to be the same as that of a bishop; the ordering of an Episcopal Seal to be manufactured under the supervision of Bishop Payne, its face to be embellished with an open Bible, and upon its border to be the motto, "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother." The following resolutions were unanimously adopted:

        Whereas we the members of this General Conference have heard from Bishop Payne that the history of our Church will be completed in twelve months; and

        Whereas in view of the great difficulties under which he has labored in gathering material for said history; therefore,

        Resolved, (1) That we return our thanks to him for his unremitting labors, believing that said history will greatly promote the religious, moral, and social elevation of our people.

        Resolved, (2) That we will do all in our power in the various charges to impress upon our people the importance of each family securing a copy of the same.


        It will be remembered that Bishop Payne was appointed Historiographer by the General Conference of 1848.


Page 43

        No General Conference from 1820 to 1920 was characterized by as much constructive legislation as that of 1856. It was in session for seventeen days. All honor and praise to the intelligence, insight, keen interest, patience, loyalty, and Godly judgment of the persons who composed it.

        In April, 1857, the Baltimore Annual Conference convened in Ebenezer Church, Baltimore, Md. This church is located in the southern part of the city. Bishop Payne, who presided over the Conference for the first time, was officially introduced. M. F. Sluby was elected secretary. Introductions included Rev. J. P. Campbell and Rev. David Smith, this being the first visit of the latter to Baltimore after an absence of many years. James A. Shorter was transferred to the Ohio Annual Conference. His going was deeply and sincerely regretted by the Baltimore Annual Conference. In this year A. W. Wayman laid the cornerstone of Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, D. C., and dedicated Ebenezer Church in Georgetown, D. C. During this year Bishop Payne was active in social work in the city of Baltimore. He organized the first Mental and Moral Improvement Society in Bethel Church; he also organized the Mothers' Association, which he succeeded in forming at a number of important centers. Its object was to enable mothers to aid one another in training their children, especially their daughters. To use Bishop Payne's language:

Perhaps the greatest curse which American slavery entailed was the destruction of the home.

        Furthermore he said:

No home, no mother; no mother, no home. But what is home without a cultivated intellect, and what is the value of such an intellect without a cultivated heart?

        Bishop Payne made a brief visit to Carlisle, Pa., where he had been wont to spend his vacations while he was a student in the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. He entered the Seminary in 1835 and continued for two years, being forced to relinquish his studies at the end of that time by reason of failing eyesight. From Carlisle, Bishop Payne proceeded to his home at Wilberforce. After a short visit there


Page 44

he attended the Indiana and Missouri Annual Conferences. No details, however, are available in respect to the doings of those Conferences. The Philadelphia Annual Conference met in Columbia, Pa., Bishop Quinn presiding. Aside from the statement of Bishop Handy that a large amount of business was transacted, nothing can be said of its doings.

        In 1858 the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Israel Church, Washington, D. C., Bishop Payne presiding. Samuel Watts was elected secretary. The Conference was graced with the presence of many distinguished visitors, which included the Hon. James Pike, a member of Congress and formerly a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. John M. Brown became a member of the Conference by transfer and was appointed pastor of Bethel Church, Baltimore. The Revs. James A. Shorter, J. P. Campbell, and Peter Gardner were among the visitors. The Conference received the sad intelligence that Bishop Quinn, who had been assaulted the previous winter, was still unable to resume his official duties.

        This year the Philadelphia Annual Conference met in Philadelphia. Owing to Bishop Quinn's physical condition, Bishop Payne presided. There were a great many members of the Baltimore Annual Conference among the visitors. Among them was the Rev. A. W. Wayman. Bishop Quinn made his appearance near the close of the Conference, badly bruised and battered as the result of the assault previously referred to. His disfigured visage excited much sympathy for him and aroused great indignation against his assailants. Rev. Elisha Weaver accompanied him. In this year a young minister made his appearance in Washington, D. C., who was destined to become a great factor in the Church. The following is culled from Wayman's Recollections:

One day during this year a hack drove up to my door. I saw a young man, who had the appearance of a South Carolinian, get out and walk up on the front porch. I went to meet him. He asked if my name was Wayman. I said, "Yes, sir; come in." He then said that he was from Missouri and was on his way to Baltimore, where he had been appointed. He had his wife with him. I invited them in and made them welcome, remembering the advice of the good apostle, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." That young Carolinian was H. M. Turner, afterwards Bishop Turner. I gave him the name of "Plutarch" and he became known throughout the Church by that name.

Page 45

        The fourth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met this year at Nashville, Tenn. No bishops were elected.

        In 1859 the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Baltimore, Bishop Payne presiding. J. M. Brown was elected secretary. A. W. Wayman preached the annual sermon. Stephen Clark died while the Conference was in session. A prize essay was competed for. The subject was "Hugh Miller." A. W. Wayman was awarded the first prize. It will be remembered that the General Conference of 1852 divided the eight Annual Conferences--Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Western, Canadian, Indiana, New England, and Missouri--into three Episcopal Districts. For some inexplicable reasons but few details, if any, of these Conferences are at hand, except those of the Philadelphia and Baltimore. Doubtless the records of many important events have been lost forever. Either that or there was failure to record them.

        From a national standpoint the year 1859 was made memorable by two events: the prohibition of slavery in Kansas by the adoption of the Wyandotte Constitution, and the antislavery insurrection at Harper's Ferry, which took place October 17, under John Brown, who was hanged December 2. Call him what name you may--fool, fanatic, madman, anarchist, revolutionist, would-be-murderer--he is the only being of whom the world has ever sung, "His soul goes marching on."

        A forecast of the political horizon pointed to the near approach of the Civil War. An impassable gulf had been formed between the forces of freedom on one side and the forces of slavery on the other. Evidently the slave-holding oligarchy had determined to cast the die and cross the Rubicon.

        In the Church the near approach of the eleventh General Conference was the magnet of interest. Before presenting the record of its proceedings, attention is directed to other items of interest. In March of this year Bishop Payne completed six years of incessant travel and labor, except for five months when he experienced an attack of nervous prostration. His traveling alternated between the East and the West. On his last trip East, March, 1860, he was joined by Rev. James Lynch, who was destined to win renown as a scholar, writer, preacher, orator, and statesman.


Page 46

        The Rev. and Hon. James Lynch was born in Baltimore, Maryland, January 8, 1839. His father, who was a merchant, was a freeman. His mother was a slave. Her husband purchased her freedom. Rev. Lynch was educated at Kimball University, Hanover, New Hampshire. In 1858 he joined the Presbyterian Church in New York city. He went to Indiana, where he spent some time in the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. From there he went to Galena, Ill., where he married. Subsequently, April, 1860, he connected himself with the Baltimore Annual Conference by transfer. In May, 1863, he and J. D. S. Hall, of the New York Annual Conference, went as missionaries to South Carolina. He labored at Port Royal, Beaufort, and Charleston, S. C., and Savannah, Ga., and was one of the original members of the South Carolina Annual Conference. From February 24, 1866, to June 15, 1867, he was editor of the Christian Recorder. In the same year he went to Mississippi as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and served for a time as presiding elder of the Jackson District. At the same time he filled the position of assistant in the Educational Department of the Freedmen's Bureau. In 1869 he was elected Secretary of State, a position which he ably and efficiently filled. The author knew him personally, having met him in Jackson, Miss., in 1870. He was a man of fine attainments and the highest order of talent. Being one of the very few colored men in this country who were fortunate enough to obtain a college education prior to 1860, he not only wielded tremendous influence with his own people, but was regarded as an object of curiosity by the white people, particularly of the South. He died at Jackson, Miss., on Wednesday, December 18, 1871, and was buried in the city cemetery on the following Sunday. His reasons for deserting the African Methodist Episcopal Church in favor of the Methodist Episcopal Church are not known.

        In April, 1860, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Washington, D. C., Bishop Payne presiding. J. M. Brown was elected secretary. James Lynch was received as a member by transfer from the Indiana Annual Conference. Several distinguished clergymen were introduced, among them the Rt. Rev. Bishop Payne, of the Protestant Episcopal Church of


Page 47

America, who was in charge of the diocese of Liberia, West Africa. Daniel Rideout was elected an elder. H. M. Turner, W. H. Hunter, G. T. Watkins, and Dennis Davis were elected deacons. The first two subsequently became chaplains in the United States Army. H. M. Turner was the first colored man to be appointed to that position. He was commissioned by President Lincoln. The Conference agreed to sustain W. H. Hunter for two years at Wilberforce University.

        The eleventh General Conference met at Pittsburgh, Pa., in May, 1860. The record of its doings will be found in the Appendix.

        In this year the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church convened in Buffalo, N. Y. The ratio of representation was fixed at one in thirty. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church assembled in Philadelphia, Pa. An adjourned session was held in New York City, June 6, when the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and a faction led by Rev. W. H. Bishop were reunited. There was no election of bishops this year by either of these two General Conferences.

        A striking incident which occurred in April, 1861, in African Methodist Church circles, was the refusal of the authorities of Baltimore to allow the Baltimore Annual Conference to convene in that city. The reason given by the Police Commission for this refusal was that the bishop of the Conference lived in Ohio and, therefore, could not enter Baltimore. Assurance having been given that the Conference would be held without Bishop Payne, permission was granted. The New England Annual Conference was held this year at New Haven, Conn. Bishop Payne presided. At the close of the Conference Bishop Payne called on the Rev. Theodore T. Holly, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, a young colored clergyman of brilliant intellectual endowment, who was subsequently elected missionary bishop to Haiti. Bishop Payne also paid a visit to the laboratory of Yale College. There he met Professor Silliman, Sr., who showed him the valuable and extensive library which he possessed. During the course of their conversation Bishop Payne asked the Professor if he thought slavery would be abolished. He replied, "Yes, I do believe that slavery will be abolished because there are Christians among the slaves."


Page 48

This, to Bishop Payne, was the reason advanced for the overthrow of the abominable system. The death of the Rev. J. J. G. Bias, M.D., took place at his home in Philadelphia, Pa. Bishop Payne preached the funeral sermon. He also secured the service of Mr. Sartain, a noted artist, to make a picture of Richard Allen, to be engraved for use in The Repository. Mr. Sartain made the steel engravings found in Payne's History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        In answer to a general request, A. W. Wayman prepared an address to the bishops, ministers, and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, bearing on existing conditions and urging continued loyalty to the Church. During the summer of 1861 an article appeared in the Christian Recorder from the pen of Rev. H. J. Young, giving an account of affairs in Canada. This article lodged doubt in the minds of some as to the real status of Bishop Nazrey. In October, 1861, all the members of the Philadelphia Annual Conference were requested to meet Bishop Nazrey in Philadelphia so that he might set himself right before them and the Church.

        The year 1861 was memorable for national and world-wide events. Nationally the supreme event was the bombarding of Fort Sumter, April 12, 13, by the Confederates. Other national events of a major character were the election of Jefferson Davis as the President of the Confederate States of America, February 9; the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, March 4, as President of the United States; and the battle of Bull Run, July 21.

        As to world-wide events, in this year (1861) the Austrian Empire received a new constitution; Victor Emanuel was made King of Italy; Spain, France, and England united in the Convention of London to enforce their Mexican claims and sent fleets to Mexico; and Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria, died on December 14.

        In April, 1862, while Bishop Payne was in New York city, he attended a reception given to Rev. Alexander Crummell, a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church to Liberia. Remarks were made by the Rev. Highland H. Garnet. These two distinguished prelates were moral and intellectual giants in their day. Both saw service in Liberia. Dr. Garnet preached in the United States Senate Chamber, February 18,


Page 49

1865. He represented this country as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia, where he died and was buried.

        In April, 1862, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Washington, D. C. Bishop Payne presided. James Lynch was elected the secretary. John J. Herbert preached the annual sermon. John Lane organized an African Methodist Episcopal Church at Annapolis, in February. Rev. B. T. Tanner, who, at the suggestion of Bishop Payne had entered the Presbyterian Church and been ordained, was received as an elder. J. A. Handy was admitted on trial. H. M. Turner, E. Boyer, and Richard P. Gibbs were ordained elders. It is somewhat significant that Revs. Tanner, Turner, and Handy were subsequently elevated to the episcopacy. Among the visitors introduced to the Conference was the Hon. Owen Lovejoy, M.C., from Illinois. He had delivered a lecture in Israel Church a short time before the meeting of the Conference. The trustees had secured a permit from the mayor to have the lecture. When it was shown to Mr. Lovejoy he burned it, saying that he did not need a permit to lecture.

        At this Conference a request came to Bishop Payne from the Preachers' Meeting at Philadelphia to come to the Philadelphia Annual Conference and decide Bishop Nazrey's episcopal status. The Baltimore Annual Conference passed a resolution asking him to go. When the time arrived for Bishop Payne to decide the question, the whole matter took a different turn. Rev. W. H. Jones came into the Conference. He was introduced by J. P. Campbell as the accredited minister from the British Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Nazrey then arose and said, "that he had been charged with not resigning according to promise." He called on Rev. W. H. Jones to affirm that he had resigned. His answer was that Bishop Nazrey had presented his resignation to the General Conference of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, which was the only statement that he made. By mutual agreement the matter was allowed to rest until the next General Conference. This year Bethel Church, Baltimore, lost that sweet singer, Rev. Charles Dunn. James A. Shorter, M. Sluby, and A. W. Wayman were visitors to the Philadelphia Annual Conference.


Page 50

        On account of the Civil War the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, did not meet in 1862.

        January 1, 1863, the provisional Proclamation of Emancipation that was issued September 22, 1862, went into effect. This was the greatest event in the history of the nation since the adoption of the Declaration of American Independence. Well might the immortal Lincoln have invoked upon that act the favor and blessing of Almighty God, and the considerate judgment of all mankind.

        April 18, 1863, Bishop Francis Burns, the first missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church to Liberia, West Africa, died at Baltimore, Md., aged 53. He was born December 5, 1809, at Albany, N. Y. He entered the ministry in 1838, and was consecrated a bishop at Perry, N. Y., in 1858. He was a member of the Liberia Annual Conference when he was consecrated a bishop, and his body was removed to that country for burial.


Page 51

CHAPTER IV
FOURTH PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1863-1868

        James Lynch and J. D. S. Hall Went to Charleston, S. C.--Baltimore Threatened With Invasion of Confederate Army--Colored Men Drafted for Federal Service--A. W. Wayman Went to Norfolk, Va.--Made Second Visit to Norfolk Accompanied by Bishop Payne and J. M. Brown--Bishop Payne Journeyed from Norfolk to Nashville, Tenn.--Called on Governor Andrew Johnson--Organized Two Churches--Meeting of the Twelfth General Conference--Proposal for Organic Union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church--Major Martin R. Delaney Left Wilberforce for the South--Bishop Wayman and Elisha Weaver Visited Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S. C.--Organization of the South Carolina Annual Conference--Bishop Payne Visited Europe--Bishop Wayman Toured Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia--Organization of the Virginia, Georgia, and Florida Annual Conferences.

        IN April, 1863, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Baltimore, Bishop Payne presiding. There was no disposition shown on the part of the city officials to prohibit the Conference from meeting. W. H. Hunter, J. R. Henry, and James Lynch were ordained elders. A Rev. Mr. Lee of New York city, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, visited the Conference with the view of securing some colored ministers to go as missionaries to South Carolina, which had been taken by the Union forces. He called on Bishop Payne to discuss the matter. The Bishop informed him that the African Methodist Episcopal Church had once operated in South Carolina; and that the loss of South Carolina to the Church was occasioned by a terrible excitement in 1822, caused by the discovery of a contemplated insurrection on the part of certain slaves for the overthrow of slavery in that State. He further stated that the African Methodist Episcopal Church being an independent ecclesiastical organization, gave the idea and produced the sentiment of personal freedom and responsibility for the Negro; and hence the authorities waged a warfare on our Church until it was entirely suppressed. At the close of the recital of this incident Rev. Lee said, "The field is yours; go


Page 52

and occupy it." James Lynch was the first one to volunteer to go. He was accompanied by J. D. S. Hall, of the New York Annual Conference. What a contrast in daring and courage with the timid, if not cowardly disposition exhibited by many of our preachers in this day. Conference ties, dread of Jim-Crowism, together with an absolute lack of the spirit of self-sacrifice, are retarding the development of the Church, as well as hindering its expansion. The Civil War had not yet ended when the Revs. Lynch and Hall defied the armed forces of the slave-holding oligarchy, and carried the gospel to their kinsmen in bonds and fetters. When the ministry of any branch of the Christian Church loses the spirit of self-sacrifice, it has a "name to live but is dead." Well might we pray most earnestly for the return of the courage, daring, and self-sacrificing spirit possessed by James Lynch and J. D. S. Hall. The scope of the Divine Commission, "Go preach my gospel," is as universal as the abode of human habitation, and was never intended to be circumscribed by the metes and bounds of an Annual Conference, or of that of any particular country.

        During this year, 1863, Baltimore was threatened by an invasion of the Confederate Army. Every able-bodied Negro was arrested by the police and carried to the outskirts of the city to assist the United States Government in throwing up breastworks. A. W. Wayman, who was the pastor of Bethel Church at the time, was among those arrested, but when carried before the Captain was turned loose. Before leaving he made a brief talk to the officers present, saying:

Gentlemen, there is no need of the police officers running us down this way. All that was necessary was to let us know that we were wanted, and you could have had five thousand of us before sundown. All that I want is for some one to preach to my people to-morrow morning, and here am I.

        Rev. Wayman obtained a pass which secured him against further molestation. W. H. Hunter was among those arrested, and in the summer of 1863 was appointed Chaplain of the First Maryland Colored Troops.

        During the summer of 1863 an army officer was sent to the eastern shore of Maryland to a certain plantation where there were a great many slaves, for the purpose of recruiting them.


Page 53

When he had reached his destination, he rode across the fields and every Negro he came to he asked if he did not want to be a soldier. The answer was invariably, "Yes." All who thus answered were told to go to the wharf and await the officer's arrival. This was followed by a regular stampede, and by the time the officer got back to the boat--for he had come there by steamer--a great crowd was there. Among them was the county constable, who came to forbid the military officer taking the slaves away. The Captain's reply was, "I must carry out my orders." The constable then said, "Sir, I forbid you taking these slaves away." The officer answered, "I have orders from the Secretary of War to do what I am doing, and if you wish any redress go to him;" and then said, "Boys, go aboard." It is needless to say that the boys promptly obeyed. As the boat left its moorings they began to sing:


                         Fare you well, fare you well,
                         I am going away to leave you, fare you well.

        On reaching Baltimore they were drilled and uniformed and sent to the front. About the same time several companies went out from Bethel Church. The bones of many of them rest in the soil of Virginia. What a tragedy of fate that their kinsmen of this day should be burned, lynched, oppressed, and made the victims of all manner of injustice.

        In the autumn of this year, 1863, Rev. Wayman moved southward. He was prompted to go because he had been advised that the colored members of Butte Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Norfolk, Va., being without religious leadership and instruction, desired to unite with the Baltimore Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and wished him to visit them. He gladly accepted the invitation, regarding it as an opportunity afforded by Providence for him to preach his favorite text, "I seek my brethren." When he went to the provost marshal for a pass to go to Norfolk he was informed that the military never interfered with religious affairs, and, therefore, he would have to write to Norfolk for what he wanted. However, after he had made certain other representations, he received a pass. At this juncture an important missing link is to be noted--the date of Rev. Wayman's departure for Norfolk. In all my research


Page 54

work for reliable historical data, the absence of specific dates is the greatest handicap. On arriving at Norfolk Rev. Wayman was met at the boat by Brother Peter Shepherd, who subsequently became an itinerant minister, and a member of the Virginia Annual Conference. Rev. Wayman's visit was rewarded by the reception of a church of eight hundred members and nine local preachers. Thus did another Daniel dare to enter the lions' den of American slavery. Note this, ye ministerial slackers of this day, with your D.D.'s, Ph.D.'s, LL.D.'s, etc., and yet who shrink from every opportunity and task requiring courage and sacrifice.

        Before leaving Norfolk Rev. Wayman promised the people that he would shortly return and bring Bishop Payne with him. In November, 1863, this promise was fulfilled. Not only did Bishop Payne accompany Rev. Wayman on his return journey, but also Rev. J. M. Brown. Another servant of God dared to be a Daniel. It is to be remembered that the Rev. Brown was cultured and scholarly, being an undergraduate of Oberlin College, Ohio. This trio of red-blooded pioneers found much to interest them in and around Norfolk and its twin-sister city, Portsmouth. One thing which pleased and delighted them was a Sunday school of about five hundred colored children, under the tuition and management of educated, pious white men and women from the North, who had left all the refinements of home, and gone to one of the darkest corners of the South to educate the children of the freedmen. It was a sight they had never witnessed before, and such as they had never expected to see. The contrast which this scene made with the previous state of things caused them to feel that the reign of slavery, darkness, and cruelty was passing away; and that of freedom, light, mercy, and love was dawning upon an outcast, outlawed, enslaved race. They visited the secular schools under the American Missionary Association in both Norfolk and Portsmouth, and also the encampment of the First Regiment of United States colored troops at the latter place.

        Schools for colored youth and United States colored troops in Old Virginia in 1863! Just think of that, and then think of the hanging of John Brown. To them, perhaps, one of the most wonderful things was the sight of


Page 55

United States troops and freedmen under their protection feeling the tall pines on the plantation of Governor Wise, and sawing them up into timber. Another sight equally interesting was a stack of arms for the use of the colored troops in what was said to have been the parlor of Governor Wise. It will be remembered that Governor Wise had threatened that in the event of another John Brown raid, he would not wait for the aid of United States troops, but would organize an army in Virginia and drive all the abolitionists in the North into Canada.

        In Portsmouth the North Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was placed in the possession of these pioneers to be incorporated into the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Revs. Wayman and Brown returned to Baltimore, leaving Bishop Payne to look after certain matters connected with the church at Portsmouth. Bishop Payne thought it wise to send to Norfolk a good disciplinarian as well as a sound theologian, and, therefore, he chose Rev. Brown. While at Norfolk Bishop Payne met the military governor, Brigadier-General James Barnes, who accorded him a kind reception. He also furnished him a general letter of introduction to the military commanders in the valley of the Mississippi. In December, 1863, Bishop Payne left Norfolk for the Volunteer State, Tennessee. He carried with him letters from the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Treasury. He called on Governor Andrew Johnson, who, after reading his papers, proffered him facilities for accomplishing the object of his visit. While in Nashville Bishop Payne organized two churches known, respectively, as Saint John's and Saint Paul's; and held the first Quarterly Conference of these two churches. He also paid a visit to the Hermitage, the home of General Andrew Jackson, about twelve miles east of Nashville.

        In April, 1864, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., Bishop Payne presiding. B. T. Tanner was the secretary. The Conference was reinforced by the transfer of J. P. Campbell from the Philadelphia Annual Conference, and J. R. V. Thomas and J. D. S. Hall from the New York Annual Conference. R. A. Hall, Jacob Nicholson, J. R. V. Thomas, and G. T. Watkins were ordained elders. J. A. Handy was ordained a deacon. B. T.


Page 56

Tanner preached the ordination sermon. G. T. Watkins developed a depth and range of intellectuality that marked him as a preacher par excellence. For some unaccountable reason, when the Conference closed A. W. Wayman, for the first time in twenty-one years, failed to receive an appointment.

        In May, 1864, the twelfth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church met at Philadelphia, Pa. Bishops Quinn, Nazrey, and Payne were present. The Conference was composed of all the preachers of the Connection who had traveled six full years, and one local preacher for every eight hundred members reported at the Annual Conferences immediately preceding the General Conference to which they might be accredited. Eight Annual Conference were represented. The membership comprised 104 itinerant and 30 local preachers. A. W. Wayman, the secretary of the previous General Conference, called the roll, and on its completion was again elected secretary, and A. McIntosh, the assistant. James Lynch, who had been sent to South Carolina to organize the Church, was made an honorary member. Some difficulty was experienced in the organization of the Conference due to a misunderstanding of the law regulating its composition. This was smoothed out by the Conference deciding to proceed with its business, assuming that whatever it might do would be right. At least, such was the tenor of a resolution presented by James A. Shorter and adopted by the Conference. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop Payne.

        One of the chief items of business that engaged the attention of the General Conference was the election and consecration of Alexander W. Wayman and Jabez Pitts Campbell as bishops.

        A matter which was regarded of great importance was brought to the attention of the Conference by H. M. Turner. It was a proposal for organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Despite the amount of time, energy, and talent expended in an effort, which undoubtedly on the surface was honest and sincere, to effect organic union between the two Churches in question, it proved a dismal failure.

        Fraternal delegates from the Methodist Episcopal Church presented themselves to a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the first time. Those presenting


Page 57

themselves were Drs. Wise, Cunningham, Hill, Vanzant, and Armstrong. The greetings they extended were highly flavored with the fraternal spirit and made a most favorable impression on the Conference. It is somewhat significant that the fourteenth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the twelfth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the ninth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church should have convened in the same city. A. W. Wayman, M. M. Clark, W. R. Revels, J. P. Campbell and John M. Brown were selected to bear fraternal greetings to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the same being in session at Philadelphia. These constituted a quintette of sturdy, progressive characters with a wide range of vision. They were introduced to the Conference by Bishop Thomas A. Morris. Revs. Clark, Revels, and Campbell were the spokesmen. A great crowd was present to see and hear the African Methodist Episcopal Church delegation. It was thought at this General Conference that the colored ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church would be formed into separate Annual Conferences. This, however, proved not to be the case. A committee of local colored preachers, belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, was present praying not to be turned over to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The supervision of the work during the next four years was announced as follows:

        Further proceedings of the General Conference of 1864 will be found in the Appendix.

        At the session of the General Conference of the Methodist


Page 58

Episcopal Church, Davis W. Clark, Calvin Kingsley, and Edward Thompson were elected bishops. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church elected Sampson D. Talbot and John F. Moore bishops.

        In July, 1864, Bishop Payne visited New York city, and while there called upon the American Missionary Association and made arrangements to open a model school for girls in Baltimore. He also visited the National Freedmen's Relief Association to make arrangements for sending another missionary to South Carolina. Before leaving New York city he was taken ill, from nervous exhaustion, which prevented him from returning home in time to meet the Board of Trustees and attend the first Commencement of Wilberforce University.

        In March, 1864, Major Martin R. Delaney left Wilberforce for his work in the sunny, turbulent, bloody South. All the students and teachers accompanied him to the university gates and sang "The Star Spangled Banner," after which three cheers were given for the Major, three for General Saxton, six for the President of the United States, and a groan for Jefferson Davis. The Major was a man of fine talents and of more than ordinary attainments. He traveled extensively and traveled with his ears and eyes wide open. He knew much of men in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Africa. He studied medicine at Harvard University, and would have been rich if he had practiced it as a profession for life. But he was too much of a cosmopolitan to stick to it. His oratory was powerful, at times magnetic. If he had studied law, made it his profession, kept an even course, and settled in South Carolina, he might have reached the Senate Chamber of that proud State. But he was too intensely African to be popular, and, therefore, multiplied enemies where he could have multiplied friends. Had his love for humanity been as great as his love for the black race, he might have made his personal influence equal with that of Samuel R. Ward or Frederick Douglass in their palmiest days. The Major was a great admirer of ancient heroes, especially those of Hamitic extraction, and he named his six children after them. Toussaint L'Ouverture, Alexander Dumas, Saint Cyprian, Soulouque, and Faustin were the names given to his sons. His daughter was named Ethiopia.


Page 59

        Among other things, the year 1864 was notable for the organization of the Red Cross Society and the Freedmen's Aid Commission.

        As it relates to domestic and foreign affairs, the Civil War continued; the Confederate cruiser Alabama was sunk by the Federal warship Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France; General Sherman occupied Savannah; slavery was abolished in Maryland by constitutional enactment; the Austro-Prussian war with Denmark was ended by the treaty of Vienna; Circassia was conquered by the Russians; war was waged between Peru and Spain; and the Taiping rebellion in China was suppressed.

        On Wednesday, March 15, 1865, Bishop A. W. Wayman, accompanied by Rev. Elisha Weaver, sailed from New York for Savannah, Ga., to which place Rev. James Lynch had gone from Charleston. Among those with whom Bishop Wayman early became acquainted was Rev. Charles L. Bradwell, whose guest he was during his stay in Savannah. James Lynch had already raised the standard of African Methodism in the city which was the terminus of Sherman's historical "March to the Sea." Bishop Wayman delivered a number of sermons and addresses; visited a day school that was held in what was once a slave-pen, and found in one of the table-drawers a bill of sale for human beings. En route North, accompanied by James Lynch and Elisha Weaver, the Bishop stopped at Charleston, S. C. During the afternoon of the first Sunday after his arrival Bishop Wayman preached in the Zion Presbyterian Church, which at that time was the largest church edifice in Charleston, selecting as his subject "I seek my brethren." He called a meeting for Monday night to see who would join with him in organizing a church. Less than a hundred yards from where he preached that Sunday afternoon stands Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, with a membership of over three thousand.

        The California Annual Conference was organized by Bishop J. P. Campbell April 6, 1865. J. B. Sanderson and J. H. Hubbard were elected secretaries. This Conference was delimited by the General Conference of 1860 but was not formally organized until the foregoing date. Rev. T. M. D. Ward, who was present at the organization of the Conference, had served on the Pacific Coast as a missionary for twelve years.


Page 60

        Early in May, 1865, Bishop Payne visited the American Missionary Association in New York City, and consummated arrangements for the partial support of our missionaries in South Carolina. Two days later he sailed on the government steamer "Arago" for Charleston, S. C., accompanied by James A. Handy, an elder; James H. A. Johnson and T. G. Steward, licentiates. When the steamer reached Hilton Head it was made fast to the wharf and all the passengers were obliged to go to the provost-marshal for passes, and to take the oath of allegiance before being allowed to proceed further. Crowds of soldiers and civilians hastened to the steamer to look for friends and to hear whatever news might be disseminated. At this place was a rude sanctuary which had been erected by James Lynch. While en route to Charleston they came in sight of Folly, Morris, James, and Sullivan Islands. They neared Fort Wagner, Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and Castle Pinckney. Fort Sumter first felt the shock of the guns of secession. Fort Wagner was rendered memorable by the death of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the intrepid and gallant commander of the 54th regiment of Massachusetts, which was composed of colored troops.

        Thirty years to the day and the hour that the spirit of slavery forced Bishop Payne to leave Charleston, his native city, the South Carolina Annual Conference was organized. The proceedings of that body will be found in the Appendix.

        In the same year, 1865, Bishop Payne visited Savannah, Ga., which was the first American community visited by John Wesley, the great founder of Methodism. He and his brother, Charles Wesley, landed at Savannah in 1730, and he preached his first sermon on the 7th of March of the same year.

        In the month of April, 1865, while the Baltimore Annual Conference was in session, the soul-racking news was flashed throughout the world that President Lincoln had been assassinated. The Conference was appalled and dismayed. For a time it lost its poise. Tears welled up unbidden from every eye, and every heart quaked with fear and anxiety. So far as it was possible, the Conference expressed its feelings by the adoption of suitable resolutions. Touching remarks were made by the bishops and ministers.

        Other notable events occurring in the year 1865 were the


Page 61

beginning of the Salvation Army; and the death of Henry Highland Garnet, Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia, which occurred at Monrovia, the capital of said Republic, where his body was buried according to his request. The most notable event of this year was the surrender of General Lee, April 9, which ended the Civil War. Another history-making event was the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the National Constitution, December 18, abolishing slavery in the United States.

        In January, 1866, Bishop Quinn called an episcopal meeting in the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., in Wylie Street African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishops Quinn, Payne, Wayman, and Campbell were present. Bishop Wayman was chosen secretary. The object of the meeting was to consider the status of the several districts and the educational work, and to arrange for the holding of a semi-centenary of African Methodism during the year. Bishop Campbell was appointed to write an address to the colored people in the United States. An adjourned meeting was subsequently held at Philadelphia to examine the affairs of the Book Concern. Elisha Weaver, acting editor of the Christian Recorder, asked for assistance in the work of editing that paper. The bishops appointed James Lynch editor.

        This year the Ohio Annual Conference met at Chillicothe. Bishop Wayman was a visitor. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary. Among the members present were H. J. Young, John A. Warren, J. A. Shorter, Samuel Watts, and G. H. Graham. David Smith, the oldest minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, had been sent into Kentucky as a missionary. He was very successful, having brought in a number of ministers and members, and several large churches. As there was no Annual Conference in Kentucky at that time, they were received into the Ohio Annual Conference. J. A. Shorter was appointed agent for Wilberforce University. This year the Philadelphia Annual Conference met at Princeton, N. J.; the Baltimore Annual Conference at Washington, D. C.; the New York Annual Conference at New York city, John Burley acting as secretary; and the New England Annual Conference at New Bedford, Mass. A delegation from the Preachers' Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church, consisting


Page 62

of Revs. Curry, Inskip, and Woodruff, visited the New York Annual Conference. Bishop Payne also visited this Conference and met with a warm reception. In the meantime Bishop Campbell had called a meeting in Louisville to consider the condition of the work in Kentucky. In addition to Bishop Campbell, Bishops Quinn and Wayman were present. Among the ministers present were M. M. Clark, W. R. Revels, H. J. Young, and John Turner.

        During the summer of this year Bishop Wayman attended a camp-meeting near Camden, Del., held by the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was requested by the presiding elder, Rev. Henry Colclazer, to preach for them. Knowing the feelings of the Delaware white people toward colored people, the bishop hesitated to accept the invitation. The managers of the camp meeting, after a consultation among themselves, decided to request him to preach. When the announcement was made, a gang of rowdies threatened to assault him if he attempted to preach. Owing to the presence of a regiment of soldiers encamped near-by, he was enabled to preach free of interference. On April 11, Bishop Payne completed his Semi-Centenary and Retrospect of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. An affair of unusual interest was the convening at Savannah, Ga., of the second session of the South Carolina Annual Conference, the proceedings of which will be found in the Appendix.

        The fifth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met at New Orleans, April 4, 1866. A question of paramount interest before that body was lay representation. The change in the name of the Church to "The Episcopal Methodist Church" was voted, but later the Annual Conferences failed to concur. The pastoral term was extended from two to four years, though there was a strong sentiment in favor of removing the time limit entirely. William M. Wightman, Enoch M. Marvin, David S. Doggett, and Holland N. McTyeire were elected bishops. In this year a disquieting condition was created in this country and in Canada by the Fenian invasion of the latter country. The first successful ocean telegraph cable was laid.

        May 8, 1867, Bishop Payne sailed on the S.S. "Cuba" for England. Numbered among the passengers were two famous


Page 63

friends of freedom--William Lloyd Garrison and George Thompson, the noted and eloquent anti-slavery lecturer who had pleaded the cause of the enslaved in the West Indies. A committee visited William Lloyd Garrison, coming from a ship anchored opposite the S.S. "Cuba," and presented him with a purse of thirty thousand dollars, which his anti-slavery friends had raised as a reward for his labors and sufferings so that the remainder of his days might be made comfortable. By one of those singular coincidences--not always easily explained nor understood--there was among the passengers a wealthy man, who after witnessing the scene of the presentation, related that when a printer's boy, he was sent to placard the whole city of Boston in order to arouse a mob for the purpose of putting a rope around William Lloyd Garrison's neck. On May 18 the S.S. "Cuba" reached Liverpool, and Bishop Payne immediately proceeded to London. He remained there until August 18, when he left for Amsterdam to attend the Fifth General Assembly of the Evangelical Alliance. During his stay in London he visited numerous places and objects of interest and heard a number of distinguished divines, including Bishop Kingsley, of this country, the Rev. Newman Hall, Rev. William Arthur, the author of Tongues of Fire, and Dean Stanley. Among the social events which he attended was a breakfast given in honor of William Lloyd Garrison at Saint James' Hall, presided over by the Hon. John Bright, M.P. The principal speakers were the Duke of Argyll, Lord John Russell, and John Stuart Mill. Three hundred and fifty guests were present. Bishop Payne said grace.

        When Bishop Payne reached the seat of the Alliance he was amused to find the following inscription on a card containing the program of the services of the Alliance:

Introduction to the Fifth General Assembly of the Evangelical Alliance, in Amsterdam, August 18-28, 1867. Mr. Bishop Payne, Africa, lodged at Mr. Hoyeler, Burkenkant, U. C.

        Among the noted scholars in attendance were Dr. Steane, of London; Rev. Eugene Bersier, of Paris; and Professor McCosh of Ireland, who at the time was a professor in Belfast College. Subsequently Dr. McCosh came to this country and served as president of Princeton University, Princeton, N. J.


Page 64

From Amsterdam Bishop Payne went to Paris, where he spent three days attending a meeting of the Anti-slavery Conference. He was accompanied to this meeting by Rev. J. Sella Martin, a colored minister of pleasing personality, scholarly attainments, and great eloquence. On the return of Rev. Martin to this country he located at New Orleans, being in the employ of ex-Governor P. B. S. Pinchback as the editor of a weekly paper. Rev. Martin died and was buried in New Orleans. After a month's stay in Paris, Bishop Payne returned to London. The last of November he returned to Paris, where he remained until April 18, 1868. Then he journeyed to London, and after a few days went to Liverpool, from which place on the 27th he sailed for New York on the S.S. "City of Antwerp." The voyage occupied about twelve days.

        During the winter of 1866 and the early spring of 1867, Bishop Wayman made a tour through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. He visited Richmond, Va.; Warrenton, Raleigh and Charlotte, N. C.; Columbia, S. C.; Augusta, Macon, and Savannah, Ga. At the latter place the pastor in charge of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was the Rev. A. L. Stanford. Concerning him, an observation at this point is pertinent and relevant. Rev. Stanford, whose acquaintance the author formed in Mississippi in 1871, was a preacher of unusual and persuasive power. Being both magnetic and psychic, he swayed his audience at will. My opportunity to learn of these qualities was while listening to a sermon that he preached in the Methodist Episcopal Church at Meridian, Miss. Like the Rev. James Lynch, for some unknown reason, he severed his connection with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the early 70's he suddenly left Mississippi for parts unknown. In after years it was disclosed that he had settled in Liberia, West Africa, of which country he became one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, and where he died. This information was given the author when he visited Liberia in 1894.

        On his return to Baltimore Bishop Wayman visited Charleston and Columbia, S. C.; Charlotte, Hillsboro, Greensboro, and Raleigh, N. C.; Portsmouth, and Norfolk, Va. While in Charleston he was the guest of the Rev. R. H. Cain. Bishop


Page 65

Wayman had been at home but a few days when he received a letter from Bishop Payne requesting him to attend the South Carolina Annual Conference, which met that year at Wilmington, N. C. Revs. John M. Brown and Elisha Weaver visited the Conference. At that time the Conference embraced the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. It was the last session of the Conference before division. For three years its members had been sowing, reaping, planning, and praying; and I am deeply impressed that at this point a part of my task is to embalm their deeds and words in history without abridgment or modification. The proceedings of this Conference are contained in the Appendix.

        While the Conference was in session the corner-stone of a new church was laid, presumably that which is now known as Saint Stephen's African Methodist Episcopal Church. The whole Conference took part in the service. John M. Brown preached the sermon. Elisha Weaver was present as an interested spectator. On his return home Bishop Wayman was accompanied by John M. Brown, H. M. Turner, A. T. Carr, and W. H. Brown, all of whom were going to meet the Baltimore Annual Conference.

        On May 10, 1867, Bishop Wayman went to Richmond, Va., and organized the Virginia Annual Conference. W. H. Hunter, R. A. Hall, and W. H. Brown were present. The "father" of the Virginia Annual Conference was Rev. R. H. Parker. The United States Court was in session in Richmond while the Conference was going on. One day a panel of the petty jury, consisting of six white and six colored men, visited the Conference. The foreman made a speech of welcome. Could an exhibition of such interest in colored people, and friendship for them, be duplicated to-day in the capital of the once Empire State of the South? Shortly after leaving Richmond Bishop Wayman went to Philadelphia and held the Philadelphia Annual Conference. James Lynch was elected secretary. Rev. A. T. Carr, of the South Carolina Annual Conference, was a visitor. James Lynch was appointed pastor of Bethel Church, Philadelphia, but his stay was brief. At the close of the Philadelphia Annual Conference Bishop Wayman, accompanied by Revs. A. T. Carr and R. P. Gibbs, journeyed to Macon, Ga., where on May 30 he organized the Georgia Annual


Page 66

Conference. From Macon Bishop Wayman went to Tallahassee, Fla., where on June 8 he organized the Florida Annual Conference. Rev. Benjamin W. Quinn was the secretary. Revs. Charles H. Pierce and Allen Jones, formerly of Queen Ann's County, Maryland, were active and valuable factors in the organization of the Conference. En route home from Florida Bishop Wayman stopped at Columbia, S. C., and laid the corner-stone of a new church. There was a great deal of money placed in the corner-stone, which was removed by the officers of the church before the masons walled it up. But everybody did not know that fact. Some person, or persons, who saw the money placed in the corner-stone, supposing it was left there, went that night, pried out the stone and opened the box; but they found only a few papers.

        The chief event in national affairs was the Reconstruction contest between President Johnson and Congress.


Page 67

CHAPTER V
A RÉSUMÉ

        March of the Trailblazers--Lynch and Hall Southward in 1863--Other Trailblazers in the South--Encountered Great Opposition--The Ku Klux Klan--"Carpet Baggers" and "Scalawags"--White Supremacy in the South Never Challenged by Colored People--An Account of the Leaders of the Trailblazers and Their Followers--Another Class of Trailblazers.

        AT this juncture a résumé of the initial march of the trailblazers southeast, south and southwest is suggested as being proper and pertinent. The advent of Revs. James Lynch and J. D. S. Hall into South Carolina marked the beginning of the era of expansion of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the South.

        As the year 1840 marked a new era, so the year 1863 pointed to a new epoch. The institution of slavery was collapsing. Its doom was forecast by the advance of the Union armies. "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." The day of freedom's triumph was at hand. Its momentum could not be stayed. Destiny had decreed the return of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to South Carolina. May 15, 1865, when Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne proceeded to organize the South Carolina Annual Conference, a new chapter was opened in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Not a skeletonized chapter, but one filled with deeds of heroism, daring, self-sacrifice, and indomitable will, which matches the story of the Crusaders. Bishop Payne, with the two trailblazers who preceded him to South Carolina, James Lynch and J. D. S. Hall; and those who accompanied him there, J. A. Handy, James H. A. Johnson, and T. G. Steward; together with those who immediately followed them, and who went to other parts of the South--Bishop Alexander Washington Wayman, Elisha Weaver, R. H. Cain, George A. Rue, George W. Brodie, H. M. Turner, C. H. Pierce, Charles L. Bradwell, A. T. Carr, A. L. Stanford, S. B. Williams, Andrew Brown, Harry Stubbs, Samuel Drayton, Joseph Wood, W. J.


Page 68

Gaines, H. Strickland, S. B. Jones, William Bradwell, Thomas Crayton, R. Vanderhorst, C. Sampson, and Peter McLane--may be styled the trailblazers, who, fleet-footed and daring, penetrated the South Atlantic States, leaving here and there a burning torch to guide those who might follow in the same holy cause. When we take into account the trying circumstances of the times in which they acted, that they were a part of a despised and feeble people, strong only in faith and hope, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, we can, to some extent, realize how marvelous were their accomplishments in the face of unrelenting opposition, bitter persecution, and obstacles which were intended to be insurmountable. In many respects their experiences tallied with that of Paul, as set forth in 2 Corinthians 11:

In stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. . . . Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned. . . . In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers; in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

        Verily these men sowed in tears, and endured privations and sufferings which it is not possible for those of this generation to sense. They labored without thought or hope of earthly reward. No titles followed their names. They were pastors, and as such the people were wont to address them. They exacted no promises from the appointing power. They were willing to go wherever sent. They rendered cheerful and loyal obedience to their superiors, which was largely the cause of the successful progress of the work.

        Added to the many and various forms of opposition which they encountered was that of the Ku Klux Klan. The exact time when this bloody and murderous band was initiated is doubtful. Presumably it was in the year 1866. Its object was to terrorize the freedmen on the ground that it was necessary in order to maintain white supremacy. This purpose cannot justly be considered other than an excuse to conceal ulterior motives. At no time and in no section did the freedmen aspire to supremacy over the white people--not even after the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment.


Page 69

        There are some basic factors anent Reconstruction days which have not yet appeared in print. Shortly after the close of the Civil War an organization was formed among the freedmen known as the Loyal League, an organization that was initiated by Northern white men, many of whom were ex-federal officers. The objects of the League were fraternal and cooperative. It aspired to bring all the loyal elements in the South into harmonious relationship, with a view of making secure the fruits of the Civil War. The only symbol of secrecy was a grip. The usual meeting place was a church or a school house. The only oath administered was that of loyalty and obedience to the government of the United States. There was not even the dream of making reprisals on the Confederates. To the marvel of the civilized world, neither during the Civil War nor after, did the slaves or ex-slaves exhibit a spirit of rancor, hatred, or revenge toward their masters or former masters. By a general uprising of the slaves during the absence of the Confederates, followed by a massacre of their wives and children, the Civil War would have been ended much sooner than it was. A general refusal to continue to work on the part of the slaves would have had a similar effect by cutting off the supply of food from the Confederates. There is no more striking picture in human history--and it challenges supreme admiration--than that of the patient, forgiving, forbearing, toiling slaves, guarding the hearthstones and tilling the fields of their masters who, amid the stress and storm of war, were striving to rivet more firmly the shackles of their oppression. Have their virtues of forgiveness and forbearance been justly rewarded? If the answer is to be found in the curtailment of privileges, the restriction of rights; in their being made the victims of mobs and having their bodies dismembered and burned, or strangled at the end of a rope; it is, yes. Otherwise, no.

        It is not altogether improbable that the organization of the Ku Klux Klan was suggested as an offset to the Loyal League. If so, the apprehension which doubtless inspired it was wholly unfounded. Admitting for argument's sake that the ground of its organization was well-founded, and for the purpose generally stated, namely, the maintenance of white supremacy, was it necessary, in order to accomplish this, to take advantage


Page 70

of the cover of night to assassinate preachers and teachers, burn churches and school houses, and wantonly murder civilians engaged in other pursuits? However, not all the Ku-Kluxing was done on one side. In many instances, where the trail of the Ku Klux became known, it was ambushed by colored men, and the horses of numberless Ku Klux went home without their riders. Whatever may have been the justifying cause for the existence of the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction period, can the same be said for its revival in the year 1917? It seems as if an effort is being made to turn the hands of time backward. However, it is still true that whatever a people soweth that shall they reap. Furthermore, it is the inexorable logic of sequence that violence begets violence.

        Whatever might have been the degree of venality and corruption which existed during the Reconstruction period, growing out of the ascendancy of the Republican party in some of the Southern States, it was largely due to the attitude assumed by the majority of the white people throughout the South. The only elements excepted were the "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags." The first were Northerners and the second, persons of Southern birth. Among the latter were not a few persons of intelligence, character, and experience in public affairs--men of the type of ex-Governor Alcorn of Mississippi. The hatred of the Democrats for the "scalawags" was greater than it was for the "carpetbaggers." The word "scalawag" is a misnomer. The white men of the South to whom it was applied were of a flexible temperament, and disposed to make the best of the situation as it existed. They were willing to recognize the political rights of colored men guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment, and to guide and cooperate with them in the work of reconstructing the South on the basis of law, order, and respect for national authority. The Democratic element had determined not to recognize the legitimacy of the Fifteenth Amendment. Hence, when they were sought and importuned by colored men to fill public offices, as was frequently the case, they abruptly refused, asserting that they would never hold an office if it had to come to them by the votes of "niggers." By this refusal the Democrats threw away the opportunity to form an alliance with colored men which would not only have inured to the benefit of both, but would also


Page 71

have proved permanent. Against the cry of "Negro domination" is the fact that in only two of the Southern States--Mississippi and South Carolina--do the colored people outnumber the whites.

        It may be safely affirmed that the colored people do not desire to dominate the white people in any section of the United States. Cooperation is what the former desire, not domination. This is true in Church and State. It is a great pity that the bugbear of "social equality" is allowed to be dragged into circles of thought where reason and common sense ought to dominate. In fact, there is no such thing as "social equality" as a universal rule. There never has been and never will be. The right of every man to choose his companions is God-given. A consummation devoutly to be wished is the refusal of common sense to listen to the cry of "social equality" as applied to white and black peoples by political demagogues.

        Returning to the work of the trailblazers, the subject must be extended so as to include Bishop James A. Shorter, who led the forces in Tennessee, Texas, and Mississippi; Bishop J. P. Campbell, who led the forces in Arkansas; and Bishop J. M. Brown, who led the forces in Alabama. Among the trailblazers in Texas, aside from Bishop Shorter, were Johnson Reed, Richard Haywood, Samuel Carroll, John Mark, Charles B. Foster, and Charles Connor. These were the heroic spirits who traversed the plains of the Lone Star State in the days when the will of cowboys and cutthroats was a menace to law and order. They labored amid great hardships and inconveniences. Railroad facilities were very limited. The subject of religion usually provoked mockery and scoffing, both in private and public circles. Numbered among the trailblazers in Tennessee were D. E. Asbury, Basil L. Brooks, H. E. Bryant, J. W. Early, Bedford Green, Nathan Mitchem, L. N. Merry, Page Tyler, A. A. Williams, and G. L. Jackson. These formed a coterie of strong and aggressive characters. The trailblazers in Mississippi number the mystic seven--A. H. Dixon, James C. Embry, John Miller, Henry A. Jackson, Adam Jackson, Thomas W. Stringer, and Edward A. Scott. One of this number, James C. Embry, in course of time, was elevated to the bishopric. The trailblazers in Mississippi labored under an exceptional disadvantage, to wit, the opposing influence of


Page 72

Revs. James Lynch and A. L. Stanford. As Dudley E. Asbury was the scholar of the Tennessee trailblazers and James C. Embry, that of the Mississippi trailblazers, so John T. Jenifer was the scholar of the Arkansas trailblazers. His associates were L. F. Carter, Washington Hill, Reuben Johnson, John Lilly, Edward H. H. Pettigrew, R. A. Sinquefield, and William Young. The deadly malaria greatly handicapped these pioneers in their operations. The State was scantily equipped with railroads and its physical resources were poorly developed. They had to eat the bitter herbs of trials and discomforts. John T. Jenifer proved to be a leader and a conspicuous figure in the Church, and in 1912 was elected Historiographer. He was a member of the first graduating class of Wilberforce University.

        The man of scholarly attainments among the trailblazers of Alabama was Isaiah H. Welch, who was also a member of the first graduating class of Wilberforce University. The full quota of the Alabama trailblazers number the apostolic twelve. The following are their names: B. R. Bailey, F. I. Cozier, Lewis Hillery, Cain Rogers, H. Stubbs, Lazarus Gardner, T. A. Smith, T. H. Smith, G. Snowden, Prince Gardner, G. B. Taylor, and George Washington. The advance of these men was contested by the pathfinders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church led by Bishop J. J. Clinton.

        In the same year in which the South Carolina Annual Conference was organized (1865) the Louisiana Annual Conference was formed under the supervision of Bishop Campbell. The last of the trailblazers to be noted are those who were connected with this Conference. At the time the Louisiana Annual Conference was delimited, it embraced the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. Numbered among the trailblazers who labored exclusively in the State of Louisiana after the organization of that Conference, were John Turner, H. Reedy, Peter Robinson, Joseph Lloyd, and James Reece. John Turner was a stalwart and active personage in the Church for about a quarter of a century. He possessed a commanding personality and his intellectual equipment was above the average. The trailblazers throughout the South deserve a large place in the affections and gratitude of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for all time to


Page 73

come. While few of them had trained intellects, they all possessed an abundant measure of rugged common-sense, coupled with a high degree of faith and courage. They were well fitted for the stirring times in which they lived. They bequeathed to the Church of their choice a goodly heritage. Will their descendants conserve and perpetuate it?

        A deep sense of appreciation for unselfish labor would not permit me to close this chapter without making special mention of another class of trailblazers, although they were of a different race variety and engaged in a different work from that of the trailblazers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I refer to the unselfish and self-sacrificing class of men and women who followed the federal troops as they advanced southward during the Civil War and established schools among the freedmen. The first of these went out under the auspices of the American Missionary Association, closely followed by others who went out under the auspices of the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of the Home Missionary Society of the Baptist Church (North). Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga., became the chief centers of their operations. As a result of their labors Fisk University (Congregational), Central Tennessee College, now Walden College (Methodist), and Roger Williams University (Baptist), were founded in Nashville, Tenn.; while Atlanta University (Congregational), Clark University (Methodist), and the Baptist College, now Morehouse College, were established in Atlanta, Ga. These are only a part of what is now a large group of such institutions scattered throughout the South for the education of colored youth. There were also a number of combined elementary and grammar schools established in relatively small communities. It was in these communities that the teachers among the freedmen were subjected to the greatest hardships and social isolation, amounting at times to persecution. Everywhere they were taunted with the epithet, "nigger teacher." They were despised and rejected by their own race variety for no other reason than that they sought to enlighten the children of the freedmen. They not only imparted secular instruction but were active in religious work on Sunday. They were in every sense true followers of the lowly Nazarene. A few of them suffered martyrdom for the


Page 74

cause they espoused. The names of Drs. Cravath and Spence, Professors Chase and Bennett, long associated with Fisk University; Dr. John Braden, the founder and veteran president of Central Tennessee College for many years; Dr. Ware, for long years the president of Atlanta University; Dr. L. M. Dunton, who gave a half century of service in connection with Claflin College, Orangeburg, S. C., and Dr. J. S. Hill, grown gray in service as the head of the Morristown Normal and Industrial College, Morristown, Tenn., stand first and foremost in the ranks of the veteran educators of colored youth. When the roll of the world's servants of the lowly is called by the Judge of all the earth, the pioneers of education among the colored youth of the South will be heard responding, "Here am I." May the memory of their good deeds be cherished by their beneficiaries unto the remotest generation.


Page 75

CHAPTER VI
FOURTH PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1863-1868 (CONCLUDED)

        Bishop Payne Sailed from Liverpool for Home--His Mission to Secure Funds for Wilberforce University a Failure--Semi-Centenary of African Methodism--Thirteenth General Conference, Washington, D. C., May, 1868--Partial Proceedings in Appendix--An Epoch-Making Event--Southern Delegates Admitted for First Time--The "Two-Cent Money" Discontinued--A Yearly Sum of One Dollar per Member Ordered Raised--Failure of Organic Union Between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church--J. A. Shorter, T. M. D. Ward, and John M. Brown Elected Bishops--Organization of the Kentucky Annual Conference--Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment--Impeachment Proceedings Against President Johnson.

        ON April 27, 1868, Bishop Payne sailed from Liverpool on the S.S. "Antwerp" for home. He had been absent for one year. Primarily Bishop Payne's visit to England was to solicit funds for Wilberforce University. As to his success, I prefer to let him speak for himself. Immediately on disembarking at New York he went to the rooms of the American Missionary Association and held an interview with Secretary Whipple, who asked him how he had succeeded with his mission. His reply follows:

        Poorly, because I find English Christians just like American Christians; they give power only to the powerful, and wealth only to the wealthy.

        On my arrival in England, Mrs. Burr, the lady of my boarding house, said that she feared I would not succeed, and added: "If you had come just after the war, when English enthusiasm was at its height, you might have obtained something, but now I fear it is too late." Another reason may be found in the fact that when I visited John Bright he said, "England has already sent one million dollars to aid the freedmen, and America has immense resources within herself to supply the wants of her people." I also sent a letter to the Bishop of Oxford--Lord Wilberforce, the son of the great philanthropist--applying for aid. He replied that he had "spoken to the American bishops, who were attending the Pan-Anglican Congress at that time, and they told him that it was not necessary for him to extend aid to the mission, as they had means to attend to the wants


Page 76

of the freedmen;" he also added that Wilberforce University was a race school, and he was opposed to any such exclusive schools.


        With the ending of the interview with Secretary Whipple, Bishop Payne took the train for Washington to attend the General Conference, which opened the morning of the day of his arrival in New York. Despite the author's veneration for Bishop Payne, he is led to observe that he views the cause of the Bishop's financial failure from a different angle from what he did. The strain of aristocracy in his blood insisted on his seeking social favors and amenities, and the association of the nobility and the cultured, rather than going around with an open hand in the attitude of a beggar.

        The culmination of two events of more than ordinary interest to the African Methodist Episcopal Church took place in the first half of the year 1868, namely: the celebration of the Semi-Centenary, and the convening of the thirteenth General Conference. At a meeting held by the bishops in Pittsburgh, January, 1866, the following program for the celebration of the Semi-Centenary was agreed upon:

        The instructions contained in the address were generally carried out, with the result that a respectable sum of money was raised, and a feeling of Connectional pride largely developed. The Philadelphia Annual Conference raised $2,073.96; the Baltimore Annual Conference, $1,054.45; the New England Annual Conference, $57.61; the Indiana Annual Conference, $518.69; the Louisiana Annual Conference, $300; and the Missouri Annual Conference, $252. The amount raised by the New York Annual Conference is not available.

        The thirteenth General Conference, which met at Washington, D. C., in May, 1868, was composed of the bishops, all preachers who had traveled six full consecutive years, and one local preacher of four years' standing for every eight hundred lay members reported at the previous Annual Conferences. Three bishops were present at the opening--Quinn, Wayman, and Campbell. Bishop Nazrey had retired to Canada. Bishop Payne made his appearance shortly after the opening of the Conference. When the roll was called, delegates from nine Annual Conferences responded. The Conferences represented were the Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, New England, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, and California. There were also representatives from the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The status of this latter group was to be determined. They had been brought into the Church during the four years prior to May, 1868. Six Annual Conferences had been organized in the


Page 78

South during the same period. The California and Pittsburgh Annual Conferences had also been organized since the adjournment of the General Conference of 1864. In making up the roll of the delegates of the General Conference, those from California had evidently been entered. There is no record to evidence that the attendance of delegates from the South was anticipated. Unfortunately--and to an irreparable extent at that--the Minutes of this General Conference were not printed. The only known reason is that the General Book Steward, Joshua Woodlyn, did not see his way clear to print them. What parsimony! What shortsightedness! What is to be said of the bishops who tolerated such an irretrievable loss? Surely they could and should have prevented it. By so doing they would have preserved to the Church the proceedings of the most important General Conference held in its history since the first one convened. We are indebted to Bishop A. W. Wayman, Elisha Weaver, Bishop B. T. Tanner, Bishop W. J. Gaines, and J. C. Beckett for whatever information is available as to the doings of this General Conference. Bishop Tanner was one of the secretaries.

        The representatives from the South were pastors of churches which had been attached to some of the older Conferences previously mentioned. The names of but one of these groups are obtainable, those from Georgia. They were ten in number, as follows: H. M. Turner, W. J. Gaines, C. L. Bradwell, Andrew Brown, W. H. Noble, T. G. Steward, H. Stubbs, H. Strickland, and S. B. Jones. There was some opposition to the admission of the representatives from the South, except those who were connected with the Missouri Annual Conference, which at that time embraced the entire Southwest. If the General Conference had followed the constitutional rule that had been in force for fifty years, they would not have been admitted. As a solution of the problem, as well as to meet a grave emergency, William Moore, of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, moved that they be seated as delegates; and though, strictly speaking, it was a revolutionary step, suspending, as it did, one of the fundamental requirements for membership in the General Conference, it was adopted. After the vote had been taken, they were called to the altar and introduced as representatives from the South. As there were approximately


Page 79

104 itinerant ministers in the General Conference of 1864, we are safe in judging that there were probably 150 in the General Conference of 1868. It was the largest, the most imposing and representative body of colored men that had ever met at the Capital of the Nation. Among them were many of large intellectual caliber. Seven of those occupying seats as delegates were, in course of time, elevated to the bishopric--James A. Shorter, Thomas M. D. Ward, John M. Brown, Henry M. Turner, Wesley J. Gaines, Benjamin T. Tanner, and James A. Handy. The first three were elected at this General Conference. H. M. Turner was elected in 1880, W. J. Gaines and B. T. Tanner in 1888, and James A. Handy in 1892.

        Numerous measures were enacted. The "two-cent money"--that is, collecting two cents per month from every member of the Church, one half of which was used for the relief of the bishops, distressed ministers, supernumerary and superannuated preachers, and the other half to create a fund for the support of the Book Concern--was changed: and instead it was ordered that one dollar per year should be collected from each member of the Church; one fourth of which was to be used for the relief of bishops, supernumerary and superannuated preachers; one fourth to be equally divided between preachers who had not received their allowances, and the widows and orphans of deceased itinerant preachers; one fourth to Wilberforce University, and one fourth to the Book Concern. The office of presiding elder was instituted in such of the Annual Conferences as chose to adopt it. A radical change was made in the composition of the General Conference, involving both ministerial and lay delegates. Hitherto its composition had been general; henceforth it was to be particular and elective--the basis of representation to be one delegate for every seven members of an Annual Conference. Lay representation, instead of the representation of local preachers only, which had been common to the Church since its organization, was decreed. It was stipulated that two lay delegates should be elected to represent each Annual Conference, to be chosen by an Electoral College, which was to function according to rules enacted for its government. Three new elements were thus presented--an elective General Conference, lay representation, and the Electoral College. The


Page 80

Conference annulled an old rule which forbade the ministers of the Connection from writing and publishing anything without permission.

        The Conference was visited by a delegation from the American Unitarian Association for the purpose of tendering assistance to our educational work. The question of organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church again came to the fore. At the General Conference of 1864 it was agreed to submit the question of union to a vote of the Quarterly and Annual Conferences of the two Churches, and report the result of the same to their respective General Conferences to be held in 1868. It was found that this had been done, and while the Conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had voted in favor of it, those of our Church had voted against it. It was proposed by our General Conference to continue negotiations, but upon a different basis. To this proposition the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church dissented, as evidenced by the adoption of the following preamble and resolution:

        Whereas this General Conference has been officially informed by a committee from the African Methodist Episcopal Church that they are not prepared to unite with us on the plan proposed by the Convention of the two Connections held in 1864 and submitted to the Conferences for ratification; and

        Whereas they have asked us to unite with them for the purpose of uniting on some other plan; and

        Whereas our people, in adopting the plan proposed by the aforesaid conventions, did it in good faith, and did not authorize us to offer or accept any other plan; therefore,

        Resolved, That we deem it inexpedient to meet with them according to their request.


        A very significant law was passed at this General Conference relative to incorporated churches. It was as follows:

Should any member or members of our incorporated churches refuse to be governed by the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, by which they were made members of the said incorporation, he or they shall be called before the society, or a select number, as per Discipline; and if found guilty of insubordination, and not retracting, they shall be expelled for disobedience to the order and Discipline of the said Church. And further, should any class leader or steward intimate that he adheres to the charter and discards the law of the Church, as set forth in the Discipline, the preacher in charge shall remove
Page 81

such leader or steward at once. And should any local elder, deacon, or preacher favor by word, act, or influence such insubordination, he shall be called before a committee, as per Discipline; and, if found guilty, suspended from all official standing in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        A board of women to be known as the Board of Stewardesses was created. A new general office was created--Corresponding Secretary of Missions. James A. Shorter, Thomas M. D. Ward, and John M. Brown were elected bishops and ordained May 25. Bishop Payne preached the ordination sermon. Joshua Woodlyn was elected Book Steward; James A. Handy, Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society; B. T. Tanner was chosen Editor of the Christian Recorder by acclamation.

        The First Episcopal District was composed of the Philadelphia, New York, and the New England Annual Conferences, Bishop Campbell presiding; the second was composed of the Baltimore, Virginia, and North Carolina Annual Conferences, Bishop Wayman presiding; the third was composed of the Pittsburgh, Ohio, and Kentucky Annual Conferences, Bishop Payne presiding; the fourth was composed of the Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri Annual Conferences, Bishop Quinn presiding; the fifth was composed of the Annual Conferences of the Southwest, including the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, Bishop Shorter presiding; the sixth was composed of the Annual Conferences of the Pacific Coast, Bishop Ward presiding; the seventh was composed of the South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama Annual Conferences, Bishop Brown presiding.

        During the Conference Bishop Payne made a statement touching his mission to Europe and its pecuniary results. A partial report of the proceedings of this General Conference (1868) will be found in the Appendix.

        In January, 1868, Bishop Wayman, accompanied by B. T. Tanner, started on a second tour through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. He met the Georgia Annual Conference at Macon, the South Carolina Annual Conference at Columbia, and the Virginia Annual Conference at Richmond. In April, 1868, the new Ebenezer Church in Baltimore was dedicated. The Baltimore Annual Conference for this year


Page 82

was held there. In September, Bishops Payne, Campbell, and Shorter organized the Kentucky Annual Conference in Louisville.

        The fifteenth delegated General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church convened at Chicago, Illinois, in May, 1868. Fifty-five Annual Conferences were represented by 231 delegates. The tenth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church assembled in Washington, D. C., on May 6, 1868, with 105 delegates in attendance. The name of the presiding officer was changed from superintendent to bishop. There were four superintendents present. During this session a committee was appointed to draft proposals on union with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The report of the committee follows:

To the Bishops and Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference:

        We are ready to enter into arrangements by which to affiliate on the basis of equality, and to become one and inseparable now and forever, on the condition of full equality with the most favored of the Church. We desire the further stipulation that a sufficient number of those whom we may select to exercise the episcopal oversight over the colored element of the body may be set apart to that office, on the basis of perfect equality with all other bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church; as we have practically demonstrated that lay representation, especially in the law-making department of the Church, is at once sound, safe, and productive of harmony among the people. We hope that if at all compatible with the views of religious progress, you will adopt the same as the rule of the Church.

J. J. MOORE, Chairman.

J. N. GLOUSTER, Secretary.


        In national affairs two major events are to be noted, namely: the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, investing the colored people with civil rights; and the conducting of impeachment proceedings in Congress against President Johnson. The trial resulted in his acquittal.


Page 83

CHAPTER VII
FIFTH PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1868-1872

        Meeting of Annual Conferences--Second Session of the Georgia Annual Conference--Activities of T. G. Steward--North Carolina Annual Conference Organized at Greensboro--E. D. Bassett, United States Minister to Haiti--Ex-Governor Roberts of Liberia--Council of Bishops at Cincinnati--Activities of Bishop Wayman--Hiram H. Revels Admitted to the United States Senate from Mississippi--Thomas H. Jackson, John T. Jenifer, and Isaiah H. Welch, First Graduates of Wilberforce University--Council of Bishops at Columbus, Ohio--Organization of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church In America--W. H. Miles and R. H. Vanderhorst Elected Bishops.

        IN 1868 the Philadelphia Annual Conference met at Wilmington, Del., for the first time, Bishop Wayman presiding. Bishops Campbell and Ward were present, both of whom preached during the session. Bishop Ward was invited to preach at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church at night, but declined on account of throat trouble. Bishop Campbell filled this appointment. Bishop Brown preached for the Unitarians. A distinguished visitor was William Lloyd Garrison, a noted abolitionist. He made an eloquent address, referring to the past history of the colored people and what had been done for them. He said that as they were now free, they must stand on their own feet. Dr. D. P. Seaton was transferred to Wilmington, N. C. Dr. Seaton's career in the ministry was long and eventful. The presumption is that he was the first colored American to visit the Holy Land. His activities were varied. He was not only a minister but a physician, and a powerful factor in certain fraternal organizations. His works will not soon be forgotten.

        The New York Annual Conference met at Newark, N. J., Bishop Wayman presiding. Bishops Campbell and Ward were associate bishops. The Conference met in a new church, which was dedicated during the session. R. F. Wayman was the pastor. A delegation of ministers from the Newark Preachers' Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church brought fraternal


Page 84

greetings. The delegation consisted of Drs. Crane, Porter, and Freeman. Theodore Gould was transferred to this Conference to succeed Joshua Woodlyn at Fleet Street Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. Theodore Gould, along with many others, deserves special mention. His long and eventful career has been characterized by great usefulness and activity. He was assistant to Dr. H. M. Turner when the latter was Manager of the Book Concern. When Dr. Turner retired from the position of Manager in 1880, Rev. Gould was elected his successor. He held the title of D.D. from Wilberforce University.

        On February 6, 1869, the second session of the Georgia Annual Conference was held in Columbus. Bishop J. M. Brown presided. It was at this Conference that two representatives from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were introduced and made some very interesting remarks. It was claimed that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, proposed to carry out in good faith the terms of amity and alliance agreed upon with our Church, by the General Conference of their Church in New Orleans, in 1866. During subsequent remarks it was learned that one of the representatives, Rev. James Evans, was the chairman of the committee appointed by that General Conference on the condition of the colored people. It was also elicited that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, intended to organize an independent colored body in connection with themselves. Co-operation and friendship were pledged to us, but with caution, as was evidenced by the expression, "Only while we were engaged in our one work." This had reference to politics. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was regarded as a politico-ecclesiastical organization in sympathy with the North. This opinion was largely shared by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This, however, was a mistake. While the African Methodist Episcopal Church believed fully in the freedom of the race and appreciated those who brought about that freedom, it was not, and is not now, a political Church. It is quite possible that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, already felt at that early date the serious transition which must take place with the formation of independent colored churches. Hence, it was deemed advisable for that Church to retain as many of the colored people as possible, which was clearly indicated by


Page 85

the utterances on that subject by the General Conference of 1866.

        At this session of the Georgia Annual Conference, nineteen ministers were admitted into full membership and ordained deacons. Among them were S. H. Robertson, Daniel Brown, Lawrence Thomas, and Daniel McGhee, whose names in this day are frequently referred to. Education absorbed much of the attention of the Conference. Support was pledged to Wilberforce University, the only school of note of which we could then boast. Ministerial education was warmly urged in an able sermon by H. M. Turner. T. G. Steward addressed the Conference on the "Rise and Progress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia."

        The career of T. G. Steward demands more than passing notice. He first came into the fore in May, 1865, as a missionary to the freedmen of the South, being one of the three who accompanied Bishop Payne to South Carolina. He built the church at Macon, Ga., which bears his name, "Steward Chapel." He was pastor of the Metropolitan Church in Washington, D. C. He also served as a Chaplain in the United States Army. He is the author of several books, including Genesis Reread. He was the president of the Freedmen's Savings Bank, Macon, Ga., in 1869. In the same year he published a Sunday-school paper called The Sling and Stone, which the Georgia Annual Conference adopted and promised to help in sustaining.

        In March of 1869, the first session of the North Carolina Annual Conference assembled at Greensboro under the presidency of Bishop Wayman. S. B. Williams was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by W. H. Bishop. Joshua Woodlyn, General Book Steward, was among the visitors. He had a powerful and commanding physique, and his voice was of such volume and his gestures so striking as to gain for him the sobriquet of the "Swamp Angel."

        In April of 1869, the Virginia Annual Conference convened in Norfolk. W. D. W. Schureman was elected secretary and W. B. Derrick, assistant. R. J. Gassaway, J. E. W. Moore, and G. W. Pinchard were admitted on trial. John Lewis and Cato L. Dailey were continued on trial. W. H. Smith, Thomas Moore, Thomas W. F. Williams, Matthew Marshall, Aaron Pindel, and Jacklin Strange were admitted into full connection.


Page 86

W. D. W. Schureman was a remarkable pulpiteer. In fact, he was in a class by himself. While he did not possess scholarly attainments, he was invested with a large amount of native ability. This was especially true of his power of imagination and his ability to use figures and symbols of speech. W. B. Derrick, a native of Antigua, one of the British West India Islands, was a precocious youth, and in early life gave evidence of gaining prominence as an orator. He was happy and adroit in framing climaxes, which enabled him to arouse enthusiasm among his hearers at the close of his addresses. In 1890, on the resignation of Rev. J. M. Townsend as Secretary of Missions, he was chosen by the Council of Bishops as his successor. This office he held until May, 1896, when at the General Conference held at Wilmington, N. C., he was elected to the bishopric. The Rev. Jacklin Strange gained distinction for continuous connection as a member of the Virginia Annual Conference from the time of his admission in 1867 until his death on February 20, 1922--a period of fifty-five years.

        On April 29, 1869, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Frederick City, which was the first time that it had met in that part of Maryland. This being the first instance in which a body of colored ministers had met in Frederick City, their presence excited a degree of interest bordering on the curious. It was humorously reported that a colored man in referring to them remarked, "They must be white men with black skins." J. A. Handy preached the annual sermon. Richard Govens, P. M. Onley, Shadrach Jones, and Joshua H. Hughes were admitted on trial. N. B. Sterrett, A. Jones, L. Benson, and J. H. Sliner were continued on trial. The services on Sunday were held in the City Hall, where sermons were preached by A. L. Stanford and J. A. Handy. The missionary sermon was preached by J. R. V. Thomas. One of the remarkable features connected with the career of N. B. Sterrett is that in 1920 he was still in the active ministry, serving as a Presiding Elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference. His death occurred on August 27, 1921.

        At the session of the Baltimore Annual Conference (1869) Joshua Woodlyn resigned his position as General Book Steward, and A. L. Stanford was elected in his place.


Page 87

        In May, 1869, the Philadelphia Annual Conference met in Bethel Church, Philadelphia. The presiding officer, Bishop Campbell, was assisted by Bishops Wayman and Shorter. The interest of the Conference was greatly augmented by the visit of ex-President Roberts of Liberia, West Africa; and E. D. Bassett, who had been appointed United States Minister to Haiti. He was the first colored man to be appointed to a diplomatic position. He and ex-President Roberts both made addresses. Responses were made by H. A. Johnson and Frisbie J. Cooper. A reference to ex-President Roberts will doubtless prove both interesting and informing. His full name was Joseph Jenkins Roberts. He is said to have been a trader in the early part of his career. According to the best sources of information he was an octoroon. In 1839 he was appointed to command a military force of three hundred Liberians in an expedition against a ferocious chief by the name of Gotora. The latter, with seven hundred men, attacked the little Liberian station of Heddington on the Saint Paul's River. The Liberian force, three hundred in number, was placed under General Roberts' command. Gotora and his followers were speedily routed. On the death of Governor Buchanan, September 3, 1841, General Roberts succeeded him in the governorship, and was the first colored man to rule Liberia. He was a native of Virginia and was born in 1809. He went to Liberia in 1829. While he was a trader, he developed very friendly relations with several native chiefs. Entering the Liberian Militia, he rose rapidly to a position of command. His success in the armed forces marked him out very naturally as the leading man of the Colony in succession to Governor Buchanan. He took up the reins of office as soon as the news reached Monrovia of Governor Buchanan's death, and later on was confirmed in the position of Governor by the American Colonization Society. He held the position until the first Tuesday in October, 1847, when he was elected the first President of the Republic of Liberia. He was inaugurated as President for a term of two years on January 3, 1848. In May, 1850, he was elected for a second term; in 1852, for a third term; and in 1854, for a fourth term, concluding his presidency, for the time being, December 31, 1856. On January 1, 1872, he was recalled to the presidency, and served his country in that


Page 88

capacity until 1876. He then refused re-election on the ground of age and enfeebled health. He died on February 21, 1876, two months after leaving the presidential chair, from the effects of a chill, caused by exposure in an awful downpour of rain, just after attending the funeral of a colleague. He was succeeded in the presidency by James Sprigg Payne. In 1847, President Roberts visited England, France, Belgium, Holland, and Berlin. While in England, he was granted the gracious privilege of an interview with Queen Victoria. In Belgium he received a most cordial welcome from Leopold I. In 1852 he made a second trip to Europe and in 1854, a third visit.

        On Sunday, May 10, 1869, by request of Bishop Campbell, Bishop Wayman dedicated the new church at Media, Pa. This year the New York Annual Conference met at Albany, the capital of the State. Bishop Campbell presided. Elisha Weaver was elected secretary. Bishop Wayman was in attendance. The annual sermon was preached by N. H. Turpin. On June 2, 1869, James A. Handy and Mrs. Rachel S. Trives were united in marriage in Bethel Church, Baltimore. On Sunday, June 20, 1869, Bishops Campbell and Wayman dedicated a new church at Pottsville, Pa. J. H. Rhoads was the pastor. Dr. D. P. Seaton was present. In June, 1869, an adjourned meeting of the Council of Bishops was held in Cincinnati. On Sunday morning, August 1, 1869, Bishop Wayman dedicated the new Pisgah Chapel in Washington, D. C. Further activities of Bishop Wayman to be noted at this time are as follows: Sunday, October 11, 1869, the laying of the cornerstone of the new Saint John's Chapel on Tessier Street, Baltimore, John J. Herbert, pastor; November 28, 1869, dedication of the new Union Bethel Church in Baltimore City, F. M. Sluby, pastor (owing to bad management this church has since gone out of our hands); Sunday, December 26, 1869, the re-opening of Saint John's Chapel on Butte Street, Norfolk, Va., which had been remodeled by J. D. S. Hall. This was followed by the dedication of a church at Greenville, Va., of which Jacklin Strange was the pastor.

        On March 4, 1869, General Ulysses S. Grant was inaugurated President of the United States. Other notable events of this year were the completion of the Pacific Railway and the official opening of the Suez Canal.


Page 89

        On January 28, 1870, the Georgia Annual Conference was opened in Americus. Bishop J. M. Brown occupied the chair. J. W. Randolph was secretary; T. G. Steward, recording secretary. There were six presiding elder districts. Among those admitted into the itinerancy were S. W. Drayton, George Christburg, Andrew Lowe, J. M. Cargyle, and E. P. Holmes. There was an effort made to have a branch of the Book Concern located in Atlanta. Sixteen ministers were ordained deacons. Fourteen were ordained local deacons, 17 were ordained elders. C. L. Bradwell was one of the number. Thirty-four licentiates were admitted. Fifteen were recognized in a local capacity.

        On February 25, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was admitted to the United States Senate from Mississippi, being the first colored man elected to that august body. Considerable excitement was in evidence for one or two days before his admission. An attempt was made to delay his admission by having his credentials referred to the Committee on Judiciary, with instructions to inquire whether he had been a citizen of the United States long enough to entitle him to be a senator. That motion having failed, Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, moved that he be sworn in. Senator Trumbull, of Illinois, stated that such a motion was unnecessary, for it always followed that when the Senate refused to send the credentials of a senator-elect to the Committee on Credentials, he was sworn in. As Senator Saulsbury, of Delaware, had made objections, Vice-President Colfax ordered the calling of the roll. When the result was announced, there were forty-eight yeas and nine nays. Mr. Revels was then sworn in. He was conducted in front of the Vice-President by Senator Wilson. On March 7, 1870, Senator Revels delivered a lecture in Bethel Church, Baltimore, to a large congregation.

        The Virginia Annual Conference met this year at Portsmouth, Va. W. D. W. Schureman was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by John H. Offer. J. M. Morris, L. W. Lee, Robert Davis and John H. Reddick were admitted on trial; Robert Armstead, C. L. Dailey, Shadrach Jones, and John B. Lewis were admitted into full connection. The missionary sermon was preached by I. J. Hill. J. H. A. Johnson was transferred to the Baltimore Annual Conference. It will


Page 90

be remembered that Rev. Johnson was one of the three missionaries who accompanied Bishop Payne to Charleston, S. C., in 1865. The presumption prevails that on account of his brief stay in the South, he failed to adapt himself to the conditions then existing. He was of a phlegmatic temperament, lacked sociability, and was studious and thoughtful. He was of scholarly attainments and very proficient in secretarial work. He established a reputation for uprightness of character worthy of emulation.

        Hagerstown, Md., was the seat of the Baltimore Annual Conference for this year. J. R. V. Thomas was elected secretary. D. W. Moore preached the annual sermon. Bishop Campbell was among the visitors. J. C. Waters was received and elected to deacons' orders, and transferred to the Kentucky Annual Conference. Thomas W. Henry informed the Conference that Bishop Campbell's father, Rev. Anthony Campbell, was among the first colored ministers that had charge of the church in Hagerstown.

        The Philadelphia Annual Conference met this year at Trenton, N. J. Bishop Campbell presided. Bishops Wayman and Brown were among the visitors. The Bridge Street Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., entertained the session of the New York Annual Conference which met this year. Bishop Campbell presided. A. C. Crippin was the secretary. On Sunday, June 19, 1870, Bishop Wayman, assisted by W. D. W. Schureman, dedicated a new church at Suffolk, Va. On June 28, 1870, Wilberforce University sent forth its first graduates--Thomas H. Jackson, John T. Jenifer, and Isaiah H. Welch. The Council of Bishops met this year at Columbus, Ohio. Bishops Quinn, Payne, Campbell, Shorter, and Brown were present. On July 8, in Philadelphia, Bishop Wayman's only sister departed this life. On December 15, 1870, the North Carolina Annual Conference met at Newbern, N. C. This was its second annual session. S. B. Williams was chosen secretary. G. W. Brodie preached the annual sermon. Among the visitors was Henry J. Young of the Kentucky Annual Conference.

        The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met at Memphis, Tenn., in 1870. Many important measures were passed upon favorably. The episcopal veto, the war claim of the Publishing House, the authorization of the


Page 91

publication of the Southern Monthly Magazine, and financial provision for the printing of a new edition of the Hymn and Tune Book, were among the measures affirmatively considered. One bishop was elected--Rev. John Christian Keener, of the Louisiana Annual Conference.

        In 1866, of the 207,766 colored members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, reported prior to that date, but 78,742 remained. This decrease was chiefly due to the operations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Those who clung to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were set off into circuits, districts, and Annual Conferences. At their request they were constituted an independent body under a name of their own choosing, "The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America." This was done in Jackson, Tenn., December 18, 1870. W. H. Miles and R. H. Vanderhorst were elected bishops.

        The Methodist Episcopal Church sustained the loss of two of its chief pastors. Bishop Edward Thomson departed this life at Wheeling, W. Va., on March 22, 1870. At the time of his election he was the editor of the Christian Advocate. Within less than one month thereafter, April 6, occurred the death of Bishop Calvin Kingsley, at Beirut, Syria. He was the editor of the Western Christian Advocate at the time of his election to the bishopric.

        The chief event transpiring in the nation was the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In foreign circles the chief events were: the declaration of war by France against Prussia; the defeat of France, Napoleon III deposed, and the French Republic proclaimed; the German Empire declared; Amadeus, Duke of Aosta, son of Victor Emanuel, elected King of Spain; the Papal States annexed to Italy; and the Mont Cenis tunnel completed.


Page 92

CHAPTER VIII
FIFTH PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1868-1872 (CONCLUDED)

        Meeting of Annual Conferences--J. F. A. Sisson, a White Man, Joined the Georgia Annual Conference--Robert C. Delarge and Robert Brown Elliott Elected Members of Congress from South Carolina--Annual Conference Sessions--Fourteenth General Conference, Nashville, Tenn., May, 1872--John Turner--Followers of the Trailblazers--Augustus R. Green--Other Followers of the Trailblazers--Communication from the Bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church--Bishop Quinn Given a Supernumerary Relation--Organization of the Financial Department--R. H. Cain's Resolution on Civil Rights--Report on Church Union--Death of Robert Jackson, Lay Delegate from the New York Annual Conference.

        THE Georgia Annual Conference met in Atlanta on January 14, 1871. Bishop J. M. Brown, who was not able to reach the Conference in time to open it, telegraphed the Conference to proceed to business. Andrew Brown was elected chairman pro tem. T. G. Steward was chosen secretary, with S. H. Robertson as his assistant. The arrival of Bishop Brown was followed by that of Bishop James A. Shorter, Revs. B. T. Tanner, and Henry J. Young, of Philadelphia. A long list of applicants were admitted on trial. Eighteen ministers were ordained itinerant deacons and nine were ordained local deacons. B. T. Tanner preached the ordination sermon. Henry Strickland rendered yeoman service in Savannah. He completed the church-building known as Saint Philip's which was begun by A. L. Stanford, and saved our congregation in that city. A Mrs. Sarah Marshall paid the entire expense of the roof, which amounted to more than one thousand dollars. Nelson Beacham, Fortune Robinson, Washington Benjamin, and Eli Kimball were numbered among those who had departed this life. What immediately follows is taken from Bishop Gaines' History of African Methodism in the South.

It was intimated that the reports of the Annual Conferences in the past were too meager in detail to give a correct idea of the Conference doings; it was also gently hinted that the secretary in the future
Page 93

might be more copious in his reports, to the advantage of the Church. The hint was well taken, it seems, and acted upon. There is no doubt that the want of accurate data concerning our Church work, as a whole, is largely due to the brief and often unsatisfactory way of writing up the Minutes of the various Conferences; and that the history of our Church must lose much of interest, and thus suffer proportionately by too great brevity. Brevity may be the "soul of wit," but it is not that of history, and even prolixity may be better endured when important matters are before us and we desire positive and complete information concerning every detail, such as only full, approved Minutes can give.

        Fourteen ministers were ordained elders. Among them was J. F. A. Sisson, a white man, who subsequently went to Arkansas and the Indian Territory, and continued a faithful servant of the Church until called to his heavenly reward. He was a delegate to the General Conferences of 1876, 1880, and 1884. Macon was selected as the place for the meeting of the Electoral College. Steps were taken to organize a Home and Foreign Missionary Society.

        In April, 1871, the Baltimore Annual Conference met for the first time east of the Chesapeake Bay. It met at Easton, Maryland, Bishop Wayman presiding. J. H. A. Johnson was elected secretary. Bishop Brown was among the visitors, and preached in the City Hall on Sunday with great effectiveness. J. R. V. Thomas was transferred to the Louisiana Annual Conference, and John F. Lane to the Virginia Annual Conference. Dr. W. R. Revels was re-appointed to Bethel Church and James A. Handy to Ebenezer Church, Baltimore, respectively. The Virginia Annual Conference met this spring at Staunton, Va. This year the Philadelphia Annual Conference convened in Union Church, Philadelphia, Pa. Bishop Campbell presided. The Conference was honored with the presence of Bishop Quinn. During the year Bishop Payne visited a number of churches in Western Pennsylvania. In the autumn of this year, A. L. Stanford, who was the General Book Steward, left the Book Concern without any notice and went to Mississippi. At Portsmouth, Va., John Lane gained a great victory in the court in favor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, when an attempt was made to eject him as pastor. All of the Annual Conferences elected delegates to the General Conference, which was to meet the following year.


Page 94

        In 1872, Robert C. Delarge and Robert Brown Elliott were elected members of Congress from South Carolina. The latter served two terms. Benjamin S. Turner was elected a member of Congress from Alabama--Selma District--and Isaiah T. Walls from Florida. J. Milton Turner, of Missouri, was appointed minister to Liberia, which gave him the distinction of being the second colored man to hold a diplomatic position.

        On January 5, 1872, the Georgia Annual Conference assembled for the second time in Savannah. Bishop Brown presided. The secretaries were J. F. A. Sisson, J. W. Randolph, statistical; and F. J. Peck, recording. The visitors included some ministers from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Rev. Elisha Hathaway, of Bristol, R. I., a minister of the Christian Convention, who had within one year donated $59,000 for the elevation of the freedmen. In his address he stated that he had known both extreme poverty and abundant riches, and that he felt himself constantly made spiritually and financially richer by giving of his substance to the poor, thereby lending to the Lord. The committee on admission reported favorably the names of 48 persons; 16 were recommended for ordination as itinerant deacons; 7 were recommended for ordination as itinerant elders, and one as a local elder. The Conference had 180 full members and 48 probationers, which, it was claimed, entitled it to 32 delegates to the ensuing General Conference. H. M. Turner requested the Bishop and Conference to allow him to retire from the office and work of presiding elder. The literary reports were full of interest. The one upon denominations was especially potent, as it breathed a spirit of Christian brotherhood, which alone can unite all the kingdoms of this earth under the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. The report of the Committee on the State of the Country closed with this trenchant observation:

A free press, freedom of speech, freedom of educational advantages and religious privileges, applicable to all alike, without reference to race, color, or previous condition, will cause each bosom to thrill with rapturous joy.

        In March, 1872, two Annual Conferences were in session at the same time in Baltimore--the Baltimore and the Washington Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The


Page 95

former, presided over by Bishop Simpson, was composed of white ministers; the latter, presided over by Bishop Janes, was composed of colored ministers. The Virginia Annual Conference met in Richmond, Va. W. B. Derrick was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by J. B. Hamilton. Among the visitors were Revs. B. T. Tanner and H. J. Young, the former representing the Book Concern and the latter, Wilberforce University.

        The Baltimore Annual Conference met in Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C. James H. A. Johnson and J. H. W. Burley were secretaries. The annual sermon was preached by Dr. W. R. Revels and the missionary sermon by R. A. Hall. M. F. Sluby was received by transfer from the North Carolina Annual Conference, and W. H. Brown from the South Carolina Annual Conference. An unusual event was a visit to the President of the United States. At the appointed time the Conference marched in a body to the White House. President Grant was introduced by Mr. James L. Thomas to Rev. James A. Handy, who introduced the bishop and Conference to the President. The address of felicitation was read by James H. A. Johnson.

        The assembling of the General Conference of 1872 was invested with unusual interest and significance. It was the first time that it had met on Southern soil proper, and was the third time that it had met on former slave territory. Before noting the doings of this General Conference, it is fitting that I should attempt to delineate the character and equipment of the most conspicuous and active of the followers of the trailblazers. Added to this is the fact that the twelve years elapsing between 1860 and 1872 not only witnessed the most momentous and stirring events in the history of the nation, within the nation, but were prolific of events of world dimension.

        The Civil War, with its tremendous and far-reaching results, had been written large into our domestic history. Slavery, "the sum of all villanies"--thus described by John Wesley, the founder and apostle of Methodism--had been washed away in a sea of blood. Retributive and unerring justice had required that for every drop of blood which had been drawn by the lash from the back of a slave the same should be


Page 96

paid for in kind and degree by those who were responsible therefor. The domain of universal freedom had been enlarged, and henceforth the Stars and Stripes were indeed and in truth to wave "o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

        The General Conference of 1860 was composed of 3 bishops, 73 itinerant and 34 local ministers. Total, 107. At that time the operations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church were confined to the regions east of the Mississippi River, extending southward to include Maryland and the District of Columbia. Saint Louis was the only point occupied west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains. Five of the delegates who were in the General Conference of 1860 subsequently were elevated to the bishopric--A. W. Wayman, J. P. Campbell, J. A. Shorter, J. M. Brown, and T. M. D. Ward. Their character and equipment will be noted later on. Two other members of this General Conference, Revs. Elisha Weaver and Theodore Gould, in course of time were elected General Officers. Both filled the same position--Manager of the Book Concern; the former was elected in 1868, and the latter in 1880. Dr. Gould, whose remarkable career has already been commented on, was licensed to preach in 1853. He was ordained a deacon by Bishop William Paul Quinn in 1859, and by the same bishop was ordained an elder in 1862. His active ministry covered a period of about 65 years. He rendered effective service in the Philadelphia, New England, and New York Annual Conferences. He was manager of the Book Concern from 1880 to 1884. He died in Philadelphia in 1920, and was buried near Gouldtown, N. J., the place of his birth. At the time of his death he was the only surviving member of the General Conference of 1860. Surely his steps were ordered of the Lord. Of the 167 delegates who were in attendance at the General Conference of 1860, only 11 were members of the General Conference of 1872--William Paul Quinn, Daniel A. Payne, A. W. Wayman, J. P. Campbell, J. A. Shorter, J. M. Brown, T. M. D. Ward, J. J. Herbert, Deaton Dorrell, Theodore Gould, and John Turner. Bishop Willis Nazrey, who was a member of the General Conference of 1860, was connected with the British Methodist Episcopal Church in 1872.

        Rev. John Turner possessed a commanding personality, and in his latter days was quite patriarchal in appearance. His


Page 97

tall, well-shaped form, and his long white hair and long-flowing beard gave him a mark of distinction. It is known that he was a member of the General Conferences of 1872 and 1876. Presumably he was a member of the General Conferences of 1864 and 1868. His ministerial labors were confined to the Missouri Annual Conference. For some reason, after an eventful and useful career in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, he connected himself with the Protestant Episcopal Church and ended his earthly career while in its service.

        Rev. William Paul Quinn was the trailblazer west of the Allegheny Mountains. Among his followers were Charles H. Peters, Solomon H. Thompson, William Newman, Edward D. Davis, William Morgan, John Ridgeway, Jeremiah Lewis, Grafton H. Graham, James A. Shorter, Augustus R. Green, Edward Epps, John Gibbons, Levin Gross, S. T. Jones, John A. Warren, John Tibbs, Nelson H. Turpin, and Samuel Watts, who labored in Ohio.

        Willis R. Revels, William J. Davis, Thomas M. D. Ward, Levi W. Bass, Austin Woodford, William Jackson, W. A. Dove, James Curtis, Turner W. Roberts, Richard Bridges, Frederick Myers, Daniel Winslow, Charles Burch, W. C. Trevan, æneas McIntosh, and John B. Dawson were the chief toilers in Indiana.

        J. W. Early, John Turner, Charles C. Doughty, B. L. Brooks, Willis Miles, and Jacob Norago followed the trailblazers in Missouri.

        It cannot be said that any of these were scholars in the technical sense of that term. Among the laborers in Ohio, James A. Shorter, Augustus R. Green, Grafton H. Graham, John A. Warren, and S. T. Jones led in native and acquired ability. Grafton H. Graham developed pulpit ability beyond any of his compeers. He was a born gentleman, tender, smooth, and suave, and he had an admirable physique. Though he lived to a ripe old age, when the time for his retirement came, a congregation at Franklin, Ohio, consented to take him as pastor, where he continued in active service until the close of his earthly career. The character of Augustus R. Green may be termed kaleidoscopic. Not that he lacked force, but because of his diversity of gifts. He was a preacher, parliamentarian, and debater. In a forensic struggle he was a foeman worthy


Page 98

of any man's steel. He was keen of apprehension, of dogged determination and unyielding persistency. He labored for some time in Canada. In the General Conference of 1856 he was a member of the Committee on Canadian Separation, and was also a member of the Committee on Slavery.

        Among the followers of the trailblazers in Indiana who merit preeminence may be named Willis R. Revels, Thomas M. D. Ward, W. A. Dove, Charles Burch, W. C. Trevan, æneas McIntosh, and John B. Dawson. By reason of his superior intellectual training, Willis R. Revels was in advance of any of his compeers. He was both a preacher and a physician. He pastored many important charges, including Bethel Church, in Baltimore. He was a brother of Hiram R. Revels, United States Senator from Mississippi. The equipment and activities of T. M. D. Ward appear elsewhere in this volume. W. A. Dove was a very popular preacher and a great itinerant. He was much sought after on special occasions, such as revivals, church anniversaries, and camp meetings. W. C. Trevan, æneas McIntosh, J. B. Dawson, and Charles Burch were leaders of their class. The last of this group rendered efficient service in organizing and developing our work in Louisiana.

        Of those who followed the trailblazers in Missouri, the names of J. W. Early, John Turner, and Basil L. Brooks stand out prominently. Rev. Brooks did not render continuous service in Missouri, for he was in the organization of the Tennessee Annual Conference. He was a member of the General Conferences of 1872 and 1876. The character and equipment of Revs. Early and Turner have already been noted.

        A great deal of constructive work marked the period between 1840 and 1860. Bishop Quinn was the hero of that epoch. By his splendid achievements during the years 1840-1844 he made his election to the bishopric by the General Conference of the latter year a necessity.

        The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which convened in Nashville, Tenn., May, 1872, was the fourteenth and the first delegated General Conference. It was composed of 7 bishops, 155 ministerial and 33 lay delegates. Total, 195. The general officers numbered 2: B. T. Tanner, Editor of the Christian Recorder; and James A. Handy, Corresponding Secretary of the Parent Home and Foreign


Page 99

Missionary Society. The session lasted for nineteen days. J. H. A. Johnson, of the Baltimore Annual Conference, was elected secretary; B. W. Arnett, of the Ohio Annual Conference, assistant secretary; and J. F. A. Sisson, of the Georgia Annual Conference, recording secretary. Bishop A. W. Wayman preached the Quadrennial Sermon. The sermon appears in full in the Minutes. Arrangements were made for the publication of a tri-weekly issue of the Christian Recorder.

        Greetings were received from the faculties of Fisk University and Central Tennessee College. The Indiana Annual Conference presented a petition asking that that Conference be divided.

        The following communication was presented from the Bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America:

To the Bishops and Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, assembled in General Conference at Nashville, Tenn., May, 1872:

        This comes greeting your honorable body, and hoping that the blessings of Almighty God may attend you, and that you may have a pleasant session. Dear Brethren and Sirs, this being the first session of your General Conference since we effected our separate organization, and as we desire to be at peace with all men, and especially with all Christian Churches; therefore we thought we would drop you a few lines, asking your honorable body to take some steps to settle the dispute that now exists between our churches with regard to our church property that you are now occupying, which you know is rightly ours by the decision of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at their session in New Orleans, La., in 1866, and also at the session of the same General Conference in Memphis, Tenn., in May, 1870. We assure you that we wish to live in peace with your Church, and we do not wish to go to law for our Churches if it pleases your honors to appoint a committee to meet us.

        You may rest assured that the committee will be met with great respect on our part. We believe that these little questions of law are very injurious to our success, and we think that something should be done on both sides to stop the contention, and let peace be established among us.

        Your ministers have been very hostile to us in the past, forbidding us preaching in our houses of worship, that are occupied by your congregations, for which we are sorry.

        We only ask for that which is ours under the laws of the land, and we assure you that if we have any of your churches, we are ready and willing to give them up; and we ask your honorable body to turn over to our Church all the church property throughout the Southern States that belongs to our Church, without the trouble of lawsuits.


Page 100

        We await your answer. Direct to W. H. Miles, 189 East Tenth Street, Louisville, Ky.

W. H. MILES,
R. H. VANDERHORST,
Bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal
Church in America.


        A motion that there should be inserted in our Book of Discipline a clause for the purpose of empowering the various Annual Conferences to create a fund to be used for paying the expenses of the delegates to the General Conference was defeated. This was certainly the result of short-sightedness. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop John M. Brown. It proved to be very scholarly and informing. Among the many suggestive observations, the following is of striking significance:

Sometimes men of little faith in themselves, and less in God, urge our absorption into other denominations. We have no favorable word for this suicidal advice, for everywhere prosperity and increased success attend our efforts to do good. Would it be proper, in view of this success, to enter upon the work of disintegration? The grand idea which led our fathers, and which controls us, is the unification of our race. Unification of Methodism is still unaccomplished. The fifty-six years of our organic existence, though, have not been in vain, when we consider the results which have followed the efforts put forth. Ours is a peculiar mission. We are to demonstrate the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. Have we accomplished this, and are the evidences of its accomplishment satisfactory to our minds? Our Church has always sought friendly alliance with the great Christian family, and has found but one denomination, the Unitarians, that has not repelled us, nor taught the doctrine of absorption.

        The address advised that the episcopacy be made more powerful, vigorous, and effective in all its parts, and that the office of presiding elder be made universal. The removal of the three-year restrictive rule relative to transfers was requested, and the need for the reinforcement of our home missionary work was pointed out. Attention was called to a recent appeal from Haiti; to the needs of Africa; and to the possibilities of extending our operations into Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico. Great stress was laid on the necessity for a trained ministry, and the General Conference was urged to devise the most liberal plans to make successful our Theological Seminary at Wilberforce.


Page 101

        Two distinctive events in connection with this General Conference are to be noted, namely, the granting of supernumerary relation to Bishop Quinn, and the organization of the Financial Department.

        Attention was called to the departure from earthly toil of William Moore, William H. G. Brown, Charles H. Peters, John A. Warren, Levin Gross, Richard M. Hogan, John Ridgeway, John H. Henson, Charles C. Doughty, Burwill Jackson, Max Steward, and Burwill Harris.

        Fraternal greetings were presented from the British Methodist Episcopal Church. A resolution was offered favoring organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. R. H. Cain offered the following series of resolutions on Civil Rights:

        Whereas, it is an established principle in the American Government that every citizen of this republic shall be secure in the enjoyment of all rights in all States, irrespective of race, color, or previous condition; and

        Whereas, these rights have been secured by the amendments to the Constitution of the United States since the war, and by the proper and just interpretation of the courts of the land; and

        Whereas, the laws of every State have been modified to harmonize with the growing sentiment of the nation, to accept the colored people of this country as a part of the American nationality; and

        Whereas, there does not now exist any statutory laws making discriminations between Americans because of their color; and

        Whereas, certain railroad companies in the States of Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky have assumed to make regulations violative of the said constitutional amendment by making the colored people who travel on their roads pay first-class fare, and thrusting them into second-class cars because of their color, and often abusing our wives and children by ejecting them from first-class cars; therefore,

        Resolved, That we, the representatives of the largest body of Christians of the African race in this country, hereby enter our solemn protest against this relic of barbarism and American slavery, as inconsistent with the rights of man and the principles which underlie our enlightened government.

        Resolved, That we enter our protest against the treatment and insults offered to the bishops and delegates of this General Conference on these roads while coming to Nashville.

        Resolved, That we hereby pray the Congress of the United States, now in session, to pass the "Civil Rights Bill," now pending, and offered by the Hon. Charles Summer, of Massachusetts, to the end that


Page 102

equal rights may be awarded to every American citizen traveling on the highways of the nation.

        Resolved, That we hail with thankful hearts the growing sentiment of justice in the mind of the nation, and shall seek by our labors as teachers and ministers of Christ, to elevate our race to that standard of virtue and honor which will entitle it to all the blessings flowing through the streams of civilization, moral worth, and Christian truth.

        Resolved, That the Hon. Charles Sumner is entitled to the never-ceasing respect and gratitude of the colored people of this country, and we hereby transmit to him our appreciation of his sterling worth and integrity in the principles of human liberty.

        Resolved, That we will never rest satisfied until, as American citizens, our race shall enjoy all rights and privileges on all the highways on this continent as do any other class of people.

        Resolved, That our influence and energies shall be given to that party and administration of government which shall guarantee to our race those sacred rights and protect us in them.

        Resolved, That representing, as we do, a Christian organization of three hundred and seventy-five thousand members and seven thousand preachers, with an attendance of more than a million worshipers, we claim a proper recognition from the officers of the law in this country, and demand civil rights in the name of Justice and Humanity.


        The resolutions were adopted by a unanimous vote.

        Rev. W. R. Revels then moved that a copy of them be sent to Hon. Charles Sumner. Adopted.

        An interesting report on Church Union follows:

To the Bishops and members of the General Conference assembled:

        Your committee appointed to consider the subject of Fraternal Union with other religious bodies, after careful and mature deliberation, would most respectfully submit the following:

        Therefore we cordially welcome to our ranks the friends of Jesus everywhere, of all nationalities: but especially would we say to our colored brethren: "Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel."

Respectfully submitted,

W. S. LANKFORD, Chairman.

W. D. HARRIS, Secretary.


        B. W. Arnett moved that the report be adopted. Carried.

        A new general office was created, that of Financial Secretary, and the name of the Book Concern was changed to that of the Publication Department.

        The following were elected general officers: W. H. Hunter, Business Manager of the Book Concern; B. T. Tanner, Editor of the Christian Recorder; John H. W. Burley, Financial Secretary; and W. J. Gaines, Secretary of the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Society, who refused to accept the position.

        Mr. Robert Jackson, a lay delegate from the New York Annual Conference, died in Louisville, Ky., while en route to the General Conference.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 104

OTHER METHODISMS

        The sixteenth delegated General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was held in New York, May 1-June 4, 1872. Seventy-two Annual Conferences were represented by 292 ministerial and 129 lay delegates; total number, 421. Among those who departed this life during this quadrennium were Bishops Baker, Clark, Thomson, and Kingsley. Thomas Bowman, William L. Harris, Randolph S. Foster, Isaac W. Wiley, Stephen M. Merrill, Edward G. Andrews, Gilbert Haven, and Jesse T. Peck were elected bishops. For the first time lay delegates were admitted to the law-making body of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Each Annual Conference was authorized to send two lay delegates, except those Conferences having only one ministerial delegate, such Conferences being allowed only one lay delegate. The ratio of ministerial representation was fixed at one delegate for every forty-five members of an Annual Conference. Each bishop was required to reside in a certain city designated by the General Conference.

        The eleventh General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church met in Charlotte, N. C., June 19, 1872. One hundred and forty delegates were in attendance. Six bishops were present. W. H. Hillery was elected secretary; Robert Harris, recording secretary. The salary of the bishops was reduced from $1,500 to $1,200 per annum. J. J. Clinton, S. D. Talbot, J. W. Hood, J. J. Moore, S. T. Jones, and J. W. Loguen were elected bishops. During the quadrennium, the Church passed through a severe ordeal. It grew out of a misunderstanding respecting the place of the meeting of the General


Page 105

Conference of 1872. Bishop Jones, who had been sent to Chicago in 1868, as a messenger to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church with a proposal for a consolidation with that Church, finding that the union could not be effected at that time, entered into an agreement to continue the effort for the ensuing four years. He sought to have the meeting of the General Conference of his Church, in 1872, in New York City, so that the two General Conferences, being near together, could the more easily consider the matter of consolidation. Seemingly Bishop Haven, the proponent of consolidation on the part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, had held out to the leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church the possibility, in case of consolidation, of their having a pro rata representation on the Episcopal Board, and in all other respects such recognition as their numbers entitled them to. But Bishop Jones, who was ardently in favor of Union, could not get the consent of his confreres to change the place of the meeting of their General Conference from Charlotte, N. C., to New York City. This was chiefly due to a growing doubt of Bishop Haven's ability to secure for them what he desired. The action of Bishop Jones in trying to force a change in the place of meeting of the General Conference of 1872 provoked prolonged and acrimonious discussion.

        Among the international and national events to be noted were the ending of the Franco-German War by the Treaty of Frankfort; the proclaiming of William of Prussia, Emperor of Germany at Versailles; the abolition of slavery in Brazil; and the great fire in Chicago, October 8-10, 1871.


Page 106

CHAPTER IX
THIRD PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1873-1892

        Annual Conference Sessions--Council of Bishops, Washington, D. C.--Organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union--Intense Activities of Bishop Wayman--Organization of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society--Council of Bishops the Guests of Hon. James G. Blaine at Luncheon--Fifteenth General Conference, Atlanta, Ga., May, 1876--A Daily Issue of the Christian Recorder Ordered--Other Doings of the General Conference--Petition from the Pittsburgh Annual Conference for a Change in the Name of the Church--Fraternal Greetings Ordered to be Sent to Various Denominations--Other Methodisms--Delegates to the First Ecumenical Methodist Conference.

        ON January 11, 1873, the Georgia Annual Conference met at Macon. Bishop T. M. D. Ward presided, assisted by Bishop J. M. Brown. The secretaries were William D. Johnson, J. W. Randolph, and F. J. Peck. Though the General Conference of 1872 had strongly condemned the wearing of robes by our bishops, the question was raised by H. M. Turner, who tried to initiate a movement to purchase and present a robe to the presiding bishop of the Conference, but failed. Thirty-seven preachers were admitted on trial. Thirty ministers were ordained elders and thirty-three were ordained deacons. An exodus of colored people from Georgia to Arkansas had been stimulated by paid agents, which decreased the membership of some of our churches. Many of those who sold themselves, as it were, for their passage money, were subsequently led to bitterly regret their course of action. The Conference agreed to divide and form a new one to be known as the North Georgia Annual Conference.

        On February 23, 1873, the Church was shocked by the announcement of the death of Bishop William Paul Quinn at Richmond, Ind. This was the first break in the episcopacy since the death of Bishop Morris Brown in 1849. Others who died during the year were Revs. J. H. Sliner, Baltimore, Md.; Lewis S. Lewis, Vincennes, Ind.; æneas McIntosh, Bloomington, Ill.; and Elisha Weaver, Richmond, Ind.


Page 107

        On April 9, the Virginia Annual Conference was held in Portsmouth. Bishop Campbell presided. Bishops Wayman and Shorter were among the visitors. On May 15, the California Annual Conference met in Stockton. Bishop Wayman presided. The annual sermon was preached by J. B. Stansbury. A concrete evidence of Bishop Wayman's activities and the development of the work during the year 1873 may be gathered from the fact that churches were dedicated at the following places: Saint Joseph, Mo., June 8; Saint Charles, Mo., June 15; Mattoon, Ill., June 22; Tuscola, Ill., June 23; Muncie, Ind., June 28; Elkton, Md., July 6; South Chester, Pa., August 17; Mitchell, Ind., September 21; Noblesville, Ind., September 28. Number of churches dedicated, 9. Time occupied, three months and twenty days. This was a record-breaking accomplishment.

        The Financial Board met this year at Indianapolis. The Indiana Annual Conference met at Richmond, and the Illinois Annual Conference was held in Keokuk, Iowa, Bishop Wayman presiding over both Conferences.

        The Council of Bishops met this year at Washington, D. C. Following this, the Financial Board again met. Wilberforce University was honored with the visitation of Rev. Émile F. Cook, of Paris, president of the French Methodist Conference, and of Dr. Marsh, of London, England.

        An event of general interest in this year was the organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. There is also to be recorded this year the death of Rev. Stephen Smith, of Philadelphia, a noted philanthropist, and the founder of the Home for Aged Colored People in that city.

        On January 8, 1874, the North Georgia Annual Conference assembled in Augusta. Bishop T. M. D. Ward presided. William D. Johnson was elected secretary. The Conference was honored by a visit from Bishop L. H. Holsey, of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, who warmly congratulated us on our success as a Church. He referred to the tendency of all Christian bodies to unite and he expressed the belief that strength would result from the union of Methodism, especially of the colored branches. Dr. H. M. Turner made a spirited reply.

        On January 22 the Georgia Annual Conference convened


Page 108

in Thomasville. William D. Johnson and Francis J. Peck were elected secretaries. A controversy arose over the ratification of the action of the joint committee dividing the Conference. A motion of Dr. H. M. Turner to have the matter indefinitely postponed was ruled out of order by the Bishop, who decided that the separation of the Conference was settled in Macon in 1873. Four ministers were ordained elders. Eleven were ordained deacons. Twelve were admitted on trial.

        This year (1874) furnished additional evidence of the activities of Bishop Wayman and the further development of the Church in the dedication of churches at the following places: Canonsburg, Pa., February 1; Jacksonville, Ill., June 14; Crawfordsville, Ind., June 21; Peru, Ind., June 28; and Richmond, Ind., July 5. This was another record-breaking accomplishment--the dedication of five churches on five successive Sundays. On August 30 he dedicated a church at Terre Haute, Ind.

        The California Annual Conference met this year in Sacramento City. Bishop Wayman presided. The annual sermon was preached by I. N. Triplett. J. R. Dorsey was ordained an elder. On the return trip Bishop Wayman visited Oakland, San Francisco, and Marysville, Cal.; Virginia City and Carson City, Nev.; Omaha, Neb.; Ottumwa and Burlington, Iowa; Galesburg, Peoria, Jacksonville, Springfield, Lincoln, Decatur, Mattoon, and Champaign, Ill.; Crawfordsville, Rockville, Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Peru, Marion, and Richmond, Ind. The notation of these several places, located in six different States, furnishes a birds'-eye view of the progress of the Church in the territory embraced in them. On July 19 the Council of Bishops met in Bethel Church, Baltimore. The Indiana Annual Conference assembled in Terre Haute, September 2. The annual sermon was preached by A. T. Hall. D. P. Seaton was transferred to the Indiana Annual Conference and N. M. Mitchem, to the Tennessee Annual Conference. The Illinois Annual Conference met at Springfield, September 10. W. J. Davis preached the annual sermon. The Conference was visited by the governor of the State. The Missouri Annual Conference met at Kansas City, Mo., September 23. T. W. Henderson was elected secretary and J. H. Hubbard, assistant. John Turner preached the missionary sermon. Bishop Wayman


Page 109

presided at each of the three Conferences just referred to. On Sunday morning, November 1, the church in New York city was reopened. Bishop Shorter read the dedicatory prayer, and Bishop Wayman delivered the sermon.

        What may be called the chief activity of Bishop Wayman during this year was the prayer that he delivered in Springfield, Ill., at the unveiling of the monument to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. It was profoundly significant that the prayer should be offered by a member of the race for whose delivery from bondage the Great Emancipator met a tragic death. In connection with the ceremonies there was a procession led by Generals Grant and Sherman, Vice-President Wilson, and ex-Vice-President Colfax.

        Through the efforts of Mr. Cousins, agent of the Freedmen's Bureau at Xenia, Ohio, Bishop Payne secured a loan of $3,000 for Wilberforce University. During the last six months of this year Bishop Payne assisted in the dedication of a number of churches.

        The seventh General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, assembled in Louisville, Ky., May 1-26, 1874. A feature of this Conference was the appearance of the first fraternal delegation from the Methodist Episcopal Church. It consisted of Dr. A. S. Hunt, Dr. C. H. Fowler, and General Clinton B. Fisk. They delivered addresses "characterized by excellent taste and great ability." A lengthy reply was adopted by the General Conference. A commission was created to meet a similar commission from the Methodist Episcopal Church to adjust all differences between them. A similar commission was appointed by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1876. The two delegations became the famous "Cape May Commission." This year marked the laying of the cornerstone of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

        The first General Conference (after organization) of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America met in Augusta, Ga., on March 19, 1873, one year in advance of its regular time of meeting, which was due to the death of Bishop Vanderhorst. Bishop Miles, being the only other bishop at the time, found that he could not meet the many pressing demands made upon him; hence the special session to elect and consecrate more bishops to assist in the general superintendency of


Page 110

the rapidly growing Church. Fourteen Annual Conferences were represented, showing that seven Conferences had been organized since the founding of the Church in 1870. Bishop W. H. Miles presided. J. W. Bell was the secretary. L. H. Holsey, J. A. Beebe, and Isaac Lane were elected bishops. The ordination sermon was preached by Bishop George F. Pierce, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The total amount assessed for the support of the four bishops for one year was $3,800.

        The Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized May 18, 1874. Mrs. M. A. Campbell was the first president, Mrs. C. M. Burley was the first secretary, and Mrs. Harriett A. Wayman was the first treasurer. The first convention was held August 16, 1874, in the city of Pittsburgh, Pa.

        In this year the Church sustained the loss by death of Rev. Henry J. Young, who rendered herculean service for the Church of his choice. He was a man of great aggressiveness and daring. While he was the pastor of Sullivan Street Church in New York city, he uncovered and forced the expulsion of a number of corrupt and dishonest trustees, a proceeding that gave him great prominence. He was an excellent pastor and an acceptable preacher. He was the pastor of Quinn Chapel, Louisville, Ky., some time prior to 1870.

        On January 21, 1875, the ninth session of the Georgia Annual Conference convened at Albany. Bishop T. M. D. Ward presided. William D. Johnson and J. M. Cargyle were the secretaries. Twenty persons were admitted as local preachers. Eleven licentiates were admitted into full connection. Six ministers were ordained elders, and four were ordained deacons. Education was emphasized, especially theological training. Bishop Ward, W. J. Gaines, and William D. Johnson were invited to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This was the first time that this courtesy had been extended by white people in the State to any of our ministers. The white citizens of Albany contributed some five hundred dollars toward the support of the Conference.

        In 1875, the Virginia Annual Conference met at Richmond. Bishop Campbell presided. Revs. J. A. Handy and W. H. Hunter were among the visitors. On April 21, the New Jersey


Page 111

Annual Conference convened in Camden. Bishop Shorter presided. On the same date the Baltimore Annual Conference met at Annapolis. Bishop Campbell presided. The annual sermon was preached by J. Nicholson. J. S. Thompson preached the missionary sermon. As this was the first time that the Conference had met in the capital of the State of Maryland, it paid its respects in a body to the Governor. John W. Burley was the spokesman of the Conference and was happy in his deliverance. The Governor seemed to be somewhat embarrassed by the presence of such an imposing body of colored men.

        The California Annual Conference met May 20, in Oakland. Bishop Wayman presided. The annual sermon was preached by J. Fletcher Jordan.

        At Fort Scott, Kan., on Sunday, June 20; at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 4; and at Lost Creek Settlement, Ind., on Sunday, July 11, churches were dedicated--all by Bishop Wayman.

        On August 26, 1875, the Indiana Annual Conference met at Detroit, Michigan. Bishop Wayman presided. James M. Townsend was elected secretary. Dr. D. P. Seaton preached the annual sermon; Dr. Willis Revels preached the missionary sermon. On Friday, August 27, the Conference received a dispatch from Canada announcing the death of Bishop Nazrey. This was wholly unexpected as he had been invited to visit this session of the Indiana Annual Conference. Revs. R. R. Disney and Walter Hawkins arrived from Canada as a deputation to extend an invitation to the bishop and Conference to attend the funeral of Bishop Nazrey at Chatham, on Thursday, September 2, at 1 o'clock. The invitation was accepted. About two hundred persons from Detroit attended the funeral. Bishop Wayman delivered the funeral discourse. He was assisted in the services by Drs. Seaton and Revels. The commitment service at the grave was conducted by Bishop Shorter.

        Sparta was the seat of the Illinois Annual Conference which met September 8, 1875. Bishop Wayman presided. Through the courtesy of the pastor and officers, the sessions were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church. G. C. Booth was elected secretary. John W. Malone preached the annual sermon. G. C. Booth preached the missionary sermon. He was a profound


Page 112

and versatile scholar, being an undergraduate of Yale University. He was well versed in the classics, particularly Greek and Hebrew. He filled the pastorate of Quinn Chapel in Chicago for two terms, and no minister who has ever served that church has been his superior intellectually. The great drawback that prevented him from becoming a leader was his passiveness and over-modesty. He was as gentle as a woman. He had the moral and intellectual equipment for leadership, but lacked dynamic force. He maintained a spotless reputation.

        On Sunday, September 19, 1875, Bishop Wayman dedicated a church at Cairo, Ill. F. Meyers was the pastor. On September 22, the Missouri Annual Conference met in Glasgow. T. W. Henderson was the secretary. The annual sermon was preached by B. W. Steward, and the missionary sermon by James H. Hubbard. W. A. Dove and J. M. Wilkerson proved of great help to the bishop in the conducting of Conference affairs. At Champaign, Ill., October 3, 1875, and at Baltimore, November 7, Bishop Wayman dedicated a church. The church in Baltimore was located on Stockton Street and known as Allen Chapel. Other churches dedicated by Bishop Wayman this year were Ebenezer, Detroit, Mich., November 14; one at Kokomo, Ind., December 5, Johnson Burden, pastor; and one at Seymour, Ind., December 19, H. H. Thompson, pastor.

        Cartersville, Ga., was the seat of the North Georgia Annual Conference. It assembled December 16, 1875. Bishop T. M. D. Ward presided. There was no event that took place to distinguish this Conference aside from the regular order of business. Twelve persons were admitted on trial. Eight ministers were ordained deacons and one was ordained an elder. Delegates were elected to the General Conference of 1876.

        The peace of the world was disturbed this year by the Egyptian-Abyssinian War. The Carlos insurrection in Spain was suppressed. Great Britain gained financial control of the Suez Canal.

        On January 29, 1876, the Georgia Annual Conference began its deliberations in Saint Philip's Church, Savannah, Bishop T. M. D. Ward presiding. S. H. Robertson was the secretary and W. D. Johnson the statistical secretary. An effort was made to provide each presiding elder's district with a parsonage


Page 113

to be used as a home for its presiding elder, but it was judged that the time was not ripe for the success of such a movement. The proposal was decidedly significant, coming so soon after emancipation. The times were ripe for its accomplishment, but the vision to see it was lacking. The price of cotton was high, there was no lack of employment, and money was plentiful. Those to whom the proposal was made lacked the will to do. The Conference adopted an arbitrary rule limiting the number of persons to be admitted on trial at any one session to thirteen, the number of deacons to be ordained to sixteen, and the number of elders to be ordained to eighteen. Delegates were elected to the General Conference of 1876.

        On January 30, 1876, Bishop Wayman dedicated a church at Kalamazoo, Mich. R. Jeffries was the pastor. On April 27, delegates of the Philadelphia, New York, and New England Annual Conferences arrived at Baltimore. There they were joined by the delegates of the Baltimore and Virginia Annual Conferences, and proceeded in a special train to Atlanta, Ga., to attend the Fifteenth General Conference. Prior to this the Council of Bishops met in Washington, D. C. At this meeting measures were adopted to facilitate the business of the approaching General Conference. Professor John M. Langston visited the Council, and expressed his views concerning the relations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to the race. He was the bearer of an invitation from the Hon. James G. Blaine to the bishops to lunch with him at his residence. The invitation was accepted. Other guests present were Hon. George Hoar, of Massachusetts, and Hon. James A. Garfield, of Ohio. Doubtless neither the host nor any of the guests foresaw that four years hence Mr. Garfield would be elevated to the Presidency of the United States. The matter of the luncheon is noted on page 217 of Payne's Recollections of Seventy Years. By the way, what a furore it would have created had it been noised abroad! With what pitilessness, mercilessness, and spleen would a certain political party have made it the vehicle by which to hurl against Mr. Garfield the dogma of "social equality"! In inviting these distinguished divines Mr. Blaine merely exercised that right which belongs to each and all--the right to choose our associates, whether for an hour or for an indefinite time. The current events of


Page 114

the times were the chief topics of conversation during the luncheon, but in none did Mr. Blaine take more interest than in the subject of higher education. The Pittsburgh and the Ohio Annual Conferences were held in the month of April. Bishop Payne presided at both, thus closing eight consecutive years as the bishop of the Third Episcopal District. The reason for his serving beyond the four-year limit was his connection with Wilberforce University as its president.

        The sixth decade of the existence of the Church had now been reached, and thirteen years (counting from 1863) had passed since the standard of African Methodism had been planted in the South. For nine years the work of our Church in Georgia had gone on with varying success. Despite all the untoward circumstances, it had made substantial progress. It was eminently fitting, therefore, that the fifteenth General Conference should assemble at Atlanta, Ga., where it convened in May, 1876. Twenty-eight Conferences were represented. The membership consisted of 6 bishops, 4 general officers, 147 ministerial delegates, and 38 lay delegates. Total, 191. B. W. Arnett was elected secretary; J. M. Townsend, assistant; Mr. William C. Banton, recording secretary; T. W. Henderson, A. A. Williams, J. F. A. Sisson, statistical secretaries; and William F. Dickerson, reading clerk. The Quadrennial Sermon was preached by Bishop J. P. Campbell. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the discourse by adopting a resolution ordering its publication as a part of the proceedings. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop James A. Shorter. The address was true to Bishop Shorter's form. It was brief and strictly businesslike. It was without special literary flavor and barren of philosophical treatment. It was confined to a review of the departments and institutions of the Church. In it was recommended a change in the Book of Discipline relative to Official Boards. Touching this matter, he said:

Experience has shown some of its provisions to be objectionable to many of our members and impracticable to many of our churches. There is also an unfortunate ambiguity in the language chosen, in some instances causing misunderstanding between pastor and people. The provision excluding our local preachers from membership in the Official Board has been especially grievous to that class of our brethren; and we, therefore, recommend a careful revision of the whole section.

Page 115

        Other recommendations were that the chapter on presiding elders remain as it was, leaving it to the option of the Annual Conferences; that the California Annual Conference be not attached to an Episcopal District and that it be visited annually by the bishops in turn.

        The Manager of the Book Concern was ordered to arrange for a daily issue of the Christian Recorder to contain the proceedings of the Conference. A resolution was adopted expressing approval of the action of the Managers of the Centennial Exhibition in deciding to close the Exhibition and grounds on Sunday. Bishop Payne was requested to preach a Centennial Sermon on Sunday morning, the 7th. The report of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society was received, and the Conference resolved to do everything possible to facilitate its operation during the next quadrennium. Increased interest and enlarged support was pledged to the American Bible Society. A petition was presented on behalf of the laity asking that the Book Concern be authorized to print the Articles of Religion and a brief review of the rise and progress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in small book form, to be sold at a minimum price. A petition was received from the Independent Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Rev. Augustus R. Green was the founder. Branch book depositories were ordered to be established at Charleston, S. C.; Saint Louis, Mo.; Atlanta, Ga.; and New Orleans, La. The following explanatory statement was ordered to be included in the section of the Discipline regulating the election and duty of trustees:

Whereas, some of the States and Territories have special acts on their statute books governing religious bodies; therefore, the meaning and intent of this chapter, whenever it refers to the law of the State or Territory, is to be subject to said statute law, and not to any individual church corporation that is now or may be incorporated.

        The petition of the Independent Methodist Episcopal Church, previously referred to, was in the nature of a proposal to consolidate with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, on condition that the ministers and members of the said Independent Methodist Episcopal Church be received in the same relation in which they stood in their own Church. A


Page 116

further condition was that Rev. A. R. Green should relinquish all claims to the bishopric and be received as an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This proposal was dated at Richmond, Va., May 13, 1876, and was agreed to by our General Conference. A committee consisting of W. H. Hunter, D. Dorrell, W. A. Dove, B. L. Brooks, and M. B. Salter recommended B. F. Lee to the trustees of Wilberforce University for election as president.

        A resolution offered by H. M. Turner practically investing the bishops with the veto power was not adopted. The organization of two new Annual Conferences, the South Georgia and West Texas, was ordered. B. W. Arnett was requested to publish a pamphlet containing a list of the members of each Annual Conference and their appointments for the year 1876. H. M. Turner submitted his report on the Hymn Book which he had been authorized to compile. A petition was received from the laymen of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, asking that local elders, deacons, and preachers be admitted to membership in Official Boards. The Conference paid a visit to Atlanta University in acceptance of an invitation from its faculty. They were received by President Ware. Addresses on behalf of the Conference were made by W. F. Dickerson and B. T. Tanner. Among the sermons preached during the Conference was one by Rev. Dr. Sherman, a fraternal delegate from the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A feature of the preliminary service connected with the sermon was the prayer offered by Bishop Payne, which is the first prayer printed as a part of the proceedings of a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A petition was received from the Pittsburgh Annual Conference, asking that the name of our Church be changed so as to read the "American Methodist Episcopal Church." The following were some of the reasons assigned:

The inevitable fact connected with the unchangeable laws of nature is that our descendants, within one hundred and fifty or two hundred years, will be Americans; not simply by birth and civil law, but largely in features, in habits and in traits of character. This conclusion may not be pleasant to some of us who desire to remain Africans in ourselves and in our descendants, and to some among the whites, who do not wish to associate with the descendants of Africans; but it will as certainly be true as that the sun rises in the East and
Page 117

sets in the West. Now those who desire to hold on to the word African, to make it honorable and significant in its application to us and our descendants, down to the fifth, sixth, or hundredth generation, must migrate to Africa. It cannot be done in America. Another reason for substituting the word American for African is that, on the one hand, no inference can be drawn from the name that we desire to keep up an invidious distinction on account of race or color; and that, on the other hand, the inference will be that we desire the world to know that we are Americans, Christian Americans; God first, our country next. Again, in changing a part of the name of our Church, if the word American is used, the abbreviation will be the same. The abbreviation of the distinctive words in the present name of our Church are A. M. E.; if the word American is used it will still be A. M. E.

        No action was taken. Numerous petitions were received from interested parties asking for the continuation of Bishop Payne as president of Wilberforce University.

        Rev. David Sherman, D.D., of the New England Annual Conference, and Rev. J. C. Tate, of the Holston Annual Conference, bore fraternal greetings from the Methodist Episcopal Church. J. H. A. Johnson, B. T. Tanner, and W. F. Dickerson were the fraternal delegates from our Church to the Methodist Episcopal Church. A letter of fraternal greetings was received from the British Methodist Episcopal Church. Letters of fraternal greetings were ordered to be sent to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and to the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. During the quadrennium one bishop and sixteen ministers had entered into the rest that remaineth for the people of God. Bishop William Paul Quinn, whose passing has already been referred to, was eulogized by Bishops Payne, Wayman, and Campbell, and a number of the elders. Suitable notice was taken of the departure of Bishop Willis Nazrey, of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, to his final place of abode.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 118

        It may not be amiss for the author to say that the published proceedings of the General Conference of 1876 are the best arranged of those of any General Conference in the history of our Church. The secretaries were certainly methodical and painstaking. The general reports, sermons, and addresses are a distinct contribution to African Methodist literature. The Journal contains 229 pages.

        Henry M. Turner, Daniel P. Seaton, and John W. Asbury were fraternal delegates to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. H. M. Turner, R. H. Cain, and James A. Handy were fraternal delegates to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Other fraternal delegates were as follows: to the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, F. J. Peck, A. T. Carr, B. L. Brooks; to the Protestant Methodist Church, B. F. Lee, T. W. Henderson, D. Pickett; to the United Brethren, J. R. Scott, G. W. Gaines, C. L. Bradwell; to the British Methodist Episcopal Church, G. T. Watkins, G. H. Shaffer, J. B. Stansbury; to the Wesleyan Methodist Church of England, Bishop J. P. Campbell and W. B. Derrick.

        The seventeenth delegated General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church met this year in Baltimore, Md. Eighty Annual Conferences were represented by 222 ministerial and 133 lay delegates; total, 355. The authorization of a new Hymnal, advanced action on temperance, provision for the holding of an Ecumenical Conference, and adverse action on the question of making the presiding eldership elective, were the most notable of the proceedings of the Conference. Bishop Morris and Missionary Bishop Roberts had ended their earthly career during this quadrennium.

        Louisville, Ky., was the seat of the twelfth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. C. R.


Page 119

Harris, of the North Carolina Annual Conference, was the secretary. W. H. Hillery, Joseph P. Thompson, and Thomas H. Lomax were elected bishops. During the quadrennium Bishops J. W. Loguen, J. D. Brooks, Christopher Rush, James Simmons, and W. H. Bishop had been summoned to their final resting place--an unusually large number. The only event to be noted in the circles of Southern Methodism was the organization of the Brazil mission.

        As to world-wide Methodism, the outstanding feature was the initiation of a movement the object of which was the calling of an Ecumenical Methodist Conference, in London, England, September 7-20, 1881. The delegates to represent the African Methodist Episcopal Church were Bishops Daniel A. Payne, J. M. Brown, James A. Shorter, William F. Dickerson; Revs. James M. Townsend, Augustus T. Carr, James C. Embry; Mr. Alexander Clark, Professor Joseph P. Shorter, Mr. Nelson T. Gantt, and Mr. Joseph W. Morris. Bishop Payne presided September 17, and on the 12th read an essay on "The Relation of Methodism to the Temperance Movement." Professor J. P. Shorter read a paper on "The Catholicity of Methodism."

        Other notable events of this year were the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia; the proclaiming of Queen Victoria, Empress of India; the massacre of General Custer and his command of 300 troops by the Sioux Indians; the defeat of the Egyptians by the Abyssinians; the victory of the Kaffirs over the Boers in the Transvaal, and the perfecting of the telephone.

        December 18, 1876, Bishop Wayman encountered a new and unexpected experience, in that he was summoned to serve on the United States Grand Jury. His services extended through thirteen days. While this was a radical change from the performance of episcopal duties, he took it philosophically and performed the task willingly and earnestly.


Page 120

CHAPTER X
THIRD PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1873-1892 (CONTINUED)

        Doings of Annual Conferences--Activities of Bishop Wayman--Antics of the "Praying and Singing Bands"--Emigrants Sailed on the Bark "Azores" for Liberia--Sixteenth Session of the General Conference at Saint Louis, Mo., May, 1880--Memorial for the Organization of a Sunday School Union--Adoption of "Wayman on the Discipline"--Nashville, Tenn., Selected Headquarters of the Financial Secretary--Distinguished Visitors--Ecumenical Methodism--Henry McNeil Turner, William Fisher Dickerson, and Richard Harvey Cain Elected Bishops--Other Methodisms--Domestic and Foreign Affairs.

        ON January 18, 1877, the Georgia Annual Conference convened at Bainbridge. Bishop Campbell presided. William D. Johnson was the secretary. Among the visitors was Dr. H. M. Turner, Manager of the Book Concern. In his opening address Bishop Campbell instanced the settlement of America and Africa, and referred to the scattering of the people at Babel. He also called attention to the fact that the three sons of Noah had in turn mastered the world, but that now possession must be in common. Dr. H. M. Turner, one of the vice-presidents of the American Colonization Society, pleaded that Congress should aid such colored people in returning to Africa as desired to do so. Representatives of the Friends' Society, in Philadelphia, distributed some books among the members of the Conference. Ten preachers were admitted on trial. Among them was S. D. Roseborough, who died in 1921. Wright Newman and Nathan Brown were admitted as local preachers. Four ministers were ordained as local deacons. J. W. Wynn was ordained a deacon under the missionary rule.

        In this year (1877) the Pittsburgh Annual Conference met at Williamsport, Pa. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. C. Asbury was elected secretary. He also preached the annual sermon. The missionary sermon was preached by John G. Mitchell, who was known as the great biblical expositor. Among the visitors were Dr. H. M. Turner and Rev. J. C.


Page 121

Embry. The former was the Manager of the Book Concern, while the latter was Commissioner of Education. The Baltimore Annual Conference convened in Cambridge, Md. Bishop J. M. Brown presided. The Philadelphia Annual Conference met in Wilmington, Del. Bishop Payne presided. Bishops Wayman and Campbell, Revs. J. C. Embry and R. H. Cain were among the visitors. A committee from the Preachers' Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church paid the Conference a fraternal visit. The address of felicitation, which was delivered by the chairman of the committee, was responded to by Dr. R. H. Cain. On Sunday, June 4, a church was dedicated at Paducah, Ky. On Sunday, June 18, a church was dedicated at Covington, Ky. On Sunday, July 1, a church was dedicated at Meadville, Pa. At this place our people had the misfortune to lose their church by fire. The church was speedily rebuilt, much to the credit of the congregation. At the dedicatory services every dollar of the indebtedness was provided for. On Sunday, July 8, a church was dedicated at Hamilton, Ohio. Bishop Wayman was the officiating prelate at these several dedications. The Ohio Annual Conference met at Urbana. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary. P. Toliver, a minister of great renown, preached the annual sermon. The missionary sermon was preached by J. P. Underwood. Rev. J. C. Embry, Commissioner of Education, and Rev. C. L. Bradwell, Traveling Agent of the Book Concern, were among the visitors. It is not amiss to say that about this time the Ohio Annual Conference led the Connection in the number of trained ministers. The Indiana Annual Conference was held in Indianapolis, Bishop J. A. Shorter presiding. One of the outstanding characters of the Conference was Dr. Willis R. Revels. The Kentucky Annual Conference assembled in Midway. At this place the people gave succor and aid to the author in November, 1869, when he was driven by the Ku Klux from Paynes, a small hamlet about five miles distant, where he was teaching school. John W. Asbury was the secretary, with J. W. Gazaway as assistant. John W. Asbury preached the annual sermon. Revs. J. C. Embry and C. L. Bradwell were among the visitors. The Tennessee Annual Conference opened in Nashville, Tenn., in the basement of the new Saint Paul's Church, September 26. The walls of the basement


Page 122

were built entirely of stone. The contractor was Edward North, an official of the church. At the time it was built it was the largest church edifice in Nashville owned by colored people. It was constructed during the pastorate of Nathan Mitchem, formerly of the Indiana Annual Conference. This was one of the two churches organized by Bishop Payne during his first visit to Nashville in 1863. The secretary of the Conference was C. O. H. Thomas. G. H. Shaffer was the assistant. The annual sermon was preached by Bedford Green. The Conference was largely attended and awakened a great deal of interest among the people. The West Tennessee Annual Conference assembled in Union City, October 4. The secretaries were D. E. Asbury and B. L. Brooks. R. F. Hurley preached the annual sermon with great effectiveness. A request for the use of one or more of the white churches in which to hold the services on Sunday was denied. The fair ground was secured for this purpose. D. E. Asbury preached the sermon, and, having had considerable scholastic training, and having innate ability as an orator, created such a favorable impression that numerous applications were sent to the Conference from white churches for ministers to fill their pulpits. The Conference voted to discontinue the presiding eldership. The Pittsburgh Annual Conference, having changed its time of meeting from spring to fall, met this year at Oil City, Pa., on October 25. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. The secretaries were C. Asbury and T. A. Thompson. The latter preached the annual sermon.

        The North Georgia Annual Conference met at Eatonton on December 5. Bishop J. P. Campbell presided. Dr. H. M. Turner was present and vigorously pressed the claims of the Publication Department, of which he was the Manager. Fifteen ministers were admitted on trial; one was ordained a deacon and five were ordained elders. The pastoral reports showed a steady increase along all lines. There was seemingly a lack of esprit de corps in the Conference, and the business dragged along so heavily that the bishop was led to remark with emphasis "that he was sorry for one thing, and that was the slow method and process of conducting the business of the Conference." He further observed that "when he was gone to rest he wanted them to do him the honor of saying that they


Page 123

had heard him state that the rising generation would laugh at us for spending three days in making the reports from the various charges when it might be done in one third of the time." What would our good bishop think were he permitted to return to earth and witness in this day a Conference practically consuming three days in hearing the pastoral reports? This is not a surmise, but a fact, as was witnessed by the author at a Conference in October, 1920. This was not the fault of the Conference, but the result of the slow movements of the bishop.

        In April, 1877, Rev. Charles W. Mossell and wife sailed as missionaries for Haiti. They took passage on the S.S. "Alps." Their departure was witnessed by a number of interested and sympathetic friends, among whom was Bishop D. A. Payne. On July 4, in company with friends, Bishop Payne visited the grave of Charles Sumner, which awakened deep cogitation, reflected in the following observations:

The grave of Sumner was marked only by a plain marble slab bearing no inscription but his name. Thickly grown periwinkle covered the grave of the champion of freedom. Never was a statesman truer and more faithful to his country. Never was a reformer more devoted to his principles. Never was a champion of human rights more loyal to the cause for which he labored, lived, and died. Nature had given him a noble physique, a majestic presence, and a courtly manner, as well as a splendid intellect and an eloquent tongue. One was led to believe that a frame so powerful as his would have continued vigorous for at least eighty or ninety years, and that he might possibly have lived out an entire century; but his powerful constitution was broken by the murderous club of "Bully Brooks," that ruffianly United States senator from South Carolina, and fittingly a kinsman of the bloodthirsty General Butler, leader of the murderous Rifle Clubs, which aided in the butchery of colored people at Hamburg, S. C., in July, 1876. Sumner died at sixty-three years of age. The colored Americans, whose freedom and whose rights he eloquently pleaded and defended, should be foremost in erecting a monument to his memory; not to immortalize him--because he lives forever in the hearts of all the friends of human freedom and equal rights--but to mark the spot consecrated to the sleeping martyr.

        This year a new building, Shorter Hall, was dedicated in connection with Wilberforce University.

        As it relates to other Methodisms, there was recorded the death of Bishop E. M. Marvin, of the Methodist Episcopal


Page 124

Church, South. He was elected and consecrated a bishop at New Orleans in 1866, at the age of forty-three years. He was fifty-four years of age at the time of his death.

        The record of national and international affairs includes the findings of the electoral commission in favor of President Hayes; the ascendency of Porfirio Diaz to the presidency of Mexico; the beginning of the Russo-Turkish War; the annexation of the Transvaal Republic by the British; and the exploration of the Congo River by Stanley.

        On January 30, 1878, the Georgia Annual Conference convened in Saint James' African Methodist Episcopal Church, Columbus, Bishop J. P. Campbell presiding. James Porter was elected secretary of the Conference; W. J. Gaines, recording secretary; S. H. Robertson, statistical secretary. Among the visitors in the early part of the session was Rev. J. V. M. Morris, of Girard, Ala, pastor of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who delivered an admirable and touching fraternal address. Later in the session the Conference was visited by the Rev. Joseph S. Key and J. A. O. Cook, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, both of whom delivered appreciative addresses. S. H. Robertson preached the annual sermon. The missionary sermon was delivered by G. W. H. Williams. A delegation from the North Georgia Annual Conference was present to urge the adoption of the preamble and resolutions which had previously been submitted to an Educational Convention, composed of delegates from the Georgia and North Georgia Annual Conferences. Earnest speeches were made by H. M. Turner, W. D. Johnson, and W. J. Gaines, each in his own peculiar style. Nominal trustees were appointed for the school then in existence, and the work of education received another impetus. Fifteen preachers were admitted on trial, including Allen Cooper, who is still in active service. Five ministers were ordained deacons; thirteen were ordained elders. On the fifth day the Conference was honored with an unexpected visit from Bishop T. M. D. Ward, who received a welcome of great warmth and cordiality. Bishop D. A. Payne was to have been present, but sent a letter explaining the reason for his inability to do so. In his letter, Bishop Payne laid emphasis on the importance and needs of our work in Haiti, to which the Conference responded by sending him a


Page 125

donation of fifty dollars. Data as to the session of the North Georgia Annual Conference of 1878 is lacking.

        The Ohio Annual Conference met at Circleville. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary. R. A. Johnson preached the annual sermon, and B. W. Arnett preached the missionary sermon. The Kentucky Annual Conference met at Lexington. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. John W. Gazaway preached the annual sermon and John Coleman, the missionary sermon. On September 26, the Tennessee Annual Conference assembled in Fayetteville. G. H. Shaffer was elected secretary, and preached the missionary sermon. The annual sermon was preached by C. O. H. Thomas. On October 24, the Pittsburgh Annual Conference met at Salem, Ohio. C. Asbury was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by J. M. Morris. The missionary sermon was preached by C. S. Smith, who met the Conference for the first time. Among the visitors were Rev. B. F. Lee, president of Wilberforce University, and Dr. T. H. Jackson, of the Ohio Annual Conference. On Sunday afternoon the Conference held its service in the Methodist Episcopal Church. C. S. Smith was the preacher. His subject was, "Death, Man's Best Friend." The discourse created a great sensation. It was heard by a large audience composed of white and colored people. On November 14, the West Tennessee Annual Conference convened at Paris. Bishop A. W. Wayman presided. D. E. Asbury was elected secretary. B. L. Brooks preached the annual sermon and H. E. Brant, the missionary sermon. This year was noted for an epidemic of cholera in West Tennessee, particularly in Memphis. The Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York Annual Conferences held their annual sessions.

        During the year 1878, Bishop Wayman dedicated churches at the following places: Sunday, March 24, Saint John's Church, Cleveland, Ohio; Sunday, April 21, Harrodsburgh, Ky.; Sunday, April 28, Bainbridge, Ohio; Sunday, May 19, Erie, Pa.; Sunday, June 30, Belpre, Ohio; Sunday, September 22, Saint Paul's Church, Nashville, Tenn.; Sunday, October 20, New Brighton, Pa.; Sunday, November 3, Lexington, Ky.; Sunday, November 10, Paris, Tenn.; Sunday, November 24, Clarksville, Tenn.

        In this year, 1878, Bishop D. A. Payne gave orders that every


Page 126

pastor occupying the pulpit of Bethel Church, Baltimore, should make the responsive reading of the Holy Scriptures a part of public worship. About this time he attended a "bush meeting" in order to please the pastor whose circuit he was visiting. Here the antics of the "Praying and Singing Bands" again came under his notice, a description of which follows:

        After the sermon they formed a ring, and, with coats off, sang, clapped their hands, and stamped their feet in a most ridiculous and heathenish way. I requested the pastor to go and stop their dancing. At his request they stopped their dancing and clapping of hands, but remained singing and rocking their bodies to and fro. This they did for about fifteen minutes. I then went and taking their leader by the arm, requested him to desist and to sit down and sing in a rational manner. I also told him that it was a heathenish way to worship, disgraceful to themselves, to the race, and to the Christian name. They broke up their ring but would not sit down, and walked sullenly away. After the sermon in the afternoon, when I had another opportunity to speak privately to the leader of the band, he replied, "Sinners won't get converted unless there is a ring." Said I: "You might sing till you fell down dead and you would fail to convert a single sinner, because nothing but the Spirit of God and the word of God can convert sinners." He replied: "The Spirit of God works upon people in different ways. At camp meetings there must be a ring here, a ring there, a ring over yonder, or sinners will not get converted." This was his idea, as it was also that of many others. These "Bands" I have had to encounter in many places, and, as I have stated with regard to my early labors in Baltimore, I have been strongly censured because of my effort to change the mode of worship, or modify the extravagances indulged in by the people. In some cases all that I could do was to teach and preach the right, the fit and proper way of serving God. To the most thoughtful and intelligent I usually succeeded in making the "Band" disgusting; but by the ignorant masses, as in the case mentioned, it was regarded as the essence of religion. So much so was this the case that they believed no conversion could occur without their agency, nor outside of their own ring could there be a genuine one. Among some of the songs of these "Rings" or "Fist and Heel Worshipers," as they have been called, I find a note or two in my journal, which was used in the instance mentioned. As will be seen, they consisted chiefly of what are known as "corn-field ditties":


                         "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
                         If God won't have us, the devil must." . . . . . . . . . . .


                         "I was over there where the coffin fell;
                         I heard that sinner as he screamed in hell."


Page 127

        To indulge in such songs from eight until half-past ten at night was the chief employment of these "Bands." Prayer was only a secondary thing, and this was crude and extravagant to the last degree. The man who had the most powerful pair of lungs was the one who made the best prayer, and he could be heard a square off. He who could sing loudest and longest led the "Band," having his loins girded and a handkerchief in his hand with which he kept time while his feet resounded on the floor like the drum-sticks of a bass drum. In some places it was the custom to begin these dances after night service and keep it up until midnight, sometimes singing and dancing alternately--a short prayer and a long dance. Some one has even called it a "Voodoo dance." I have remonstrated with a number of pastors for permitting these practices, which vary somewhat in different localities, but have been invariably met with the response that you could not succeed in restraining them, and any attempt to compel them to cease would simply drive them away from our Church. I suppose that with the most stupid and headstrong it is an incurable disease, but with me it is a question whether it would not be better to let such people go out of the Church than to remain in it to perpetuate their evil practices, and thus do two things: disgrace the Christian name and corrupt others. Anyone who knows human nature must infer the result of such midnight practices to be that the day after they are unfit for manual labor, and that at the end of the dance their exhaustion would render them an easy prey to Satan. These meetings must always be more damaging physically, morally, and religiously, than beneficial. How needful it is to have an intelligent ministry to teach these people who hold to this ignorant mode of worship, the true method of serving God. And my observations lead me to the conclusion that we need more than an intelligent ministry to cure this religious fanaticism. We need a host of Christian reformers like Saint Paul, who will not only speak against these evils, but who will also resist them, even if excommunication be necessary. The time is at hand when the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church must drive out this heathenish mode of worship or drive out all the intelligent, refined, and practical Christians who may be in her bosom.

        So far from being in harmony with the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, it antagonizes it. And what is most deplorable, some of our most powerful and popular preachers labor systematically to perpetuate this fanaticism. Such preachers never rest until they create an excitement that consists in shouting, jumping, and dancing. To these sensational and recreant preachers I recommend the careful and prayerful study of the text: "To the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."


        On April 17, 1878, Bishop John M. Brown and Rev. A. T. Carr organized a Liberian Mission Church in Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, S. C., which


Page 128

was composed of persons bent on leaving America for Liberia, West Africa. Rev. S. F. Flegler was appointed pastor; Clement Irons and Scott Bailey, local preachers and class leaders; Clement Irons, Scott Bailey, and John Batiest were appointed trustees. Thirty members were enrolled. They sailed on the bark "Azores" on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1878, for Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, where they landed after a voyage of forty-three days. Rev. S. F. Flegler returned to America, but Clement Irons remained in Liberia, where he died. He was of a mechanical turn of mind, and having received some training in engineering before leaving the United States, constructed a steam-launch for service on the Saint Paul's River. The author met him in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, in November, 1894. Mr. Irons was adventurous, of keen insight, industrious, and possessed a character strongly marked with charitable and benevolent designs. It is men of his sterling worth, push, and enterprise that Liberia sadly needs.

        During the quadrennium ending April 30, 1880, the development of the Church had progressed satisfactorily. Many new church buildings had been erected, a considerable number of parsonages built, and the indebtedness of several local churches greatly diminished. Nine new Annual Conferences had been formed--Kansas, West Tennessee, South Arkansas, North Mississippi, East Florida, Columbia, North Alabama, Northeast Texas, and Indiana. The work of evangelism had not been neglected, and numerous accessions were reported, resulting in a favorable increase in the membership of the Connection.

        The sixteenth General Conference assembled in Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church, in the city of Saint Louis, Mo., on Monday, May 3, 1880, and continued until and including May 24. It was composed of 6 bishops, 5 general officers, 97 ministers, and 49 laymen. Total, 157. The delegates from the Columbia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Tennessee Annual Conferences were omitted from the list of delegates recorded in the printed Journal. There were twenty delegates from these four Annual Conferences in the General Conference of 1884. Presuming that they had the same number of delegates in the preceding General Conference, it would make the total membership of the General Conference of 1880, including the bishops and general officers, 177. There were


Page 129

34 Annual Conferences represented. The Quadrennial Sermon was preached by Bishop T. M. D. Ward. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop J. P. Campbell. T. W. Henderson was the entertaining pastor. The printed Journal of proceedings contains 317 pages.

        After the devotional services, the Conference was organized by the election of B. W. Arnett, secretary; James A. Johnson and C. Asbury, assistant secretaries; M. E. Bryant, C. O. H. Thomas, and M. M. Mance, statistical secretaries. There was a reversal of the order of proceedings in that the Episcopal address was read before the Quadrennial Sermon was delivered. The following paragraphs from the Episcopal Address will indicate its strength and scope:

        Nothing has occurred during the past sixty-four years to shake our conviction in the utility and importance of the existence of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, nor to lessen our attachment to its institutions. We venture to say that, all things considered, there does not exist upon the American continent a more united ecclesiastical community than ours. Almost universal peace and harmony have prevailed among our members during the past four years. This has been exhibited in their submission to the doctrines, discipline, and government of the Church. With but few exceptions, there is harmony and unity among our ministers and laymen in adherence to the peculiarities of our ecclesiastical system. Revivals have been numerous, with the result that many souls have been saved to the glory of God. Thousands have been added to the Church, its borders have been extended, and our houses of worship and parsonages have been greatly increased in number, displaying an improved style of architecture. We are very pleased to be able to inform you that our preachers have been more liberally supported during the past four years than during any former period; nevertheless, there are too many instances where preachers and their families have had to endure much suffering. This, however, has not been for want of ability or general willingness of the people to support their pastors and families, but has been for want of right and proper management on the part of the stewards and the Quarterly Conferences. We have not yet reached the highest point obtainable in our Sunday-school work, in the selection of officers and teachers, and in the production of Sunday-school literature. We want and must have literature of our own hands, heads, and hearts, adapted to the wants and necessities of our schools.

        With every advancing year of history it is being shown that general education, under the care of the Church, is a powerful agency for good. The general demand for scholarly attainments, the wide-spreading intellectual light of our times, the impetus given by classical and scientific knowledge, leave us no alternative but to meet the emergency with


Page 130

extensive and energetic measures; or surrender all that we have obtained by our separate and independent existence as a Church, and abandon all our hopes and prospects for the future of our race. But this we cannot do. Our Wilberforce University, together with our collegiate and normal schools, must of necessity be sustained by us. Better that we had never borne the name of a separate and independent Church than that these now flourishing institutions should fail for the want of the aid and comfort that you can give.


        The Address contained a review of the various general departments, embodying such recommendations as were demanded by existing conditions. Following the reading of the Episcopal Address, Bishop T. M. D. Ward was introduced to preach the Quadrennial Sermon. Text: Acts 20. 18. Subject; "The Shepherd and His Flock." The effort fully sustained Bishop Ward's reputation for eloquence. Touching the power of the intellect, he said:

Brain power will be supreme. Encourage learning and you will live; despise it and you will die. An enlightened ministry, whose talents and calling have been consecrated to God, will make an intelligent, large-hearted Church. "Like priest, like people." We should select books that contain within as small a compass as possible the pith and marrow of the best authors upon such subjects which most interest and concern us. No man can learn everything, but what any other man has done we can do. Master whatever you take in hand. A knowledge of the classics, and especially of mathematics, will be great aids in the interpretation of the doctrines of the gospel.

        It has already been stated that Bishop Ward had a reputation for eloquence, and as a sample the concluding part of his sermon is quoted:

        Ye who come from the different sections of our ocean-bound Republic, our country, made one by the blood of a million men--a nation whose domain extends from sea to sea--purified in the hot furnace of civil war, is now rising into greatness, not through her vast possessions only, but by her respect for the rights of men. This nation, with her feet dipping in the waters of the Gulf, her head reclining on the granite peaks of Alaska, to such a country we re-affirm our unswerving allegiance. Men who come from the sunny Savannahs of the flower-spangled South; and from the rolling, teeming prairies of the West, as well as from the sunset land where Mounts Shasta, Hood, and Baker lift their white shafts to the clouds--to one and all, we say, be loyal to God, be true to yourselves, to your Church, and to your race. Avoid the pedantry of learning.


Page 131

        Crush out the imps of ignorance, vaunting ambition, treachery, political trickery, and hell-born caste, always placing true and tried men over the flock. Do all these things and we shall be a pole-star to the colored Methodists of America. Africa, long shrouded in pagan night, shall catch the silvery beams that stream from Bethlehem's star; Ethiopia, long despised, forgotten, and forsaken, shall stretch forth her hands to the Heavenly Shepherd, who to-day is ranging the cold, barren mountains of paganism, seeking the millions who have been torn by the wolves of superstition and idolatry.


        A matter that required considerable time for its discussion was the appeal of R. H. Cain from the action of the bishops and members of the Missionary Board in removing him from the office of Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Department. Advocates for the appellant were W. E. Johnson, of South Carolina; C. O. H. Thomas, of Tennessee; H. M. Turner, of Georgia; T. G. Steward, of Philadelphia; and J. E. Hayne, of South Carolina. Advocates for the defense were James H. A. Johnson, of Maryland; A. M. Green, of Louisiana; J. C. Embry, of Kansas; and James A. Handy, of Maryland. On the call of the roll the appeal was not sustained by a vote of 144 nays to 35 yeas. Two other appeals were heard. One was that of J. D. Weir against his suspension by the Kansas Annual Conference for imprudent conduct. This appeal was referred to the Episcopal Committee, which recommended the reversal of the action of the Kansas Annual Conference, and the restoration of the appellant to his former standing in the Church. The other was that of Aaron Prindle against his expulsion by the Virginia Annual Conference. This appeal was referred to the Committee on Episcopacy, which reported it without action.

        Two protests were filed, one by Bishop Payne against the action of the General Conference in refusing to seat John G. Yeiser as a delegate from the New Jersey Annual Conference. A summary of the protest is as follows:


        The other protest was that of A. M. Green against what he claimed was an arbitrary ruling of the Chair in entertaining a motion to expunge from the records of the General Conference, without reconsideration, a matter that had been referred to the Committee on Episcopacy.

        Memorials were received from Boston, Wilmington, N. C., and New Orleans--the first requesting permission to ask for a ten-cent collection from the entire membership to aid in purchasing from the Charles Street Baptist Society a house of worship on the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Streets, for the sum of $40,000; the second urging the organization of a Sunday School Union; and the third urging a change in the manner of creating class leaders. A manual known as Wayman on the Discipline was adopted, to be studied in connection with that of Baker on the Discipline. Permission was granted for the division of the Georgia, Louisiana, and Kentucky Annual Conferences. The bond of the financial secretary was increased from five thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars. The bishops were urgently requested to appoint one of their number to visit Haiti. The Committee on the State of the Church recommended the holding of a General Council of all the colored Methodists in the country. Nashville, Tenn., was selected as the headquarters of the financial secretary. The salary of the bishops was fixed at $1,800 per annum; and that of the general officers at $1,350; except that of the Secretary of Education, who, in lieu of a stated salary, should receive a commission of twenty per cent on every dollar that he collected. A resolution offered by J. B. Stansbury requiring bishops and elders to wear robes when officiating was lost. It was ordered that the trustees of local churches be required to submit the deeds of property to their respective Annual Conferences for examination as to their having been drawn in accordance with the form of deed in our Book of Discipline. A Commission was created to meet the General Conference of the British Methodist Episcopal Church for the purpose of arranging


Page 133

and effecting a modus operandi of cooperation in the missionary work in the West Indies and British Guiana, such cooperation to be known as the "Reunion of the African Methodist Episcopal and British Methodist Episcopal Churches in America." W. H. Hunter, J. A. Handy, J. M. Townsend, John Turner, Nathan Mitchem, Joseph E. Hayne, I. N. Fitzpatrick, J. T. Jenifer, and W. R. Carson were named as members of the Commission. Bishop Turner offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That in the event of an agreement of terms of union between the Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the General Conference of the British Methodist Episcopal Church being satisfactorily adjusted, the terms of union shall be submitted to the several Annual Conferences, and the adoption of the terms by two thirds of said Annual Conferences shall be regarded as binding.

        The bishops were authorized to revise the course of study for candidates in the itinerant work; to revise the rules of worship; to prescribe the services of the following days: Thanksgiving, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday; also to appoint days of prayer and fasting when in their judgment the condition of the Church or nation required it.

        The Conference had the distinction of receiving Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist; Bishop R. R. Disney, of the British Methodist Episcopal Church; the Rev. William Arthur, A.M., president of the Wesleyan Conference of England; Rev. F. W. McDonald, a member of the Wesleyan Conference of England; the Rev. Wallace McMillan, a member of the Irish Wesleyan Conference, as fraternal delegates. The Rev. J. O. A. Clark, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, representing the Wesley Monumental Church, Savannah, Ga., and the Memorial Volume, was also received. This is the first time that representatives of the British Wesleyan Church visited the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. They were cordially received and were felicitous in the presentation of the fraternal greetings that they bore. Responses were made by Bishop Campbell, B. T. Tanner, T. H. Jackson, J. C. Embry, and W. H. Hunter.

        In response to the invitation of the delegates of the British Wesleyan Church to share in the work of the organization of an "Ecumenical Methodist Conference," to consist of two sections--an


Page 134

Eastern and a Western, the Eastern to include all Methodists in Europe and the Western to embrace all Methodists in North America--J. H. A. Johnson and Mr. Isaac Ware were appointed to represent the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At a meeting of the representatives of various Methodist bodies in Saint Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 6, 1881, an agreement was reached for the holding of an Ecumenical Methodist Conference in Wesley Chapel, City Road, London, England, in August, 1881. It was not to have any legislative authority. It was not to engage in doctrinal controversies, nor to attempt to harmonize the various polities and usages of the several branches of Methodism. It was to engage in the consideration of such matters as would facilitate home and foreign work, promote fraternity, increase the moral and evangelical powers of Methodism, and secure the more speedy conversion of the world. It was to be composed of four hundred members, of which two hundred were to be assigned to British and Continental Methodism and their affiliated Conferences and mission fields. Two hundred were to be assigned to the various Methodist bodies in the United States and Canada and to their foreign work. In the distribution of the quota allowed the Western Section, twelve were assigned to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        In response to the appeal of Dr. J. O. A. Clark, the sum of one thousand dollars was pledged for the purpose of placing a memorial window in Wesley Monumental Church in Savannah, Ga. The amount was to be apportioned among the several Annual Conferences, which would average about thirty-five dollars each. A Committee on the Exodus of the Colored People from the South to the West was appointed. The election of bishops and general officers resulted as follows:

        A motion offered by W. J. Gaines, providing for the issuance


Page 135

of an African Methodist Episcopal Church Advocate, to be published in Alabama or Georgia, was adopted.

        At this General Conference a radical departure from a long established custom is to be noted, namely, that the Episcopal Committee assigned the bishops to the episcopal districts. Prior to 1880 the bishops had made the assignments.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

NECROLOGY

        Rev. John W. Burley, Financial Secretary, a member of the Baltimore Annual Conference; Rev. James H. Madison and Rev. Charles Burch, of the Louisiana Annual Conference; Rev. Henry A. Jackson, of the Mississippi Annual Conference; Rev. J. W. Wyatt, of the Florida Annual Conference; Rev. John R. Scott, of the East Florida Annual Conference.

        As to other Methodisms, the meeting of the eighth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is to be noted. This body convened in Atlanta, Georgia, May 1, 1878. There were 149 clerical and 129 lay delegates. Dr. Thomas O. Summers was the secretary. The publishing house was reported


Page 136

insolvent. The Book Committee was instructed to put the house into liquidation in case no relief could be obtained. The Woman's Missionary Society was established. The Book Committee was given control of the publishing house. The convening of the fourth General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, in Jackson, Tennessee, on August 7, is also to be noted. Rev. C. W. Fitzhugh was secretary. At the opening of the Conference Bishop W. H. Miles reported that he had organized a Washington Mission Conference, the nucleus of which was Israel Church, in Washington, D. C. Most of the time of this Conference, which covered thirty days, was spent in fixing the boundaries of the Annual Conferences and revising the Discipline. The prevalence of yellow fever proved a menace to the work of the Conference.

        In relation to domestic and foreign affairs, the Russians occupied Adrianople; a British fleet entered the Dardanelles; and the British occupied Cyprus under a convention with Turkey to uphold the treaty of the Ottoman Empire. It is worthy of note that if Great Britain had played fair with Russia, and had been true to the cause of the Christian religion, Russia would have gained a complete victory over Turkey, the freedom of the Dardanelles would have been secured to all nations, and the rule of the Ottoman Empire restricted. Great Britain paid for her covetousness of Cyprus in blood and treasure when she attempted to force the Dardanelles during the World War.


Page 137

CHAPTER XI
THIRD PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1873-1892 (CONTINUED)

        Bishop Payne Sailed the Second Time for Europe--Founding of Western University--Tricennial Anniversary of the Election of D. A. Payne to the Bishopric--Meeting of the Council of Bishops--Presentation of a Plan for the Organization of a Connectional Sunday School Union--Bishop Campbell's Prize Essay--Seventeenth General Conference, Baltimore, Md., 1884--Bishop Brown's Historic Quadrennial Sermon--Much Adverse Criticism Provoked--Declaration on the Subject of Ritualism--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Revolt in South Carolina.

        ON July 9, 1881, Bishop Payne left New York on the S.S. "Egypt" for Europe, which was his second trip. The voyage from New York to Liverpool occupied ten days. The day after his arrival he visited the Wesleyan Conference. Later on he attended the first Ecumenical Methodist Conference. This year our educational work was strengthened by the founding of Western University, Quindaro, Kansas. It is located on a tract of land containing about eighty-nine acres, and is situated in a beautiful and healthful location. The land had previously been secured by the Kansas Annual Conference, which body is entitled to the credit of initiating the movement for the establishment of Western University.

        The Tricennial Anniversary of the election of Daniel A. Payne to the bishopric was held in Sullivan Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, New York City, May 11-13, 1882. The anniversary was initiated by Bishop A. W. Wayman. An elaborate program, in which a number of the most eminent persons in the Church participated, marked the occasion. Among the bishops who took part were Bishops Campbell, Brown, Ward, Dickerson, and Cain. Among the ministers present were G. T. Watkins, James M. Townsend, B. W. Arnett, J. G. Mitchell, John Turner, G. W. Brodie, James H. A. Johnson, C. S. Smith, M. F. Sluby, B. T. Tanner, T. G. Steward,


Page 138

W. J. Gaines, T. W. Henderson, James A. Handy, W. H. Hunter, J. T. Jenifer, T. H. Jackson, and M. E. Bryant. J. C. Watts, A.M., represented the laity. Bishop James A. Shorter was master of ceremonies. The bishop of the First Episcopal District, John M. Brown, and the pastor of the church, T. McCants Stewart, spared no pains to make the anniversary a distinctive event in the annals of African Methodism, and worthy of the bishop whom it was designed to honor. The congregation of Sullivan Street Church generously and loyally cooperated with the pastor in making the banquet a feast fit for a king. When Bishop Payne was elected there was not one minister in the Church who had a literary degree or an honorary title, but there sat with him at the table three persons with the degree of LL.D., seven with D.D., one with M.D., three with B.D., one with B.S., one with LL.B., and one with A.B. They had come from thirteen States, and represented eight of the nine Episcopal Districts.

        At the close of the anniversary the Council of Bishops met, at which time the Rev. C. S. Smith presented a plan for the organization of a Connectional Sunday School Union. As the bishops were somewhat fatigued by the exercises of the Tricennial Anniversary, they decided to hold a special meeting of the Council at Cape May, N. J., on the tenth of the following August. At this meeting a plan for the organization of a Connectional Sunday School Union was considered and adopted. The constitution provided that the senior bishop should be the president and the other bishops, vice-presidents. Rev. C. S. Smith was chosen secretary; Rev. Horace Talbert, recording secretary; and Mr. Isaac Meyers, treasurer. A Board of Managers consisting of one minister and one layman from each Episcopal District was designated, according to the requirements of the constitution. It also provided for the setting apart of a Sunday to be known as Children's Day to be held annually, at which time the Sunday schools throughout the Connection were to make contributions for the support of the Sunday School Union. The first observance of Children's Day was October 29, 1882.

        During the year 1882, Bishop J. P. Campbell offered a prize of fifty dollars for the three best essays on "The Scriptural Means of Producing an Immediate Revival of Pure Christianity


Page 139

in the Ministry and Laity of Our Church." This sum was to be divided into three prizes of twenty-five, fifteen, and ten dollars each. There were eleven contestants--ten ministers and one layman. The ministers were Frank Johnson, Alabama; John P. Barton, Talladega, Ala.; J. T. Williams, Bowling Green, Ky.; W. R. Carson, Dallas, Tex.; D. W. Timothy, Rahway, N. J.; John W. Taylor, Charleston, Mo.; J. K. Plato, Farmville, Va.; J. C. Embry, Leavenworth, Kan.; T. G. Steward, Philadelphia, Pa.; C. S. Smith, Bloomington, Ill. The layman was John F. Brown, Baltimore, Md. The Committee on awarding the prizes consisted of Revs. B. T. Tanner, T. Gould, J. M. Townsend, B. W. Arnett, and Mr. Parker T. Smith. The first prize was awarded to Rev. C. S. Smith, the second to Rev. T. G. Steward, and the third to the Rev. J. W. Taylor.

        The lapse of four years brings us to the seventeenth General Conference, which assembled on Monday, May 5, 1884, at 10 a. m., in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Saratoga Street, Baltimore, Md. The membership consisted of 9 bishops, 5 general officers, 137 ministers, and 60 laymen. Total, 211. Number of Annual Conferences represented, 39. The Quadrennial Sermon was preached by Bishop J. M. Brown. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop W. F. Dickerson. The printed Journal of the proceedings contains 424 pages. Bishop A. W. Wayman delivered the welcome address and spoke in part as follows:

Forty-four years ago to-day the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church met in this city and on this sacred spot. Five Annual Conferences were represented. The membership was composed of two bishops and thirty-two delegates, including itinerant and local preachers. Two other bodies met in Baltimore on the same day--the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the National Whig Convention, which nominated General Harrison for the Presidency of the United States. Forty-four years ago, when the General Conference met here, there was not one thoroughly educated man in our ministry; not one high school, college, nor university in the Connection. But to-day we look with pleasure to our splendid Wilberforce University located in the Buckeye State; to our Allen University at the capital of the Palmetto State; to Paul Quinn College in the Lone-Star State; and, last but not least, to the Jacksonville High School in the land of flowers. Bishops and delegates, we welcome you to the hospitality of our humble homes, and to the good things of
Page 140

life such as only old Maryland can produce. We welcome you to our churches and pulpits that you may preach to us the glorious gospel of the Son of God.

        J. C. Waters and W. H. Hunter made suitable responses.

        As it relates to patristic theology, the Quadrennial Sermon delivered by Bishop John M. Brown was an epoch-making event, marking, as it did, a close cleavage between Ecclesiasticism and Methodism. In its range, sweep, and extent, it stands out singly and alone as the most unique and scholarly Quadrennial Sermon to which the members of a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church had ever listened. It not only produced a profound impression, but provoked strong adverse criticism. It was a challenge to the Church to depart from the tenets of Methodism and embrace those of Episcopalianism. The prelude to the sermon contained illuminating data relative to the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The text of the sermon was Exodus 19. 6, and Isaiah 61. 6. Theme: The Priesthood. It was treated under three heads: 1. The Priesthood of All Ages. 2. The Jewish Priesthood. 3. Dissimilarity and Similarity of the Priesthood of All Ages and the Christian Priesthood. As the sermon covers twenty-eight printed pages, and is so multifarious in its ramifications that the formulation of an intelligible digest is not an inviting task, one paragraph will suffice to indicate the provocative cause of the adverse criticism. It is as follows:

Now, if what we have said be true, is it improper to ask is there any truth in the doctrine of Apostolic Succession and of an historic Church and Ministry? We have been taught that our episcopacy is an order and not merely an office and we have denominated our bishops as "Rt. Rev." This is the theory of our Church. Our Church theoretically and practically maintains the Apostolic Succession through the bishops. Our bishops are set apart to their work as an order by a service more solemn than that even of the Priesthood or Elder. They only can ordain. Thus we are, at least in theory, in accord with the Christendom of all ages and with the Christendom in nearly all the world. We claim descent from the historic Anglican Churches in America and Great Britain directly through Rev. Absalom Jones, and indirectly through Rev. John Wesley, both of whom lived and died as priests of these Churches. Is the Episcopal Church historic? Has she the Apostolic Succession? She has both.

Page 141

        The peroration is so apt and forceful as to warrant its quotation here. It follows:

        Double honor means, as almost every critic of note says, reward, stipend, wages. Dr. Clark says, "Let him that rules well have double pay, or larger salary." Why? Because in the discharge of his duty he must be at expense in proportion to his diligence in visiting and relieving the sick; in lodging and providing for strangers; in a word, in his being given to hospitality, which is required of every bishop or presbyter. No church nor class of officers in any Christian community that deal narrowly in the support of those who rule well can expect prosperity, nor will they have success. Years of my life, in youth, middle age, and matured manhood, have been given to the service of the Church; and I have not seen a church prosper that shut up its heart against the servants of God. Worn-out preachers are but poorly provided for. The most paid to any of them is what the New York and Philadelphia Annual Conferences pay and that is but three hundred dollars a year. Can a sick man live on so small a pittance? There were provided by God thirteen cities and other benefits for the priests, but there is not in all our Connection an acre of ground nor a log cabin which a worthy itinerant can claim as his own prepared by the Connection. What shall we do? We have pointed out the dignity, clothing, and robes of the priests. We have said that the order of bishops, elders, and deacons in the Christian Church is the same as that of the High Priests and Levites in the Jewish Church. God never intended to destroy their function nor their power. The servant of God should come to his work boldly, fearlessly, and in the fear of God--fearing no man, but trusting God.

        The ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is in a transition state. Our aim should be high, our purposes one, all our forces concentrated, and our unification perfected. The question should be, what can we do to perfect our existence?



Page 142

        The Episcopal Address was marked by breadth of scholarship and the general knowledge of affairs. The business of the General Conference was outlined as follows:

The business claiming the attention of this seventeenth General Conference of our Church is, as always, vast and important. It is earnestly hoped and believed that with the devout and experienced brethren who are returned to this Conference, together with those who are here for the first time, many of the scenes of past sessions which are not written in the chronicles as evidences of wisdom and grace on our part, may be entirely avoided by a cooler discussion, and, perhaps, by wiser business methods, which may eliminate the personal and augment the general interest of all individuals and of the whole Church. In the transaction of business, however, we suggest that change does not always mean progress; that radical changes every four years in the laws of the Church which are found to work generally well are unhealthy to progress and baneful to the permanent peace and prosperity of the Church. Nor would we fail to suggest that all our laws should be so framed that not merely local, but general interests should be most subserved. In other words, the laws should fit the entire Church rather than any one part of it, for we find in very deed and truth that our Church is a unit--composed of Annual Conferences, stations, circuits, and missions.

        The closing part of the address sounded a warning as to a decline in reverence for Christian ministers, in the following words:

There was a period in the history of the Church when there was a proper reverence for ministers, when no unseemly levity was indulged in their presence; for while these men were not forbidding in their words or manners, they at the same time forbade that familiarity which breeds contempt. Can it be that the difference between the present and the past reverential demeanor toward Christian ministers is the result of a radical change on the part of the laity; or may it be that there is such a difference between the rank and file of those who once filled the office and those who fill it now that to the present incumbents of the holy office is due this lack of reverence? If this latter be true, might it not be well to press home upon the minds and hearts of all our ministers the necessity of observing that gravity which is so becoming and so necessary to adorn our holy calling? And this gravity is not incompatible with a joyous heart and a smiling countenance; for of the many things which detract most from the Christian ministry, none is more reprehensible than a pretentious, affected sanctity, which is wholly unbecoming to the minister and to his calling. A return to that gravity and dignity which shall inspire reverential awe and beget a holy confidence in us and our work, can
Page 143

certainly do nothing less than good. Nearly all denominations appear to be similarly affected.

        As usual, the address set forth the conditions and needs of the various departments.

        Report number one of the Episcopal Committee dealt with the dogma of Apostolic Succession in a series of eight declarations. It expressed deep regret that the dogma of Apostolic Succession, and a distinct and separate priesthood and ministry had been preached in our pulpits. The eighth declaration made its preaching a breach of discipline, subjecting any person found guilty thereof to trial, and if condemned, to suspension or expulsion at the discretion of the Committee by whom such a person should be tried.

        Further proceedings of the Conference included the appointment of a committee to investigate the difficulties in Morris Brown Church, in Charleston, S. C.; the adoption of a resolution eulogistic of the life and character of Wendell Phillips; the reception of Frederick Douglass and T. Thomas Fortune as visitors; taking a recess for the purpose of going to Washington City and paying respects to his Excellency, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States; the appointment of a committee to consider organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; the adoption of a recommendation for the reorganization of a Mutual Aid Society; the adoption of a resolution commemorative of the death of J. F. Slater, who gave one million dollars in perpetuity for the education of colored youth; the appointment of William F. Dickerson, C. S. Smith, B. F. Lee, T. G. Steward, and A. M. Green, a committee to prepare a catechism for use in the Sunday schools of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; granting permission to the North Carolina Annual Conference to divide; empowering the bishops when necessary to divide any Annual Conference with and by the consent of a majority of the members of the same; the adoption of a resolution of thanks to the Rev. C. K. Marshall, of Vicksburg, Miss., for his able reply to Dr. J. L. Tucker, who had lectured on the immorality of the Negro; the adoption of a resolution endorsing Tanner's An Outline of Our History and Government for African Methodist Churchmen, Ministerial and Lay; making provision for retired


Page 144

bishops, and for the relief of the flood sufferers in the Mississippi Valley; ordering the business of the Sunday School Union to be conducted on a cash basis; and designating Wilberforce University as the place of the annual meeting of the Council of Bishops.

        The fraternal delegates were Rev. W. H. Saint Clair, Nashville, Tenn., and Rev. E. Roy, D.D., Atlanta, Ga., representing the National Council of the Congregational Churches in the United States; Rev. C. H. Meade and J. N. Stearns of the National Temperance Society.

        After a spirited discussion on the subject of Ritualism, the following resolutions presented by C. S. Smith were adopted:

        Whereas, we recognize that it is justly due to the righteous deeds, sublime self-sacrifice, and heroic devotion of those who conceived and fashioned the distinctive elements in the foundation and framework of our denominational organism that those who inherit, possess, and enjoy the fruits of their unwavering faith, unceasing diligence, and unremitting toil, should emphatically resent every effort calculated to work a hasty, unwarranted, and unnecessary departure from the landmarks established by the fathers; and

        Whereas, we believe that the doctrine, practices, usages, and genius of American Methodism, as believed, observed, and confirmed by the founders of African Methodism and their successors to the present day, should in their entirety, without modification, restriction, or enlargement, be believed, practiced, and conformed to by those entrusted with the continued preservation and development of African Methodism in its historical and progressive relation; and

        Whereas, we further believe that in all things essential as touching the doctrines, government, service, order, and work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, there should be oneness of purpose, concurrent opinion, continuity of methods, and harmony of feelings and relations between the several factors that compose the whole;

        Resolved, That we hold as the result of our best knowledge and highest wisdom, based on the facts of history and the teachings and experiences of the same, resulting primarily from the origin and development of American Methodism, that it is highly inexpedient and unwise to permit any innovation in the concurrent beliefs, practices, and usages of African Methodism; and in view of this, we do not hesitate to affirm that the dogma of Apostolic Succession is foreign and repugnant to the concurrent beliefs and teachings of African Methodism, and that no bishop nor minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church should be allowed publicly to proclaim opinions and views favorable thereto.

        Resolved, That as touching the usages and practices of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, we are free to aver that while it is


Page 145

desirable to secure uniformity in the order of the public services, and to enlist, so far as possible, the thought and spirit of the people in the same; and while we grant that the orderly repetition of the Decalogue, the Apostles' Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the responsive reading of the Scriptures may conduce to the attainment thereof, we strenuously deny that the use of a heavy and prosy ritualistic service by the public congregation will in any sense increase its spiritual interest, and we deprecate any and all efforts that favor the introduction of ritualism in connection with our public services.

        Resolved, That the wearing of robes, gowns, or surplices by the bishops or ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is at variance with the simplicity of Methodist usages and should, therefore, be discontinued.

        Resolved, That all laws or parts of law in conflict with the spirit and language of this declaration be and the same are hereby repealed.


        On a call of the roll the declaration was adopted by a vote of one hundred twenty-seven yeas to eleven nays.

        The appeal of Bishop R. H. Cain from the decision of the Northeast Texas Annual Conference in restoring W. R. Carson to membership without examining the books, records, etc., was not sustained. The appeal of J. E. Hayne against the South Carolina Annual Conference was referred back to the Conference. Bishop Payne filed a protest against organic union with the British Methodist Episcopal Church. The text of the protest covers ten and one half pages of the printed Journal of the proceedings of the General Conference. There were no bishops elected. The publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review (quarterly) was ordered. The general officers elected were: J. C. Embry, Business Manager of the Book Concern; B. F. Lee, Editor of the Christian Recorder; B. W. Arnett, Financial Secretary; J. M. Townsend, Missionary Secretary; C. S. Smith, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; B. T. Tanner, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; and William D. Johnson, Secretary of Education.

NECROLOGY

        Rev. H. A. Knight, Philadelphia Annual Conference; Rev. Deaton Dorrell, New England Annual Conference; Rev. A. T. Carr, South Carolina Annual Conference; Rev. William H. Noble, Georgia Annual Conference; Rev. M. M. Mance and Rev. H. D. Edwards, Columbia Annual Conference.


Page 146

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

        During the quadrennium from 1880 to 1884 considerable unrest was manifested in African Methodist circles in South Carolina, resulting in an organized revolt led by the Rev. W. E. Johnson. The chief cause of the revolt was factional strife. Rev. Johnson had a commanding personality and possessed many qualities of leadership. He was radical in his tendencies, to which sometimes his judgment was subordinated. The attack of the revolters centered around an effort to wrest Morris Brown Church, Charleston, from the Connection. The case was taken to court with adverse results to the disloyal parties. The decree of the court was that both of the contending factions enjoyed equal rights in the use of Morris Brown Church as a place of worship so long as they remained adherents of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; but should they terminate their adherence, their right to the use of the property would cease. It was a number of years before the spirit of revolt entirely disappeared.


Page 147

CHAPTER XII
THIRD PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1873-1892 (CONTINUED)

        Bishop Payne Summoned to Chatham, Canada--Bishop Payne's Dissertation on Organic Union--Departure of Bishop William Taylor, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with a Band of Missionaries, for Africa--Eighteenth General Conference, Indianapolis, Ind., May, 1888--Resolutions on Organic Union Referred to Special Committee--Committee's Report--Election of Four Bishops--Commission on Revision Recommended that a Limited Veto Power be Vested in the Council of Bishops--Further Proceedings of the Conference--The Act of Bishop Turner in Ordaining a Woman Repudiated--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments.

        IN May, 1885, Bishop D. A. Payne went to Chatham, Canada, as he had been summoned there as a witness in the Court of Chancery to testify to the historical facts concerning the organization of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, and to what claims the African Methodist Episcopal Church had on the property of the former, which had been in their undisputed and unquestioned possession for twenty-nine years. The decision of the Court was to the effect that all property which had been deeded in the name of the British Methodist Episcopal Church should remain as such, and that the African Methodist Episcopal Church should continue in the possession of all property which had been deeded in its name. While it is true that a minority of the ministers and members of the British Methodist Episcopal Church strongly opposed organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, yet since the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Baltimore, Maryland, May, 1884, confirmed and ratified its action in 1880 in re organic union with the British Methodist Episcopal Church, the propriety of Bishop Payne's appearance in the Chancery Court at Chatham as a witness for the minority is questionable. It seems to have been a refusal to respect and obey a solemn mandate of the General Conference and to defy the authority he was pledged to uphold. Despite this inference, the presumption is not warranted that Bishop Payne's opposition to organic union between


Page 148

the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church was purely captious. This is reflected in his dissertation, which is well-nigh prophetic, on how two religious denominations may become one. His statements are so pregnant with logic and reason that they justify their reproduction here. Not only this, but they should evoke the cogitation and study of the unifications of the present day. He reasoned thus:

(1) By absorption; (2) By unification. To effect oneness of two distinct denominations by absorption, whether they be similar or dissimilar, depends upon the qualities which distinguish the one to be absorbed. These qualities may be such as: (1) members; (2) intelligence; (3) purity; (4) wealth. If all these, or a majority of them, be out of proportion to the related body, then absorption is necessary; also when they stand related as one to three, or one to four, or two to four, in numerical strength; or when they are related as children to full-grown men in knowledge, in piety, in usefulness, this superior knowledge, piety, and usefulness, being demonstrated by what has been accomplished; likewise where the poverty of the one and the wealth of the other are related as one tenth to one hundredth, or one hundred ten thousandths to one million. But two or more religious denominations may become one when the aforementioned qualities are equally possessed by the parties desiring to be united in one government under the same Discipline. Such is the pride of the human heart that unless the Spirit of Jesus has taken entire possession of it, the more numerous, the more intelligent, the more pious, and the more wealthy will regard the less numerous, the less intelligent, the less pious, and the less wealthy as inferiors; therefore, they will reject all proposals for organic union. But if two or more different denominations sincerely and earnestly desire organic union--in answer to the solemn, marvelous, and immortal prayer of the Son of God, as given us in the seventeenth chapter of Saint John's Gospel--no inequality of numbers, of intelligence, of piety, nor of wealth will prove to be an insurmountable barrier. As to names and titles, be they genuine or not--devised by mortal, erring man--they shall not be able to stand against the omnipotent will of the Redeemer. What is true of names and titles is equally true of human organizations; for no particular form of Church government is indicated, much less commended, in the written word of God. Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, Methodism, Episcopalianism, and Papalism are all of human device and origin, designed to minister to human pride, human vanity, human dignity, or human power. All these must fade away before the presence of the conquering Son of God. The name Christian--that and that alone--will be able to stand before enlightened, progressive humanity, the glory of the millennium, and the consuming fires of the judgment-day to which we all are hastening, and for which we all ought to live.

Page 149

        The departure of Bishop William Taylor, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with a band of missionaries for Africa, was one of the significant events of 1885. It was a wonderful and daring adventure. It had no great missionary organization behind it like the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East, or like the Wesleyan Missionary Society, or the American Board of Foreign Missions. The intrepid bishop and his band of missionaries placed themselves like trustful children in the hands of our Heavenly Father. How strong their faith!

        About this time the completion of Bishop Payne's treatise on "Domestic Education" was announced.

        The eighteenth General Conference assembled in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 7, 1888. It was composed of 9 bishops, 7 general officers, 182 ministers, and 86 laymen. Total, 268. Of this number 43 ministerial and 6 lay delegates were members of the General Conference of 1884. Fifty Annual Conferences were represented, including nine new Annual Conferences which had been organized during the quadrennium. Bishop D. A. Payne delivered the Quadrennial Sermon. Bishop T. M. D. Ward read the Episcopal Address. The organization of the Conference was effected by the election of M. E. Bryant, secretary; T. H. Jackson, C. Pierce Nelson, assistant secretaries; J. H. Collett, B. A. J. Nixon, statistical secretaries; C. Asbury, reading clerk; A. W. Upshaw, engrossing clerk.

        The addresses of welcome were delivered by Bishop J. P. Campbell and J. W. Gazaway. Responses were made by James A. Handy and B. T. Tanner. An unusual proceeding was the holding of a sacramental service in the afternoon of the first day. The sermon was preached by Bishop D. A. Payne. It is a significant fact that Bishop Payne preached three sermons during the Conference--the Sacramental, the Quadrennial, and the Ordination. This is the only time that such a course characterized the proceedings of a General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. For some reason the Quadrennial Sermon was not delivered until the morning of the fourth day. Text: Mal. 2. 4-8; Mal. 3. 1-5; 1 Tim. 2. 1-7; 1 Tim. 4. 12-15. Subject: The Church of the Living God--its Priesthood and Ministry in all Ages. No quotations


Page 150

can be made from the sermon, as it is not included in the printed Journal. The reading of the Episcopal Address was delayed until the afternoon of the seventh day. In extent it covers twenty pages of the printed Journal of the proceedings of the General Conference and embraces twenty topics. It was a strong and comprehensive deliverance. It was free of hesitancy and doubt. It visualized the conditions of those times, and emphasized the needs of the Church. The following paragraphs will indicate its trend:

        Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good, whether it be an old truth, an old hymn, an old science, or an old man. The demon change is the pest of American society. The oak which has braved the storms of a thousand years did not get its growth in a day. The wrestling with the storm and tempest only gave it strength and beauty. The lightnings have not scorched it, nor have the thunders demolished it. It is covered with scars, but not destroyed. The mushroom springs up in a night and withers in an hour; so do men and nations. The mountains are the emblems of omnipotence, the bulwarks of the earth. That which endures is of slow growth. Numbers do not always indicate strength. We build for the unborn centuries. The influences that surround us are very subtle. Men lack stamina, backbone, and brawn. We have become effeminate and nerveless. We are too impressionable to immoral influences. We often fear men more than we dread God. We are often ready to make laws, which we have not the courage to enforce; hence law is often sneered at. Anarchy always follows in the wake of lawlessness. The law knows no mercy and men should keep themselves out of its way. When the Church refuses to enforce her laws, she is worthless; she must have a face of flint and a will of iron.

        Ruggedness of character is the need of the hour. Men who dare to be true to God and to themselves are in demand both by the Church and the State. The fathers builded better than they knew. Their work has been tested; the building has been shaken not by foes without, but by traitors within. The open, manly foe has always been routed. Place none but true men on guard, and we shall hand down to unborn generations the glorious heritage, unbroken and untarnished, which we received from the fathers. Let each do his duty in his allotted time, sphere, and place, and no combination of circumstances, however unfavorable, will be able to root up the goodly tree of African Methodism. This tree will flourish in immortal beauty in the ages yet to be. We must not heed the Sanballats of caste, hatred, avarice, lust, and reproach, but work on as though we were working not for time only, but for eternity. Men do not always see results. Duty is ours, consequences God's. The great struggle with the slave power continued for generations, and the vestiges of that baneful institution


Page 151

still mar the fair vision of our common country. We meet its deadly influence everywhere, yet God and justice are marching on. There are two forces at work--barbarism and Christianity, right and wrong, virtue and vice, morality and impurity--which shall triumph? Who shall win? Who is winning? As a Church, we must not quibble nor truckle, but wield a trenchant blade, double-edged, cutting from heel to point. We are set as the censors of public morals. Not only will the millions of colored people on this continent and the millions in Africa and the islands of the seas feel our influence, but all Christendom will gauge our character by the moral triumph we shall win. Only God can give us victory in this fight, and through him our heaven-directed battalions shall take and hold the field. Our leaders must be the uncompromising enemies of wrong in every particular. We cannot afford to place bad men in the field. We may do it, but we shall reap the harvest, which will reflect no credit on us. There are many who follow us for the loaves and fishes. Hardness and endurance are demanded now as in days of yore. The earnest working man will tell you that faith, hope, and courage are demanded now as in former years. Our Church and school work demand great industry and perseverance. We have no millionaires at our back. Now and then a rich man, like Judge Chase or an immortal Charles Avery, will open his heart, provided we have someone to approach him. Then, to whom shall we look? To whom shall we appeal? Why, to the God of our fathers. We need prayerful, living, working, trustful, practical men. Wesley and Allen were not only able preachers, but practical business men; and then they were men of great industry; their motto was, "Always be in haste but never in a hurry."

        We sometimes forget the men who have given to the itinerancy the vigor and strength of early manhood. All men have not the gift of laying up treasures on earth. We should urge all men to prepare for the rainy day. We shall all wear a white crown if we live long enough. Few Methodist preachers can retire on a competency. We must care for the veterans. We conjure you by all that is great in Christianity to provide for the men who have given their best years to the service of the Church. When they can no longer work, make them feel that they are neither forgotten nor forsaken, and let them spend the years of feebleness and age without feeling the iron hand of want.


        Stress was laid on the observance of the class meeting, the prayer meeting, the love feast, and congregational singing. The address closed with the following recommendations:

The appropriation of $3,000 annually for our African work; $4,000 for our West Indian work; the obliteration of the Indian Mission Conference, unless it could be adequately financed; the purchase of new headquarters for the Publication Department at Philadelphia; the ratification of the purchase of the Southern Christian Recorder from Bishop H. M. Turner; the careful nursing of the Metropolitan Church,
Page 152

Washington, D. C.; a special appropriation for the relief of the Church at San Francisco, Cal.; the appropriation of $800 annually for the Pacific work; the creation of an African Mission Conference, subject to the judgment of the Missionary Board and the Council of Bishops; the opening of a branch Book Depository wherever the Southern Christian Recorder should be located; changing the law relative to sending the fourth of a dollar to Wilberforce University, so that it would be sent direct to the treasurer of the college instead of through the Commissioner of Education; the creation of an executive board for each Department, to consist of ministers and laymen residing in the city where such Department may be located, and to be chosen by the Annual Conference in which said Department may be established; providing that no bigamist shall have any place either in our Conferences or in our churches.

        The question of organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church, like Banquo's ghost, would not down, notwithstanding the action of the General Conference of 1884. During the morning of the second day's session, T. G. Steward offered the following resolutions:

        Whereas, since the last General Conference, final proclamation has been made of the accomplishment of organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States and the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada and the West Indies, and

        Whereas, delegates from the Annual Conferences lately composing the British Methodist Episcopal Church appear here duly accredited to this body; and

        Whereas, Bishop Disney, formerly a bishop of that Church, has been freely and fully recognized by the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been associated with them in Annual Conferences in the United States; and bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church have been recognized in Conferences formerly belonging to the British Methodist Episcopal Church; therefore, be it

        Resolved, By this eighteenth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first General Conference of the British Methodist Episcopal Church thus referred to:


        The matter was referred to a special committee consisting of one member from each Annual Conference. On May 11 the committee reported as follows:

        We your committee to whom was referred the resolutions of Dr. T. G. Steward relative to the union of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church, after several vain attempts to satisfy ourselves upon the subject referred to us, submit the following resolution:

        Resolved, That as it is the sense of this committee that there appears to be something existing which gave rise to the resolution offered by Dr. Steward that should claim the attention of the General Conference, we therefore recommend that the matter be investigated by the Conference.


        Following the introduction of this resolution various motions were made and considerable discussion engaged in relative thereto. It was finally decided to consider the subject of union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church in a direct manner. Two attorneys were appointed on each side, the Conference to act as a jury. Ten minutes were allotted to each of the attorneys. T. H. Jackson and C. S. Smith spoke against the adoption of the resolution presented by T. G. Steward; J. E. Hayne and W. B. Derrick spoke in favor of its adoption. The resolution was then read and the roll called for the yeas and nays. T. H. Jackson submitted the point of order that as the bishop and delegates from the tenth Episcopal District were parties interested in the question before the house, they should not be allowed to vote. The chairman (Bishop Turner) ruled that as the union had been perfected they had a right to vote. T. H. Jackson appealed from the decision of the Chair. The appeal was not sustained. While the vote was being taken a number of delegates explained their votes. The record of the result of the vote shows that there were 186 yeas


Page 154

and 64 nays, and thus for the second time was the consummation of organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church reaffirmed. The disposition of the matter consumed the entire morning's session.

        The Episcopal Committee submitted a majority report recommending that five bishops be elected and that the salary of a bishop be not more than $1,800 per annum. A most novel proceeding followed the presentation of the report, namely, the presentation of three minority reports. Number one recommended that there be no increase in the number of bishops. Number two, that four bishops be elected. Number three, that three be elected. The question of the legality of three minority reports was raised. The ruling of the Chair was that, according to strict parliamentary practice, only a majority and a minority report were admissible. He stated, however, that he was inclined to allow all of the reports to come before the Conference. It was voted to receive all of the reports for consideration. The point was made for the second time that the rules only allow one minority report. As the raising of this point caused considerable confusion, the Chairman ruled that he would recognize only two of the reports as before the Conference--the majority and minority report. An appeal was taken from the decision of the Chair. By a vote of 162 yeas to 11 nays the Chair was sustained. After much discussion the majority report having been amended by substituting four for five, was adopted by 154 yeas to 79 nays.

        Saturday morning at ten o'clock was the time fixed for the election of four bishops. On the day designated, May 19, after all preliminary arrangements for the election had been effected, the Conference sang the hymn beginning, "Let Zion's Watchmen All Awake." Prayer was offered by Bishop Ward. On account of the temporary absence of the senior bishop, the Conference was addressed by Bishop Wayman, who urged that the election be entered into with due solemnity and seriousness. On the first ballot 244 votes were cast. Necessary to a choice, 123. W. J. Gaines having received 156 votes and B. W. Arnett 123, they were declared elected. On the second ballot B. T. Tanner, having received 125 votes, was declared elected. On the third ballot no one received the necessary


Page 155

number of votes for election. On the fourth ballot A. Grant, having received 138 votes, was declared elected.

        On the reception of Rev. Joshua E. Wilson, the fraternal delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Campbell made the following address in response to his greetings:

Mr. Chairman:

        I feel inspired. Sir, I do not allow any man living between heaven and earth to have greater respect for Bishop Taylor than myself, nor to have a greater regard for the Methodist Episcopal Church. I remember having read that Barbara Heck, one of the pioneers of American Methodism, gathered together a number of people without any difference in race or color and formed them into a Methodist society. I love the Methodist Episcopal Church because we are her first and, therefore, her oldest daughter.

        No child well brought up can disrespect its mother, so we cannot disrespect the Methodist Episcopal Church. I would not have you think that we have done so. We have not done the same amount of mission work as your Church, but the spirit is on us now. I have been ready to go to Africa for full forty years, and, that, too, at my own expense. The temptation is strong now, and if none of the younger men who have been elected bishops will go, then the old man will go. I have gone to Europe and appeared before the Wesleyan Methodists at my own cost and will go to Africa if none of you young men will go. As far back as 1824 a black missionary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in the person of John Boggs, that great and good man, went to Africa. He had to return because he could not be supported. But since that time others have gone, taking their lives in their hands, as Bishop Taylor has done. We have not wealth as you have, sir, and therein lies the reason for our limited missionary work.


        The following was presented for consideration by Bishop Payne:

This is to inform you that the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is completed. I was authorized by the General Conference of 1848 to write it. In searching for material, in arranging, in sifting the chaff from the wheat, and in putting all that is valuable in historic form, forty years have been consumed. The General Conference of 1856 ordered that when completed the Book Concern should publish it, and that I should be rewarded for my labors by a royalty of 25 per cent. At my advanced age this royalty would be of little or no profit to me, and, therefore, I beg that the order of the General Conference of 1856 be annulled and a new and different arrangement made with the Historiographer.

        The matter was referred to a committee of five.

        At the afternoon session of the fifteenth day, May 22, the


Page 156

Conference engaged in the election of the general officers, which resulted in the election of J. C. Embry, Business Manager; B. F. Lee, Editor of the Christian Recorder; L. J. Coppin, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; J. M. Townsend, Secretary of Missions; J. A. Handy, Financial Secretary; C. S. Smith, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; W. D. Johnson, Secretary of Education; and M. E. Bryant, Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder.

        Section 2 of the report of the Committee on Revision provoked a spirited discussion. The language of the text reads:

We further recommend that a limited veto power shall be vested in the Council of Bishops, who shall have authority to examine the certified record book of revised laws; and should a majority of the Council of Bishops find a measure adopted by the General Conference objectionable, and in their opinion calculated to prove detrimental to the interests of the Church, they shall have power to return the bill within three days after its final passage with their objections thereto; whereupon the bill shall again be put upon its passage by the General Conference; and if two thirds of the members present when the bill is so returned vote in favor of the statute, it shall then become a law--the objections of the bishops to the contrary notwithstanding. But should two thirds of the members not vote in favor of its passage after such a bill is returned within three days as above stated, it shall not become a law. Provided, however, that this law shall only apply to bills passed within not less than four days prior to the final adjournment of the General Conference.

        By a majority vote this section was ordered stricken from the report of the Committee.

        On the morning of the seventeenth day, May 24, the solemn service of the consecration of bishops was conducted. The Rev. C. P. Nelson, of the Columbia Conference, led in prayer, saying:

        O, Almighty and everlasting God, we approach thee as the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We bow before thee in the attitude of prayer for the purpose of acknowledging thy great mercies and goodness toward us. We have met this morning for the ordination of four of our members whom we have, after prayer, elected to the office of bishop.

        O, thou God of Jacob, come in our midst this morning, fit and prepare our hearts for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, forgive our past transgressions, and receive us as thy children. We pray thy blessings upon this General Conference. May we look to Him alone from whom


Page 157

all good things come. Bless him who shall deliver the ordination sermon at this hour. May the charge given be attended by the Holy Ghost, and may such an impression go out that men will take knowledge of us and say, "Surely they have been with Jesus." Now, Lord, take charge of the Church, the Church of to-day; guide, direct, and control it in the future as thou hast in the past. Thou hast been with the fathers and the pioneers in the darkest hours of their conflicts, led on by the sainted Allen, in the interest of a religion that acknowledges God as our Father and Man as our Brother. We thank thee that thou hast watched over us and hast defended us against the evil one. We thank thee for thy loving kindness and thy tender mercies toward us. Now, Lord, bless the words this morning; impress our hearts with the solemnity of the occasion, and grant us that which by nature we cannot have; and when the army of the Lord shall have accomplished its conflicts, bring us home; and all the glory shall be thine. Amen.


        Bishop Payne was the preacher of the hour. Text: Isaiah 11. 1-10. Theme: The Manhood of Jesus and Its Influence upon the Races, the Nations, and Humanity. Touching the influence of the manhood of Jesus upon the races, the Bishop said:

History records past facts; prophecy, what is to come. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb; one will not devour the other. They shall not dwell in unity but in harmony. This will be the influence of Jesus upon the races. All the races shall be harmonized, all nations are tending toward this harmony. All this shall come to pass, and "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountains." This holy mountain is the world with the Church sweeping through it. No other name can conquer the earth but the name of Jesus. Do not stir up man against man--the white man against the black man. Do not stir up, but harmonize them. Brethren, get down upon your knees and wrestle until you are consecrated. Remember how Fletcher got the victory over his temper. I beg you to follow his example. Hold on to Jesus until your name is changed. You cannot stoop down to anything that is hurtful. Having conquered yourselves you can conquer the world. I say, "Be ye strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

        Further proceedings of the Conference included: an expression of thanks to the Sunday School Union for providing conveniences for the use of the General Conference, such as post-office, telegraph, telephone, stationery, etc.; the holding of memorial services; providing for night sessions beginning with Monday night, May 21, from eight to ten o'clock; disqualifying general officers from being members of the General Conference


Page 158

unless elected by their respective Annual Conferences; the rejection of a proposal to change the basis of ministerial representation in the General Conference from one for each twenty full members to one for each twenty-four; prohibiting a bishop from accepting a transferred minister against whom there is a charge or complaint; providing for the establishment of a branch Book Concern to be located at the place where the Southern Christian Recorder was published; ordering the purchase of the manuscript of the history of the Church prepared by Bishop Payne, which he values at $5,000, for $2,000 and granting him the reserved right of supervision and control of its publication; consideration of the report of the Commissioners on organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; fixing the salary of a bishop at $2,000 annually, that of the Financial Secretary at $1,500 annually, that of the Editor of the Quarterly Review at $1,000 annually, and that of the Editor of the Christian Recorder, the Business Manager, the Missionary Secretary, the Commissioner of Education, the Secretary of the Sunday School Union, and the Editor of The Southern Christian Recorder, each at $1,350 annually; the disapproval of a measure to reconsider the law adopted making the presiding eldership universal; the adoption of a supplementary report of the Episcopal Committee authorizing the Council of Bishops, in case of temporary disability, sickness, or death of any of its members, to provide for the supervision of the work in the District over which the deceased bishop had charge; the presentation of a protest offered by J. F. Dyson against the election of general officers before their reports had been examined and their correctness affirmed by the several committees on general officers' reports.

        Action to prevent disruption of local churches, entailing the loss of members and property, as well as to conserve other vital interests, is reflected by the adoption of the following edict:

        Whereas, many sad experiences have been witnessed in our Connection from time to time in the loss of members and sometimes whole congregations and churches; and

        Whereas, said disruption and loss of members and churches are often the result of dissatisfaction on account of appointments made;


Page 159

        Be it ordained, that when such dissatisfaction may occur and disruption among our members is liable to ensue, that for the salvation of our members and property the presiding bishop shall call as many of the bishops as may be convenient, to advise with him for the good of that church or churches; and if a number of bishops cannot be brought together as aforesaid, the presiding bishop shall call some of the most experienced elders in that Conference to his assistance, who shall in conjunction with him make such change or changes as will redound to the best interests of the Church and to the glory of God.


        The Methodist Episcopal Church sent fraternal greetings through Rev. Joseph E. Wilson. It was the only body to do so. The following resolution recommended by the Episcopal Committee was adopted:

Whereas, Bishop H. M. Turner has seen fit to ordain a woman to the order of a deacon; and Whereas, said act is contrary to the usage of our Church, and without a precedent in any other body of Christians in the known world, and as it cannot be proven by the Scriptures that a woman has ever been ordained to the order of the ministry; Therefore be it enacted, That the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church be and are hereby forbidden to ordain a woman to the order of a deacon or an elder in our Church.

NECROLOGY

        Among those who had joined the Church Triumphant were Bishop James Alexander Shorter, Bishop William Fisher Dickerson, and Bishop Richard Harvey Cain. Others were the Rev. George H. Hann, of the Iowa Annual Conference; Rev. Johnson Reed, of the Louisiana Annual Conference; Rev. William Bradwell, of the Alabama Annual Conference; Rev. J. F. A. Sisson, of the Indian Mission Conference; and General R. R. Rivers, lay delegate from the South Carolina Annual Conference.

        James Alexander Shorter, the ninth bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was born of free parents in Washington, D. C., on February 14, 1817, and departed this life at Wilberforce, Ohio, on July 1, 1887. He was the son of Charles and Elizabeth Shorter. His opportunity for receiving an education was limited; he obtained a little in the day and Sunday school. Early in life he was sent to Philadelphia to learn


Page 160

the trade of a barber. While there he was entrusted to the care of Rev. Walter Proctor. When he finished his trade he went westward as far as Galena, Ill., where he was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, as there was then no African Methodist Episcopal Church at that place. Shortly after his conversion he joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He also married a Christian lady, Miss Julia Ann Steward.

        In 1838 he removed to Washington, D. C., and united with Israel Church. When the Union Bethel Church was built, he transferred his membership to this church. In 1846 the Quarterly Conference of Union Bethel Church recommended James A. Shorter to the Baltimore Conference for admission. He was examined by a committee of which Daniel A. Payne was the chairman. The report of the committee was favorable and he was admitted to the Conference. His first appointment was to the Lewistown Circuit as the colleague of Isaac B. Parker. In April, 1848, he was ordained a deacon, and in April, 1850, was ordained an elder. In 1851, he was appointed pastor of Israel Church, Washington, D. C. At the Baltimore Annual Conference of 1857, he was granted a transfer to the Ohio Annual Conference.

        He settled at Wilberforce, Ohio, in order that he might find facilities for the education of his children. He was one of the founders of Wilberforce University, and at one time was its financial agent. His influence was very helpful in developing the interests of the university. He possessed such rugged honesty and sterling qualities as to favorably impress all with whom he came in contact, particularly his ministerial associates. At the General Conference of 1864 he received a large vote for the bishopric; in 1868 he was the first of three to be elected to that office. The other two elected were John M. Brown and Thomas D. Ward. His first assignment as a bishop was to the Southwest, where he organized the Kentucky, Mississippi, and Texas Annual Conferences. As to the high esteem in which James Alexander Shorter was held both as a churchman and a citizen, one writer has said:

He was a man of such rare excellence that human language, however eloquent it may be, or however ready in the pen of the scribe, cannot portray his character in too glowing colors.

Page 161

        Another writer has said:

He was a man of sterling integrity; his honesty was as transparent as a sunbeam. He was the uncompromising enemy of all kinds of peculation. His moral character was without taint or blur. No stain ever rested on his fair name.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

        The event of interest to world-wide Methodism during the past quadrennium was the assembling of the second Ecumenical Methodist Conference at Washington, D. C., on October 7, 1891, which continued in session until the 20th. Bishop Wayman presided on October 15; Bishop Arnett was a member of


Page 162

the Executive Committee; Rev. B. F. Lee was on the Program Committee; Rev. J. C. Embry, on the Business Committee; and Rev. J. A. Handy, on the Finance Committee. The following is a list of the delegates who represented the African Methodist Episcopal Church: Bishops D. A. Payne, A. W. Wayman, T. M. D. Ward, J. M. Brown, H. M. Turner, W. J. Gaines, and B. W. Arnett; Revs. L. J. Coppin, J. C. Embry, A. M. Green, T. W. Henderson, T. W. Anderson, J. H. Jones, P. A. Hubbard, W. A. J. Phillips, J. N. Abby, L. H. Smith, and J. H. A. Johnson.


Page 163

CHAPTER XIII
THIRD PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1873-1892 (CONCLUDED)

        Nineteenth General Conference, Philadelphia, Pa., May, 1892--Quadrennial Sermon Delivered by Bishop Gaines--No Record of It--Episcopal Address Read by Bishop Turner--Observations on Ministerial Mendicants Provoked Adverse Criticism--A Debatable Ruling Made by the Chair--Resolutions on Organic Union--Distinguished Visitors Introduced--Three Bishops Elected--Election of General Officers--Nine Annual Conferences Created--Other Matters that Engaged the Attention of the General Conference--General Statistics--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments.

        AS it relates to African Methodism, the distinctive event in the year 1892 was the assembling of the nineteenth General Conference, at Philadelphia, Pa., on May 2, which continued in session until May 24. It was composed of 11 bishops, 6 general officers, 227 ministers, and 88 laymen. Total, 332. There were 48 Annual Conferences represented. Addresses of welcome were delivered on behalf of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, by J. A. Handy; on behalf of the city churches, by L. J. Coppin; and on behalf of the citizens, by Mr. Hans Shadd. R. R. Downs was elected secretary with the privilege of naming his assistants. B. A. J. Nixon, J. M. Murchison, and M. M. Moore were designated as assistant secretaries; H. M. Cox and W. D. Chappelle, statistical secretaries; R. L. Beale, engrossing clerk; and J. R. Hawkins, reading clerk. Masters George Parvis and Paul Brock were appointed pages. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop W. J. Gaines. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop H. M. Turner. No portion of the sermon can be reproduced here as it is not included in the printed Journal of the General Conference. Only the text is given, namely, Gal. 3. 28-29; Eph. 4. 31-32. It is noted in the Journal that the sermon was well received and elicited many favorable comments.

        The Episcopal Address covers sixty pages of the Journal and embraces forty-nine topics. The following paragraphs will indicate its trend and scope:


Page 164

        We trust you have well considered the grave, solemn, serious, and weighty business which will engage your attention while here in session; and that you have made it the subject of fasting and prayer, as well as deep reflection, with such light as experience, protracted reading, and labored research have been able to impart.

        We would not presume, however, that anyone in the Divine presence has been so intoxicated with a desire for notoriety or fame as to allow himself to accept the position of a delegate in the face of the consciousness of the fact that he is answerable at the bar of God for every resolution he may offer, and for each vote he may cast. For the duties and responsibilities of the General Conference exceed those of the Annual Conference in proportion as the light of the sun exceeds the light of the scintillating stars.

        The present session of the General Conference has convened upon the most sacred spot known to our widespread Church, and should awe every member of the same into the most solemn and deferential respect for each other's opinions, and exact the most rigid adherence to the rules of ministerial etiquette, sober thought, and reflection. Here Allen, Coker, Tapsico, Durham, Champion, Harden, Cuff and the other organic founders of our Church assembled on April 9, 1816. If we recognize the organic convention which established the Church, as a General Conference, then eight sessions out of twenty have met in this city, deliberated, and devised measures for the salvation of mankind. Here bishops have been elected and consecrated to superintend our branch of the Church of God who have long since gone to join the heavenly hosts. Their redeemed spirits are likely now hovering over our heads, and will take note of our actions and doubtless be infinitely more concerned about the measures we shall adopt than they could possibly be if they were present in the flesh. Here preachers have been licensed, deacons have been ordained, and elders have been consecrated to the exalted work of the ministry; under whose masterly preaching, like Ezekiel of old, the dry bones of unbelief and skepticism have shaken in the valley of incredulity until they have united in the symmetric beauty of a living faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Here the giants of primitive African Methodism have pleaded with God upon bended knees, and moistened the very ground upon which we stand with their tears that we might be the recipients of the inestimable privileges, gracious opportunities, and mighty responsibilities with which every delegate present to-day is invested. Here tens of thousands of sinners have heard the Word of Light and felt the arrows of keen conviction, while thousands have accepted the proffer of salvation through the blood of the Lamb, and are gracing the courts of heaven because they believed on Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

        The last three General Conferences have been unpardonably boisterous, and have detracted from the majesty of an assembly which should be venerable by reason of its exalted responsibilities. The sequel of this has been, in too many instances, legislation irregular and inconsistent.


Page 165

        The General Conference stands in contradistinction to an Annual Conference in that it presumably represents the intelligence, learning, experience, morality, and venerableness of the Connection. Every member is known to represent a constituency. Each minister speaks for twenty others, and the lay delegates may speak for ten thousand or more. Therefore, they cannot afford a preponderance of levity or litigiousness. Our ministry and laity at home take it for granted that the assembled wisdom of the Church has met here in council to devise measures for the good of the same; and that every question which may arise will be patiently and protractedly discussed, and both its merits and demerits thoroughly analyzed. This cannot be done, however, if a dozen men are on the floor at the same time vying with each other in voice tones. When the presiding officer assigns the floor to a brother he should be listened to until he concludes his remarks, or his time expires; besides, business could be transacted more rapidly and infinitely more satisfactorily. When a dozen men are clamoring for the floor at the same time and nobody is allowed to proceed, it is equal to an adjournment, for nothing is being done.

        You owe it to the dignity of yourselves to clothe the bishops with extraordinary powers so that they will be able to protect the honor of your deliberations, even if it should necessitate the suspension of twenty men each day in order to reduce the working quorum to one fourth the number entitled to seats upon this floor. For if the condition of things which has marked the proceedings of the last three General Conferences is to continue, twenty-five members could deliberate and answer the purposes for which we have assembled far more wisely than three hundred.

        We grant that our General Conference in late years has been composed of men of more literary culture than in the days of our fathers, but our learning must not make us mad. Nor does it follow even that acquaintanceship with a few Greek or Latin roots and some mathematics and philosophy better fits us for Methodist legislation. It is not infrequently the case that men of limited learning possess much more knowledge of Methodist economy, polity, and needs of the Church than many who have had quadruple advantages.

        Our Book of Discipline makes it incumbent upon every itinerant minister to collect his traveling expenses to and from the Annual Conferences. But hundreds of our preachers appear to be ignorant of this requirement; and at the close of our annual sessions there are almost invariably a number of preachers present who are unable to leave for their fields of labor without being assisted by the Conference, or remaining as a burden upon the community for a time, begging money to pay their passage home. Nor does the seeming helplessness stop there. Presiding elders not infrequently will bring to the Conference preachers who are candidates for admission, and who are unable to pay their way either back to their homes or to the field of labor to which they are sent. We hope the General Conference will by some legislation put an immediate end to this condition of affairs; and any


Page 166

preacher who is not able to collect his traveling expenses to and from his Conference, let him be instructed to remain at his post and send his report to the Conference by his presiding elder. It is certainly time to put an estoppel on this ministerial mendicancy. Moreover, any preacher who is too devoid of energy to raise his own traveling expenses is generally a dead weight upon an Annual Conference, except in the case of new missions. Thousands of dollars are wasted annually by the Conferences upon that class of mendicant preacher that might be devoted to mission churches at home and mission fields abroad, which would double the membership in a few years and save thousands from everlasting perdition.

        Therefore, in consideration of the fact that we are standing upon holy ground, and will no doubt be watched by the spirits of just men made perfect, as well as by the public press and professional gossipers, who delight to criticise and animadvert upon everything indecorous in a member of an ecclesiastical body, it is to be hoped, and we shall cheerfully presume, that every member of this august assemblage will demean himself in such a manner as will honor his exalted position, and promote the glory of God by his Christian conduct and influence.


        In respect to the organic convention that established the Church being regarded as the first General Conference, the logic of events does not allow this to be done. The assembly that met on April 9, 1816, was convoked solely for the purpose of informal conferences and the exchange of opinions as to what would be the best course to pursue under the circumstances to secure proper religious liberty for certain groups of colored Methodists. By no stretch of reasoning can that assembly be correctly termed a General Conference. This is now generally recognized, and the year 1820 is held to be the date of the meeting of the first General Conference.

        The observations on "Ministerial Dependents" were not favorably received. In fact they met with resentment as being an unwarranted challenge of the motives of a class of deserving ministers, of whom there are not a few. The characterization of this class as "ministerial mendicants" met with severe criticism. It was regarded as unjust and unfair to that class of ministers sometimes called "little men," or those who have to "beat the bushes." Were there more equity and righteousness observed in dealing with this class of men by the "big men" of the Annual Conferences, charity would be extended toward them instead of blame. As a rule these men come to the Annual Conferences with money sufficient to meet their expenses


Page 167

for travel, etc., but this speedily goes to meet the demand for what are called Annual Conference dues; also for subscriptions to Church papers, special assessments, and special pleas. The men who "beat the bushes" have been and are now the real burden-bearers, and as a whole deserve praise and not censure.

        At the night session of the fifth day a gracious and enthusiastic welcome was tendered to Bishop Turner on his safe return from West Africa. He assured the Conference that he had no right to claim the flattering and distinguished welcome accorded him. In an humble, unassuming way he gave a brief sketch of his labors in the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Dark Continent.

        A debatable ruling was made by the Chair (Bishop Turner) to the effect that it would require unanimous consent to withdraw a matter in possession of the body, unless a different requirement was stipulated in the by-laws.

        A marked feature of the General Conference was the observance of the fortieth anniversary of Bishop Payne's elevation to the episcopacy. It was held by order of the Conference, on May 13, and was largely attended by members of the General Conference and the public. C. L. Bradwell, B. F. Lee, and Bishop T. M. D. Ward delivered eloquent tributes to the faithful labors of Bishop Payne. A. A. Whitman contributed a poem which was read by Miss Mamie Revels. The principal address was delivered by Bishop Ward and is as follows:

        For half a century Bishop Payne has contended for a high grade of intellectual excellence in the pupilt. During that time colored Americans have regarded him as the exponent of whatever improved the condition of our race. He himself had felt the blighting influences of slavery and with superhuman energy rose above all environments that tended to drag him down to degradation and ruin. In 1852, when it was decided to elect two additional bishops, there were a few men of advanced thought who determined to make Daniel A. Payne their standard-bearer. They said, "We need a man upon the bench whose trumpet will give no uncertain sound touching mental as well as moral culture." They knew the hour would come when the millions of our enslaved brethren would be made free. The duty of preparing our pulpit for the crisis was apparent. We needed a leader to sound the tocsin. He was elected and the taunt we had so often heard that African Methodism was the abettor of ignorance was forever silenced.


Page 168

His compeer, Willis Nazrey, who was elected at the same time, moved up and down the lines amid the smoke and roar of battle and shouted, "Forward!"

        In 1852 a new era dawned upon the Church. The Christian Recorder with its electric beams threw its light everywhere. Bishop Payne was not only the champion of intellectual excellence, he not only believed in the acquisition of learning and the dissemination of such ideas as would snap the fetters of ignorance, but he believed in a holy life. He believed in chastity, probity, and purity. Men denounced him because he was the uncompromising enemy of all forms and grades of immorality. He demanded of others what he himself wore--a robe unspotted. The young men saw in him an example of industry, integrity, and neatness.

        The summer found him at his devotions at the opening dawn. He observed and obeyed the laws of life. His work as an educator is known to all. To him we are largely indebted for the splendid array of high graded schools in our Connection. We all know he was the primordial influence that brought to us Wilberforce University. Almost alone and single-handed he managed this great institution in its incipiency. Now, what is Wilberforce? The crowning glory of the Church. It stands like a monument perpetuating through all coming times the name and memory of its heroic founder. The children of Wilberforce--Paul Quinn, Morris Brown, Western University, and Bethel Institute--all render honor to its noble founder. He has lived to see his Church increase from fifteen thousand to a round half million. He has lived to see the General Conference grow in number from forty to over three hundred. He has lived to see the political disenthrallment of four million bondmen. He has lived to see many of the colleges of the land throw open their gates to white and black. He has lived to see the South give forty millions to educate its black children. He has lived to see the banner of our Church float on the islands of the seas, and is permitted to listen to the tramp of our itinerants on the mountains and in the valleys of the Dark Continent. He has done that which few men have done--built one of the finest churches in the Connection--Bethel, in Baltimore--and yet there are men who sneeringly ask, "What have the fathers done?" The answer will come from wherever the banner of African Methodism kisses the breeze. He has given the only history ever written of our Church. Both in Europe and in America he has nobly and ably represented us. No word that I can say will describe the victory achieved by this great chief. We hold him up as a model worthy of your emulation. We would urge you to imitate his great virtues such as chastity, temperance, courage, industry, and a lofty purpose to lead men to a higher and a nobler destiny. He has lived to see erected stately houses of worship which are the pride and glory of our race; and now we who have followed him for twoscore years as a bishop, crown him as our leader and place fresh laurels upon his brow. Great chieftain, at the end of fourscore years and one, the golden sunset throws its radiance around


Page 169

thee. Thou need not fear, for thou shalt see that sunset rise amid the blaze and glory of the City of God.


        During the twelfth day's session, May 13, the following resolutions on organic union were adopted:

        Resolved, That a committee of one from each Annual Conference be appointed on the subject of the organic union of all colored Methodist Churches and especially of the African Methodist Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connections.

        Resolved, That in order to be more expeditious in this regard, the committee to be appointed is hereby requested to make the Articles of Agreement formulated by the Commissioners of the two bodies herein named the best of their efforts under this resolution.

        Resolved, That the committee be and is hereby requested to report to this body as early as possible, so that the action of this General Conference, if favorable to Organic Union, may be conveyed to other Methodist bodies interested in the proposed union.


        All other proceedings relating to Organic Union which were adopted not only during the General Conference of 1892, but during all previous and subsequent General Conferences, are included in Chapter XXIII. This is deemed advisable in order that those who are interested in a study of the subject may be able to do so in a connected and continuous manner.

        Among the distinguished visitors introduced during the Conference were Bishop J. A. Beebe, of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and Rev. S. J. Campbell, of Liberia, West Africa. Others introduced were Dr. F. A. Durnley, representing the Philadelphia Sabbath Association; Dr. George Field, Secretary of the Sabbath Union; Rev. Mack Henson, a fraternal delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. E. J. Carter and Rev. P. J. McIntosh, fraternal delegates from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; and Rev. R. T. Brown, a fraternal delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Beebee delivered an eloquent address favoring organic union. Suitable responses were made to the various messages of greeting from the other Churches by T. W. Henderson, J. E. Lee, T. N. M. Smith, Evans Tyree, C. Pierce Nelson, and J. M. Henderson. R. F. Hurley, J. T. Jenifer, A. M. Green, and C. Asbury were appointed fraternal delegates


Page 170

to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The record of the first report of the Committee on Episcopacy shows that a majority and minority report were presented. The nature of the two reports is not given--a serious omission. The election of bishops took place at the morning session of the thirteenth day and resulted as follows: On the first ballot B. F. Lee having received a majority of all the votes cast, was declared elected; the second ballot resulted in the election of M. B. Salter and J. A. Handy. At the morning session of the seventeenth day the election of general officers took place with the following results: J. C. Embry, Business Manager of the Book Concern; H. T. Johnson, editor of the Christian Recorder; L. J. Coppin, editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; W. B. Derrick, Missionary Secretary; J. A. Armstrong, Financial Secretary; C. S. Smith, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; W. D. Johnson, Secretary of Education; A. M. Green, editor of the Southern Christian Recorder.

        Nine new Annual Conferences were created--Northeast South Carolina, Middle Mississippi, Central Alabama, South Florida, Puget Sound, Western North Carolina, Haitian, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This was the largest number of Annual Conferences ever created by one of our General Conferences. As to whether the creation of so many new Conferences at this time was a necessity, is a debatable question. The terms attenuation and expansion are frequently confounded. To illustrate: a pound of dough molded into a loaf of bread makes but one thing. Roll out that same pound of dough and cut it into a dozen biscuits and you have twelve things; but have you any more dough? Is it not a pound whether in the shape of a loaf of bread or a dozen biscuits? Attenuation is to thin out; expansion is to increase. The division of an Annual Conference is not necessarily a token of expansion. Boundaries do not in themselves necessarily constitute an Annual Conference. They are the minor factors. The essentials are expressed in the number of churches and members within the bounds of an Annual Conference. If there are five hundred churches and one hundred thousand members in a given area, their division into separate areas does not necessarily


Page 171

increase the number of churches or the number of members. Its sole effect is to increase the number of Annual Conferences. The argument that in many communities lack of proper accommodation for entertaining large bodies demands that the numerical strength (ministerial) of the Annual Conferences be kept within certain limits, is more of a makeshift than a fact. In Mississippi the Methodist Episcopal Church, with a much larger number of churches, ministers, and members than has the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has only two Annual Conferences. Within the same territory, made up of the same people with identical opportunities, and the same wage scale, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has six Annual Conferences. The absolute necessity for this is not apparent. Perhaps church politics, the desire to increase the number of delegates to the General Conference, both ministerial and lay, in a given Episcopal District, is the spring of the action rather than necessity.

        Other matters that engaged the attention of the General Conference were: the gift of Rev. J. H. Harper, of the Louisiana Annual Conference, of six hundred dollars to Harper Institute, Baton Rouge, La.; of the gift of five hundred dollars by Bishop Payne to the support of mission work in Africa; the presentation of a gold medal to Dr. J. M. Cargyle, secured by voluntary contributions, as a token of his skill and faithful service in restoring Bishop Wayman's health, the presentation being without precedent either as to anteriority or posteriority; the recording of a protest by Bishop Salter against the manner in which the Church Extension Society was created; increasing the basis of ministerial representation in the General Conference from twenty to twenty-five; expressing disapproval of the opening of the gates of the World's Fair on Sunday.

        Omitted from the list of introductions elsewhere given was that of Sarah J. Gorham, a most faithful and consecrated missionary to the aborigines of Sierra Leone, West Africa. She did not pitch her tent in Freetown, the capital of the Colony, and the center of civilizing influences; but she went out into the hinterland and instituted work among the raw natives and labored for their uplift until she was summoned to her eternal abode. She was a true missionary in every sense of the word.


Page 172

Many missionaries have gone to West Africa and have been content to establish themselves in civilized communities. Not so with Sarah Gorham. She eschewed the amenities of civilization so that she might render the greatest service where there was the greatest need. The memory of her self-sacrificing labors will not soon pass away.

        It cannot be truly said that this General Conference was noted for constructive legislation, and this despite the fact that there was a very liberal response to the call of the roll for the presentation of proposed changes in the Book of Discipline, resolutions, petitions, etc. The only constructive piece of legislation enacted was the creation of a Church Extension Society, the success of which has thus far fallen below the expectations of those who fathered it. There has been a woeful lack of appreciation of the legal and moral responsibility for the payment of the principal and interest of loans made by the Society to numerous local churches. Were the reverse of this true, the Society would be able to make a commendable showing as a result of its thirty years of operation.

        A very valued feature of the printed Journal is the inclusion of the general statistics of the Church covering the more important items. They are as follows:

        
Number of Stations, Circuits and Missions 2,481
Number of Church Edifices 4,124
Seating Capacity 1,160,838
Value of Property $6,468,260
Number of Members 475,365
Itinerant Preachers 4,150
Local Preachers 9,913
Sunday Schools 3,275
Schools and Colleges 23
Students 2,719
Graduates 221
Value of School Property $366,795

NECROLOGY

        Bishop Richard Randolph Disney, April 18, 1891; Bishop Jabez Pitt Campbell, August 9, 1891; Rev. M. Edward Bryant, Editor of The Southern Christian Recorder; Rev. J. H. Clay, of the Indiana Annual Conference; Mr. J. R. Carnes, lay delegate from the Georgia Annual Conference.


Page 173

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

        The Episcopal Districts were increased from eleven to twelve and arranged as follows:

        The work in Africa, Haiti, Demarara, Saint Thomas, and Santo Domingo was placed under the direction of the Missionary Board.


Page 174

CHAPTER XIV
SIXTH PERIOD OF EXPANSION: 1891-1898

        Rev. Boggs First Missionary to West Africa--Daniel Coker Went to Liberia and Sierra Leone--The Bark "Azores" left Charleston, S. C., in 1878 with a Company of Emigrants for Liberia--Bishop Turner Sailed for West Africa in 1891--Organized the Sierra Leone and Liberia Annual Conferences--Animadverted on the Native African--Ethiopian Church Organized in Pretoria, South Africa, by M. M. Mokone--First Preachers Ordained--James M. Dwane Visited America--Bishop Turner Went to South Africa--The Revolt of James M. Dwane--I. N. Fitzpatrick Sent as Special Envoy to South Africa by Bishop Turner--Cruise of C. S. Smith to West and Southwest Africa.

        BISHOP J. P. CAMPBELL is authority for the statement that one Rev. Boggs was the first minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to go to West Africa as a missionary. He went to Liberia in 1824. There is no information available as to the character or extent of the work which he established.

        About the year 1820 Daniel Coker, the first bishop-elect of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, went to West Africa, first settling in Liberia and later in Sierra Leone. While in Liberia he acted for a time as the representative of the American Colonization Society. Nothing is known of his activities in Liberia in behalf of the African Methodist Epscopal Church. His activities in Sierra Leone were largely confined to establishing the work of his Church in that Colony. There is no record of his success. When Bishop Turner visited there in November, 1891, he found two granddaughters of the Rev. Daniel Coker. According to the information obtained, Rev. Coker died in 1846. His son, Hillery T. Coker, died in 1890 in his fifty-sixth year. Tradition has it that the Rev. Daniel Coker succeeded in establishing one or more African Methodist Episcopal Churches in Sierra Leone.

        In the year 1878, Rev. S. F. Flegler left Charleston, S. C., on the bark "Azores" with a company of emigrants for Liberia.


Page 175

One of the most intelligent and useful members of the company was Clement Irons, a local preacher and an all-around mechanic, who, after his arrival in Liberia, constructed the first steam-propelled boat that plied the Saint Paul's River. It was from the deck of this boat that the Rev. A. L. Ridgel fell overboard and was drowned. Rev. Flegler organized a church among the company of emigrants aboard the "Azores" and held regular services. This church remained intact after the emigrants had landed and became the first regularly established African Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia of which there is a record. Rev. Flegler subsequently returned to America.

        A notable event in African Methodist circles in 1891 was the departure from New York of Bishop H. M. Turner on board the S.S. "City of Paris," October 15, en route to West Africa. A number of friends were at the dock to bid the Bishop bon voyage. Among them were Dr. W. B. Derrick and wife, Rev. Theodore Gould, Rev. J. H. Morgan, and Rev. Israel Derrick. Bishop Turner reached Liverpool on October 22, and left for Africa on the 24th, stopping en route at the islands of Madeira and Grand Canary, the former being a possession of Portugal and the latter of Spain. On November 8, he reached Sierra Leone aboard the S.S. "Roquelle" and took up his headquarters at Freetown, the capital of the Colony. His coming was anticipated by Rev. J. R. Frederick, the first minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to go to Sierra Leone as a missionary. At the time of the Bishop's arrival Freetown had a population of about thirty thousand. The Bishop was accompanied throughout the voyage by Rev. J. R. Geda.

        On Thursday, November 10, 1891, Bishop Turner organized the Sierra Leone Annual Conference in the Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, formerly known as the Lady Huntington Church. This was the first Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Africa. The organization included the following persons: itinerant elders, J. R. Frederick, J. R. Geda; itinerant deacons, H. M. Steady, M. Newland, D. B. Roach, George Dove Decker, and Joseph Coker. Rev. J. R. Geda was transferred to the Liberia Annual Conference. H. M. Steady was the secretary. The Conference remained in session four days, adjourning on Monday, November 14. It was an event of unusual interest among all classes


Page 176

of people, not only in Freetown, but in the regions adjacent thereto. Bishop Turner's striking personality, and his vigorous and eloquent speech captivated thousands, none showing greater interest than the natives, even where they did not understand his language. Within the bounds of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference are included the native tribes known as the Timnee, Caso, Akoo, Ebo, Sherbo, Mendi, Mandingo, Fullah, Limba, and Yennie. The lay membership of the Conference at this time was about 405, including probationers. The value of the Church property was approximately $10,000. Ten ministers, including two local preachers, received appointments. Three ministers were ordained deacons. The Sunday services were largely attended. The Bishop preached morning and evening. At the close of the morning service the Lord's Supper was administered to five hundred persons. The Love Feast at six a. m. was highly interesting. To quote the bishop:

The experiences given were familiar and unfamiliar. Some expressed themselves in good English, some in broken English, and others in this and that language. Some twenty languages were used in giving the experiences. But a large number could understand everybody and responses would come from all over the church, and tears would be shed. Never were so many languages used in a love feast in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; never were more terms used to express approval.

        In view of the conflict between the Germans, the English, and the French during the World War, the following observation made by Bishop Turner will doubtless be read with interest:

A singular fact is that anybody, white or colored, from America is welcomed out here in Africa, either on the coast or back in the interior; while the English, French, and Germans are hated. The native kings hate them, especially for robbing them of their lands. The French are hated as the devil. Americans are looked upon as the friends of the black man, and it somewhat modifies the prejudice of the natives toward them. France is more intolerant, it seems, in her colonial possessions than is England, and far less compromising. The Germans are abominated by the Mohammedans because of the ship-loads of rotgut whiskey they land along the coast to ruin the more heathen Africans. The English ships despise the German ships about the same; nearly every time they see a German ship at sea the entire crew will curse it for shipping poisoned liquor to Africa. The English ships carry a great deal, too, but they ease their conscience by saying, "Our
Page 177

whiskey is all first-class. It is inspected before it leaves Liverpool or London."

        Before leaving Sierra Leone, Bishop Turner called upon the Governor of the Colony--His Excellency, Governor James H. A. Hay. Touching white missionaries, Bishop Turner made the following observation in the ninth of his series of "African Letters" published in The Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa., dated November 21, 1891:

        Several white American missionaries called upon me before I left Sierra Leone, and gave me some missionary items that I did not know. Those who called upon me consisted of men and women from Wisconsin, Nebraska, and one was from Ohio--a beautiful young lady.

        I find the following to be the result: From Nebraska there are five missionaries here; twenty-seven more coming. From Kansas there are nine and fifteen more coming. From Minnesota there are ten and eighteen more coming. From Ohio there are twelve. From Illinois there are four. A majority of these missionaries are ladies. But what beats all is they tell me one hundred and twenty-eight are now being trained, mostly in Chicago, to follow them. Almost every steamer is bringing missionaries, teachers, preachers, dressmakers, and tool-users. I had been told by the ship's captain of this coming out from America, but did not know the extent until now. The singularity of this movement is that all of these missionaries come from the West. Outside of middle New York, I find no Eastern, Northern, or Southern whites out here as missionaries. The present program of the missionaries from the West is to establish a line of mission centers back into the interior for four hundred miles, with mission houses and schools erected every fifty miles along the line, so that native runners can carry letters from one camp to another. To extend four hundred miles from the sea interiorward will require eight mission camps or centers. Travelers can find resting-places for this four hundred miles every fifty miles on their route. They say the African kings bid them welcome when they are satisfied that they are not Germans, French, nor English. They think Americans will not bother with their territory or slaves. While the Germans and French do not meddle with their slaves at all, they wish to gobble up their lands and mines. The English, on the other hand, are more reasonable in regard to territorial possession, and will free every slave they can.


        The large number of white missionaries referred to, both actual and prospective, were doubtless a part of Bishop William Taylor's ill-fated propaganda to establish a chain of self-supporting missions among the uncivilized natives in West,


Page 178

Southwest Africa, and the Congo. It will be remembered that Bishop Taylor was the first missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church to be assigned to work in Africa. He was an intense enthusiast. An optimist of the optimists, and far more idealistic than practical. Vast sums of money were expended and many lives were lost in following out his chimerical scheme of attempting to plant self-supporting missions in the wilds of Africa. His idea was that his American helpers would speedily become acclimated and accustomed to the food and manner of living of the natives. However honest the intent, it was a colossal mistake.

        On November 21 Bishop Turner was en route from Sierra Leone to Liberia on the S.S. "Mandingo," where he arrived on the 23d. On his arrival at Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, he was met by Rev. S. J. Campbell and Clement Irons, and escorted to the splendid residence of General R. A. Sherman, an officer in the Liberian Army, where a grand welcome was accorded him. Shortly after this he proceeded up the Saint Paul's River on the little steamboat that had been constructed by Clement Irons. In the eleventh of his series of "African Letters," dated Muhlenburg, Liberia, December 4, 1891, the following observations are to be found:

I have just strolled as far out in the direction of Boporo--the Eden of West Africa--as my strength and convenience would permit. I have seen the African in his native town and hut, rather dwellings, and I have just had a long weep or cry at the grand field for missionary operations here, and because I am too old now to engage in it. But if there were roads cut through the country and bridges for horses and wagons to cross over, I would try it as old as I am. I am sure I could not stand the hills and valleys of this rolling country traveling on foot at my age, and then the hammock system of travel is too cumbersome for regular locomotion. But Africa is the grandest field on earth for the labor of civilization and the Christian Church. There is no reason under heaven why this continent should not or cannot be redeemed and brought to God in twenty-five years--say thirty at most. Note the reasons:

        Bishop Turner organized the Liberian Annual Conference at Muhlenberg, November 23, 1891. The membership was as follows: Itinerant Elders, S. J. Campbell and J. R. Geda; traveling deacons, Clement Irons, James Wilson, J. P. Lindsay, Ambrose Reed, Scott A. Bailey, William F. Cheesem, E. G. Lewis, and Charles F. White. E. G. Lewis was the secretary. Bishop Turner makes no mention in his African Letters of the number of lay members in the Annual Conference or the value of property. He merely says, "The prospects for our Church are grand." During his stay in Liberia, particularly in Monrovia, he was the recipient of many courtesies from high government officials, including the President and leading citizens. Among other persons that Bishop Turner met in Monrovia was Miss Jennie Sharp (white) from Webster Grove, Missouri, who went to Liberia in 1882 and remained there for over thirty years engaged in teaching. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the eve of leaving Monrovia, Bishop Turner was presented with the following address:


Page 180

MONROVIA, LIBERIA, December 5, 1891.

To the Right Rev. Henry M. Turner, D.D., Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church:
Rt. Reverend and Dear Sir:

        We feel that it would not be fitting for you to leave our shores without our putting on record the feeling of gratification with which we have seen you among us.

        Some of those who are allied to us by ties of blood, but who are divided from us by the misfortunes which have crushed out of them race pride and self-respect, have from time to time come among us and left among us sad impressions of the tidings and feelings of our brethren in the United States; and taken back to them evil tidings of this little Republic, like the ten spies, filling the hearts of the people with fear and dismal foreboding, and making wider the chasm which divides the scattered children of Africa from their fatherland.

        In you, however, we rejoice to meet a man of another stamp, and great as is our pleasure to greet you as an eminent theologian, a profound scholar, a true Christian, and the honored representative of a Church which has peculiar claims upon our interest and sympathy, we are yet more pleased to greet you as one whose race instincts are unimpaired, and who, seeing the weaknesses and shortcomings of your people, can look beyond them and perceive the elements of greatness which exist in them, and believe that God, in his wise providence, is fitting them for great things.

        To many of us you are personally a stranger, but to none of us are you unknown. We have heard of your battles for Africa, and the noble efforts which you have put forth to open the eyes of the descendants of Ham in the United States to their duties, responsibilities, and privileges, being such as to induce them to lend a helping hand to us in Liberia, who are, as we believe, the pioneers of that mighty host of Africa's sons whose blessed privilege it will be to break the chains of sin and ignorance with which Africa's millions are bound, and win this grand continent and its magnificent sons for Christ.

        We bid you God-speed as a bishop and trust that the seed sown by you during your visit may spring up, and bear abundant fruit for Christ and for Africa; and that the small beginning which you have made may, under the fostering care of the Almighty, grow into a powerful African Church.

        We bid you God-speed as a man who loves his race and trust that you may be spared to return to your people encouraged and fortified, bearing to them glad tidings of great joy, and that you may live to see some of the fruits of your labors in Africa and for Africa.

        We trust that it may be our privilege to see you among us again; but should this privilege be denied us, we assure you that our hearts go with you and our prayers shall ascend for you, as for all with whom--although separated from them by leagues of sea and land--we are co-workers striving to attain a common goal.

        To those of our brethren in the United States who are, like you,


Page 181

lovers of Africa and their race, we beg you to convey our greetings and assure them that there is room and work for them here, and that should they come among us, they will find a hearty welcome and a home.

        We beg, Rt. Rev. and Dear Sir, to subscribe ourselves your friends and servants.

Signed by
H. R. W. Johnson, President of Liberia.

H. W. Travis, Secretary of the Treasury.

H. A. Williams, Mayor of Monrovia.

G. W. Gibson, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Monrovia.

Edward W. Blyden, D.D.

W. M. Davis, Attorney-General.

George W. Dixon, Superintendent of the Mount Montserrado Co.

C. T. O. King, Agent of the American Colonization Society and late
Mayor of Monrovia.

R. A. Sherman, Brigadier-General of the Liberian Army.

J. B. Perry, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Monrovia.

H W. Grimes, Ex-Attorney General.

J. B. Dennis, Merchant and Chief Mechanic.

Henry Cooper, Pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Monrovia.

J. R. Cooper, Esq., Merchant at Monrovia.

J. C. Dickinson, Esq., Merchant at Monrovia.

D. Ware, Methodist Episcopal Missionary, Monrovia.


        Bishop Turner left Liberia on his return to America early in December, 1891, and was accorded a most enthusiastic welcome at the General Conference of 1892. At this General Conference, and at his request, he was assigned to the episcopal supervision of Africa.

        Another epoch-making event which took place during the Fifth Period of Expansion was the rise of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa in 1892, and its subsequent visitation by Bishop Turner in 1898.

        On November 1, 1892, Rev. M. M. Mokone, of Pretoria, Transvaal, an elder of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, severed his connection with that denomination. The causes for this action dated back over a period of six years. Up to 1886 the white and colored ministers in the Wesleyan Church had met together in their district meetings. In that year the color line was drawn and each side was required to meet apart from the other; yet the colored brethren were compelled to have a white chairman and secretary.

        The Ethiopian Church was organized by Rev. M. M. Mokone


Page 182

with about fifty members in Pretoria, on Sunday, November 20, 1892. The first meeting was in the Marabastad native location. It was held in an old thatched house belonging to a native named William Makanda, who, although a Wesleyan minister, was in great sympathy with the Ethiopian Church Movement. In January, 1893, the Transvaal government recognized the Ethiopian Church. On November 5, 1893, the Ethiopian Church was formally organized in the Marabastad native location. Rev. George Weavind, Chairman and General Superintendent of the white Wesleyan Church in the Transvaal, was invited to preach the opening sermon. Being unable to be present the Rev. W. J. Underwood, one of the ministers of the Wesleyan Church, preached the sermon. Strangely enough he took for his text Gen. 28. 19, the same text that Bishop Francis Asbury of the Methodist Episcopal Church took at the dedication of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. The first preachers ordained in the Ethiopian Church were Rev. J. G. Xaba, September 24, 1894, and Rev. J. Z. Tantzi, January 5, 1895. They were ordained by Rev. M. M. Mokone, assisted by Rev. J. M. Kanyane, of an independent Church known as the "African Church."

        It was the privilege of a young woman to have a part in bringing the Ethiopian Church in touch with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Miss Katie Monye, who lived at Johannesburg, Transvaal Colony, first called the attention of Rev. M. M. Mokone to a letter-head used by Bishop H. M. Turner. On May 31, 1895, Rev. Mokone wrote to the Bishop requesting information as to school facilities for his son. Later he wrote asking for information relative to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. In reply Bishop Turner sent a Discipline, a hymnal, and other books. It seemed advisable to several of the ministers of the Ethiopian Church to bring the matter of uniting with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America before the next session of the Conference. Hence, at the third session of the Ethiopian Conference, held in Pretoria, March 17, 1896, it was resolved to unite with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At this Conference the Rev. James M. Dwane, a Wesleyan minister, who was destined to become an outstanding figure, joined


Page 183

the Conference. Rev. James M. Dwane and Rev. J. G. Xaba were elected by the Conference to go to America and try and consummate the union.

        On April 5, 1896, Rev. Dwane left for America with the official documents, not waiting for Rev. Xaba. He arrived in America on June 10, 1896, just after the close of the General Conference of that year, and was presented to Bishop Turner by Rev. H. B. Parks, Secretary of Missions, and the Rev. J. S. Flipper. The introduction took place in Bishop Turner's home in Atlanta, Ga. The Council of Bishops and the Missionary Board of the African Methodist Episcopal Church accepted the proposition for the amalgamation of the two Churches. Rev. Dwane was appointed General Superintendent and returned to South Africa on September 22, 1896. Having been reobligated by the authorities of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America, he was instructed to reobligate the ministers of the Ethiopian Church as a prerequisite to their reception into the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The appointment of the Rev. Dwane as General Superintendent was received with more or less dissatisfaction by the ministers in South Africa, who were already displeased by the way in which he had treated his fellow delegate, the Rev. J. G. Xaba. Moreover, he was not regarded as the one best fitted to direct the affairs of the new Church, having so recently joined it. The first session of the South African Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church convened at Lesseyton, Queenstown, Cape Colony, on April 7, 1897. Here the ministers formerly belonging to the Ethiopian Church were reobligated.

        In March, 1898, Bishop H. M. Turner reached Cape Town, South Africa, and at once proceeded to the Transvaal, visiting Johannesburg and Pretoria. At the latter place he called upon President Oom Paul Kruger and conferred with him on matters of interest to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. On March 9 of the same year he organized the Transvaal Annual Conference, and held the second annual session of the South African Conference. It was at this session of the South African Conference, held at Queenstown, Cape Colony, that General Superintendent James M. Dwane was made Vicar-Bishop. Bishop Turner left for America on April 27, 1898,


Page 184

leaving Rev. Dwane in full charge of the work. The creation of Rev. Dwane a Vicar-Bishop was wholly without authority, and the action of Bishop Turner relative thereto was repudiated by the home Church. There was no attempt made to discipline Bishop Turner for his usurpation of authority.

        Rev. A. A. Morrison established the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cape Town, Cape Colony, on May 30, 1898.

        On September 28, 1898, Rev. Dwane left South Africa for America, to explain certain matters relative to the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that field. In addition to this, it was thought best that he should be given a chance to observe the practical workings of the Church where it was thoroughly established. He returned to Africa in March, 1899. He held the second session of the Transvaal Annual Conference in that same month at Blomefontein. In April of the same year Rev. Dwane held the third session of the South African Annual Conference at Derbe Marcela, District King Williams Town. In July, 1899, a Presiding Elders' Council was held at Blomefontein, when marriage officers were selected, and their names sent to the proper government official. Rev. Dwane called a special session of the South African Annual Conference to meet at Queenstown on October 6, 1899. There were about thirty ministers present. The Conference was rendered memorable by the disloyalty displayed by Rev. Dwane, in that he advocated and led a revolt from the African Methodist Episcopal Church on the ground that the home Church had promised ten thousand dollars to establish a South African College and had both failed and refused to give it. All the ministers present at the Conference except four--the Revs. P. S. Kuze, Abraham Mugebisa, William Masholaba, and J. Z. Tantzi--decided to secede from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The same day the four who refused to secede wrote to Bishop Turner relating the whole matter, and asking for advice and instruction. Meanwhile, the ministers who remained in the Church took immediate steps to adjust matters as far as they were able. Revs. Isaiah Sishuba, Henry Ngcayiya, J. Z. Tantzi, C. J. W. Roberts, Francis M. Gow, Joseph Spawn, John Sonjica, and several others held a meeting in Friendly Hall, Cape Town, in November,


Page 185

1899. The meeting was presided over by Rev. Isaiah G. Sishuba. It was decided to place the situation before the ministers and churches that had not withdrawn, so as to prevent, if possible, the trouble from spreading. To this end, a committee was appointed to visit the surrounding towns and enlighten the churches. The people, seeing the deception of Rev. Dwane, decided to stand by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        In response to an urgent cable sent to Bishop Turner by Rev. F. M. Gow, Rev. I. N. Fitzpatrick was sent to South Africa to adjust matters and to hold the Annual Conferences. Owing to the near approach of the General Conference of 1900, Bishop Turner was unable to visit South Africa to give his personal attention to the difficulties existing there. Rev. I. N. Fitzpatrick arrived safely in South Africa the latter part of February, 1900, and held the fourth session of the South African Annual Conference at Friendly Hall, Cape Town, on March 8, 1900. At this session Rev. H. M. Mokone, J. Z. Tantzi, Abel F. Gabashane, and Mr. F. M. Gow were elected delegates to the General Conference to be held at Columbus, Ohio, in May, 1900. The Transvaal Annual Conference could not be held owing to the outbreak of the Boer War. The most important act performed by Rev. Fitzpatrick during his visit to South Africa was that of initiating negotiations for the formal recognition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by the Government of Cape Colony. Rev. Fitzpatrick left for America on March 28, 1900, having done much to restore confidence in the Church.

        An event worthy of note that took place in 1894 was the cruising along the west and southwest coast of Africa, from Sierra Leone to Saint Paul de Loanda, by Rev. C. S. Smith in the capacity of a private citizen and at his own expense. During the cruise a trip was made up the Rio del Ray, Cameroons and Congo rivers, ascending the latter as far as Matadi. The distance from Sierra Leone to Saint Paul de Loanda is two thousand and four miles. The cruise outward began at Sierra Leone on September 18, and ended at Saint Paul de Loanda on October 21. Three months and twenty days were occupied in making the journey from and to Liverpool. Among the noted places visited was Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.


Page 186

The results of his observations he embodied in a book, Glimpses of Africa, West and Southwest Coast.

        In 1895 Rev. C. S. Smith made a cruise of the West Indies and the mainland of South America, stopping at all the principal places en route, including Haiti, San Domingo, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela.


Page 187

CHAPTER XV
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1892-1922

        Twentieth General Conference, Wilmington, N. C., May, 1896--Bishop Tanner Preached Quadrennial Sermon--Address of Welcome by the Governor of the State--Memorial Services--Bishops Brown, Payne, Ward, and Wayman Eulogized--Letter of Bishop Ward to B. T. Tanner--Episcopal Address Read by Bishop Arnett--The World's Parliament of Religions--Bishop Francis Asbury--Three Bishops Elected--Election of General Officers--Other Measures Passed on by the General Conference--Episcopal Districts and Assignments.

        THE year 1896 brings us to the assembling of the twentieth General Conference, which convened at Wilmington, N. C., May 4-22, 1896. This was the third meeting to be held in a Southern city. On the call of the roll 374 members responded to their names--8 bishops, 9 general officers, 239 ministers, and 118 laymen, representing 57 Annual Conferences. The usual proceedings attending the opening of the General Conference were observed. Immediately following the preliminary services, Bishop Tanner was presented as the preacher of the Quadrennial Sermon. Text: Psa. 80. 17. Theme: "The Church the Right Hand of God." The main topics discussed were loyalty and strength. Under the head of loyalty he stressed the need of loyalty to God, loyalty to his laws, and loyalty to the laws of nature. Turning to the topic of strength he discoursed as follows:

        The Church, which is as God's right hand in the work of subduing the world, must have strength. Loyalty subserves every purpose for which it was intended, but it cannot take the place of strength. God not only expects loyalty but he demands strength. "Be strong," said David to Solomon. "Be strong," said the prophet Azariah to King Asa. "Be strong," said the angel to Daniel. "Be strong," are the words of Paul to the whole Church. God's Church must be strong, but it can only be as strong as the men composing it are strong. Strong physically, strong intellectually, strong religiously.

        Fortunately, my brethren, we spring from a race famed of old for its physical powers. "It must be acknowledged," said Herodotus quite twenty-four hundred years ago, "whatever may be the cause, that


Page 188

the Africans are more exempt from disease than any other race." "The long-lived Ethiopian," was the song of poets. It is from this stock our forefathers sprang. How earnestly should we labor to preserve this element of strength. Thus far we may be said to have done fairly well. In the rehabilitation of our people since freedom, the health and vigor of the last generation have been taxed to their utmost through years of poverty and abuse. The mortality among us has been largely in excess of any other portion of the American people. But may we not hope that the stress is over, and that the coming generation will behold the old-time race vigor assert itself; as it certainly will if we do not allow sin to irredeemably weaken us. It was the blameless life of the Ethiopian--that blamelessness of which Homer speaks--that gave him his long life. Even so will it be with us. Virtue is always conducive to health. Would we enjoy the health of our fathers, let us imitate their spotless lives, and so possess the physical strength that has always characterized peoples of moral and religious habits. By so doing, and only by so doing, will we be able, as by the right hand of God, to present to him muscles of iron and sinews of brass.

        And so must it be intellectually. Would we as the right hand of God do good service for our King, we must be strong intellectually. To this strength we are called with a double call; one general, the other special. As to the general call to intellectual vigor, it comes to us in common with all who are the Lord's priests. Already have we had occasion to refer to the words of the prophets: "My covenant was with him (Levi) of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts." (Mal. 2. 5-7).

        As to the full significance of all this we prayerfully invite your attention to what any recognized commentator may say. In the present moment it is sufficient that we consider the one statement: We are messengers of the Lord of Hosts. Messenger, that is, "one sent." No other body of men could possibly have a better conception of this than we, and for the reason that in some way or other, we have all played this role. Coming as we do from a class of people given to service--given to come when called, and go when sent--we fully appreciate the illustration the prophet makes. We know fully that it is the province of a messenger to simply carry the message given. This and no more. It is not for him to originate, to add to, nor take away. Simply to carry the message. Not a few doubtless know this by experience. And so it is in the matter under consideration--we are God's messengers. Let us see to it that we get the message from his mouth and deliver it precisely as it is given; even remembering the words: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written


Page 189

in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev. 22. 18-20.) This much comes to us personally and in common with all who minister in holy things. But, as said above, there are special reasons why we should be strong intellectually, strong in our knowledge of the truth, for it is truth alone that will make us free. Adverse conditions surround us. As a race we are misrepresented. Nay, more, God himself in no mean degree is misrepresented. In the past He was made to ordain and sanctify our slavery both by His word and by His providence. In the present He is made to enthrone caste in the place of the vile system of slavery which He swept away by a sea of blood. To justify themselves, the real facts and truths and principles of history are made to do service to the theories and prejudices of our calumniators. Henry Ward Beecher, though noted for his hatred of American slavery, at one time in referring to our race said: "You are an inferior race; all the great races have been white. If all your race has ever done were dropped into the ocean, nothing would be missed." An equally depressing note was sounded by Alexander Winchell, an American geologist, when he said: "Your descent is extra-human in that your race is pre-adamic."

        Our text says: "Let thy hand be upon the Man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself." Oh, that loyalty, strength, and courage might be given the Church. Oh, that these might be given unto us, forming as we do an integral part of that mighty hand of God, that holds the reins of the white horse that John saw, to whose rider was given a crown as he went forth conquering and to conquer. Let these be given us and how gloriously will we continue the work the fathers began! Allen, Brown, and Waters for loyalty; Payne and Brown for exactness; Ward for strength; Quinn, Wayman, and Disney for courage. Let their virtues be withheld; and already may there be seen written of us: "Mene, mene, tekel upharsin."


        The Conference was organized by the election of L. H. Reynolds, secretary; R. C. Holbrook, S. M. Murchison, assistants; J. C. C. Owens, D. T. McDaniel, statistical secretaries; Dr. P. E. Spratling, Cornelius Asbury, engrossing clerks; J. M. Palmer, stenographer; Charles S. Stewart, reporter.

        Hon. Elias Carr, Governor of the State, who was to have delivered the principal address of welcome, sent a letter to the Conference expressing his regrets that a prior engagement prevented his being present. The letter closed thus: "I trust your Conference will be largely attended and its great influence continue to be felt throughout the South." The Mayor, who


Page 190

was to have delivered an address of welcome, communicated to the Conference that sickness would prevent his attending, adding that he had "requested the Hon. D. L. Russell to welcome the delegates here on the part of the city." He further said:

It is a notable gathering and the citizens generally appreciate the honor accorded to our city. The Board of Aldermen at their meeting last night passed a resolution heartily welcoming the delegates and extending to them the freedom of the city.

        The address of Hon. D. L. Russell, the mayor's representative, evoked great enthusiasm. Among other things he said:

We are only recovered from a civil conflict in which our fair fields were dyed with the best blood of the land, and from the consequences of the restless period of reconstruction and reaction which followed it. It seems that in the fulness of God's own appointed time we are passing out of the wilderness where we have cried aloud and had no answer but the echo of our own wailing cry. The narrow walls of prejudice and intolerance are crumbling away. The clouds of hate are lifting. The shadows are changing to gray. There is heard a widening and increasing symphony. It is the martial music of marching humanity. The long night is changing into morn. Its bursting splendors are breaking on the mountain-tops of Southern thought and Southern patriotism. The minds of men are widening with the processes of the same.

        Other addresses of welcome were delivered by Bishop Gaines, on behalf of the Second Episcopal District; J. W. Telfair, on behalf of the North Carolina Annual Conference; and E. J. Gregg, on behalf of Saint Stephen's African Methodist Episcopal Church; A. J. Bonner (Presbyterian), on behalf of the city churches. Responses were made by Bishop Grant, on behalf of the bishops; O. P. Ross, on behalf of the ministers; and Counselor T. McCants Stewart, on behalf of the laity.

        The memorial services took place at the morning session of the third day and preceded the reading of the Episcopal Address. It was in every sense a deeply solemn occasion, commemorating the departure from this life, in the order of their going, of Bishop John M. Brown, D.D., D.C.L.; Bishop D. A. Payne, D.D., LL.D.; Bishop T.M.D. Ward, D.D.; and Bishop A. W. Wayman, D.D. The sterling qualities of this quartet of Episcopates is without a parallel in the history of the African


Page 191

Methodist Episcopal Church. They were four of that renowned sextet of Episcopates who so valiantly and heroically led the vanguard from 1868 to 1880. They were the trailblazers whose torches flamed and flared through the South, the Southwest, and the West. In the temple of fame, the fame that God esteems, are inscribed the names of Payne, Wayman, Campbell, Shorter, Ward, and Brown. Two of the sextet--Shorter (1887) and Campbell (1891)--had already reached the pearly gates awaiting the coming of their comrades. The panegyrist for Bishop Brown was his lifelong and bosom friend, Bishop Turner, who delivered an eloquent tribute to the memory of his deceased friend. The opening sentence of his address was a quotation from the scriptures: "There were giants on the earth in those days." (Gen. 6. 4.)

        Bishop Brown was born at Cantwell's Bridge, now called Odessa, New Castle County, Del., on September 8, 1817. At ten years of age he moved to Wilmington, Del., where he remained for two years in a Quaker family. He was a pupil of Mr. William Thomas, who taught the only colored school in the city. His Sunday-school instruction was mixed. He first attended a Presbyterian Sunday school. Subsequently he attended a Roman Catholic Church and Sunday school. The priest, the Rev. Mr. Carroll, offered to educate him in a Catholic school in Baltimore. His grandfather, who was a Methodist minister, declined the offer, being unwilling for him to forsake the religion of his ancestors. At the end of his stay in Wilmington, an elder sister took him to Philadelphia, thus giving him better educational opportunities than it was possible for him to receive in his birthplace. He found a home in Philadelphia first with Dr. Emerson and then with Henry Chester, an attorney-at-law, both of whom instructed him in the rudiments of education, the principles of religion, and the doctrines of the Bible. On their recommendation he attended Saint Thomas' Protestant Episcopal Church, composed of colored people. In 1836 he united with Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, on Sixth Street, near Lombard. He began the study for the ministry under the tutelage of the Rev. James M. Gloucester. In 1835 he began to learn the trade of a barber, which he followed for about three years. In the fall of 1838 he became a member of the Wesleyan Academy at


Page 192

Wilbraham, Mass., remaining there two years preparing for college. In the summer of 1840, on account of failing health, he returned to Philadelphia to recuperate. Here he continued the study of Latin and Greek under Rev. M. Harris, pastor of the Presbyterian church. Subsequently he entered Oberlin College, remaining there for nearly four years. In 1844 he opened a school in Detroit, Mich., where he became acting pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on account of the death of the regular pastor, the Rev. Cary Hargraves. In 1846 he united with the Ohio Annual Conference and was ordained a deacon. His first appointment after leaving Detroit was Columbus, Ohio, where he remained for three years. In 1852 he was assigned to the pastorate of Saint James' Church, New Orleans. Bishop Brown was a born gentleman and by natural adaptation was fitted more for the Episcopalian than for the Methodist ministry. He was of decidedly studious habits. He ranked high as a scholar. His attainments consisted of wide reading, historic lore, familiarity with the thoughts of great thinkers, and the power to apply the same with the most enlightened and beneficial results. He had a pleasing personality and his manner was courteous and refined.

        Without designing to draw an invidious distinction, it is safe to say that Bishop D. A. Payne towered above all his compeers in those granite qualities of mind and heart that constitute the sum of true greatness. His career as a student is most remarkable and interesting. No man of any age, of any race variety or clime, ever studied more methodically than he; nor pursued systematic study with more uniformity and persistency. If asked how long he was a student, the reply might justly be given--his entire life. He was a born educator. His career as such began in his eighteenth year. He opened his first school in 1829, in a house on Tradd Street, Charleston, S. C., his native city. He continued to teach there until 1835, when he was forced to close his school at the mandate of the General Assembly of South Carolina. In the same year he took passage on a ship for New York city. In 1840 he resumed his work as an educator in Philadelphia, his school being located on Fourth Street, near Spruce. In 1843 he joined the itinerant ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal


Page 193

Church. His crowning work as an educator was in connection with Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He enjoyed the distinction of being its first president after it became an African Methodist Episcopal Church institution. He remained connected with the university in one position or another until the time of his death. Eternity alone can reveal the measure of the influence which he exerted for the development and prosperity of the university, as well as the number of youths whose minds he assisted in enlightening, and whose lives he helped to shape in the mold of correct thinking and upright living. His pastoral career was brief, onerous, and trying, but successful. His first pastorate was in connection with a Presbyterian Church in East Troy, N. Y. This was in 1837, and in the twenty-sixth year of his age. In 1842 he joined the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and in May, 1843, was appointed to the pastoral charge of Gabriel Church, in Washington, D. C., where he served with great success for two years. In 1845 he assumed charge of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Md., remaining there for five years. During this time he was instrumental in securing the erection of a church edifice which, for artistic adornment, has been unequalled in the history of our Church. In 1850 Bishop Quinn appointed him to the pastoral charge of Ebenezer Church, Baltimore, but the congregation refused to receive him; notwithstanding that less than five years previous he had championed their cause against the exactions of the trustees of Bethel Church and secured for them, for a mere pittance, the property which they had so long desired. Well, as someone has said, "Ingratitude is the basest of crimes." May 7, 1852, the General Conference, in session in New York city, elevated him to the bishopric. He was the sixth in line in the order of his election. As a bishop he was tireless in his activities, methodical in his ways, highly instructive, a close observer of order and decency, and withal spiritually illuminating.

        Bishop A. W. Wayman will be remembered as the great commoner and itinerant. Modest and unassuming in his manner, easy of approach, a consoler of the aged and a friend of youth, he won for himself an abiding place in the affections of thousands of both sexes of all ages. Though of limited scholastic


Page 194

training he was a patron of literature, the author of a Manual on the Discipline, My Recollections, and an Encyclopedia of African Methodism.

        Bishop T. M. D. Ward won for himself the sobriquet "The old man eloquent." He possessed a fervid imagination, which enabled him to weave many poetic effusions, the most noted of which was A Sunset in the West. His nature was of the rugged type. His physique was of large proportion, far above the standard. His voice was sonorous, of deep and rich tones. He was genuinely eloquent, and possessed the virtue of brevity. He was deeply impressive and his hearers readily fell under the charm and sway of his eloquence. His pioneer work in California is in itself a monument to his love for his Church, his heroism, his self-sacrificing spirit, and his courage.

        The following letter characteristic of Bishop Ward will be read with interest. It was addressed to Rev. B. T. Tanner (now a bishop) during his career as editor of the Christian Recorder:

SAN FRANCISCO, December 15, 1856.

My dear brother in the Lord:

        You wish to know where I was educated. If you have ever been in Center County, Pa., you have seen a little valley called after the founder of the Keystone State. To the west of this valley are the Allegheny Mountains bathed in the golden glories of the setting sun. On the north are the Tussey Mountains, on the south is the Witney Mountain. Amid the winds that sweep over these pine-clad mountains, the forked lightnings that leap from mountain cave to valley deep, the thunder drums that mingle their sounds with the voice of the storm, from these I learned the lessons of God's power--the vengeance and the wrath of his ire. My soul was humbled when I heard God's thunder-horn summoning his armies to battle.

        The walls of those stately mountains, the sunlit and star-paved heavens, and the grass-clad earth were my alma mater. My books were the sweeping river, the opening rosebud, the babbling brooklet, the brilliant appleblooms, the thunder-riven oak, the russet peach, the flaming stars, the sparkling, limpid spring, and the soft whispering zephyr. The warbling of nature's feathered harpers often reminded me of the music which is heard in the city of God, the new Jerusalem. The frostbloom of winter and the green verdure of summer all reminded me of the mutability of life. Thus in passing through life I have found a gem of thought from this and the other Book. The only positions I have filled have been those of a plowboy and a Methodist preacher. Twenty-four years I have been an officer in the army of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and such I hope


Page 195

to be until my feet shall touch the other shore--the Edenland where with crown and harp, and robe and palm, I hope to spend a sunbright day, a cloudless noon and an ever-opening morn.


        On the resumption of the detailed business of the Conference, a disagreeable feeling was precipitated by what some regarded as an unfair ruling of the chair. This was accentuated when W. D. Chappelle rose to a question of privilege and said:

The trouble in the Conference leading to so much confusion arises from the tyrannical gavel that falls on the table.

        At this juncture Bishop Arnett proceeded to read the Episcopal Address. it is both unique and unusual. Unique, in the amount of historic data it contains; unusual, in its length. It fills 98 pages of the printed Journal, covers 50 topics, and comprises 37,324 words. It is felt that the reader will appreciate such portions of the Address as are set forth in the following paragraphs:

        We congratulate you as citizens of the commonwealth of humanity that we live in an age of religious liberty and toleration; an age of comparative theology, which has summoned the correlative forces of religion before the bar of public opinion, there to establish their claim to the right of public confidence and favor. In every contest, whether at home or abroad, it has been demonstrated that Revealed Religion is superior to Natural Religion in giving the real conception of God, his nature, attributes, and relations to the physical, spiritual, and intellectual world; the origin of man, his duty and destiny; the origin of evil, and its effect upon the physical, intellectual, and spiritual man; and the remedy for evil--the originating, meritorious, and receiving cause of salvation.

        The coordinate forces of Christianity were never more united than at this time; there is a general spirit of cooperation along the general lines of evangelization; the Evangelical Alliance of the world is bringing about a denominational reciprocity of respect and brotherly love. There is more unity of action on the great subjects now than has ever been before. Never in the history of the world were the auxiliary forces of the Church of God so active and so efficient. The Missionary Society, the Sunday school, the Bible Society, the Tract Society, and the religious press are furnishing the world with a living ministry and an open Bible.

        The strength of the Church is seen in its power and the number of the subsidiary forces of Christianity which contribute directly or indirectly to the support and spread of the gospel of peace and good will. In fact, they modify our social, religious, and political life; build up


Page 196

or destroy political parties; found institutions of learning; harness the secular press which furnishes Christian literature for the poor; organize the womanhood of the race into an army to fight intemperance, the foe of home and country; call young men and young women of all denominations to meet beneath the shadow of the cross to declare war against the social evils of the day and encourage denominational loyalty.

        We have great reason to rejoice that we live in this wonderful age which furnishes us with so many opportunities to do good and to work for the elevation of our race and the salvation of mankind.

        That the moral and religious leaders and teachers of the people should be trained is self-evident, and is in harmony with the demands of the age--wise statesmanship and churchmanship; for as a disciplined army demands a disciplined commander, so an intelligent and trained pew demands a good, intelligent, and trained ministry. The leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from its beginning recognized the necessity of an intelligent organization, and a wise administration of the laws, usages, and customs of Methodism; therefore, they have always in a greater or less degree encouraged and supported the education of the people, and have been the pioneers of ministerial education, industrial training, and normal schools where some are taught how to teach others.

        There are some things which we desire to say through you to the ministers and members of the Church which relate, we think, to the success of its mission. In some places we find that there is a tendency to underrate the prayer meeting, a tendency to rely on self rather than on God. The lessons of the history of the Church are that the strongest men of the past were men of prayer, men who relied on the Divine arm. Daniel was a praying man; Elijah brought fire from heaven by prayer; Paul and Silas were released from prison by prayer; Luther won his victories by faith and prayer. The latter part of the year 1739 Wesley called a meeting of eight or ten persons to pray and the result was the organization of Methodism. In 1766 Philip Embury, Barbara Heck, and Aunt Betty met in New York city to pray, and American Methodism was born. In 1766 Robert Strawbridge, Aunt Annie, and ten others met at Sam's Creek, Md., and the tree of Methodism was planted. In 1787 Richard Allen and his associates were taken up from their knees while at prayer in Saint George's Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pa., which led them to build an altar of their own where they could pray to God for the deliverance of their brethren in bonds. God heard the prayers of the fathers, and he answered by his lightning in the flames of war and thunders of the artillery; he answered and the prison doors were opened, and the bondmen and the bondwomen walked out in the morning of freedom.

        These sacred altars, with their perpetual fires, have been committed to the ministers and members of our Church. It is the imperative duty of our ministers to see that the fires do not go out; the members to see that the altars are not deserted. We need no strange fires, and


Page 197

want no new altars. Let us pray that the fire of the Holy Ghost may fall upon bishops, elders, and members, like it did on the day of Pentecost, and let us go out from this place with "cloven tongues of fire," proclaiming the gospel of peace and good will between man and man, family and family, race and race, nation and nation, between heaven and earth.

        There have been serious charges brought against our race by men who profess to be our friends; others have been brought by men who make no pretensions to friendship either for religion or for the Negro. We have been charged with ignorance, immorality, indifference, and disregard for the marriage vow, and the profession of a religion without morality. And some have gone so far as to say that we are worse off to-day than we were in slavery; that freedom has been a curse instead of a blessing, and that liberty has become lawlessness. The moral and religious teachers of the people have been charged with a lack of a true conception of human duties and responsibilities. These are serious charges. As representatives of the people in all conditions of life, we deny the false and slanderous accusations against the virtue of our women and the manhood of our men. We speak from personal knowledge of the moral and social conditions of the people and affirm that the ideals of our leaders are as high as the ideals of their neighbors; that their practical life is more in harmony with the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the life of the Man of Sorrows than those who are bearing false witness against us without any personal knowledge of the charges alleged.

        You will be called upon during your deliberations to give utterance to the position of the Church upon marriage and divorce. It is our deliberate judgment that we should take a firm stand upon this subject. Stand where the Church has stood during her existence; stand where the fathers stood on the subject and abide by the consequences. Let us by our action here strengthen the foundations of the hymeneal altar, binding husbands and wives with bonds so pure and strong that they can be broken only by death; that they can be separated but not parted; be one in responsibility and one in destiny.

        According to the resolution of Dr. J. T. Jenifer passed at the General Conference in 1892, authorizing the bishops to make such arrangements as were necessary to have the Church represented in the Parliament of Religions, which was a feature of the World's Fair, and for holding a Denominationai Congress, Bishop B. F. Lee, Bishop James A. Handy, and Rev. T. B. Caldwell were appointed a committee to carry out the purport of the resolution. Bishop B. W. Arnett was appointed General Manager and Chairman of the Committee on Program.

        Arrangements were made and our Church was represented in all the Religious Congresses and in the Parliament of Religions. Mrs. S. J. W. Early and Miss Hallie Q. Brown were our representatives in the Woman's World's Congress. In the Congress of African Ethnology Bishop H. M. Turner and Dr. J. T. Jenifer delivered addresses and Bishop B. W. Arnett presided, while papers were read by Professor


Page 198

W. S. Scarborough, Professor H. O. Tanner, and Bishop B. T. Tanner.

        Bishop W. J. Gaines and I. W. L. Roundtree represented us in the World's Temperance Congress. At the World's Educational Congress we were represented by Professor S. T. Mitchell, Professor H. T. Kealing, Professor Saint George, P. Richardson, Miss Anna Jones, and others. At the Congress of Missions we were represented by Dr. W. B. Derrick, Rev. R. A. Graham, Rev. G. W. Gaines, and others.

        The Congress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was attended by all the bishops, general officers, and many of the ministers and laymen from all sections of the Church. The Missionary Congress of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was held on September 23, 1893. Bishop Turner presided. Addresses were delivered by Bishops Wayman, Tanner, Handy, Grant, and Drs. Johnson, Coppin, Smith, and others. In the official volume of the proceedings of the Parliament of Religions is to be found the photograph of our twelve bishops. This gives us a place in the history of the religious world that no other denomination enjoys. We think that much good was done for the race at the Parliament of Religions. Many of the foreign representatives met for the first time representative men and women of the race. We gave each of the foreign representatives a copy of our Book of Discipline, hymn book, Bishop Gaines' History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the South, Dr. Embry's Digest, The Proceedings of the Quarto-Centennial of the South Carolina Annual Conference, and the Budget of 1888. Never in all its history did the Church do a greater service to the race than by its participation in the Parliament of Religions.

        In 1899 we will be called upon to celebrate the centennial of one of the most important events that occurred in the eighteenth century--the ordination of Richard Allen by Bishop Francis Asbury on the day that he was set apart and consecrated to the holy ministry of the Church of God.

        That year was the beginning of an epoch in the history of Protestantism, an era in Methodism, and a Golden Age in the commonwealth of Christianity. It was best fitting that this great honor should be conferred on one who was the pioneer in race leadership--the pathfinder, the opener, the Moses to lead his people from the Egypt of ecclesiastical bondage to the Canaan of manhood Christianity. He was the first of his race to organize its moral and religious forces; he was the first to originate a plan for the release of his race and to execute the same. By the wisdom displayed in the laying of its foundation, our Church has been able to pass through four distinct organic periods; the Dependent Period, the Inter-dependent, the Semi-dependent, and the Independent, which began in 1816. Richard Allen leads the procession of all the ordained men of his race, and will stand at the head of the procession through all generations. We cannot do too much to honor his name, for after his call to the ministry he "grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him." Since God has given us such a priceless heritage, let


Page 199

us make ample preparation to celebrate the "Centennial Year of the Ordination of the First Negro of Protestant Christianity."


        The Address closed with nineteen recommendations filled with practical suggestions bearing on the various phases of Church activity.

        Two reports emanated from the Episcopal Committee--a majority and a minority. The majority report recommended the election of four bishops; the minority report recommended that no bishops be elected. Motions and counter-motions speedily followed the presentation of the reports. The first motion was to lay the minority report on the table. There was a demand for the yeas and nays. The chair ruled the motion out of order. The ground for this ruling was not apparent. Suggestion was made that the arrangement of the Episcopal Districts be effected before a vote was taken on the adoption of the majority report. A motion was made to amend the majority report by substituting three for four. At this point the Conference adjourned by limitation.

        Much discrimination and recrimination characterized the opening of the morning session on the day following the adjournment, which was precipitated by the appearance of slanderous utterances affecting some of the members of the Conference. One of the attacks was contained in a circular; the other, in an article that appeared in the Christian Recorder. These slanderous utterances were put out for political effect to weaken the chances of certain aspirants for the bishopric and other Connectional honors. Unfortunately, these underhand methods, as reprehensible and cowardly as they are, have steadily increased, and have proved a source of annoyance and fretfulness to each succeeding General Conference. The consideration of the report of the Committee on Episcopacy was resumed, and after much controversy it was decided to vote upon the following propositions: (1) Shall the Conference elect any additional bishops? (2) Shall four new bishops be elected? (3) Shall three new bishops be elected? (4) Shall two new bishops be elected? This course was agreed to by a vote of 140 yeas to 8 nays. Proposition number 1 was approved by a vote of 220 yeas to 53 nays. Proposition number 2 was rejected by a vote of 52 yeas to 215 nays. Proposition


Page 200

number 3 was approved by a vote of 210 yeas to 68 nays, the Conference thereby agreeing to elect three additional bishops. In accordance with this agreement, at the morning session of the ninth day, W. B. Derrick was elected on the first ballot. On the second ballot J. H. Armstrong and J. C. Embry were elected.

        The morning session of the tenth day was largely consumed with a discussion of what appeared to be in the minds of many, a very necessary thing--the need of retrenchment. To secure this it was proposed to consolidate the management of the Book Concern and the secretaryship of the Church Extension Society. Another proposal was to make one person responsible for editing the Christian Recorder and the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review. Still another proposal was to consolidate the Sunday School Union and the Southern Christian Recorder. A further proposal was the consolidation of the Missionary Department and the Southern Christian Recorder. The whole matter was finally referred to a special committee, which resulted in a presentation of two reports--a majority and a minority. The majority report recommended that the Christian Recorder and the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review be placed under one and the same editorial management; that the office of Secretary of Education be abolished, and that the Southern Christian Recorder and the supervision of general educational affairs be united in one person to be known as the Superintendent of Education and editor of the Southern Christian Recorder. The minority report recommended that there be no reduction in the number of general officers. After a spirited exchange of views, pro and con, participated in by a number of the delegates, the majority report failed of approval. By an inadvertence the action of the General Conference on the minority report is not recorded; the presumption is that it was approved. General officers were elected as follows: T. W. Henderson, Business Manager of the Book Concern; H. T. Johnson, Editor of the Christian Recorder; H. B. Parks, Missionary Secretary; M. M. Moore, Financial Secretary; H. T. Kealing, Editor of the African Methodist Church Review; J. R. Hawkins, Secretary of Education; R. M. Cheeks, Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder; C. T. Shaffer, Secretary of Church Extension; C. S.


Page 201

Smith, Secretary of the Sunday School Union (reelected for the third time).

        Other measures passed on were: a resolution offered by W. D. Chappelle to create a committee to revise and compile the Book of Discipline (not approved); the reconstruction of the Educational Department; the establishment of correspondence schools of theology; fixing the subscription price of the Christian Recorder at $1 per annum and of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review at $1.25; amending the constitution of the Sunday School Union by making one of the bishops president instead of the senior bishop; requiring all applicants for admission into the itinerancy to be examined and recommended by a District Conference; approving the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the organization of the Tennessee Annual Conference; changing the basis of the ministerial representation to the General Conference from twenty-five to thirty; the election of Bishop Arnett as Historiographer; making the Secretary of Education an honorary member of the Board of Trustees of all universities and colleges; authorizing the preparation and printing of uniform blanks for Annual Conferences, the printing to be done by the Book Concern; creating a commission to select the place for the holding of the General Conference and to arrange for its entertainment; amending the constitution of the Church Extension Society; fixing the salary of a bishop at $2,000 per annum and that of a general officer at $1,350 per annum; the adoption of a declaration urging the better observance of Sunday; expressing sympathy for the Cubans in their struggle for liberty, and appealing to the United States Government to recognize the belligerents; disapproving the opening of the gates of the World's Fair on Sunday; the adoption of the hymnal in course of preparation by Professor Layton, chorister of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, D. C.; referring to the Council of Bishops the matter of organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

        Fraternal addresses were delivered during the Conference by Rev. J. W. E. Bowen, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and by Rev. R. E. Hart, of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The addresses were warmly received and followed by suitable responses. The subject of foreign missions received


Page 202

careful consideration, which is reflected in a lengthy report of the committee having charge of that subject. In the report attention was called to Bishop Turner's visit to West Africa and the organization of the Sierra Leone and Liberia Annual Conferences. Attention was also called to the fact that South Africa is an inviting field.

        The consecration of bishops took place at the morning session of the 14th day and was very solemn and impressive. The sermon was preached by the senior bishop, H. M. Turner. Text: 1 Tim. 5. 22. The three bishops who were consecrated have gone to their final abode. Of those who assisted in the consecration of Bishop Derrick, Bishop Turner and Bishop Handy, J. H. Collett, W. H. Thomas, E. W. Lampton, and A. M. Green have departed this life. Of those who assisted in the consecration of Bishop Armstrong, Bishop W. J. Gaines and Bishop A. Grant, A. G. Scott, William Leake, T. C. Denham, and G. E. Taylor have answered to the final roll-call. The departure to the unknown regions of the following who assisted in the consecration of Bishop Embry is to be noted: Bishop B. W. Arnett, Bishop A. Grant, Bishop M. B. Salter, P. A. Hubbard, Theodore Gould, W. H. Thomas, Cornelius Asbury.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 203

        The duty of supervising the work in Africa was assigned to the Missionary Department.


Page 204

CHAPTER XVI
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONTINUED)

        The Last Year of the Nineteenth Century--International and Foreign Affairs--Twenty-first General Conference, Columbus, Ohio, May, 1900--Memorial Services--Death of R. M. Cheeks--Five Bishops Ordered Elected for the First Time in the History of the Church--A Summary of Other Transactions--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Bishop Coppin Arrived at Capetown, South Africa--Communication of the Colonial Secretary--Formal Recognition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church--Bishop Coppin Purchased Bethel Institute, Capetown--Native Trailblazers in West and South Africa--Third Ecumenical Methodist Conference.

        THE year 1900 was the last year of the nineteenth century and, therefore, memorable. In international affairs, this year witnessed the amending of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, which concerned the construction of the Central American trans-isthmian canals by the adoption of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty. In foreign affairs there were the annexation by Great Britain of the Transvaal and Orange River Republics, South Africa; the Boxer Rebellion in China, with the siege and relief of the Foreign Legations; the Russian occupation of Manchuria; and the creation of Australia as a commonwealth.

        As it relates to the affairs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the distinctive event was the convening of the twenty-first General Conference in Columbus, Ohio, May 7-25, which was the first time that it had met in the capital city of Ohio. Its membership comprised 11 bishops, 9 general officers, 272 ministers, and 126 laymen, representing 64 Annual Conferences. The total membership was 418. The printed Journal containing its proceedings numbers 504 pages. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop Abram Grant; the Episcopal Address was read by Bishop B. F. Lee.

        The Conference convened at ten a. m. in the Auditorium, a spacious and well-appointed building, centrally located. The bishops conducted the devotional services, at the conclusion of which Bishop Grant was introduced to preach the Quadrennial


Page 205

Sermon. His text was Gen. 28. 19: "And he called the name of that place Bethel." It was an able and illuminating discourse, from which the following paragraphs are quoted:

        Thirty-six hundred and sixty years ago Jacob gave the name of that place Bethel. September 15, 1796, Richard Allen, on another continent that was never known to Jacob, received a charter from the old Keystone State of the nation, legalizing the name of another place which Allen called Bethel. That was one hundred and four years ago, and now his followers, when they visit the historic city, Philadelphia, whether they are from America, the islands of the seas, or Africa, feel that they owe it to themselves to go and look at the place that Allen called Bethel; and then not rest until they reach the lower story and take a peep at the bones of him who named that place Bethel.

        Why should Jacob or why should Allen call the place Bethel? Because it signifies the House of God, for Jacob said, "This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." It comprehends man's relations to two worlds, and this means his relation and duty to his fellow man in this one, and his responsibility to his God in both worlds. Let us fully appreciate the fact that threescore years and ten is but a short time and that only the physical man can reach his full growth and decay in that period. But when the mental and spiritual man is through with the physical body and is unclothed of earthly environment, he will find that he has only begun to grow. Have you thought of the number of houses of worship we have in the Connection bearing the name Bethel? Start with the New England Annual Conference, then go to the metropolis of the nation, on to the city of monuments; rush to the capital of South Carolina, to the capital of Georgia, and of Arkansas, clear through until you reach California, then to Africa, and you will find monuments of loyalty to our Church and its founders in the churches named Bethel.

        The Bethel that Allen established is one of the branches of the Christian Church. At the close of the Civil War we numbered about 50,000 members and, according to the reports from our statisticians, in 1895 our membership was 543,604. At the close of 1899 we had 663,906, an increase in membership in four years of 120,302, or an annual average increase of 30,070. Now we have 204 presiding elders in our home work. In 1895 we had an enrollment of 4,365 ministers; in 1899 we had an enrollment of 5,245, an increase of ministers in four years of 880. In 1895 we had 9,749 local preachers, 6,356 exhorters, 215 local elders, and 649 local deacons. Our Annual Conferences now number 64. Our increase since 1895 has been 2,506 members per month, 835 per day, or 34 per hour. This is food for the consideration of the pessimists in our Church who think every week that something serious is going to happen.

        The sun sweeps through space with forty millions of burning worlds lashed to his chariot wheels, furnishing light and heat to all of them. The Church of God is passing through the world with all human inventions


Page 206

and institutions, all philosophy, reason, science, and art lashed to her wheels; and while all of these agencies essay to apply mind to matter, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives use and beauty to their application. Hence, whatever her discouragement, the Church cannot die, for "he called the name of that place Bethel."

        For over one hundred and thirteen years our people under all circumstances and conditions have been coming to the agents of Bethel to receive counsel touching their welfare in this world, and to seek the best means of serving God acceptably; and when they were not able to reach us, we have gone to them. We have met them at times in the swamps, in prison houses, in courts of justice, in the Legislatures, in Congress, on land and sea; and we have met from time to time in our own councils to better inform ourselves. The age in which we live demands the very wisest consideration and counsel, and for this purpose we are now assembled at the capital of one of the greatest States in the Union. God grant that our deliberations and acts may have the approval of Him who holds in his hands the destiny of nations and people--of Him of whom it was said, "which is wonderful in counsel."


        At the afternoon session, the Conference was organized by the election of L. H. Reynolds as secretary; R. D. Brooks, W. D. Johnson, Jr., D. T. McDaniel, Sandy Simmons, W. B. Brooks, and H. H. Pinckney, assistant secretaries; P. A. Richardson and R. B. Brooks, recording secretaries; B. A. J. Nixon and H. D. Winn, reading clerks; Charles S. Smith, official stenographer; Charles Stewart, official newspaper reporter. Immediately on the completion of the organization of the Conference T. H. Jackson offered the following resolutions:

        Whereas, the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, Canada, Africa, South America, and the West Indies, has existed as a distinct ecclesiastical body since 1816, having its own bishops, elders, deacons, stewards, class leaders, trustees, churches, and Sunday schools; and

        Whereas, the said African Methodist Episcopal Church has been, and now is, recognized in the ecclesiastical world as a factor in helping to evangelize the world and bring it to the feet of Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer, in keeping with the great commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"; and

        Whereas, the Ethiopian Church sent to the United States, Commissioners to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, seeking admission to membership in the same; and

        Whereas, said Commissioners were received into membership in June, 1896, by Bishop H. M. Turner and the whole Ethiopian Church, the act of reception being recognized as having been done in a legal


Page 207

manner by the Council of Bishops and the Missionary Board of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and

        Whereas, Bishop H. M. Turner went to South Africa and organized two Annual Conferences and appointed a general superintendent over the same; and

        Whereas, the Conferences in South Africa, under the laws of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they are legal members, elected delegates to this, the twenty-first General Conference; therefore be it

        Resolved, That this General Conference hails with delight the extension of our work in South Africa, and that we welcome with all our hearts the delegates therefrom to a seat in this General Conference.

        Resolved, That this General Conference endorse the action of Bishop Turner in organizing the work in South Africa and in appointing a superintendent over the same.


        The evening of the first day's session was devoted to hearing the address of welcome by Governor Nash of Ohio. He was introduced by Bishop Turner. Among other things the Governor said:

We give you all a most cordial welcome. There is ample reason why Ohio should always welcome to her territory religious bodies. The foundation of this great State was laid when the celebrated ordinance of 1787 was made by the Continental Congress. That memorable document declared that religion and education were necessary to the welfare of mankind. These were the teachings we received from our fathers, and following their teachings, it is always our pleasure and duty to welcome religious bodies to this State. There is also another reason not only why we should welcome you to Ohio, but also why we should receive you with a warm welcome. That document to which I referred a few moments ago also provided that in the States created from the Northwest Territory neither slavery nor involuntary servitude should then exist. (Prolonged applause.) And it is the pride of this State that slavery never did exist within its borders. (Applause and cries of Amen.) When the time of trial came Ohio did her duty in destroying slavery. (Applause.)

        Other addresses of welcome were delivered by Joshua H. Jones, on behalf of the Ohio Annual Conference; by I. N. Ross, on behalf of Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Columbus; and by J. C. Jackson, on behalf of the ministerial union of Columbus. A telegram was received from Hon. William McKinley, President of the United States, extending congratulations; also one from Hon. Mr. Cheatham, Recorder of Deeds, Washington, D. C. H. T. Johnson responded on behalf


Page 208

of the general officers and W. J. Andrews responded on behalf of the laity. The meeting was continued to another date, when other addresses were delivered.

        At the morning session of the second day, after the announcement of the various standing committees, the following resolutions were offered by A. M. Green:

        Whereas, we have experienced great difficulties in securing a correct and properly arranged Book of Discipline; and

        Whereas, it is obvious that a judicious arrangement by the Conference and by the Committee on Revision of the Discipline will make it possible to overcome the difficulties heretofore experienced; therefore be it

        Resolved, That the Committee on the Revision of the Discipline shall have the right of way over the other ordinary business of the Conference, from time to time, until the Discipline is completed.

        Resolved, That the Committee on Revision shall be required to report its progress from day to day after the third day's session of the Conference.

        Resolved, That the Committee on Revision shall have the right to withdraw from the regular session whenever their business requires them to do so.

        Resolved, That all amendments to the Book of Discipline adopted at one session of the General Conference shall receive, on their adoption, the signatures of the then presiding officer and secretary of the Conference. They shall then be recorded in a book of revised laws, and at the next day's session, after their adoption and recording in said book of revised laws, they shall be read and shall receive the signatures of the then presiding officer and secretary of the Conference; and the new Discipline shall be compiled from the records of the said certified record book of revised laws of the General Conference and the said record book of revised laws shall be carefully preserved among the archives of the General Conference until the ensuing quadrennial session.

        Resolved, That the Council of Bishops shall have the authority to examine the certified record book of revised laws from day to day, and should a majority of the Council of Bishops find in their judgment that a measure adopted by the General Conference is objectionable and, in their opinion, calculated to prove detrimental to the best interests of the Church, they shall have power to return the measure to the General Conference within two days after its final passage with their objections thereto. Whereupon the measure shall be again put upon its passage by the General Conference, and if two thirds of the members present shall vote in favor of its passage, it shall then become a law regardless of the objection of the bishops. If no objections are submitted against the measure in the record book of revised laws by a majority of the Council of Bishops within two days after its second


Page 209

day's reading and certification, it shall stand and be valid as a law. But if such a bill is returned within two days as above stated, and two thirds of the members should not vote in favor of its passage, it shall not become a law, and shall be stricken from the record of revised laws; provided, however, that this law shall only apply to bills passed within not less than four days prior to the final adjournment of the General Conference.

        Resolved, That no existing rule of the standing rules of order of the General Conference shall have precedence over or invalidate the operation of this rule and order of procedure in regard to the revision of the Discipline.


        Notwithstanding this was one of the sanest and most practical administrative measures ever presented to a General Conference in the history of our Church, its consideration was indefinitely postponed. Its intent was to put a brake on rash proceedings and that impetuosity of action which characterizes the conduct of persons laboring under the stress of excitement. Furthermore, its aim was to secure correctness in the matter of recording the proceedings, certainly an accomplishment greatly to be desired. As to its proposal to place the veto power in the hands of the bishops, which was the chief reason for the indefinite postponement of the measure, whatever fears existed were groundless. Its approval would have added another brake to hasty and inconsiderate legislation. The President of the United States, the governors of the several States, and the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, exercise the veto power. Why not, then, the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church? Surely they could be trusted to act wisely and considerately whenever it should become necessary to exercise it. Their close relationship to all the interests of the Church should be regarded as a sufficient guarantee that they would not abuse the veto power. It was an emergency measure required by the exigencies of the times--an emergency that still exists.

        The morning session of the third day was devoted to hearing the Episcopal Address, which was read by Bishop Lee. It was a scholarly, comprehensive, and informing deliverance, exhibiting studious thought and a wide range of knowledge. It was given the closest attention. The following paragraphs will be of interest to the reader, and will furnish a gauge to measure approximately the strength of the whole:


Page 210

        The nineteenth century is disappearing with this quadrennium--the mightiest of all the centuries. The century of flights of genius and feats of intellect unequalled by the ages. The century that eliminated from civilization slavery and serfdom. The century that extended the light of the glorious gospel to nearly all the world. The century in which the arts and sciences, manufactories and mercantile affairs have been advanced to such proportions that further progress seems all but out of the question. The century that has tossed about the very continents themselves in geographical changes; the faith to move mountains has played a wonderful part. In this century the tendency of churches to find harmony and theological unity is one of the most significant factors. Morals, manners, and mind crystallize more about the center of truth than of sentiment. In this century science has brought all parts of the world about the common center of human interest and necessities. In this century the races have come into more intimate and significant contact than ever before; some through the incident and occasion of trade; some through the intercourse of travel; some through the soothing heart of grace; some through the rude hand of bondage, and some through the stern trumpet of war. The literature of this century is more profuse, and of better character and educative tendencies than that of any preceding century. The poets and prose-writers, writers on all topics, have given the world thought and beauty that will live and glow for a thousand years. The advancement of civilization has been marvelous. What was at the beginning of this century a barbarous world, is now either subdued and refined by the masterly touch of modern civilization, or is in fair transformation to that desired condition by the general tendencies and consideration of business necessities and relations, by military conquest, or by dominating influences succeeding discoveries and surveys, and by the benign light and force of our holy religion. Still there remains much land to be conquered. In its mad rush the extension of civilization is not entirely the extension of Christianity pure and simple, but it is adulterated with mental and moral defacing elements that arouse grave solicitude and engage the great activities of the Church of Christ. And the Church itself is still assailed by those who "count gain Godliness." The preaching of the Cross is yet counted foolishness and holiness is mocked by many.

        The increase of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in members and power is shown by the following figures comparing 1787 with 1899:

        
From one house of worship to 5,095 church edifices
From no school buildings to 20  
  1787 1899
Number of Communicant Members 42 663,706
Number of Adherents 200 1,659,765
Grand Total   2,323,471


Page 211

Number of Ministers 2 5,439
Pastors' Support--aggregate   $984,462
Number of Churches 1 5,095
Number of Bishops   9
Number of Annual Conferences   65
Value of Property $2,500 $10,310,993
Colleges   20
Teachers   165
Pupils   5,257
Number of Graduates   660
Amount of money raised for Education from 1884 to 1899   $1,140,013.31

        The peculiar mission and power of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the future are probably as far above our general conception as the present status of the Church is above the conception of its founders. The proof of manhood is the ability to commune with God in wisdom, intelligence, and holiness; "to be like him," again. This can come only through individual relationship, but general elevation, race elevation, must come through a very large majority. It is no more important to us that the advanced peoples are watching our movements, than it is that those far at our rear are watching us. There is no greater danger of the former rushing back upon us with overwhelming force than of the latter dragging us to hopeless despair and ruin. Both high-grade civilization and low-grade civilization, in themselves, are dangerous; the need of both is communion with God. In our distaste for lowly positions among the great, we must not forget that all greatness not in communion with God, but lifts man the higher for a fall. We must not let the humble success attending our activities intoxicate us. Level headedness is demanded of this large body of Negroes, as a leader to the race. We may expatiate as we will concerning liberty to violate the Divine laws and the laws of reason, but "the high look," God will surely bring down. The Church of our fathers came to us measurably pure; men and God will hold us responsible for keeping it pure. We are in danger of allowing the material to absorb the spiritual. The work of our churches in the cities where vice is easy and prevalent, should be directed more toward the resistance and overcoming of vice. Our churches in rural centers should maintain institutions that will educate the youth and the adult in the things of common life.

        How shall the African Methodist Episcopal Church greet the new century? What answer will it give the question: "Are ye able?" We urge you to thoughtfulness, humiliation before Almighty God, and fervent prayer for the General Conference, that it may take no backward steps; for our institutions of learning, that we may be able to govern them to the glory of God, saving those whom we teach; for our homes, that they may not be broken by weakness from within nor strength from without, and that they may be not only our castles, but


Page 212

God's palaces; for our women, that though poor they may be pure, and though dependent, they may be reliable and staunch in the face of the foe, white or black; for our children, that though handicapped they may not be handcuffed; for our men, that every passion may be subordinated to spiritual good, and that though they are often denied the right and privilege to work with men, they may never despise nor weary of the privilege of working with God for the redemption of the world; for our country, that all its righteous institutions may become liberal in considering our race, that its courts may be just to us, its legislatures considerate toward us, its wealth helpful to us, and its religion gracious toward us; for civilization, that it may be humble and right; for the remote governments that recognize our labors, that peace and prosperity may be restored soon; and for the glorious gospel, that it may spread to all races and tribes, till His kingdom come.

        The human sides of the foundation-stones of Methodism are its class meetings and love feasts, its contention for regeneration and sanctification, and its maintenance of discipline. When we relinquish these we lose the essential distinctions of our Church and become as other men. The grounds of these principles and practices are biblical. Without regeneration no man has the promise of eternal life. Without holiness no man shall see God's face. Holiness that involves correctness of life, not alone faith in the perfection of the life of Christ, is what Methodism stands for and what it contends for; holiness that includes temperance, virtue, prudence, and honor. Our Methodism can no more tolerate tampering with intoxicants than it can tolerate slavery; if one is the "sum of all villainies," the other is the basis of all crime. Our Methodism stands for proper respect for monogamous marriage; consequently we must deplore the rash and reckless securing of divorces practiced by some ministers and laymen; the more so when said divorces are soon followed by marriages of the divorced. The limits for cause for divorce are laid down in the Scripture and upon these Methodism relies; to these it adheres.

        In no former quadrennium have our bishops traveled abroad so extensively. Bishops Grant and Derrick have visited the work in Bermuda and Nova Scotia; Bishop Handy, Haiti, that had been so long without episcopal supervision; Bishop Grant has visited Sierra Leone and Liberia; Bishop Lee, the Windward Islands and South America; while the most extended, the most far-reaching in influence, and the most significant episcopal tour ever made on behalf of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was that made by our senior, Bishop Turner, to South Africa. Extending the borders of our beloved Zion to that far-off field and receiving several thousand Christians into our Church, promises to the African Methodist Episcopal Church vast opportunities for usefulness. It is true the task of occupancy of that field of Christian activity is not without difficulty, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, disappointment, and hardship; yet have we great hope that an open door is presented to us by the Lord that "no man can shut." The advance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church


Page 213

is not the act of adventurers, the march of conquerors, nor the vanguard of nations. It deprives no man of his wealth, nor asks him to cease in his honest endeavors toward success; nor does it interfere with any in the peaceful pursuit of happiness and prosperity. It stirs up no seditions against civil governments. In its distribution over the territory of many governments, its members are loyal always to the respective governments under whose control they live. It acknowledges men of all races as brethren, God as the All Father, and Christ as the one Redeemer. It enters South Africa as it has entered other doors, admitting it to the great centers of the aggregated hosts of the race making up (chiefly) its communion, to "seek its brethren," made to find communion among their own class because of the discriminations in the communion of others. If courageous and believing, we shall succeed in South Africa as we have succeeded in every field into which He has led or suffered us to go. We are thankful to God for the safe arrival in this country of Rev. I. N. Fitzpatrick, who was appointed by Bishop Turner to hold the South African Annual Conference, and also for the presence of our delegates from the West Indies, South America, South Africa, and the West Coast of Africa.

        We are pleased to announce that the manuscript of a large part of the history of our Connection, as prepared by Bishop Arnett, is ready for the press. The author contemplates bringing out the work in 127 chapters. The manuscript of the biography of the bishops, records of the General Conferences, accounts of the organization of Annual Conferences, the Episcopal Addresses, various statistical tables, and the history of the Departments is complete. We have good reasons to believe that the completion and publication of the history of the Church by Bishop Arnett will add greatly in increasing the respectability of our Church and our race in the popular mind. In preparing this work Bishop Arnett has collected various Minutes, books, and papers, some of which are extant in the single case only, and have great historic value in themselves. The plan of the author includes publishing in full the valuable manuscript prepared by Bishop Daniel A. Payne. We recommend that the early numbers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church magazines, the early Journals of General Conferences, and any others that may appear necessary, be published in book form for information and preservation.


        Among the recommendations were that of the authorization of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society to take out Articles of Incorporation; the appropriation of a definite sum to be paid by the Financial Secretary to the theological seminaries; providing that the salary of the general officers, after one year from this Conference, be paid out of the funds of their respective departments, excepting that of the editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; providing


Page 214

that the Annual Conference basis for General Conference delegates shall exclude all local members and all probationers; fixing the responsibility of entertaining the General Conference upon the entire Connection by ascertaining the approximate cost of General Conference entertainment and apportioning the amount among the Annual Conferences according to numerical strength, each Annual Conference to raise one fourth of its apportionment yearly and to report the same to each succeeding annual session, and at the session's close to pay it to the Connectional Financial Secretary; providing for expediting the publication of the Minutes of the General Conference and the new edition of the Book of Discipline.

        The afternoon of the third day's session was devoted to memorial services. Fitting tributes were paid to those who had departed. Bishop Tanner eulogized the life and character of Bishop James Crawford Embry, who was born in Knox County, Ind., November 2, 1834. He was admitted into the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1863, was elected Secretary of Education in 1876, and Financial Secretary in 1879; was elected Business Manager of the Publication Department in 1884, and was elected bishop at Wilmington, N. C., May 8, 1896. He was a delegate to the first Methodist Ecumenical Conference, London, England, in 1881. He was possessed of many strong qualities--physical, moral, and intellectual. His career as a bishop was brief, as he passed away on March 23, 1898.

        Rev. G. E. Taylor spoke feelingly and eloquently of the life, labors, and character of Bishop Josiah Haines Armstrong, who passed into the regions beyond August 16, 1897. Bishop Armstrong was born in Lancaster County, Pa., May 30, 1842. He entered the United States Army in 1863 as a private, and soon rose to the rank of a non-commissioned officer. He doubtless would have obtained a commission but for the proscription against colored men prevailing at that time. He entered the ministry in March, 1869, and was elected a bishop by the General Conference held at Wilmington, N. C., in May, 1896. Rev. D. W. Gilleslie, of the East Florida Annual Conference, added his testimony to the worth of Bishop Armstrong; Rev. J. A. Lindsay, of the North Georgia Annual Conference, spoke on


Page 215

the life of Rev. Lawrence Thomas, and on that of Rev. Elijah Sheppard.

        At the morning session of the fourth day J. S. Flipper raised a question as to the eligibility of a minister representing the laity to serve as a member of the Episcopal Committee. The Chair ruled that a delegate elected to represent the laity cannot be recognized as a ministerial delegate. An unusual procedure took place at this juncture. On account of the illness of R. M. Cheeks, editor of the Southern Christian Recorder, who was in attendance at the General Conference, and whose condition was judged to be serious; and in order to relieve him of all possible anxiety, the rules were suspended and he was reelected to his position by acclamation. He passed away shortly after his reelection and was the first general officer to die at the seat of a General Conference. His funeral took place on the morning of the thirteenth day's session, May 21, and was attended by all the members of the General Conference. Bishops Derrick, Handy, and Grant delivered encomiums on his life and character. At the close of the service the remains were escorted to the depot by the entire body and thence conveyed to Washington, D. C., where they were interred.

        At the morning session of the ninth day, May 16, the Episcopal Committee submitted report No. 1, recommending first, that the election of bishops and general officers take place on Thursday, May 17, beginning at eleven a. m.; second, that five bishops be elected, two to be assigned to the home work, one to South Africa, one to West Africa, and one to the West Indies; third, that the prohibitory clause as to the wearing of robes be stricken out of the Discipline. A minority report was presented urging that four bishops be elected, the number recommended by the bishops in their Episcopal Address. A direct vote was ordered as to the number to be elected, four or five. The roll was called with the following results; for four bishops, 161; for five bishops, 230.

        The Committee on Revision reported progress. The call of the Annual Conferences for the presentation of bills, petitions, or resolutions, was resumed. The morning of the tenth day's session, May 17, was devoted to the election of bishops in accordance with a previous agreement. Evans Tyree, M. M.


Page 216

Moore, C. S. Smith, and C. T. Shaffer having received a majority of all the votes cast on the first ballot, were declared elected. There was no further balloting. A motion to suspend the rules and elect L. J. Coppin by acclamation prevailed.

        Fraternal delegates were received from the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The former was represented by Rev. R. E. Gilliam, and the latter by Rev. N. C. Cleaves. Their addresses were highly appreciated. Rev. C. H. Phillips, of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and editor of the Christian Index, was introduced and briefly addressed the Conference.

        An appeal was taken by John R. Scott, of the South Florida Annual Conference, from a ruling of Bishop Gaines. A great deal of the time of the Conference was consumed in disposing of the matter. The appeal was not sustained by a vote of 130 to 93. The appeal of G. A. L. Dykes against the Indian Mission Conference was not sustained. The following resolutions offered by W. D. Cook, of the New York Annual Conference, were adopted:

        Whereas, there should be uniformity in ministerial dress befitting our high and holy calling as ministers of the gospel; and

        Whereas, in many instances bishops and ministers are, by reason of prevailing custom, required to wear robes while engaged in the duties of their sacred calling; and

        Whereas, many who are desirous of wearing robes, having due respect for the majesty of the law, refrain from the same; and

        Whereas, the desire to wear robes is constantly increasing among us; therefore be it

        Resolved, That on and after June 30, 1900, a proclamation be issued by the Council of Bishops authorizing and requesting all bishops and elders to secure and wear robes on any occasion they may desire, and that they especially wear them on the occasion of funerals, marriages, and on reception of members into full connection; be it further

        Resolved, That no unordained preacher be allowed to wear a robe, but in lieu thereof be required to wear a clerical suit of black cloth when officiating.


        The morning of the fifteenth day's session, May 23, witnessed the solemn and impressive service of the consecration of the bishops-elect. Every available space in the auditorium was occupied. It was the first time in the history of the Church that five persons were consecrated bishops at one service. The


Page 217

weather was propitious, the occasion inspiring. The bishops-elect were consecrated according to the order of their election. Bishop-elect Evans Tyree was presented by Rev. J. W. Beckett, of the Baltimore Annual Conference, and was solemnly consecrated by the imposition of the hands of Bishops Turner, Handy, and Salter, assisted by B. A. J. Nixon, of the Tennessee Annual Conference; R. F. Hurley, of the Michigan Annual Conference; S. J. Brown, of the Missouri Annual Conference; N. L. Edmonson, of the Alabama Annual Conference; C. L. Archey, of the Columbia Annual Conference; D. E. Asbury, of the West Tennessee Annual Conference; A. G. Scott, of the Northeast Texas Annual Conference; C. R. Tucker, of the Indian Annual Conference; and H. M. Steady, of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect Morris Marcellus Moore was presented by H. B. Parks, of the Kansas Annual Conference. His consecration was conducted by Bishops Gaines, Derrick, and Grant, assisted by D. W. Gilleslie, of the East Florida Annual Conference; D. F. Calliman, of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference; N. J. McCracken, of the Illinois Annual Conference; R. R. Downs, Southwest Georgia Annual Conference; J. W. Dukes, South Florida Annual Conference; E. W. Lampton, North Mississippi Annual Conference; G. W. Porter, West Tennessee Annual Conference; T. C. Denham, Central Texas Annual Conference; E. T. Cottman, California Annual Conference; S. T. Tice, Nova Scotia Annual Conference; and L. C. Curtis, Liberia Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect Charles Spencer Smith was presented by Lazarus Gardner, of the Central Alabama Annual Conference. Those who participated in his consecration were Bishops Arnett, Salter, and Turner, assisted by G. H. Burks, of the West Kentucky Annual Conference; W. D. Chappelle, Northeast South Carolina Annual Conference; R. H. W. Leake, Western North Carolina Annual Conference; W. F. Dangerfield, Central Mississippi Annual Conference; E. P. Holmes, Macon Annual Conference; I. N. Ross, Ohio Annual Conference; B. W. Arnett, Jr., Illinois Annual Conference; T. H. Jackson, West Arkansas Annual Conference; M. D. Moody, Texas Annual Conference; S. G. Dorce, Haitian Annual Conference; and J. Z. Tantsi, South African Annual Conference.


Page 218

        Bishop-elect Cornelius Thaddeus Shaffer was presented by his brother, George H. Shaffer, of the Kansas Annual Conference. His consecrators were Bishops Tanner, Derrick, and Grant, assisted by N. D. Temple, of the Philadelphia Annual Conference; W. D. Cook, New York Annual Conference; P. A. Hubbard, Colorado Annual Conference; R. C. Ransom, Illinois Annual Conference; T. W. Henderson, Indiana Annual Conference; Allen Cooper, Southwest Georgia Annual Conference; L. R. Nichols, South Carolina Annual Conference; James M. Turner, Kentucky Annual Conference; L. H. Reynolds, Louisiana Annual Conference; J. E. Edwards, California Annual Conference; and R. A. Sealey, British Guiana Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect Levi Jenkins Coppin was presented by J. A. Johnson, of the Baltimore Annual Conference. His consecration was solemnized by Bishops Grant, Lee, and Gaines, assisted by R. S. Quarterman, of the South Florida Annual Conference; W. G. Alexander, Macon Annual Conference; John Hurst, Baltimore Annual Conference; A. M. Green, Louisiana Annual Conference; William H. Davis, Philadelphia Annual Conference; J. M. Gilmere, Pittsburgh Annual Conference; N. B. Sterrett, South Carolina Annual Conference; Cornelius Asbury, Pittsburgh Annual Conference; D. M. Brookens, Oklahoma Annual Conference; and M. M. Mokone, Transvaal Annual Conference.

        The general officers elected were R. H. W. Leake, Business Manager of the Publication Department; H. T. Johnson, Editor of the Christian Recorder; H. T. Kealing, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; H. B. Parks, Secretary of Missions; W. D. Chappelle, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; P. A. Hubbard, Financial Secretary; J. R. Hawkins, Secretary of Education; B. F. Watson, Secretary of the Church Extension Society; G. E. Taylor, Managing Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder; John T. Jenifer, Secretary of the Preachers' Aid Society; B. W. Arnett, Jr., Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor Society.

        The numerical strength of the Church was given as follows: traveling elders, 2,613; traveling deacons, 1,124; traveling licentiates, 657; local elders, 203; local deacons, 650; local preachers, 9,749; exhorters, 6, 356; probationers, 87,091; members,


Page 219

561,746; grand total, 670,189. The total Dollar Money reported for the quadrennium was $403,707.62.

        A summary of other transactions indicated that Bishop Tanner's new book, Dispensations in the History of the Church, was approved; that there was no increase in the salary of a bishop or a general officer; that the publication of a Year Book was approved; that the Blair Educational Bill was approved; that the issuing of a Daily Recorder was ordered; that the Conference assumed a position of neutrality in the South African war; that all business and conversation should be suspended during devotional services; that the sum of $150 was appropriated for the relief of the delegates from South Africa, as they had been shipwrecked en route to America; that it disapproved the measure to increase the basis of ministerial representation to the General Conference; that $500 was appropriated for the relief of Mrs. Cheeks, the widow of Rev. R. M. Cheeks; that it endorsed the purchase of the Institutional Church, in Chicago, Ill.; that it authorized the Church Extension Society to prepare plans and specifications for church buildings and parsonages; that it sanctioned the division of the Virginia Annual Conference; that it empowered the bishops to draft a constitution for the Allen Christian Endeavor League, and appoint a secretary and a board of managers for the same; that it refused to adopt a publication known as the Twentieth Century, also the Western Recorder; that it adopted Articles of Incorporation for the Connection; that it declared the traveling expenses of bishops and ministers to foreign fields were not excessive; that it provided for instituting the Order of Deaconesses; that it required the general officer of a new department to get his salary therefrom; that it approved the incorporation of churches in foreign lands; that it protested against the adverse criticism of a local paper called The Citizen.

NECROLOGY

        Numbered among those who had ended their earthly career, and who were members of the General Conference of 1896, in addition to the bishops whose demise has been previously noticed, were Rev. Joseph S. Thompson, of the New Jersey Annual Conference; Rev. John G. Mitchell, of the Ohio Annual


Page 220

Conference, and dean of Payne Theological Seminary; Rev. L. Thomas, of the North Georgia Annual Conference; Rev. S. H. Coleman, East Florida Annual Conference; Rev. S. W. Washington, South Carolina Annual Conference; Rev. Bedford Green, Tennessee Annual Conference; Rev. O. P. Ross, Mississippi Annual Conference; Hon. C. H. J. Taylor, San Domingo Annual Conference.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 221

        On February 9, 1901, Bishop Coppin arrived at Cape Town, South Africa, and immediately entered upon his duties. Less than one month after the Bishop's arrival an important victory was gained for the Church, namely, its formal recognition by the Government of Cape Colony. The following is the communication containing the announcement:

Colonial Secretary's Office,
Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope,
26th March, 1901. The Right Rev. Bishop Coppin, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Cape Town.

My Lord Bishop:

        On the 20th of February, 1900, Revd. I. N. Fitzpatrick addressed a communication to the Prime Minister, reporting that he had been deputed to come to South Africa; (a) to confer with the Government; (b) to endeavor to explain the true position of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and (c) to report on his return to the General Conference of 1900.

        The interview was held on the 2d of March, and Mr. Schreiner desired thereat preparatory to recognition in this Colony, that the Church should be domiciled here, and have on the spot some fully competent authority, such authority being vouched for by the Chief U. S. Government Official of the State he came from, and he noted as essential the production of proof of educational qualifications on the part of those "ordained or set apart" for whom recognition as "Marriage Officers" might be sought.

        Further, to quote from a letter he subsequently (3d item) caused to be addressed to Mr. Fitzpatrick, the Premier stated:

        "It is, of course, well known that the African Methodist Episcopal Church of America possesses in that country a substantial organization, the ramifications of whose operations extend, you report, to Canada, the West India Islands, and Western Africa, and Mr. Schreiner wishes you to understand that the Government does not oppose the extension to Cape Colony of the legitimate work of that denomination."

        Further, the Government takes a broad view of the case, and concludes that as the status of the Rev. Mr. Dwane, who claimed to be the bishop and ecclesiastical head in South Africa of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has not yet been affirmed to the satisfaction of the government; and as it is understood that his connection with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that alleged capacity


Page 222

has ceased, the full recognition of the African Methodist Episcopal Denomination, as a Church, organized and working in the Colony within the meaning of the Marriage Order in Council of 1838, has not been demonstrated to be yet due.

        Under these circumstances, and seeing that the Conference, whose avowed object is to place disputed matters on a legal footing, is timed to assemble in two months, there appear valid reasons for deferring such recognition until the organization and working of the Church is placed upon a formal basis in the Colony, with the approval and sanction of the General Conference.

        Now, you have deposited with the Government the following documents, viz:

I am, my Lord Bishop,
Your Lordship's obedient Servant,

(Signed) NOEL JANISCH,
Under Colonial Secretary,
For Colonial Secretary.


        It will be observed by reference to the last paragraph in Mr. Janisch's letter that all ordinations made previous to the 12th


Page 223

of March, 1901, were null and void by this act of recognition; and such persons, though previously ordained, could not be made Marriage Officers by Bishop L. J. Coppin or by any of his successors in office. Such persons could exercise all other ministerial functions, or even be reordained. Complications arising from the Boer War made the work of Bishop Coppin exceedingly trying and difficult. He had to build from the ground up.

        The ministers and people had to begin their church life over in a denomination that was entirely new to them, and the base of whose operations was far removed from them. It was difficult for them to think of the African Methodist Episcopal Church as being outside the Continent of Africa. That to them was a very strange something. It was not long, therefore, until such differential terms as the "African Methodist Episcopal Church in America" and the "African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa" were in vogue. The thought seemed to be dominant that the African Methodist Episcopal Church should adjust itself to the condition of the natives in South Africa, and not the natives to adjust themselves to the Discipline and usages of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The first real estate owned by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa was secured through Bishop Coppin by the purchase of Bethel Institute, in Cape Town.

        Aside from the fact that Bishop Turner was a commanding figure in the affairs of the Church at home, his pioneer work in West and South Africa gained for him an enviable place in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Of those who were associated with him in the organization of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, there is only one now living--Rev. H. M. Steady. Of those who were associated with him in the formation of the Liberia Annual Conference, not one is living. A majority of those who were with him in the organization of the Transvaal Annual Conference have passed away. Rev. J. G. Xaba died in America a short time after the adjournment of the General Conference of 1904. His death occurred in Atlanta, Ga., where his remains were buried. James M. Dwane and J. Z. Tantzi are among those who passed away in their native land. I. G. Sishuba and Henry Ngcayiya


Page 224

left the Connection in 1907. Unless the corps of native workers is reinforced by ministers and teachers from the home Church, the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa must ultimately fail. It is impossible for any people only one generation removed from barbarism to comprehend and successfully grapple with the genius and multifarious ramifications of an ecclesiastical organism.

        An event in world-wide Methodism was the assembling of the third Ecumenical Methodist Conference in City Road Chapel, London, England, September 4-17, 1901. The delegates representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church were Bishops Gaines, Tanner, Arnett, Lee, Salter, Derrick, Tyree, and Smith; Revs. J. E. Edwards, L. H. Evans, P. A. Hubbard, John Hurst, T. H. Jackson, J. Albert Johnson, E. W. Lee, and R. C. Ransom; H. T. Kealing and W. S. Scarborough. Bishop W. B. Derrick was a member of the Business Committee; and Bishops Arnett, Grant, and Derrick were members of the Executive Committee. Bishop Arnett presided at the morning session of the fourth day. At the afternoon session of the fifth day Professor H. T. Kealing delivered an address on "Methodism and Education." At the morning session of the eleventh day Bishop B. T. Tanner read an essay on "The Elements of Pulpit Effectiveness." Bishops Tyree and Smith participated in the General Discussions. On September 18, Bishop W. B. Derrick delivered an address at Bristol, Bishop C. S. Smith, at Sheffield and Hull; and Professor W. S. Scarborough, at Manchester.


Page 225

CHAPTER XVII
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONTINUED)

        Twenty-second General Conference, Chicago, Ill., May, 1904--Letter from President Roosevelt--Memorial Services--Interesting Point Raised by T. H. Jackson--Recommendations in the Episcopal Address--Lay Representation in the General Conference--Case of R. H. W. Leake--No Election of Bishops--Establishment of the Allen Christian Endeavor League--Report of the Commission on Federation--Church Statistics--Literary Features--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Bishop C. S. Smith Reached Cape Town, South Africa--Visit to West Africa to Hold the Liberia and Sierra Leone Annual Conferences.

        MAY, 1904, found the leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church wending their way toward Chicago to attend the twenty-second General Conference. It convened in historic Quinn Chapel on Monday, May 2, 1904. Its gathering in Chicago excited great interest among the members and adherents of the Church in regions not only adjacent to, but far remote from the Windy City.

        The membership of the General Conference included 11 bishops, 9 general officers, 296 ministers, and 125 laymen representing 68 Annual Conferences. The total membership was 491. The printed Journal of its proceedings covers 254 pages. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop M. B. Salter. On the completion of the preliminary service he was introduced as the preacher of the hour. Text: Matt. 28. 20. Theme: "Jehovah with the Church." The following paragraphs will afford an insight into the character of the sermon:

        I see the Church emerge, as it were, from the bosom of Christ. Twelve fishermen--what are these to do? Why, they are to shake the world, to uproot old systems of paganism that have become venerable with age, and whose antiquity seems a guarantee that men will never renounce them. These men are to destroy the worship of Jupiter; they are to cast Venus from her licentious throne; they are to pull down the temple of Delphi, to scatter all the oracles, and disrobe the priests. These men are to overthrow a system and an empire of error


Page 226

that has stood for thousands of years--a system which has brought to its help the philosophy of learning and the pomp of power. This is the task set for these twelve fishermen to perform.

        The founders of African Methodism were Richard Allen and others whose careers were distinguished for usefulness, for the development of enlightened Christianity, and for the progress of our beloved Bethel. The history of their labors, trials, and privations, if written, would prove to be of the most thrilling interest and show that not without great sacrifice and suffering has the African Methodist Episcopal Church reached its present advanced position. After the rise of a century's growth Bethel has witnessed the crushing of slavery under the power of salvation's wheel; the melting of prejudice before the rising sun of social, intellectual, and religious progress; and the fading out of jealousy in the laboratory of its own folly. At last recognition comes to us from the entire Protestant world, and God, the eternal, still leads Bethel on. We take pride in the fact that our Church government is Wesleyan; that our ministry is itinerant. Shortly after we organized we established a traveling connection, taking as a model the Methodist Episcopal Church--our mother--which the early fathers, in their desire for a simple, comprehensive faith in God, could find nowhere else. In this homogeneous arrangement as "the children of song," they could find a natural and easy outlet for their deep and pious emotions, especially in the matchlessly thrilling poetry of the immortal Wesley and others so happily arranged by the Church. Thus adapted, she succeeded most admirably in appealing to the peculiar wants of her communion.


        The organization of the Conference was effected at the afternoon session. In answer to a general demand L. H. Reynolds was unanimously elected secretary with the privilege of choosing his assistants. He chose the following: R. D. Brooks, W. D. Johnson, Jr., D. T. McDaniels, R. C. Holbrook, assistant secretaries; Mr. P. A. Richardson, S. A. Williams, T. H. Jackson, H. H. Pinckney, recording secretaries; Sandy Simmons, R. B. Brooks, G. W. Porter, reading clerks; W. R. Roberts, William Flagg, A. F. Gabashane, special assistant secretaries. Bishop C. S. Smith presented a flag sent by the ladies of our Church in Haiti--a flag of the Republic of Haiti intertwined with the flag of the United States, which had been sent as a token of regard to the General Conference. He also presented a gavel made of Haitian wood for the use of the Conference. These tokens were acknowledged by a vote of thanks.

        Among the interesting features of the evening session was


Page 227

the reading of the following letter from President Roosevelt:

White House, April 16, 1904.

My dear Bishop Grant:

        I genuinely regret my inability to be present at the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which assembles in Chicago on May 2. I wish you well. Every decent citizen must feel a peculiar interest in every movement for the spiritual and material elevation of our colored citizens.

Sincerely yours,

THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
Bishop A. Grant, Indianapolis, Ind.


        Expressing a deep sense of appreciation for the honor conferred, Bishop Turner introduced Hon. Richard Yates, governor of the State of Illinois, who made an address of welcome on behalf of the State. This was followed by an address of welcome on behalf of the city by Hon. Howard S. Taylor. Other addresses of welcome were delivered by Bishop Samuel Fallows, on behalf of the Ministerial Union, and Bishop A. Grant, on behalf of the churches of the Fourth Episcopal District. Suitable responses were made by W. W. Beckett, of South Carolina, on behalf of the Conference, and by John A. Simms, of Washington, D. C., representing the laity. Bishop L. J. Coppin introduced the following native Africans, who were delegates to the General Conference: J. J. Zaba, A. F. Gabashane, H. R. Ngcayiya, and I. G. Sishuba. They addressed the assembly in their several native languages. The following resolution, presented by W. H. Mixon, was adopted:

        Whereas, His Excellency, the President of the United States, has expressed his greetings and sympathy for the success of all general interests and for the peace and fellowship of all mankind;

        Resolved, That it is the sense of this General Conference that the bishops and secretary be requested to express our appreciation for his wishes and sympathy, and that we pray for his continued prosperity.


        A great missionary meeting was held on the night of the second day's session. Interesting and informing addresses were delivered by Bishop Coppin and Bishop Shaffer; A. D. Holder, of Haiti; J. P. James, of Santo Domingo; and C. M. Tanner, of South Africa. The addresses were of a high order


Page 228

and reflected great credit on the ability of the speakers. Bishop Coppin was fresh from his field of labors in South Africa; and Bishop Shaffer, from a visit to West Africa, where he held the Sierra Leone and Liberia Annual Conferences. The assembly was keen with interest to hear from Africa and their expectations were not disappointed. In speaking of our work in South Africa, among other things Bishop Coppin said:

        On account of the extensive territory embraced within the limits of our work it became necessary to reconstruct our Annual Conference boundaries and organize three new Annual Conferences. The work now consists of five Annual Conferences--Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and the Zambesi Conferences. During the quadrennium, the war, the bubonic plague, and the pass system which followed the war, prohibited the presiding bishop from visiting the work in the Orange River and Transvaal Colonies; hence most of our time was spent within the bounds of the Cape Colony Annual Conference.

        But while we were unable to visit the old Dutch republics, we had an opportunity to go to more distant fields and mingle with the native people who have not been brought within touch of the civilization that is prevalent in the Cape, the Orange River, and the Transvaal Colonies. Our visit through Bechuanaland and Metabeleland to Bulawayo, a distance of 1,360 miles from Cape Town, was literally "through the jungles," where the lives and customs of the people are the same as of old. And yet, even in these jungles, the footprints of our missionaries are seen in the organization of societies, the erection of primitive churches, and the establishment of primary schools.

        Our visit to Basutoland, the country of Paramount Chief Lerothodi-Letsea, was one of unusual interest. The country is large, the people are numerous, intelligent, and aggressive, and we were welcomed there alike by chiefs and subordinates. A most handsome and valuable school site of fifty acres was given to us by the noble chief, Lerothodi, valued at one thousand guineas, or five thousand dollars, and the work of quarrying stones for the erection of buildings has already begun.

        But further away still, at a distance of about two thousand miles, in the country of King Lewaneka, our presiding elder, W. J. Mokalopa, is at work with a corps of missionaries, consisting of preachers and teachers. They have secured a plot of ground in Mombo, where a church was dedicated on the 6th of last March. Other mission stations have been opened. Our missionaries there are laboring among the Mambunda, Makwanywa, Mankoya, Mo-Rotsi, and other tribes, sixteen in all, to whom our presiding elder, Brother Mokalopa, refers as heathens who have never heard the gospel before.

        As to our educational work, Bethel Institute at Cape Town is our principal school. It was not placed in Cape Colony because we chose this place instead of the Orange River or Transvaal Colonies, but being


Page 229

prohibited from visiting those Colonies, it was either a school in Cape Colony or none at all. As Cape Town is the chief city of South Africa, it may have been a kind Providence that forced us to plant the work deeply and permanently there before spreading ourselves all over the country with nothing substantial anywhere. Our building, Bethel Institute, with alterations and additions, cost $32,500. The present indebtedness is $14,000, giving us an equity of $18,000 in the building. It contains nine rooms, one of which will seat over three hundred students. Our Church being fully recognized by the Government, titles to property are given in the name of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and are so recorded by the Government. Our property holdings are in Cape Colony, Transvaal, the Orange River Colonies, and Basutoland. The Minutes of the last joint session of the Annual Conferences show a total value of church and school property of $178,000, upon which there is an indebtedness of less than $40,000. Besides school and church properties, we have established a printing plant with two small presses and a full office outfit, where the South African Christian Recorder is published. The office equipment is free from debt. This is a very brief and incomplete summary of our South African work to date. A word as to the future. The work will not continue to prosper without close episcopal supervision, and he who supervises it must be willing to suffer. Unless the Church is prepared to meet these conditions, the sooner we withdraw from the field the less will be our humiliation. But if we are equal to the task divinely committed to us, an abundant harvest will reward our efforts.


        Bishop Shaffer delivered an interesting address on our work in West Africa. The following extracts will be of interest to the reader:

        The work on the West Coast of Africa is divided into two Annual Conferences--the Sierra Leone and the Liberia. The Sierra Leone Annual Conference embraces the English Colony and protectorate known as the Sierra Leone Colony, which covers an area of 40,000 square miles and contains a population of 76,595. In this colony we have nine appointments and nine preachers. In Freetown, the capital of the Colony, which has a population of 30,000, we have five properties aggregating in value about $20,000, and four in the interior aggregating about $5,000. The men in this Conference, in the main, are loyal and true and are doing heroic work, but must be reinforced with some strong men and women in order to do effectual and aggressive work among the natives. They must be able, consecrated, and trained workers. There must be maintenance for the ministers and their parish helpers. There must be mission houses and modern and attractive churches erected in the hinterland and properly maintained. And, finally, the industrial or training school must be established where not only the children and youth may be trained but where native helpers


Page 230

may also be thoroughly trained, who being acquainted with the native dialect, can go out among the natives and teach and lead them to Christ. The work of this Conference cannot, in fact, be properly handled and maintained with less than $8,500 per annum.

        The Liberia Annual Conference embraces the Republic of Liberia, which covers an area four hundred miles long (up and down the coast) and three hundred miles interiorward. It contains a population of 20,000 Americo-Liberians, either emigrants from America or their descendants, with over 2,000,000 natives. We are greatly handicapped in our work here for the lack of trained men, means, and church facilities, without which the African Methodist Episcopal Church can never operate to her credit. Rev. L. C. Curtis has rendered valuable service, being one of the most efficient workers ever sent to this field.


        The chief feature of the morning session of the third day was the memorial services, which were solemn and impressive. Eulogies on the life of Bishop Morris M. Moore were delivered by Bishop Arnett, D. W. Gilleslie, and S. T. Tice. B. F. Watson spoke on the life and death of the Rev. Philip A. Hubbard, Financial Secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The evening session of the same day was devoted to the consideration of the subject of education. The principal address was delivered by James M. Henderson, president of Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Ga. It was an able, comprehensive, and extended discourse, one well worthy of the occasion. Some of his utterances follow:

        The foundations of this country were laid securely. Its corner-stone was liberty. However far public opinion may seem to diverge at times from this underlying principle, sounded to its depth, the keynote of the nation at every stage of its progress has been liberty. However far from its moorings the thought of the American may be driven by social and political storms, it reverts instinctively to the sentiment, "All men are created free and equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

        We have confidence enough in the fundamental principles of this government to believe that they will ultimately assert themselves. There is an intimate and vital connection between the spirit of a nation and its civil policy. Out of a nation's faith are developed its political principles. The truer the faith the broader the nation's constitution and the wiser its polity. All of the civil institutions of the ancient world were the outgrowth of some fixed religious belief. These were the social expressions of a spiritual faith.


Page 231

        In all ages of the world the state has ever been the strongest that has enthroned manhood, sanctified the home, and sacredly guarded human life and liberty. The nation is strong in proportion as its citizens are respected and protected in the enjoyment of their rights. America has embodied all that is best in the civilizations that have preceded her--Egyptian, Grecian, Roman, and English; but her richest treasure is the spirit and faith of the fathers. If these are preserved her future is secure.

        The Afro-American's position in this country is unique. It has no parallel. A member of any other race variety in this country feels himself superior to the citizen of African descent, although his pocket may be as empty as that of Lazarus and his head as empty as a gourd. The Afro-American is the only American who is judged by his poorest specimens. It is a little unfortunate for him that he was scorched in the baking, but all Negroes are not molded out of the same quality of clay. Even men of learning fail at times to recognize the intellectual and moral differences between members of the race. Truly Afric is a fast color. It does not easily fade.

        A righteous cause may suffer present defeat, but it will finally triumph. The light of the Christian martyrs went out at the stake, but it started a conflagration which has brightened and widened with the growth of the centuries. That man, too, is most courageous to do who knows his cause is just. Not every man who is a victor in the battle of life can boast of superior strength. Many a man is helped to victory by the consciousness that his contention is right. Wellington's victory over Napoleon at Waterloo may not be attributed so much to superior military genius as to the fact that he fought on the side of right.

        There is a striking contrast in the status of the Afro-American to-day and that of forty years ago. He is a new man amid new environments. He has demonstrated his ability to accomplish results which, when he emerged from slavery, would have been regarded chimerical. He has to his credit a long list of achievements in almost every avenue of life. In spite of unpropitious clouds the world is learning the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. This thought will grow in favor with all classes of men and will gradually undermine race antagonism.

        The prospect of a better day is a well-spring of inspiration, and is one of the largest factors in human development. It is a part of the heritage of each generation, permitted as they are to stand upon the shoulders of their ancestors, to view a broader horizon, to discover more and profounder facts. There are a thousand times as many hidden facts to-day awaiting investigation and discovery as have made the world's greatest characters famous. There are myriads of undiscovered lilies in the slime, sermons in stones, and books in the running brooks. The best treasures of earth do not lie upon the surface to be gathered by the indolent and thriftless. They lie deep in the soil, they are often embedded in the rock, and must be dug out with chisel and blast. We


Page 232

should not seek to go around, but should rather tunnel these mountains of difficulty. They will yield to the stroke of wise and persistent effort.

        In all of our labor of love for the uplift and enfranchisement of our people let this be our motto: a cultured head, heart, and hand consecrated to the service of God and humanity.


        On the morning of the fourth day's session, an interesting point was raised by Dr. T. H. Jackson relative to the use of the terms "House of Bishops," "His Grace," etc.; these terms having been read into the Minutes. Dr. Jackson moved that wherever such terms are found in the Minutes, they be stricken out and no longer used, and that the words "Council of Bishops" be inserted instead of the "House of Bishops."

        On account of the enfeebled condition of Bishop Handy, the Episcopal Address was read in turns by Bishops Arnett and Lee. It comprises about nineteen pages and covers forty-four topics. The following paragraphs will to some extent indicate its scope and extent:

        During one hundred and four years of earnest work in the cause of our Divine Master, various have been the changes through which we have come; yet amid the many vicissitudes we can say, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

        With unfeigned gratitude to Almighty God we are happy to say that the religious outlook of the world never appeared to better advantage than it does to-day. Everywhere is manifest unanimity of purpose, organized effort, calm and studious endeavor to subject the world to the influence of the Cross of Christ. The entire Church seems to be sowing and planting; looking toward the time of reaping and harvesting. Great and stirring revivals, spiritual phenomena, and startling awakenings do not manifest themselves now as in former times; yet there is advancement. The Bible is, perhaps, more thoroughly studied. Faithful, systematic research; patient and careful investigation; love expending itself in an endeavor to save our young people; the consecration of millions of treasure to wise philanthropies and humane benefactions; princely endowments of educational institutions and hospitals; and better and purer living from the healthful examples of institutions and settlements, are the great characteristics of the religious tendency of to-day.

        The gospel has gone into all lands, and is winning its way into the life and thought of the people of every nationality and tongue. It is especially interesting to observe the religious activity in Asia and Africa. Commerce has vitalized these continents. The Euphrates and the Ganges, the Nile, the Niger, and the Congo have become attractive centers of civilizing and Christianizing forces. One can, at least, tune his heart to sing, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms


Page 233

of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

        The pronounced tendency toward unity of spirit and cooperation in Christian work, and, indeed, toward organic union, is hailed with delight. The admirable spirit with which the subject is emphasized on all available occasions is, at least, significant.

        The rapid growth of the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the last one hundred years in usefulness, in influence, in the work of collecting material, in bringing together people in America, in the islands of the seas, and in Africa, our fatherland, illustrates the fact that the fathers builded more wisely than they knew. The little one has grown to be a thousand. The Church at home--what a wide range it has taken in the last few decades!

        The onward march of time has removed many of the strongest human uplifts of our hopes. Many of our companions and friends have been called away, but the Blessed Master says, "Lo, I am with you alway." He remains with His Church forever.

        Our Church has a larger number of members enrolled to-day than ever before in her history. It is fair to conclude that the Church has increased in vital piety--in earnest Christianity. Its duties have been more faithfully performed. Compliance with church obligations is better understood. Its grasp of duty and its devotion to the observance of the same is greater. Its missionary spirit is emboldened and increased. During this quadrennium it has built more churches, educated more persons, and been blessed with a greater number of conversions than in any other four years of its history. And still the growth of the spirit of holiness is far below our desire. Oh, that the Great Head of the Church may increase it! The Lord reigneth, the Lord is great in Zion! Let the people praise Him!

        Our public school system, designed to insure the enlightenment of the masses, to say nothing of the influence of the higher institutions of learning, creates an imperative demand for an educated ministry. No thoughtful and observant person can gainsay that the pew is advancing in intelligence. This fact is emphasized by the presence of the schoolmaster in every part of the land. If the Church would win victories which are within the reach of its activities, it must see to it that the pulpit not only keeps pace with the pew but is in advance of it. The dictum that "the priest's lips must keep knowledge" is a voice that centuries hoary with age have not disquieted. Though born in the past it is ever present as it is ever true.

        Considering our poverty we have thus far done very well in providing means for the secular education of the youth of our constituency. We have not, however, displayed a corresponding degree of energy in providing means for the education of our ministry. We do not mean to combat the proposition that the Church should aid in advancing the general enlightenment of the people, but we nevertheless affirm, that in our opinion, the first duty of the Church is to educate its ministry.


Page 234

        The government does not entrust the disciplining of the rank and file of its soldiers to untrained officers. This government maintains at great expense a military institution at West Point, N. Y., where young men are systematically and thoroughly trained in military science, and from which upon their graduation, they are sent out to train raw recruits, who are needed to keep intact the ranks of the army. Every consideration involved in the perpetuity of our Church requires and demands that we, at any cost and at any sacrifice, shall provide facilities for the education and equipment of a trained ministry. Perish the thought that we longer neglect to act in this matter, and let us act systematically and energetically. We urge this General Conference to provide some measure to secure funds to assist needy and worthy young men who feel called to the ministry to prepare themselves for efficient work therein. If we would prove wise in our day and generation, we would concentrate our forces so as to secure the development, equipment, and endowment of an effectually-working theological seminary; and let it be remembered that we can best accomplish this by first attempting the permanent establishment of one rather than two, and that the surest way to establish two is by first establishing one. To put it in another form, let us heed the maxim, "Do one thing at a time."



Page 235

        A question that engaged the attention of the General Conference, and excited no little interest, centered on an amendment, offered by D. J. Jordan, to amend Chapter 2, section 1, page 186, of the Book of Discipline. The amendment is as follows:

        Whereas, the laymen of the African Methodist Episcopal Church have given loyal and faithful service in helping to carry forward every enterprise and undertaking in which the Church has engaged; and

        Whereas, we feel it to be a matter of justice, equity, and right, as well as in keeping with the fundamental principles upon which the Church was established; and

        Whereas, other denominations of Christians are pursuing the policy of according laymen equal rights and responsibilities with ministers in the management of the affairs of the Church; and

        Whereas, we, as African Methodists, cannot afford to allow other denominations to be more liberal in the treatment of laymen than we are; therefore, be it

        Resolved, that Chapter II, section 1, paragraph 1, under the heading "Annual Conference Composition," page 186, of the Book of Discipline of 1900, be amended by inserting after the word "District" the following: "and two laymen in good standing from each District Conference within the bounds of said Annual Conference, said laymen to be elected by the District Conference, and to enjoy all the rights and privileges accorded to other members, except that laymen shall not participate in the election of ministerial delegates to the General Conference, nor be counted in determining the number of ministerial delegates to which the Annual Conference shall be entitled," so that the said paragraph as amended shall read thus:

        "An Annual Conference shall be composed of all the traveling elders, deacons, licentiates, and all the local elders and local deacons within its district; and two laymen in good standing from each District Conference within the bounds of said Annual Conference, said laymen to be elected by the District Conference and to enjoy all the rights and privileges accorded to other members of the Annual Conference."


        A matter that consumed a great deal of the time of the General Conference was the Leake Case. At the General Conference of 1900 the Rev. R. H. W. Leake was elected Business Manager of the Book Concern. After serving for about two years he was removed by the Publication Board. The proceedings were somewhat singular. The case was not brought before the General Conference in the nature of an appeal, but the Board of Publication was cited to show cause for their action in removing the complainant. The hearing of the case occupied


Page 236

a day and a half. It is to the credit of the General Conference that it had the patience to continue for so long a period in weighing testimony and listening to argument. Both sides were ably represented by counsel. At the close of the trial a vote by roll call was had which resulted in the reinstatement of the complainant as Business Manager of the Book Concern by a vote of 336 yeas to 20 nays. The hearing took place in executive session.

        At the morning session of the ninth day the Episcopal Committee reported progress, recommending that no additional bishops be elected. The report was adopted without debate.

        According to the action of the General Conference of 1900 the bishops in the Episcopal Address presented a constitution for the establishment of a Young People's Department to be known as the Allen Christian Endeavor League. The objects of the organization were to be:

        The introductions during the Conference included Dr. Booker T. Washington, Principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, Tuskegee, Ala.; Rev. Joseph A. Milburn, pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church, Chicago; Rev. E. D. Sanford, Secretary of the National Federation of Churches, New York city; Governor Durbin, of Indiana, and Governor Richard Yates, of Illinois; Rev. H. S. Doyle, a fraternal delegate from the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. J. Harvey Anderson, a fraternal delegate from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; Rev. M. M. Parkhurst, Rev. W. E. Titro, and Rev. W. H. Leach, fraternal delegates from the Methodist Episcopal Church. All of these delivered inspiring addresses, which were listened to with great interest. The address of Dr. Washington was brief and informing.


Page 237

        The Committee on Church Federation presented the following report:

        We, the Committee appointed to arrange for the appointment of a Commission to confer with other similar Commissions upon the federation of the different branches of Colored Methodism, most respectfully submit the following:

        Whereas, the manifest tendency of the world is toward such a unification of common interests as will group together organizations in the most effective way that will result in the greatest good to all; and

        Whereas, to carry out this purpose all civilized governments are coming more and more into close union by treaties, alliances, and business organizations, forming such combinations as put under one central management the regulation of the largest possible number of the same kind of commercial enterprises, thereby multiplying the ability of each by the power of the aggregate whole;

        We, therefore, believe that the Church should not permit the children of this world and this generation to be wiser than the children of light; and hence feel that it becomes the duty of the Church to no longer waste its strength by working as if making a confused attempt to build a tower of Babel, but to unite in the erection of that temple of which the prophets and apostles are the foundation with Jesus Christ as the chief corner-stone. And since all Christian denominations have practically the same objects to obtain and, in the main, the same difficulties to contend with; and since the secular world has proved what power there is in union and has shown the feasibility of such union even in those commercial enterprises where the fiercest competition once existed, we feel that it becomes the imperative duty of the Church to sink denominational differences and come into such practical fraternal fellowship as will benefit the whole. Feeling thus as to Christ's Church in general, we believe all that we have said is more binding upon the different branches of Colored Methodism in particular, since all of them have a common origin, common doctrines and polity.

        We, therefore, recommend the adoption of the suggestion in the bishops' address upon this matter, and the appointment by the bishops of a Commission fully empowered to confer with other similar commissions from any or all other Methodist bodies. This Commission shall consist of three bishops, four ministers, and two laymen. This Commission shall enter into and strive to effect such a federation as shall make it possible in Christian work for the different branches of Methodism to act in unanimity at home and in foreign fields, believing that in so doing we will be carrying into more potent effect the purpose of the Great Head of the Church in gathering under one head all kindreds, tribes, tongues, and people upon the earth.


        At the morning session of the thirteenth day the election of


Page 238

general officers was held with the following result: J. H. Collett, Business Manager of the Book Concern; H. T. Johnson, Editor of the Christian Recorder; H. B. Parks, Secretary of Missions; E. W. Lampton, Financial Secretary; J. R. Hawkins, Secretary of Education; W. D. Chappelle, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; H. T. Kealing, Editor of the A. M. E. Church Review; G. W. Allen, Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder; E. J. Gregg, Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League.

        The progress of the general Church was indicated by the statistics given below, which evidenced that the increase in the itinerancy had not been very large. However, the quality of the men had improved, the spirit of revivals had not left the Church, nor had the ministers been laboring under a flag of truce; but all parts of the Church had been refreshed and revived by the spirit of the Master. The temporal affairs had been prosperous; never in the history of the Church had there been such a spirit of improvement and a willingness to pay off old debts. The number of parsonages and homes for our people had been greatly increased. The collections for the support of the ministry and for general funds were larger than they had been in any quadrennium in the history of the Church. The Sunday schools were in a flourishing condition, and the general cause of education was prosperous. The following are the statistics for the year 1903:

        
Bishops 13
General Officers 11
Presiding Elders 254
Traveling Elders 3,106
Traveling Deacons 999
Traveling Preachers 1,073
Superannuated Preachers 163
Local Elders 189
Local Deacons 524
Annual Conference Membership 6,332
Local Preachers 7,377
Exhorters 5,018
Probationers 56,273
Members 759,590
Church Membership 834,590
Total Adherents 2,921,060


Page 239

MINISTERIAL SUPPORT

        Total support and traveling expenses per annum, $1,046,858, divided as follows:

        
Bishops, per annum $26,000 Quadrennium $104,000
General Officers, per annum 12,300 Quadrennium 49,200
Bishops' Widows, per annum 1,200 Quadrennium 4,800
Presiding Elders, per annum 176,868 Quadrennium 707,472
Ministers, per annum 830,490 Quadrennium 3,321,960
Grand Total $1,046,858 Quadrennium $4,187,432

        Total amount of money raised for all purposes other than represented above was:

        
Per Annum $2,632,613.06
Per Quadrennium 10,530,452.24

ANNUAL CONFERENCES

        
Number of Annual Conferences in the United States 56
Number of Annual Conferences in Africa 4
Number of Annual Conferences in West India Islands 5
Number of Annual Conferences in West India Islands (outside of British Possessions) 3

        The literary features were Bishop Turner's lecture on "Science and the Negro"; the address of Rev. James M. Henderson on "Our Education and Citizenship"; the lecture of Chaplain T. G. Steward on "The Army as a Trained Force"; the lecture of Rev. Joseph A. Milburn on "The Relation of Culture to Life." Stated addresses were delivered by Bishop Coppin, Bishop Shaffer, Mrs. Sarah E. Tanner, and Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin.

        Other items that made up a part of the proceedings were: a resolution of thanks to President Roosevelt for his message of greeting; the referring of W. H. Mixon's resolution on the organic union of Colored Methodist bodies to a special committee; ordering the payment of $1,952.50 to R. H. W. Leake for salary due him as Business Manager of the Book Concern; the referring of a petition to seat the delegates from South Africa, to the Committee on Resolutions; the rejection of a proposal to sell the building occupied by the Church Extension Society in Washington City; prohibiting an Annual Conference


Page 240

from paying any money to a bishop for traveling expenses or house rent; the refusal to increase the salary of a general officer; the seating of J. W. Dukes instead of John Dickerson from the East Florida Annual Conference; the receipt of a telegram from Bishop C. B. Galloway, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, expressing his inability to be present; requiring each general officer to be a member of a Quarterly Conference; changing the name of the Woman's Mite Missionary Society to the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society; the proposal to temporarily retire Bishop Arnett on full salary that he might devote his time to writing the history of the Church; empowering the South Carolina Annual Conference to divide; authorizing the retention in the Annual Conference of sixty per cent of the missionary money; the sending of greetings to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, Cal.; allowing the creation of a fourth Annual Conference in Alabama; ordering the payment of $500 to Dr. J. T. Jenifer for services rendered as Secretary of the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association; extending thanks to the Government of Liberia for help and sympathy; requiring the Commission on General Conference entertainment for 1900 to report their expenses within 15 days; the revision of the constitution of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society; the adoption of a plan to create a Twentieth Century Fund; the creation of a new department to be known as the Allen Christian Endeavor League; fixing the salary of a bishop at $2,000 per annum with an allowance of $500 for travel and house rent.

NECROLOGY

        Numbered among the departed were Bishop Morris Marcellus Moore; Rev. Philip A. Hubbard, Financial Secretary; Rev. B. A. J. Nixon, Rev. C. W. Preston, Rev. S. J. Brown, Rev. W. D. White; Professor Samuel T. Mitchell, president of Wilberforce University; Rev. William H. Thomas, Rev. E. H. Bolden, Rev. A. A. Whitman, Rev. P. F. P. Cibil, Rev. D. E. Asbury, Rev. B. W. Roberts, Rev. J. A. Wood, Rev. E. P. Holmes, and Mr. J. F. Valentine. Each of these is to be credited with a record of faithful service as servants of the Church. They are gone but not forgotten.


Page 241

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

        When Bishop Smith reached Cape Town, South Africa, he found that the same military restrictions regarding travel which had hampered his predecessor, Bishop L. J. Coppin, were still in force. He further found that his path to success was menaced by certain malcontents among the adherents of the


Page 242

African Methodist Episcopal Church. He held a session of the Cape Colony Annual Conference at Beaufort West, in 1906, and then decided to return home. Satisfied that he could not achieve a measure of success in South Africa fairly commensurate with his position and responsibilities, he entered into negotiations with Bishop Derrick. This resulted in Bishop Smith being succeeded in South Africa by Bishop Derrick and the former succeeding the latter in West Africa. In December, 1907, Bishop Smith held a session of the Liberia Annual Conference and in January, 1908, he presided over the Sierra Leone Annual Conference.


Page 243

CHAPTER XVIII
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONTINUED)

        Notable Events of a National and International Character--Twenty-third General Conference, Norfolk, Va., May, 1908--Recommendations in the Episcopal Address--Designation of Bishop Turner as Historiographer--Election of Five Bishops Ordered--Ruling Asked For--Election of Bishops and General Officers--The John C. Martin Fund--Communication Concerning Federation--Retirement of Bishops Tanner and Handy--Sundry Items to Which Attention Was Given--Church Statistics--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--First Tri-Council of Bishops--Fourth Ecumenical Methodist Conference.

        THE quadrennium between 1904 and 1908 was characterized by many notable events both of a national and international character. The Russo-Japanese War; the great fire in Baltimore, Md., entailing a loss of $50,000,000; the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at Saint Louis; the burning of the excursion steamer "General Slocum" at the port of New York, involving a loss of 1,000 lives; and the opening of the New York Rapid Transit Railway were some of the major events which took place in 1904.

        The fall of Port Arthur; the defeat of the Russians at Mukden; the Treaty of Portsmouth, N. H., which ended the Russo-Japanese War; the opening of the Simplon tunnel; the signing of the Parcel Post Treaty between Great Britain and the United States; the separation of Norway from Sweden; the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Alliance; and the bringing of John Paul Jones' body from France to the United States, were some of the leading events in 1905.

        Important events that transpired in 1906 were the Pan-American Conference at Rio de Janeiro; the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed many villages; the destruction of two thirds of the city of San Francisco by earthquake and fire; the construction of a lock canal for Panama; German war with the natives in Southwest Africa; the opening of the first Duma, or Parliament, in Russia, on May 10; the restriction


Page 244

of the opium traffic by China; war of the Central American Republics; the destruction of the greater part of Valparaiso by an earthquake; and separation of the Church and State in France.

        The celebration of the Ter-centennial of the Settlement at Jamestown, Va.; the destruction of Kingston, Jamaica, by an earthquake, January 13; hostile demonstrations against British rule in India; the passage of a law excluding Japanese from the United States except under passport; and the meeting of the second Hague Conference are some of the important events that took place during the year 1907.

        The year 1908 was rendered memorable by the assassination of King Carlos and Crown Prince Luiz of Portugal; the opening of the first tunnel under the Hudson River at New York; the severing by the United States of diplomatic relations with Venezuela; the annexation of the Congo by Belgium; the election of William H. Taft, President of the United States; the election of José M. Gomez, President of Cuba; and the reaching of an agreement between the United States and Japan on Pacific Ocean affairs.

        The twenty-third General Conference convened in Norfolk, the chief city of what is known as the Tidewater region of Virginia, in May, 1908. Among the ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to visit this city first were Bishop A. W. Wayman, Bishop D. A. Payne, and Bishop J. M. Brown. The General Conference was composed of 13 bishops, 12 general officers, 357 ministers, 129 laymen, and 13 college presidents. Total, 599. There were 71 Annual Conferences represented. The Quadrennial Sermon was preached by Bishop Evans Tyree. The Episcopal Address, which occupies 31 pages in the printed Journal of proceedings and includes 47 topics, was read by Bishop W. B. Derrick. The Journal itself contains 342 pages.

        The Conference convened in Saint John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, on the morning of May 4, and was called to order by Bishop W. J. Gaines. The Quadrennial Sermon immediately followed the devotional services. Text: Saint John 15. 19. Subject: "Choice and Purpose of the Ministry." It was delivered with earnestness and fervor. The speaker said in part:


Page 245

        What plausible reason can the Church of to-day present for departing from the zeal and piety, plus the emotion, if you please, of the religion of our fathers? Wesley and Whitfield, Asbury and Coke, Bascom and many others were full of such in their day. Father Allen, together with the early founders of African Methodism, doubtless possessed it in their day; while Quinn, Campbell, and Ward spread the fire among those for whom they labored. We glorify the name of the Omnipotent God for his flaming revelations which put us in touch with the divine unction; and we are breathing forth everywhere that we are "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth," and we are determined to proclaim this until we are discharged from the army.

        Glory to God and the Lamb that came to take away the sins of the world, who condescended to choose us to be co-laborers with him, and has put the seal of his approval upon our ministry.

        As ministers of a separate and distinct race of the human family we have been opposed, proscribed, and legislated against; but our Captain stands at the head of the army and says, "Go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people."

        Viewing, as some of us doubtless do, the indifference on the part of a large number of professed Christians, some of the ministry included, we can but think of the deep anxiety that must have rankled in the bosom of the old weeping prophet when he said, "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Truly there are many great and good people in all of our churches to-day who are zealous for God and for righteousness; but may it not be that our altar fires are burning too low? May it not be that we are failing to put the proper estimate upon our religion; thereby losing much of the fervor that the fathers practiced in their day and which made them the masters that they were? When the gospel is preached to the world until it is made to tremble, it will at least reverence it, if it does not immediately accept it.


        The sermon ended, Bishop C. S. Smith offered the following prayer:

        O God, our Heavenly Father, at the close of the instructive, inspiring, and helpful sermon to which we have listened, we would not engage in a prayer of general range, but make our petitions in behalf of the Bishops who, by reason of illness, are experiencing the pain and disappointment of enforced absence.

        First, and first because he was the first to be afflicted, we would pray for Bishop Handy; and yet in praying for him we are pleased to recall that we have not to experience the agony of grief as if it were one smitten in early manhood or in the prime of life. Already Thou hast prolonged his days far beyond man's allotted threescore years and


Page 246

ten. What we petition Thee for in his behalf is that, as momentarily, hourly, and daily he approaches final dissolution, his spiritual vision may be so enlarged that when his feet shall be touched by death's cold floods, from the hill-top of eternal day he may see the glorified face of the Christ whom he has preached, and hear his voice saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

        In yonder city--Atlanta, Ga.--at the gates of which the guns of Sherman thundered and belched until they had fallen, in a modest home, is our senior and chieftain, Bishop Turner; that man of iron and blood, of tireless energy, of indomitable will, of massive brain, varied attainments, and rugged frame; of restless spirit--a peculiar combination of diverse elements. One moment exhibiting cyclonic energy, the next as calm as an infant asleep on its mother's breast.

        Our Church has had no one like unto him in the past; it has no one like unto him now; it will have no one like unto him in the future. It is true that he will have a successor in office, but not in likeness of temperament nor attainments. Therefore, O God, we beseech Thee that Thou wilt not only speedily restore him to health, but that Thou wilt spare him unto us yet many days to come. Speedily bring him to this place, we beseech Thee, that we may welcome and greet him. Thus have we prayed. Hear Thou our prayer, O God, for Jesus' sake. Amen.


        At the conclusion of the prayer the holy communion was administered, after which the Conference adjourned until 3 p. m.

        The organization of the Conference was effected during the afternoon session by the election of W. D. Johnson as secretary, with the privilege of choosing his assistants. He named R. D. Brooks, R. S. Jenkins, D. T. McDaniel, and P. A. Nichols assistant secretaries; Sandy Simmons, A. H. Colwell, and J. A. Quarterman, reading clerks; P. A. Richardson, J. H. Morgan, T. A. Smythe, and H. C. Beasley recording secretaries; N. C. Buren, J. M. Murchison, C. M. Tanner, and H. H. Pinckney, special assistants.

        At the night session, formal addresses of welcome were delivered by George D. Jimmerson, on behalf of the Virginia Annual Conference; C. W. Mossell, on behalf of Saint John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Norfolk; Colonel W. M. Reid, of Portsmouth, on behalf of the citizens of the Tidewater section; and Rev. R. H. Bolling, on behalf of the ministers of the city. Among other things Colonel Reid said:

        When we recall who you are, what you represent, what your history has been, and what your future must be, we cannot do otherwise than


Page 247

to extend to you a most cordial welcome. We are profoundly sensible of the fact that you are the oldest, the most complete, the most powerful, the most successful distinctively Negro organization in the world, co-extensive with the territory of the United States and reaching beyond into many foreign lands. Every organization which teaches obedience to legally constituted authority, whether it be social, benevolent, or religious, is a conservative and potent factor in the government of this Nation, and will be recognized by those in authority in the management of its affairs. No man can reach nor hold for any length of time a high place in the counsels of the African Methodist Episcopal Church without understanding the fundamental principles of representative government. I have thought that the Methodist Episcopal Church, including the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal, is the very best type of representative government. It is not difficult, therefore, to understand why it is that so large a proportion of those of our people who have been called to places of honor and trust in the general government of this country have been members of one or the other of these great branches of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

        In welcoming you to this city, we thank you for your coming. We rejoice in our good fortune in having you as our guests. We cannot but feel that your presence here means much for the moral uplift of this city and its surroundings; that this meeting must mark an epoch in the history of our denominations in this place; and that by your example and precept, great and lasting benefits will result to all classes of our people.

        We would remind you that you are on historic ground--within an hour's ride of many of the spots upon which have occurred some of the most significant events in the history of this country. We trust that during your stay you may find opportunity to visit many of them.

        Whether you come from the South or from the North, from the West or from the East, or from the great central portion of our country; from Canada, from Africa, or the islands of the seas, we welcome you and extend to you all that hospitality for which the fame of Virginia is world-wide.


        Following the addresses of welcome responses were made by Bishop Evans Tyree, John R. Hawkins, R. A. Adams, and L. J. Mitchell.

        At the morning session of the second day, Bishop A. Grant presented Bishop W. B. Derrick, who read the Episcopal Address, portions of which are contained in the following paragraphs:

        As ministers and laymen our devotion to Christ should be expressed in the most absolute manner. We should enter most energetically into His service, should manifest a high degree of reverence for His name,


Page 248

and be deeply interested in the extension of His kingdom upon earth. Our renunciation of the foibles of the world should become more apparent and complete as the years roll by, and a clear conception of the spirit of self-denial be more strictly held. We should act with greater resolution and thus be enabled to act with greater firmness in the cause of our Lord and Master. Our devotion should increase to a higher pitch than most Christians are willing to believe is attainable in this life. Our attitude should be as having no interests to serve, no inclinations to gratify, nor any connections to maintain, but such as are entirely conformable to the nature of our union with our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Wherever we go let us breathe the spirit of devotion, and wherever we are familiarly known let the fervor, the resolution, and the constancy of that devotion be universally apparent. We should daily feel and act in conformity to the powerful obligations by which we are bound to the King of kings, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Our vows of genuine affection and fidelity should be prayerfully and solemnly renewed, as occasion offers, both in public and in private. Let this line of conduct be followed through all the vicissitudes of our Christian warfare. We are aware that to reach this stage in our attainment will call for much patience in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in labors, in watching, in fasting, in knowledge, and in long suffering. But armed with the power of God, and protected by the armor of righteousness, we will conquer every stronghold of sin and put under foot every prompting of evil.

        Time flies. Years of plenty and of scarcity, of peace and of war, fade and blend with eternity. Our prayer is that we may appreciate the value of the present hour and the opportunities that God offers, and may serve our day and generation with faithfulness and diligence, remembering that soon the night cometh.

        The rapid numerical growth of our Church, and the vast area over which it is swiftly expanding; the various countries and governments in which our work is being carried on; the constantly changing social and economic condition surrounding those for whom and with whom we labor, all combine to increase both the number and the gravity of the questions, and the problems which must be confronted and dealt with in the task of directing her complex and numerous activities.

        We stand in the dawn of the twentieth century surrounded by the blessings which have come to us from the heroic and wise labors of the departed fathers, and there open before us new tasks to be executed under new conditions. We must give due consideration to the fact that our ministry must be especially prepared to meet the demands that will be made upon it by the new generation that is so rapidly filling our pews. Our schools and colleges and the educational institutions everywhere open to our youth are each year sending forth multitudes of cultured young men and women, whose advent into our pews emphasizes the demand for a steadily advancing standard in the qualifications of our clergy. The future hope of our Church largely centers about Payne and Morris Brown Theological Seminaries, and


Page 249

these two schools should be considered the theological centers from which will go forth a trained ministry. There is imperative need for a thorough awakening to this truth. If proper endeavors are not put forth there is great and impending danger of the respectability and influence of our Church being seriously lessened. The constant advancement of culture in the pew renders absolutely imperative the demand for equal advancement of culture in the pulpit.

        There are numbers of pious youths throughout the Church who might be serviceable in preaching the gospel, but through the want of sufficient financial aid are unable to obtain an education. It should be the intention as well as the desire of the Annual Conferences to have the ministers in their respective charges seek out such, so that after being examined and approved by the Annual Conferences, they may be encouraged to go to some theological seminary and receive final training. The expenses should be shared by the Annual Conferences within the bounds of the episcopal district where such youths may reside.

        In that memorable prayer which our Lord addressed to the Father previous to the consummation of his sufferings, we find this petition in behalf of his followers: "That they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Unhappily the Church of Christ is at present divided into a great variety of distinct organizations, from which it results that instead of marching forward with a united front against a common foe, much of the time and strength of the different denominations are wasted in opposing each other; and not infrequently has the world beheld the strange spectacle of different portions of the same Church opposing each other. Over this state of things the Church has long had occasion to mourn, and it seems to be time that some systematic effort should be made to bring into fellowship the different portions of the household of faith. In our country there now exist five distinct branches of Colored Methodists, whose views of evangelical truth, as exhibited in their different standards, are substantially one and the same, and whose form of government is the same. Could these bodies be brought more closely together so as to act in concert, it is easy to see that much more might be accomplished in advancing the interests of the common faith and in promoting its more universal diffusion than is practicable in our present divided state. We consider that the Church of Christ constitutes one body, of which He is the Divine Head, and it should, therefore, be so organized as to exhibit to the view of the world the appearance as well as the reality of unity.

        This government founded on the divine ideas of liberty and equality must continue to be the defender and propagator of all that constitutes true national greatness. The conduct of national affairs in the main is just and progressive, and tends to secure the highest good of the country; and there is much that promises the growth and perpetuity of her institutions. It is also true that there are forces at work which


Page 250

threaten the overthrow of this great temple of freedom. We are not pessimistic in our view and yet we must acknowledge the existence of gigantic forces inimical to liberty, law, righteousness, and truth. The political world is not wholly free from false political ideas, anti-Christian sentiments, corrupt practices, and conscienceless legislation. Efforts have constantly been made by the legislators of the country to pass laws which would open the places of drunkenness and crime on the Lord's day; and likewise laws which would discriminate against a certain class of helpless individuals, debarring them from enjoying certain rights and privileges to which they are entitled. We enter our vigorous protest against any legislation that would in any measure deprive men and women of their ordinary rights. The foes of our Christian Sabbath are still active in their efforts to abrogate it or to convert it into a day of merriment and sin. Intemperance, with all the evils that it entails, is on the increase. During the past four years the illegal butchery of American citizens has taken place, which is not flattering to our civilization nor government, until sometimes we are led to inquire, "Has justice returned to heaven, that mob-law must reign to execute her behests?" The Church of God must set her seal of condemnation on all lawlessness and the taking of life without the legal process which a righteous government has instituted for the trial of the guilty.

        The very existence and value of any people are involved in their economic features. We emphasize that this feature of a people's character is, to our mind, essential to their existence and to the determination of their comparative value. There is nothing of which we can conceive that is capable, by its harrowing privations leading to numerous temptations, of so thoroughly lowering a people and bringing them into utter contempt as the misfortune of poverty; and there is nothing, in our opinion, which is surer to lead to poverty than the utter disregard for the laws and principles of economy, domestic or otherwise, which ought to govern and regulate the use of money--laws and principles which are in some degree natural for every man to know. It is our candid conviction that the misfortune of poverty arises in the majority of instances not so much from utter recklessness, as from want of forethought and due reflection which must, as a natural result, lead to waste. There are persons--and not a few--who do not realize that they have misspent their money until some casual circumstance has brought them to a sorrowful sense of the fact. This could certainly have been averted by thought and reflection.

        The political standing of any section of the population of a country has so close a bearing on its material progress, and is indeed of so much consequence in enabling thoughtful and observant persons to form a proper opinion of the form of government under which it is their lot to live, that it is not without some essential value here to ascertain and examine the political status and advise the necessity of exercising with the greatest care the boon of suffrage. Too much concern cannot be manifested in our efforts to assist in the maintenance of


Page 251

good government. "The worth of a State," says John Stuart Mill, "is the worth of the individuals composing it; they are the elements which constitute the State." It is true that we were once an empty space on the political map, but things have changed and we are now citizens with rights--citizens who recognize the fact that if the material, industrial, moral, intellectual, and religious conditions are of a healthful nature, all the inhabitants are benefited; and if things are contrary, all suffer. We would advise you to be peaceful and law-abiding citizens, regardless of what may be said as to your passiveness.


        A general missionary meeting, presided over by Bishop C. T. Shaffer, was held at the evening session of the third day. J. P. James, Superintendent of Missions in Santo Domingo; L. C. Curtis, Superintendent of Missions in Liberia, West Africa; and H. M. Steady, Superintendent of Missions in Sierra Leone, West Africa, read detailed reports of their activities during the quadrennium. Bishop Shaffer introduced Rev. W. B. Pierson, of Jamaica, West Indies; Rev. P. A. Luckie, principal of Demerara Missionary and Industrial Institute, in Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana, South America; Rev. Lucas Ponce de Leon, of Santiago, Cuba; and Rev. R. H. Smith, of West Africa.

        At the eighth day's morning session the rules were suspended and the following resolutions offered by Dr. E. W. Lee were adopted:

        Whereas, Bishop Daniel A. Payne was for many years the Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and at his death was succeeded by Bishop B. W. Arnett, now deceased; and

        Whereas, the work of completing the preparation of a suitable history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is yet to be accomplished; and

        Whereas, Bishop H. M. Turner has signified his willingness and desire to accept the task, and according to our judgment, is eminently fitted to undertake the same;


Page 252

        Resolved, That Bishop Turner be and is hereby elected Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the duties of said position to be performed by him in lieu of his assignment to the supervision of an episcopal district.

        Resolved, That nothing herein is to be construed as in any manner affecting Bishop Turner's status as the senior bishop.

        Resolved, That his salary shall be the same as that of the other bishops.


        Following this two reports were presented by the Episcopal Committee--a majority and a minority. The following is the majority report:

We, the undersigned members of the Episcopal Committee, do hereby recommend that in view of the necessity for increased episcopal supervision for the Church, both at home and abroad, the General Conference shall elect three bishops for the home work and two for Africa--one for West Africa and one for South Africa.

        The minority report recommended that three bishops be elected, and that one of the number be set apart especially for Africa. A motion to lay on the table the motion to adopt the majority report of the Committee was defeated by a vote of 144 yeas to 314 nays. The majority report was then adopted.

        At the morning session of the next day the following ruling on a question presented by P. W. Jefferson relative to the rights of laymen in electoral colleges was submitted by Bishop Shaffer on behalf of the Council of Bishops:

RULING ASKED FOR

        Can a layman who participated in a meeting duly called for the purpose of choosing a representative to a lay electoral college and who in said meeting votes and is voted for, subsequently participate in another meeting in another locality and at another time, and in connection with a station, circuit, or mission, held for the same purpose? In other words, can a layman twice participate within the same quadrennium in a meeting at different times, places, and in connection with different societies, all for the purpose of choosing a representative to a lay electoral college?

ANSWER

        On the question of lay representation in the General Conference, our Book of Discipline shows that such representation is based upon the principle of universal suffrage. This right of suffrage is given each member of the Church as outlined in paragraph 2, section 3, page 207, under Chapter 1, page 5, which reads as follows: "The Electoral


Page 253

College shall be composed of one layman from each station, circuit, and mission in the Annual Conference District;" and also in paragraph 3, section 3, page 207, under Chapter 1, of part 5, which reads as follows: "Every pastor shall publish the meeting that is to elect a representative from his charge to the electoral college two weeks before it is to take place and shall preside at the meeting. Only full members of the charge shall vote."

        This makes it very evident that the law means to give every member of every charge, station, circuit, or mission, the full benefit of his rights, privileges, and duties of representing and being represented in the highest tribunal of the Church--the General Conference. But it is also manifest that it does not give such latitude as to justify one person in going beyond the territory of his regularly accredited membership and invading the territory and privileges of another person and exercising the rights, duties, and privileges of a member unless his membership has been legally transferred, accepted, and registered in the new field prior to the exercising of such privileges. No pastor is justified in inviting, or allowing such privileges to one not in full membership in the charge over which he presides.

        That this is the spirit of the law is supported by that section of the Discipline which provides that every member elected as a delegate to the General Conference shall be a member of the Conference which elects him at the time of his election. (See Discipline, page 205, Chapter 1, section 3, paragraph 2.) And it seems reasonable and right that the same rule and principle should obtain in regard to laymen so as to require that in order to be represented in the Electoral College, they should be members of the local church, station, circuit, or mission they claim to represent; otherwise the right and privilege of franchise is seriously abused and the claim to representation is null and void.

        It is not intended to invest any layman with the privilege of participating twice within the same quadrennium in a meeting called at different times, places, and in connection with different societies for the purpose of choosing a representative to a Lay Electoral College.

        It is a well-established rule of practice among us that a traveling preacher is barred from twice participating in the same quadrennium in an election of ministerial delegates to the General Conference.

        For instance, a member of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, participating in said Conference in an election of delegates to the General Conference, and subsequently being transferred to the New Jersey Annual Conference, would not be allowed to participate in the latter Conference in an election for delegates to the General Conference, notwithstanding that by transfer, he became a bona fide member of said New Jersey Annual Conference. Therefore, by parity of reasoning, what obtains in the higher body must obtain in the lower body, unless the contrary is explicitly stated or expressed.

        It does not change the situation to argue that a layman was a bona fide member of the second society, in which he participated in a meeting called to choose a representative to a Lay Electoral College. It is


Page 254

not the question of the status of his membership that is involved, but his right and privilege to twice participate in meetings held in connection with different societies at different times and places, and during the same quadrennium for the purpose of choosing representatives to a Lay Electoral College.

        This we affirm is not countenanced nor supported by our practices, is revolutionary in its tendencies, and subversive of true representative government, such as that of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Signed: H. M. TURNER,
W. J. GAINES,
B. T. TANNER,
A. GRANT, B. F. LEE,
M. B. SALTER,
J. A. HANDY,
W. B. DERRICK,
E. TYREE,
C. S. SMITH,
C. T. SHAFFER,
L. J. COPPIN.


        The morning session of the tenth day, May 14, was devoted to the election of bishops and general officers. The course of procedure was first to elect three bishops for the home work, to be followed by the election of one bishop for West Africa and one for South Africa. The names of the persons to be voted on for the home work were to be placed on a ballot, and cast at a time separate and apart from the ballot to be cast for a bishop for South Africa and one for West Africa. The total number of votes cast on the first ballot was 485. Thrown out, 1. Necessary to a choice, 243. Result, no election. The second ballot was taken and resulted as follows: total number of votes cast, 461. Thrown out, 4. Necessary to a choice, 229. E. W. Lampton, H. B. Parks, and J. S. Flipper having received a majority of all the votes cast, were declared elected. The election of bishops for Africa resulted as follows: Total number of votes cast, 445. Thrown out, 4. Necessary to a choice, 221. J. A. Johnson having received 437 votes and W. H. Heard 263 votes, were declared elected.

        The Conference assembled on the morning of the eleventh day, May 15, in continuation of the session of the tenth day, for the purpose of electing general officers, with the following results: J. H. Collett, Manager of the Book Concern; H. T.


Page 255

Johnson, Editor of the Christian Recorder; W. W. Beckett, Secretary of Missions; John Hurst, Financial Secretary; John R. Hawkins, Secretary of Education; G. W. Allen, Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder; B. F. Watson, Secretary of the Church Extension Department; H. T. Kealing, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; J. F. McDonald, Editor of the Western Christian Recorder; Ira T. Bryant, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; J. C. Caldwell, Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League.

        The consecration of bishops took place at the morning session of the thirteenth day, May 20. Had the capacity of the church been double what it was, it would not have comfortably accommodated the vast throng of people that assembled in and around it intent on witnessing the ceremony. It was an inspiring scene. The bishops-elect were solemn and sober while their friends were jubilant. It was the first time that men were to be set apart exclusively for work in Africa for a given period. Some of the delegates from Africa participated in the service; others were interested spectators. The usual preliminary devotions were observed.

        Edward Wilkerson Lampton having received the highest number of votes of those who were elected, was the first to be consecrated; Henry Blanton Parks was the second; Joseph Simeon Flipper, the third; John Albert Johnson, the fourth; and William Henry Heard, the fifth. The sermon was preached by Bishop H. M. Turner. The consecration prayer was delivered by Bishop C. S. Smith.

        Edward Wilkerson Lampton was presented by W. T. Vernon, of the Missouri Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Turner, Tyree, and Smith, assisted by John Jones, of the North Mississippi Annual Conference; B. W. Arnett, Philadelphia Annual Conference; R. H. W. Leake, Western North Carolina Annual Conference; Charles Bundy, North Ohio Annual Conference; A. J. Carey, Illinois Annual Conference; L. A. Townsley, Atlanta Annual Conference; N. B. Sterrett, South Carolina Annual Conference; J. I. Lowe, East Arkansas Annual Conference; G. B. Young, Central Texas Annual Conference; J. A. Quarterman, Central Florida Annual Conference; T. J. Askew, Bermuda Annual Conference; and M. M. Mokone, Transvaal Annual Conference.


Page 256

        Henry Blanton Parks was presented by J. R. Ransom, of the Kansas Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Gaines and Grant, assisted by G. H. Shaffer, of the Indiana Annual Conference; R. A. Sealey, Windward Islands Annual Conference; J. A. Lindsay, Georgia Annual Conference; George D. Jimmerson, Virginia Annual Conference; J. W. Walker, Central Alabama Annual Conference; A. M. Green, Louisiana Annual Conference; James Jones, South Arkansas Annual Conference; P. C. Hunt, Texas Annual Conference; A. J. Kershaw, Florida Annual Conference; A. A. Challenger, Nova Scotia Annual Conference; and A. Henry Attaway, Orange River Colony Annual Conference.

        Joseph Simeon Flipper was presented by R. H. Singleton, of the Georgia Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Tanner and Lee, assisted by W. A. Fountain, of the Atlanta Annual Conference; T. W. Henderson, New York Annual Conference; A. L. Gaines, Baltimore Annual Conference; W. B. Anderson, Pittsburgh Annual Conference; N. J. McCracken, Illinois Annual Conference; J. H. Wilson, California Annual Conference; G. B. West, Alabama Annual Conference; J. W. Lampton, Central Mississippi Annual Conference; G. W. Porter, West Tennessee Annual Conference; G. E. Taylor, Northeast Texas Annual Conference; S. S. Lane, Florida Annual Conference; and A. Kersey, Nova Scotia Annual Conference.

        John Albert Johnson was presented by F. M. Gow, of the Cape Colony Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Derrick and Coppin, assisted by D. G. Hill, of the Baltimore Annual Conference; F. T. M. Webster, Philadelphia Annual Conference; Horace Talbert, North Ohio Annual Conference; B. F. Watson, Illinois Annual Conference; W. W. S. Dyett, Colorado Annual Conference; T. N. M. Smith, Georgia Annual Conference; B. H. Williams, South Carolina Annual Conference; W. T. Strong, Central Mississippi Annual Conference; T. H. Jackson, Arkansas Annual Conference; D. S. Moten, Northeast Texas Annual Conference; D. A. Perrin, South Florida Annual Conference; and I. F. Williams, Ontario Annual Conference.

        William Henry Heard was presented by A. L. Murray, of the New Jersey Annual Conference, and was consecrated by


Page 257

Bishops Salter and Shaffer, assisted by W. R. Beamer, of the Oklahoma Annual Conference; J. E. Jackson, North Carolina Annual Conference; A. L. Brisbane, Liberia Annual Conference; J. W. Frazier, Kentucky Annual Conference; J. C. Caldwell, North Missouri Annual Conference; William Byrd, Atlanta Annual Conference; P. W. Jefferson, South Carolina Annual Conference; F. D. Lampton, Louisiana Annual Conference; C. H. Shelto, West Tennessee Annual Conference; R. B. Brooks, East Florida Annual Conference; and A. W. Hackley, Ontario Annual Conference.

        At the close of the service the newly-consecrated bishops received the congratulations of their friends.

        The afternoon session of the thirteenth day was devoted to a memorial service; a suitable memoir was presented by the committee appointed for the purpose. Among those who had passed away the most prominent was Bishop B. W. Arnett--churchman and statistician. Bishop Arnett was born in Brownsville, Pa., March 6, 1838, and died in Wilberforce, Ohio, October 8, 1906. Bishop Arnett led an active and varied career. Aside from his duties as a churchman, he served one term in the House of Representatives of the Legislature of the State of Ohio.

        For the first time the report of the Committee on Revision evidenced systematic arrangement, the lines being numbered consecutively. This enabled the Conference to readily follow the report and to study it systematically. This was quite an improvement over the reports of the same committee at any previous General Conference. The system has been adopted by subsequent General Conferences. One of the items reported by the Committee was the following:

Any minister who has been legally married and shall leave his wife and marry again while the former is living shall be required to file with the Annual Conference of which he is a member a transcript of the court granting said bill of separation. And any minister refusing to do so when requested by said Conference shall be suspended.

        Another item of similar purport but directed toward the laity reads thus:

Any lay member, male or female, who shall leave his wife or her husband and marry again while the former wife or husband is living,
Page 258

he or she shall be required to file with the Quarterly Conference to which he or she is amenable a transcript of the court granting said bill of separation.

        The personnel of the committee was one of the strongest that had ever served in like capacity. It comprised such strong characters as W. H. H. Butler, J. Albert Johnson, J. M. Gilmere, D. P. Roberts, J. W. Braxton, J. A. Lindsay, James M. Henderson, W. T. Strong, W. A. J. Phillips, G. E. Taylor, A. J. Kershaw, and T. A. Smythe.

        A matter that consumed a great deal of the time of the Conference was that known as the "Tice Claim" for compensation for services rendered as a general officer. The proceedings occupied the whole of the night session of the thirteenth day. Notwithstanding the members were wearied with the work of the morning and afternoon sessions, and the fact that night sessions as a rule induce drowsiness, the matter at issue received the closest attention, and was dealt with in an orderly and systematic manner. The issue arose out of the fact that the petitioner at the General Conference of 1904 offered a bill that sought to create a commissioner for a Twentieth Century Thank-offering Fund, that the petitioner was elected by said General Conference as said Commissioner, and having rendered service as such, he was entitled to compensation. This claim was denied on the ground that the petitioner had not satisfactorily discharged the duties incumbent upon him, and that he never made an honest and serious effort to discharge any of the duties and labors for which the office was created. The petitioner was represented by J. L. Mitchell, attorney-at-law. The Church was represented by J. R. Hawkins, W. H. H. Butler, and T. H. Jackson. After hearing the argument on both sides, W. H. H. Butler moved to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss was carried by a vote of 231 to 11. The case was conducted intelligently and orderly, and was invested with all the gravity of a court proceeding in a civil case. The aggregate of legal minds in the Conference was far above the average. It was the transition period, the passing out of the old and the coming in of the new. It was the last full showing of the "Old Guard" and it does not appear that the leaders of the Church of this day are equal to the leaders of those times.


Page 259

        A pleasing surprise during the Conference was the announcement made by John R. Hawkins, Secretary of Education, that Mr. John C. Martin, a philanthropist of New York city, who was deeply interested in the education of the colored people, had created a trust fund of $20,000, the income of which was to be devoted to the training of colored ministers. It is to be regretted that failure to carry out the conditions of the gift led the donor to withdraw it.

        A communication from the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church concerning federation was received. A statement relative thereto was subsequently read by Bishop Lee.

        On account of their enfeebled condition superinduced by long years of faithful and energetic service, Bishop B. T. Tanner and Bishop James A. Handy were placed on the retired list. Bishop Handy's condition prevented him from attending the Conference. A telegram of sympathy was sent to him at his home in Baltimore, Md.

        Sundry items to which attention was given were: the election of J. G. Robinson as official reporter; the sending of telegrams of sympathy to Bishop Turner and Bishop Handy; the recognition of W. A. Lewis as a general officer; the disapproval of the payment by the Financial Department of the board of general officers while in attendance at the General Conference; the formal reception of the delegates from South Africa; expressing appreciation of the donation by General Palmer of a site at Colorado Springs, Colo., to be used as a home for aged ministers; the authorization of the creation of an additional Annual Conference in Georgia, Texas, Kansas, and South Carolina; continuing the salary of a bishop on the same basis as that of 1904 ($2,500); fixing the allowance of retired bishops at $1,200; ordering that the salary of a general officer be not increased and that the following-named general officers should receive their salaries from their departments: Financial Secretary, Secretary of the Church Extension Society, Business Manager of the Book Concern, Secretary of the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association; refusing to seat S. T. Tice as a general officer; ordering the removal of the headquarters the Church Extension Society from Philadelphia to Washington, D. C.; providing for the blending of the Connectional


Page 260

Preachers' Aid Association and the Preachers' Benevolent Association; locating the headquarters of the Connectional Preachers' Association at the Sunday School Union, Nashville, Tenn.; empowering the editor of the Christian Recorder to collect and receipt for subscriptions and for advertisements, the same to be reported to the Publication Board; the receipt of a communication from the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, signed by John M. Goucher, chairman, and W. F. Conner, secretary, bearing on the subject of Federation of all branches of American Methodism; the sending of a suitable reply through Bishop B. F. Lee, Secretary of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The Committee on Church Statistics submitted the following report:

        
Annual Conferences 68
Bishops 16
General Officers 10
Presiding elders 320
Traveling elders 3,306
Traveling deacons 1,109
Superannuated preachers 203
Local elders 229
Local deacons 624
Local preachers 8,377
Exhorters 6,018
Probationers 106,273
Lay members 800,590
Churches 5,486
Parsonages 1,735
Sunday schools 5,301
Teachers 19,759
Pupils 253,724
Volumes in libraries 301,899

        
Total amount raised for Sunday-school purposes $92,547.39
Number of stewards 32,638
Stewardesses 53,295
Total adherents, including congregations 2,000,000
Total raised for church purposes $2,293,846.62
Total value of church property $7,721,811.00
Total support and traveling expenses of ministry $1,446,858.00
Total amount of money raised for all purposes $2,738,761.06
Church departments 8


Page 261

NECROLOGY

        Among the departed were recorded the names of Rev. J. V. B. Goins, of Texas, who died January 14, 1907; Rev. J. G. Grimes, of Texas, November, 1907; Rev. T. C. Denham, of Texas, November, 1907; Rev. J. G. Springer, of Texas; Rev. J. E. Holmes, of the Northeast Texas Annual Conference; Rev. L. Gardner, Central Alabama Annual Conference, September 17, 1905; Rev. Wright Newman, Southwest Georgia Annual Conference, January 21, 1908; Rev. J. C. Williams, of South Carolina Annual Conference, December 8, 1907; Rev. James A. Davis, Tennessee Annual Conference, July, 1905; and Rev. R. S. Quarterman, South Florida Annual Conference, July 29, 1907.

        It may be said of these that they fought a good fight, were steadfast in faith, faithful to duty, and beloved by the Church that they had so efficiently served.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 262

        In the circles of American Methodism there is to be recorded the convening of the first Tri-Council of Colored Methodist Bishops, representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The meeting was held in the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, D. C., February 12-17, 1908. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was represented by Bishops H. M. Turner, W. J. Gaines, B. T. Tanner, A. Grant, B. F. Lee, M. B. Salter, J. A. Handy, W. B. Derrick, Evans Tyree, C. S. Smith, C. T. Shaffer, and L. J. Coppin. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was represented by Bishops J. W. Hood, T. H. Lomax, C. R. Harris, A. Walters, G. W. Clinton, J. W. Alstork, and J. S. Caldwell. The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was represented by Bishops L. H. Holsey, Isaac Lane, R. S. Williams, E. Cottrell, and C. H. Phillips. As a result of this meeting, an agreement was reached to consider the following subjects: Federation; Religious Affairs; Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People; Liturgy and Uniformity of Service; Common Hymnal; and Catechism. It was further agreed that the Tri-Council should meet triennially.

        World-wide Methodism records the assembling of the fourth Ecumenical Methodist Conference in the Metropolitan Methodist


Page 263

Church, Toronto, Canada, September 4-17, 1911. The representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church were Bishops Gaines, Lee, Derrick, Smith, Shaffer, Coppin, and Parks; Revs. A. H. Attaway, R. L. Beale, W. D. Chappelle, J. M. Conner, P. C. Hunt, John Hurst, W. D. Johnson, Joshua Jones, R. L. Pope, George H. Shaffer, R. R. Wright, Jr.; Mr. Charles Banks, Mr. J. L. Curtis, Professor D. J. Jordan, and Dr. C. V. Roman.

        Bishop C. S. Smith was a member of the Executive Committee and presided at the morning session of the third day. Bishop H. B. Parks delivered one of the addresses of welcome. At the third session of the ninth day Professor D. J. Jordan delivered an address on "Special Work of Young People in the Church." At the second session on the thirteenth day Bishop L. J. Coppin read an essay on "Place of the Religious Press in Modern Life." Bishop C. T. Shaffer conducted the devotional services at the first session of the third day. Bishop B. F. Lee assisted in administering the Holy Communion at the first session of the first day. Bishop C. S. Smith, Rev. W. D. Johnson, Rev. Joshua H. Jones, and Dr. C. V. Roman participated in the general discussions.


Page 264

CHAPTER XIX
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONTINUED)

        Twenty-fourth General Conference, Kansas City, Mo., May, 1912--Recommendations in the Episcopal Address--Letter to the General Conference From the Widow and Daughter of the Great Evangelist, the Rev. Sam. P. Jones--Bishop Turner's Report as Historiographer--Address of Booker T. Washington--Election of Bishops and General Officers--Petition of John F. Hamilton--Exhaustive Opinion Rendered by the Council of Bishops--Regulation of the Duties of Historiographer--Other Matters Given Consideration--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Bishop Johnson's Report to the Council of Bishops, June, 1913--Bishop Johnson's Achievements in South Africa--Second Tri-Council of Bishops.

        FOR the first time a General Conference assembled west of Saint Louis. On May 6, 1912, the twenty-fourth General Conference convened in Allen Chapel, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Mo. The times were pregnant with fast approaching events not then seen. The shadows of a great war were rapidly gathering.

        The Conference was composed of 12 bishops, Bishop Salter being absent; 12 general officers; 379 ministers; 142 laymen; and 13 college presidents. Total, 579. There were 74 Annual Conferences represented. The printed Journal of the proceedings covers 416 pages. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop C. T. Shaffer; the Episcopal Address was read by Bishop C. S. Smith.

        The Conference was called to order by Bishop Turner, who, after the conclusion of the opening service, introduced Bishop C. T. Shaffer, the designated preacher of the Quadrennial Sermon. Text: Psalm 96. 1-8. Subject: "Glorifying God or Worship Acceptable to the Infinite." The audience was large and attentive. The sermon, which was well thought out and forcefully delivered, was massed under ten divisions. The following paragraphs reflect its general trend:

        The most fundamental, potential, and sublime fact in history, observation, and experience is that there is a God clothed with infinite


Page 265

wisdom, power, and goodness, who created all things by the power of his word. A second fact, only slightly less potential and profound, is that man is the supreme beneficiary of the infinite wisdom, power, goodness, and mercy of the Creator and Ruler of the universe.

        The noblest privilege and highest duty of man is to worship and adore the Infinite. To render glory unto God is to worship him, by which we put ourselves into vital union and touch with our divine endowment and, therefore, with life eternal. Worship is entering into communion with God, performing acts of real devotion, and paying divine honor to the Supreme Being; the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises consisting of adoration, confession, prayer, and thanksgiving.

        The idea of sacrifice is inseparable from the acceptable worship of God. From the earliest times of the Church and the human race, the ideas of worship and of sacrifice have been inseparably connected both in the Divine and in the human mind.


        W. D. Johnson, the secretary of the last General Conference, called the roll. The election of secretaries resulted as follows: W. D. Johnson, secretary; R. S. Jenkins, R. L. Pope, H. C. Beasley, H. S. Graves, assistant secretaries; E. H. Coit, H. Y. Arnett, J. T. Gibbons, reading clerks; P. A. Richardson, A. J. Nottingham, W. E. Wittenberg, W. K. Hopes, O. O. Nance, recording secretaries; G. B. Williams, G. W. Porter, A. A. Gilbert, W. B. Lawrence, S. M. Kirk, special assistants.

        The evening session of the first day was devoted to hearing welcome addresses. Hon. Herbert S. Hadley, the governor of Missouri, delivered the address of welcome on behalf of the State. It follows:

        Bishop Parks and members of the Conference: It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to-night to a State south of Mason's and Dixon's line in which, during my incumbency as governor--a period of three years and four months--no man has been denied the rights and privileges of citizenship, and no man prevented from casting a free ballot and having that ballot counted. (Applause.) While sitting here I have been thinking of the significance of these human emotions which have a right to control the feelings and actions of men; and then what should be the duty of the country at large toward all men.

        I wish further to say to you that when I was a candidate for the suffrage of the people of Missouri, there went up from your Church sincere and earnest prayers to Almighty God who looks after the destinies of men: who will not even suffer a sparrow to fall to the ground without his notice; and who, I further believe, will not ultimately suffer any event to come about that will subject black men and women to degradation. (Applause.) And God's promises along this line have


Page 266

never gone unanswered. This position I now hold by virtue of the votes of the 55,000 Negroes in the State of Missouri, and I am proud to say that here everyone enjoys equal rights and every ballot is honestly counted. We believe in the ballot, we love the ballot, and believe it to be a great safeguard for the nation. We believe in the construction and maintenance of the constitution in such a way as will give to us both peace and national security.

        Furthermore, we believe that no fear, no slavery should live within our domain, and we believe that our constitution should not be perverted by any constitutional enactment that would take away from the Negro race any right or privilege to which it is entitled. My friends, there is no place where there is any greater disposition to do right and justice toward your race than in Missouri.


        Other addresses were delivered by Hon. Darius A. Brown, Mayor of Kansas City, Mo.; Hon. Nelson C. Crewes; Rev. M. S. Bryant; Hon. W. C. Hueston; and Dr. S. W. Bacote. Responses were made by Bishop C. S. Smith, Dr. H. T. Kealing, Rev. W. S. Brooks, and Dr. William F. Boddie.

        The morning session of the second day was occupied by the reading of the Episcopal Address by Bishop Smith. It covers 37 pages in the printed Journal of proceedings and embraces 26 topics. Some paragraphs of the address follow:

        The Christian Church in its origin and life is distinctly a spiritual force. Two statements of Jesus support this view: "My kingdom is not of this world," and "The kingdom of God is within you." Truly life is more than meat; it is imperishable and eternal. To purify this life and bring it into harmony with the Divine will is the one specific work of the Church. Whatever the Church may do, and there is much that it can and should do, for the betterment of man's physical being, its primal work is the regeneration of man's spiritual nature. Methodism has ever insisted on this as the supreme end and aim of the Church. Nicodemus in his memorable midnight interview with Jesus was astounded and confounded when he heard the words, "Ye must be born again." Failing to catch the meaning of these words, and with his mind apparently on the physical, it is, perhaps, but natural that he should have put forth the query, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" This master mind among the giant intellects of his day, this ruler and teacher in Israel, was still more dumbfounded when the Master answered, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Thus was Nicodemus confronted with the seeming mystery that man is an embodied spirit, a sentient being, sojourning for a time in a tabernacle of clay; the body, a corporeal


Page 267

frame; the Ego, a spiritual essence. David swept the strings of his harp as he felt the touch of Divine unction, and having been given a larger view of man's glorious destiny, exclaimed in a strain of rapture and of awe: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." Though created a little lower than the angels, man fell under the dominion of sin, and lost his high estate. Thank God he did not pass beyond the sphere of redemption. A Shiloh was to come--the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace--who was to bring salvation unto man. In due time the Shiloh came, and by the sacrifice of Himself provided the means of man's redemption--not the redemption of the body--for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God:"--but of the spirit within the body.

        American Methodism has been a constitutional compact for one hundred and four years, for it was in 1808 that its constitution was framed and adopted, and an American (William McKendree) was elected and consecrated a bishop. Aside from this, Bishop McKendree gained historic distinction in that he was the first Methodist bishop to present a formal address at the opening session of a delegated General Conference. This practice has since been emulated and followed by every branch of American Methodism having the episcopal form.

        The first delegated General Conference of our Church was held in Nashville, Tenn., in 1872. Prior to that time, the General Conference was composed of all itinerant ministers in good standing who had traveled six years. The manner of choosing the members of the first delegated General Conference was by election, a method which has obtained until this day. The General Conference of 1868 made imperative the election of all delegates by ballot. The General Conference is the legislative body of the Church whose power is limited only by the Restrictive Rules. It is unfortunate that the component parts of our Church Constitution as yet remain in a disjointed and fragmentary form. This defect should speedily be remedied; and we recommend that this General Conference create a Commission to collaborate the component parts of our Constitution into a systematic whole. Such a document should embrace the Articles of Religion, General Rules, Organization and Government of Pastoral Charges, Quarterly and Annual Conferences, the composition of the General Conference, Limitations, and the Rules and Regulations for the government thereof. The Commission should be instructed to define the limitations of the General Conference and provide a method for their amendment or abrogation. None of the limitations should be amended or repealed without first being recommended by a two-thirds vote of the General


Page 268

Conference, with the concurrence of three fourths of the members of all the Annual Conferences. The rules for the government of the General Conference should be amended to provide: first, that no bills, petitions, nor resolutions, proposing new legislation or a change in existing legislation, should be received after the tenth day; second, that all enactments or amendments submitted for entry on the calendar should contain both an enabling and a repealing clause.

        Our Church being one of orderly development, the natural corollary is that it is one of law. It is a government regulated by law. It is not a lawless arena nor a field for freebooters, wherein each is at liberty to do as he pleases; but a system of law and order, providing for and regulating the composition and mode of procedure of the General Conference, the Annual Conference, the District Conference, and the Quarterly Conference. It also provides for the class meeting, the love feast, and the public service; for officers such as class leaders, stewards, trustees, stewardesses, deaconesses, and for Sunday-school officers and teachers. It further provides for a ministry, itinerant and local, beginning with the exhorter and ascending to the rank of the bishopric. The various Conferences, official boards, and ministers are the creatures of law and they are under its guidance and control. The relationship is one of interdependence, not of independence. The Quarterly Conferences are not independent of the local churches; the District Conferences of the Annual Conferences; the Annual Conferences of the General Conference; nor the General Conference of the Church as a whole because the former is limited by certain Restrictive Rules. The General Conference cannot alter the Articles of Religion nor formulate any new doctrine. It cannot do away with the Episcopacy nor General Superintendency. It cannot deny our ministry or members the right of trial and appeal. It cannot revoke nor change the general rules of the United Societies. These Restrictive Rules are the constitutional limitations imposed on the General Conference and are so absolutely sovereign as not to be affected by a unanimous vote of that body. The Restrictive Rule providing for the disposition of the proceeds of the Book Concern may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the General Conference.

        The General Conference is the law-making body of our Church, and as the result of the deliberations of its various sessions, from 1820 to the present, we have a well-defined and clearly expressed code of laws. Nothing has been left to chance; no factor is without interdependent relationship. Does a bishop violate law? If so, there are ample means to bring him to account. If it is for an act involving moral turpitude, he is amenable to a committee ad interim of the General Conference. If it is maladministration or official misconduct, the Episcopal Committee appointed at each General Conference shall take cognizance thereof. A bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church is amenable to law; yes, to law, but not to individual whim nor caprice. What is true of the Episcopacy is true of the ministry and the laity, and it is well that it is so. The law in this respect is


Page 269

ample and needs no amendment nor enlargement. The Episcopacy was formed by the body of the preachers as a whole before any delegated General Conference had been called into being. The bishops constitute the executive branch of the Church, and are responsible for the faithful administration of the laws enacted by the General Conference. Their position is one of great responsibility. They have every interest of the entire Church to oversee. They count no sacrifice too great, they are willing to spend and be spent, and to run with patience the race that is set before them, to the end that our borders may be enlarged and that it may be said of our Zion, in an ever increasing degree, "This and that man was born in her."

        In the absence of law, anarchy prevails. The majesty of the law should so dominate our thoughts as to impel us to a strict observance of it. No chain can be stronger than its weakest link. The measure of the strength of an organization is the measure of respect cherished by its members for its laws and regulations. Our future progress and security lie, not in the multiplication of laws, but in the faithful observance of those now in vogue.

        The present position of our Church speaks volumes for the fidelity of our constituency to established authority. During the past quadrennium there have been no serious outbreaks nor symptoms of sedition nor rebellion. Where discontent has prevailed, and even where just grievances have existed, it was, perhaps, due to a misunderstanding on the part of the principals. Where the episcopacy has been involved, it may have been due to a lack of foresight, or discretion, or both. With our added experience we hope to be able to safeguard the future so as to prevent their recurrence.

        The founders of our Church, notwithstanding they were largely deprived of the opportunity for gaining intellectual equipment, constantly felt the need of a trained ministry. They never failed in their appreciation of the repeated injunction of Paul that the preacher "be apt to teach." The records of the early Annual and General Conferences bear testimony to the fact that the subject of an educated ministry was a live question at all times. The facilities for the education of the colored people, even in the free regions of the country during the infancy of our Church, were exceedingly limited and begrudgingly afforded. With but three exceptions--Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa.; Oberlin College, in Oberlin, Ohio, and Oneida Institute in Central New York--the colored people, even those who aspired to the ministry, were barred from the higher institutions of learning. Everywhere it was sought to convince the Negro that he was created to toil and not to think. Despite this depressing and discouraging condition a number of our pioneer ministers made considerable advance in the acquisition of knowledge. Among the most progressive were Daniel A. Payne and John M. Brown. The former studied at the Lutheran Seminary, in Gettysburg, and the latter at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. These two servants of God were urgent in season and out of season in their appeals and efforts for the


Page 270

diffusion of knowledge among the ministers and people; but particularly among the former.

        When Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, the clock of human destiny struck the high noon of long-coveted opportunity for Ethiopia's scattered children who were in search of light. Thank God, the hands of this clock can never be turned backward. Possessing the opportunity so earnestly desired by the fathers, but which they were denied, what justifying excuse is there for a lack of intellectual training on the part of the ministry of to-day?


Page 271


Page 272

        CONCLUSION

        When the ebb and flow of human hopes have forever ceased; when the terrestrial door of opportunity to reach the acme of noble endeavor has been finally closed; when the silver fringe of hopeful anticipation has been merged into the golden sun of gladsome realization; when the mist which veils the hilltops of unselfish endeavor has been penciled by the scintillations of eternity's morn into a rainbow of promises fulfilled; when the wheel of human activities no longer revolves; when the shuttle of patient toil is heard no more; when the fire of self-sacrificing devotion no longer tries, as gold is tried by fire, the hearts that have been consecrated on the altar of man's uplift and redemption; when the din of sentient strife and battle gives place to songs of everlasting joy; when the grand army of the world's burden-bearers is summoned by the recording angel to answer to their names, out of the bosom of God's love may each one of us in this assembly be able to respond, "Here am I, a sinner saved by grace."


        The afternoon of the second day was given over to the reading of reports on the work in West Africa and South Africa. Bishop Heard, in reporting for the work in West Africa, among other things said:

I have traveled over 60,000 miles these four years at a cost of over $5,000. When it is considered that much of the traveling was in canoe, on foot, in open boat, and in hammock, it will be seen that I have led a very strenuous life, which would tell on the constitution of a much younger man. I have done enough for my brethren to prepare an easier place for me. I have always marched at the tap of the drum, and will march on until the Master orders a halt. This has been a quadrennium of little money for foreign work. The cut in the Easter Day collections has been severely felt in West Africa. We must do more or not attempt to do.

        Bishop J. A. Johnson stated that he had no printed report, for the reason that he had been ordered to report annually to the Council of Bishops and that he had obeyed the order. By common consent of the Conference he was allowed to make a verbal report. He spoke of the difficulties and trials met with in his work of establishing and managing the Church. He said that the Church had been opposed because it has no European head, but by his persistent efforts and earnest entreaties


Page 273

he had been allowed to traverse the country and work for the advancement of African Methodism. He plead for the Church to send Godly men, strong in morals and intellect, to this part of the work. H. M. Steady read a report on our work in Sierra Leone, West Africa. J. P. James read a report on our work in Santo Domingo.

        The Conference was greeted with an extraordinary and unprecedented message from the widow and the daughter of the noted evangelist, Rev. Sam P. Jones. It shone forth, as it were, like a silver lining fringing a dark cloud. It struck the Conference with amazement and created genuine surprise. It came like the voice of a good angel crying, "Fear not!" It was accepted as a blessing and a benediction. It follows:

To the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Mo.:

        We send greetings and the assurance of our continued prayers during your sessions that God may bless you.

        Our prayers for your Conference are that in your sessions you may urge your ministers to speak out in no uncertain terms against the evils of the day, against impurity of life, against political corruption, against intoxicants in all forms; for the greatest curse to the colored people, as well as to the white, is the awful curse of whisky. How many homes among the Negro race it is making desolate. How many men, women, and children are suffering from sin, degradation, and disease because of its awful curse. No colored man knows when he takes a drink of whisky but what he may be hanged to a limb of a tree by some mob before the effects of that drink have died out of his system. Urge your men to fight back sin in all forms from their people; tell them that whatever will hurt a white man will hurt a colored man. Whatever will destroy the one will destroy the other.

        Oh, men of the Negro race, only by purity, honesty, and uprightness of living, and by daily following the example of our meek and lowly Lord and Saviour, who died to save every white man and colored man who would come to him, can you people reach a great height of usefulness and Christian citizenship.

        May God bless you in your General Conference meeting, may he direct every thing that is said and done; and that the bishops elected to serve your great Church may be elected with an eye single to his glory, and for their strong Christian character and deep piety of life, is the prayer of your friends.

In His Name,

(Mrs.) SAM P. JONES,
(Mrs.) ANNIE JONES PYRON.

Cartersville, Ga., May, 1912.

Page 274

        Bishop Turner in submitting his report as Historiographer among other things said:

Since my admission to the itinerant ranks I have been assigned to every conceivable grade of appointments. I have been appointed literally to nothing, not a member, not a shingle, not a nail. Yet I have never asked a bishop to change my appointment nor sent him a letter of complaint. I believed that the Great Head of the Church would take care of his chosen one. And when God saw that I deserved what the world calls a better appointment, he gave it to me; for I have been the pastor of some of the largest churches and congregations in the Connection, and my popularity or notoriety has been continentally wide. When I arose and appealed to the General Conference of 1908 to make me the Historiographer because I was getting along in years, I should not have done so, but should have trusted God and took whatever came. I did this before I was a bishop, and have done so ever since. At our last General Conference I violated the trend of my life's work.

        This was an open and honest confession. The good bishop was not temperamentally adapted to the work. It imposed too much restraint for one of his activities. He practically accomplished nothing as Historiographer.

        At the afternoon session of the ninth day the Episcopal Committee submitted its first report. It follows in part:

We have listened to the deliverance of the Council of Bishops contained in the masterful Episcopal Address read to this body by Bishop C. S. Smith; and since copies thereof were placed in our hands, we have studied the document with a thoroughness and care commensurate with the purpose and significance of pronouncements from our chief pastors. We beg to be allowed to give this public and official expression of the sense of the obligation under which we and the whole Church have been brought, and the great benefits that must accrue to anyone who will study this instrument with a view of understanding the vastness of the field of opportunity which lies before us as a Church, and of the measures to be adopted if we would garner the precious grain ere the days of sowing and reaping shall be past. We do not underestimate the significance and usefulness of former addresses communicated to General Conferences by our chief pastors, nor would we detract from the value of all such factors in the determining of questions of vast import, nor the giving of right direction to legislation which experience and observation have shown to have been fraught with lasting good; but the higher altitude from which our bishops have viewed the land yet to be possessed, and the strategic positions we must immediately occupy if success would be assured in tasks to which they call us, stamps this last message as among the
Page 275

most valuable, and commends itself to all as possessing unusual merit from whatever angle we may view it. The thanks of the members of our Committee are hereby cheerfully given, and publicly expressed, and the Address is recommended for more than a casual reading.

        The Committee recommended the election of four additional bishops. A minority report was presented favoring the election of five bishops. The majority report was adopted.

        The Conference assembled in Convention Hall on the evening of the ninth day for the purpose of listening to an address delivered by Dr. Booker T. Washington, who, among other things, said:

        No class of people should be more interested in the plans and work of our Negro Church organizations than the capitalists, the captains of industry, those who directly or indirectly employ Negro labor. Nothing pays as well in producing efficient labor as Christianity. Religion increases the wants of the laborer. The man without religion is too often satisfied when he has worked long enough to provide himself with a little coarse food, a chew of tobacco, and a bottle of whisky. The Negro workman with the spirit of Christ in his head and heart wants land, wants a good house, wants another house, wants decent furniture, wants a newspaper or magazine. He wants to provide himself with means with which to maintain his church and Sunday school, and provide his family with a Bible and hymn book. Through the medium of religion let us continue to multiply the wants of the Negro, and he will render six days of honest labor in order to supply these increased wants, and thus become one of the most efficient class of laborers the world has ever seen.

        To-night, as we stand here and deliberate as to the methods of Christian regeneration in the Southland, there are about one million of our youth who entered no schoolroom this year, and another million who have been in school only three or four months during the year. Putting the ignorant Negro under arrest will not give him Christianity. Putting him in jail or the penitentiary will not give him Christianity. I want the white man in every part of America to see more of the struggles and the progress that the Negro is making in the direction of better homes, Young Men's Christian Associations, better Sunday schools, better churches, better schools and colleges, as well as in commercial growth. In a large degree in the future the white man must strive to judge the Negro by his best type, not by his worst. In all these things the Church furnishes a potent and practical agency through which the two races can know each other better and cooperate with each other more sympathetically.

        Mine is not a selfish plea to the Church. I want to see the Negro saved for his own sake, and I want to see the Negro saved in order that the white race which surrounds him may be saved. All history


Page 276

teaches that wherever the white race has surrounded a weaker race or a neglected race of any color, there the white man has yielded to temptation to degrade and weaken himself because of injustice perpetrated upon the weaker race.


        The morning of the eleventh day dawned brightly with a warmth and balm of air that was cheerful and exhilarating. So far as atmospheric conditions were concerned it was an ideal day for the election of bishops, in which thousands of the local community and environs were intensely interested. Long before the hour set for the election, Convention Hall was thronged with a vast concourse of expectant people. After solemn and impressive religious services, the roll was called and the balloting began. The following were elected in the order given: John Hurst, W. D. Chappelle, J. H. Jones, and J. M. Conner.

        The morning session of the twelfth day was occupied in the election of general officers. The result of the balloting was the election of J. I. Lowe, Business Manager of the Book Concern; R. R. Wright, Jr., Editor of the Christian Recorder; and J. W. Rankin, Secretary of Missions. At this juncture the unprecedented proceeding of receiving a fraternal delegate during an election was recognized. Rev. L. H. Brown, of Louisville, Ky., a fraternal delegate from the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, was presented by Bishop Flipper. At the close of his address, which was impatiently listened to, the Conference resumed balloting. The other officer elected was John R. Hawkins, Financial Secretary. Balloting was again interrupted, this time by the presentation of a report of the Episcopal Committee dealing with the resolution concerning the status of Bishop Heard. The report follows:

        With respect to the resolutions offered in open session of the General Conference and referred to us for an opinion, namely, with the view of rescinding a special enactment of the twenty-third General Conference held in Norfolk, Va., May, 1908, and under which special legislation two bishops were elected, one for South Africa and one for West Africa (See Minutes of the twenty-third General Conference, page 164), which act was made effective by vote of said General Conference prior to the election of said bishops, the conditions whereof were accepted by the said bishops before their said election, and was the specific condition upon which their election was predicated and


Page 277

made possible; your committee has been unable to reconcile itself to any suggestion or recommendation to this General Conference looking to the annulment or abrogation of that special enactment.

        For if that act means anything, in the judgment of your committee, it is that the deliberate purpose and intention of the preceding General Conference was to differentiate between the bishops elected for West Africa and for South Africa, and those elected on the preceding ballot specifically for the home field; and it was thereby decreed that they--the two bishops elected, one for West Africa and the other for South Africa--were expected and required to exercise the office of bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church exclusively and solely in the respective fields to which they were respectively assigned by election, and not by the direction, recommendation, nor suggestion of the Episcopal Committee of the General Conference. And that any recall, or exchange of either of said bishops within the time specified in the act whereunder their election had been effected (which was twelve (12) years), could only be effected by the Council of Bishops, and not by the Episcopal Committee.

        We are dealing only with the evident purpose and meaning of this specific act of legislation by the last General Conference, seeking to make perfectly clear the legal effect of the legislation under which the said bishops were elected, and not with the equity of the case. For until a subsequent General Conference shall indicate in some emphatic manner a change of view as to the wisdom of such enactment; or that it was not the intention of said General Conference, and through that Conference the Church, to place the work in West Africa and South Africa as well as the bishops thereto assigned by election, in a distinct and separate relation because of conditions prevailing therein; or that the views and judgment therein expressed were too radical, and instituted a departure from established precedents which, in actual application and enforcement, works a positive injustice to the bishops elected and operating thereunder, or clothes the Council of Bishops with powers which under the Discipline are reserved to this body, by custom and usage, to wit--the recall and exchange of bishops for cause; this Committee ventures to suggest that since the mandate of the General Conference, declaratory of the fact that such an interpretation of the act under which the election and consecration of said bishops for West Africa and South Africa was held, was foreign to the intention and purpose of the Conference at Norfolk, Va., May, 1908; and since it was not intended to make such a radical change in the operation of the General Superintendency in any part of the Connection, whether in the home or foreign field, the Episcopal Committee is in doubt as to the wisdom of suggesting any alteration or change in said enactment unless the Council of Bishops will first take the matter under advisement and declare what construction they have placed upon, or what application they have made, or believe themselves warranted in making, of the powers and prerogatives with which this act invests them.

W. H. H. BUTLER, Chairman.



Page 278

        The report was adopted.

        For some reason not apparent the completion of the election of general officers was still further delayed by the transaction of other business. The Committee on the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association reported. It elicited considerable discussion, fear being expressed that if the society could not pay its obligations, the Church might be sued and disgraced. Bishop Heard asked if the insolvency of the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association meant the insolvency of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. D. J. Jordan asked that since the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association are separate corporations, was it not a fact that the African Methodist Episcopal Church was responsible for the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association. Lawyer Mitchell stated that in his opinion the Church was responsible. D. J. Jordan made inquiry as to why the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association operate under separate charters if the African Methodist Episcopal Church was responsible for the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association. R. L. Pope offered an amendment that a committee be appointed to take charge of the affairs of the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association for the purpose of winding up the same. The report of the Committee on Connectional Periodicals included the following recommendations:

That the Western Christian Recorder be discontinued; that the Christian Recorder have a managing editor who shall have full control of the columns of the paper; that the paper now known as the Southern Christian Recorder be hereafter known as The Southwestern Christian Recorder, to be published at The Sunday School Union in Nashville, Tenn.; that the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review have an editor and manager who shall be one and the same, and that the place of publication be The Sunday School Union; that the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society and the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society have an official organ; that The Voice of Missions shall become the official organ of the two societies, and that its name shall be changed to the Woman's Voice of Missions.

        The report was not concurred in as it related to the discontinuance of the Western Christian Recorder, the changing of the name of the Voice of Missions to the Woman's Voice of


Page 279

Missions, and the changing of the name of the Southern Christian Recorder to the Southwestern Christian Recorder.

        Balloting was again resumed for the election of general officers. A. S. Jackson was elected Secretary of Education; R. C. Ransom, Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review; Ira T. Bryant, Secretary of the Sunday School Union; B. F. Watson, Secretary of the Church Extension Society: G. W. Allen, Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder; J. F. McDonald, Editor of the Western Christian Recorder; J. C. Caldwell, Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League.

        The most exhaustive opinion rendered by the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which the Church was co-defendant, was that rendered in the case of the Petition of John F. Hamilton, of the North Ohio Annual Conference, to have his name restored to the roll of members of the North Ohio Annual Conference. The opinion follows:

        Without admitting the correctness or accuracy of the several averments set forth in the Petition of John F. Hamilton as the grounds on which his appeal to have his name restored to the roll of members of the North Ohio Annual Conference was made, the action of said Conference nullified it by remanding the case in issue between himself and the said North Ohio Annual Conference so that a new trial may be had. The defendants aver that they are not in possession of the Minutes of the executive session of said Conference at which the action complained of was taken, nor any transcript of them; and that, therefore, they are unable to admit, or deny, his claim that regular judicial process was not had in the conduct of proceedings against him.

        We aver that the Plaintiff, by immediately resorting to the Civil Courts for relief from any injustice which he believed himself subjected to by action taken by his Conference, instead of instituting proceedings before an ecclesiastical tribunal of his Church having competent jurisdiction, for the relief sought, has made it impossible for the Defendants to bring to a determination the distinct issue involved in this Petition, without appearing to disregard the mandate of the several Civil Courts before whom application in restraint of action by an Ecclesiastical Court was being prosecuted, and thus coming into contempt of Court.

        Defendants do not admit that the action taken by the North Ohio Annual Conference, as complained of, deprived the Plaintiff of the benefits, rights, or emoluments set forth in his third reason for appeal, since they have no knowledge of any relation which he may sustain to the Connectional Preachers' Aid Association as the beneficiary, whether such relations exist, or ever existed; but we pass that by as


Page 280

immaterial to the main issue, namely, that the Plaintiff was never given a fair and impartial trial before said Conference, and that his right to said trial, under the Discipline, is indisputable.

        Defendants aver that since the Plaintiff asks only "that his name be restored to the roll of members in said North Ohio Annual Conference without prejudice to said Conference to regularly charge and try said John F. Hamilton in accordance with the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in such case made and provided; do order, adjudge, and decree that until said John F. Hamilton shall have been so charged, tried, and convicted, he is, and shall remain, a member and minister in good and regular standing in the said North Ohio Annual Conference, with all the rights and privileges belonging to him prior to said action of the North Ohio Annual Conference complained of," that there does not appear any sufficient reason why they, or either of them, should enter any plea calculated to hinder or prevent him from obtaining any relief to which he may believe himself entitled in the matter of some omission or irregularity in the form of proceedings originally taken as against him.

        Defendants appreciate fully the criticism which would be made of those in authority if a petitioner, coming for relief from some disability from which he might be suffering, whether justly or otherwise, should be denied the fullest and fairest opportunity to clear himself of any odium attached to conduct of which he might have been accused.

        Since it is the duty of those charged with enforcement of the Discipline to show themselves merciful as well as just, and because we do not believe that any material interest or right of the North Ohio Annual Conference can suffer if the case and issue presented in this Petition should be remanded for re-trial by said Conference; and because, further, it is apparent from the third reason submitted as ground upon which this Petition is submitted by Plaintiff, that "the Civil Courts of the State of Ohio, including the Supreme Court of that State, have uniformly respected the authority and jurisdiction of our several Ecclesiastical Tribunals, refusing to interfere with the administration of the Discipline by and through the regularly constituted means and processes," thus placing the seal of disapproval of the Civil Courts on any attempt to discredit Ecclesiastical Judicial Procedure under the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, however grievous the wrong complained of may be, or whatever omissions or irregularities may exist in the method and manner of procedure, unless the person coming for relief therein shall first have exhausted every means for relief sought in the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Connection in which he claims right of membership.

        As the Plaintiff avers that he has been directed to this honorable body, and not to the Civil Courts, for a re-hearing and re-trial of his case for obtaining relief and redress, if to such he may be entitled under the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and that he desires the case re-opened and re-tried in the Conference and jurisdiction in which it originated, and without prejudice to said Conference


Page 281

to sit and determine the guilt or innocence of any crime or misconduct of which he may justly, regularly, and lawfully be accused the same as if the said Conference had heretofore taken no action against him whatever; therefore the bishops, as Defendants, join the Plaintiff in his request and petition, and advise that this General Conference grant an order for such remanding, and for relief from the disability now imposed on the Petitioner by the action of the North Ohio Annual Conference, the said order and decree being effective only and until the said Conference shall have proceeded against the Plaintiff as provided for by law, and he shall have been convicted after a fair and impartial trial according to due process of law.


        On motion, the recommendation was adopted and the following Order was given:

ORDER

        This case comes on for hearing upon the appeal of Rev. John F. Hamilton, of the North Ohio Annual Conference, and after hearing the same it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed by this General Conference now sitting at Kansas City, in the State of Missouri, that the action of the North Ohio Annual Conference of September 22, A. D. 1909, whereby a resolution was passed by said Conference expunging the name of said John F. Hamilton from the roll of ministers and members of said Conference be, and the same is hereby, set aside, overruled, and declared void; and the said North Ohio Annual Conference is hereby ordered to replace the name of said John F. Hamilton upon the roll of ministers and members of the said North Ohio Annual Conference, without prejudice to said Conference to regularly charge and try said John F. Hamilton in accordance with the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in said case, made and provided; and it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed, that until said John F. Hamilton shall be so charged, tried, and convicted, he is and shall remain a minister in good and regular standing of the said North Ohio Annual Conference, with all the rights and privileges which belonged to him prior to the action of said Conference herein complained of.


        The Special Committee on a more equitable apportionment of the Dollar Money submitted its report, which, after being amended, read thus:

Financial Department, 40%; Annual Conference, 36%; Church Extension Department, 8%; Educational Department, 8%; Missionary Department, 8%--4% of which was to be used for the foreign field and 4% for the home work.

        The committee to whom was referred "A Statement of Four Years' Work in West Africa," by Bishop Heard, reported that


Page 282

they had examined the statement and commended it to the careful and considerate attention of the General Conference. They further said: "Of one thing we are assured, namely, that in West Africa the seed has been sown, which if properly cared for and nurtured will ultimately produce abundant fruit to the glory of God and the advancement of the Church."

        The morning session of the seventeenth day, May 22, was made memorable by the consecration of the bishops-elect. It was an inspiring and impressive occasion and was witnessed by an immense assemblage.

        John Hurst was the first to be consecrated, followed by William David Chappelle, Joshua Henry Jones, and James Mayer Conner. At the close of the services admiring friends of the newly consecrated bishops crowded the altar to extend greetings.

        John Hurst was presented by Thomas H. Jackson, of the Arkansas Annual Conference, and W. H. H. Butler, of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Lee, Coppin, and Parks, assisted by Charles H. Murray, of the Baltimore Annual Conference; William H. Thomas, New England Annual Conference; Theobald A. Smythe, Indiana Annual Conference; and Charles E. Brooks, Louisiana Annual Conference.

        William David Chappelle was presented by David H. Johnson, of the Piedmont Annual Conference, and David A. Christy, of the Columbia Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Turner, Tanner, and Heard, assisted by Bruce H. Williams, of the Palmetto Annual Conference; Coleman C. Dunlap, Philadelphia Annual Conference; John D. Deas, Northeast South Carolina Annual Conference; and Richard E. Wall, Piedmont Annual Conference.

        Joshua Henry Jones was presented by William Thomas Anderson and Charles Bundy, of the North Ohio Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Derrick, Shaffer, and Smith, assisted by Green B. West, of the Alabama Annual Conference; S. P. Felder, North Mississippi Annual Conference; Abram L. Murray, New Jersey Annual Conference; and Samuel J. Patterson, Central Florida Annual Conference.

        James Mayer Conner was presented by V. M. Townsend, of the Arkansas Annual Conference, and O. L. Moody, of the


Page 283

South Arkansas Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Tyree, Flipper, and Johnson, assisted by J. W. Whiteside, of the South Arkansas Annual Conference; Charles R. Tucker, Oklahoma Annual Conference; H. S. Graves, Iowa Annual Conference; and Silas W. White, North Mississippi Annual Conference.

        A measure for the better regulation of the affairs and duties of the Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which follows in part, was presented and adopted:

        Whereas, a history of the men and events that made the African Methodist Episcopal Church, including the Spirit of the Times and Its Traditions, properly compiled, edited, and published in handy volumes and in a creditable style, is among the pressing needs of our libraries and schools, as well as a want felt by ministers, laymen, and the reading public; and

        Whereas, the office and work of the Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is a factor in our Methodism recognized and established in 1848, by the election of the sainted Daniel A. Payne; also through the labors of Bishops B. W. Arnett and H. M. Turner; therefore, be it

        Resolved, That the following rules be adopted for the better regulation of the work of the Historiographer:

        First. That the Historiographer shall be the custodian of all the manuscripts, charts, cuts, engravings, paintings, and printed matter, in volumes or otherwise, belonging to his office, which he shall keep insured and well protected for use as may be needed in compositions.

        Second. That the Historiographer shall proceed at once to compile, edit, and publish the previously collected historic data into such volumes as will be practicable to handle and convenient for reference.

        Third. That the Historiographer shall do all in his power to collect and compile the facts and coordinate historic data of African Methodism for preservation.


        An animated discussion, which was precipitated by a motion for its adoption made by T. J. Askew, took place following the final report of the Committee on Episcopacy. The point of order was raised by T. H. Jackson that it was not the custom to adopt the report of the Episcopal Committee on the assignment of bishops. The point was not sustained. R. R. Downs made a motion to sustain the rule hitherto governing the assignment of bishops, which was ruled out. J. R. Hawkins made the point that the chairman in ruling out the motion of R. R. Downs also ruled out the rule which caused the appeal.


Page 284

Bishop Smith gave notice that he would enter a formal protest against the action of the Conference as it related to the report of the Episcopal Committee. Bishop Chappelle ruled that the General Conference is over the Episcopal Committee. Dr. T. H. Jackson answered: "My point is not that the General Conference is not greater than the Episcopal Committee, but that the Conference is not to adopt this report." Bishop Coppin made an objection, saying that it had never been done. Bishop Flipper said:

Under the fundamental law of Methodism, the bishops have the right to assign themselves; and since they have a right to assign themselves, the General Conference could not have the right of endorsement, for the authority has been passed to the Episcopal Committee. Therefore, the Episcopal Committee has asserted its right, but the bishops can make their own assignments without the endorsement of the Episcopal Committee.

        T. J. Askew withdrew his motion. The contention of T. H. Jackson that by custom, the General Conference had no right to approve or disapprove of the assignment of the bishops by the Episcopal Committee, is fallacious and far-fetched--a contention that has never been raised in a General Conference of any branch of American Methodism having the episcopal form. As the Episcopal Committee is the creature of the General Conference, it logically follows that all its acts and edicts are subject to the concurrence or non-concurrence of the body that created it. To cite that the appointments made by a bishop in an Annual Conference are not subject to the acceptance or rejection of that body, as an argument that the General Conference has no right to pass on the assignment of the bishops, has no bearing on the latter. The Book of Discipline invests the bishops with the appointing power, but it gives no such authority to the Episcopal Committee. In fact the "Episcopal Committee" has no place in the Discipline. Our custom in not having the General Conference pass on the assignment of bishops made by the Episcopal Committee has created an anomaly, in that it has--and to that extent--made the Episcopal Committee supreme to the General Conference. In other words it has placed the creature above the creator.

        Other matters engaging the attention of the General Conference were: the sending of a telegram of sympathy to Bishop


Page 285

Salter in his illness; ordering the printing of 10,000 copies of the Episcopal Address to be distributed pro rata among the Annual Conferences; the appointment of a committee to arrange for the Quarto-Centennial celebration of Bishop Tanner's service as a bishop; the refusal to fix the subscription price of the Christian Recorder and Southern Christian Recorder at $1.50 per annum when ordered together by a preacher at an Annual Conference; the restoration of the words "He descended into hell" in the Apostles' Creed; the refusal to legalize ushers' boards; changing the order requiring deaconesses to be confirmed by the Quarterly Conference; the refusal to adopt the proposal of C. M. Tanner to establish a "House of Protection"; the inclusion of the deans of theological seminaries in the membership of the General Conference; the authorizing of all members of an Annual Conference to vote for delegates to the General Conference except laymen; changing the time of meeting of the General Conference from the first Monday to the first Wednesday in May; the refusal to increase the basis of ministerial representation to the General Conference from thirty to forty; the appointment of a committee to provide means for rescinding the act of 1900, which incorporated the African Methodist Episcopal Church; ordering the Secretary and Board of Managers of The Sunday School Union to sell the property at 206 Public Square, Nashville, Tenn.; ordering that the Children's Day Money collected in 1912 and 1913 be retained in the Annual Conferences which were affected by the floods of 1912; continuing the salary of a bishop at $2,500 per annum, adding thereto $500 for traveling and contingent expenses, the same to be paid by the Annual Conferences; the refusal to increase the salaries of the general officers from $1,350 per annum to $1,500; changing the name of the Iowa Annual Conference to the "Chicago Annual Conference"; adopting the Woman's Missionary Recorder and providing for the election of an editor and an associate editor--the former to receive a salary of $50 per month, to be paid by the Financial Department, and to be elected by the General Conference; the latter to be elected by the Parent Mite Missionary Society, and to receive a salary of $15 per month, to be paid by the Financial Department; the appropriation of $500 per annum to the support of the work in the West Virginia


Page 286

Annual Conference; the refusal to adopt a resolution offered by John Harmon not to allow a bishop to preside over any one District two terms in succession.

NECROLOGY

        During the quadrennium the Church had been made to mourn the departure of Bishop Edward Wilkerson Lampton, July 16, 1910; Bishop Abram Grant, January 22, 1911; Bishop James Anderson Handy, September 3, 1911; Bishop Wesley John Gaines, January 12, 1912; Dr. John H. Collett, Business Manager of the Book Concern, April 8, 1909; Henry Theodore Johnson, editor of the Christian Recorder, July 23, 1910; Dr. William Decker Johnson, Secretary of Education, 1884-1900; Dr. G. E. Taylor, editor of the Southern Christian Recorder, 1900-1904; Rev. W. T. Williams, Florence, S. C.; Rev. P. W. Jefferson, Beaufort, S. C.; Rev. J. W. Johnson, of the South Carolina Annual Conference; Dr. L. H. Reynolds, secretary of the General Conference, 1896-1908; Dr. E. W. Lee, president of Morris Brown College, 1908-1911; Dr. E. J. Gregg, Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League, 1904-1908; and Dr. J. H. Welch, Washington, D. C.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS


Page 287

        Bishop J. Albert Johnson had entered on his second quadrennium in charge of the work in South Africa. The following illuminating and interesting communication reflects certain views of his at the time it was written:

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FOURTEENTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

To the President and Members of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Annual Session Assembled, Wilberforce, Ohio, June, 1903.

        Greetings:

        I have the honor to submit the following for your information and consideration: For the past eleven months the country has suffered a severe drouth which has destroyed the harvest; killed cattle, sheep, and game in many districts. The poor facilities for transportation in some sections greatly embarrassed the efforts to forward relief in the form of provision. The lack of water was an aggravating form of suffering.

        A number of our missionaries could not reach the seat of Conference


Page 288

which met in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, in the end of November, 1912.

        During the past year four of our most efficient elders have died, among them, Rev. Henry C. Msikinya, a graduate of Wilberforce University. Two others withdrew under charges, and six were expelled--four natives and two colored--thereby decreasing our ministerial ranks by twelve, a serious loss to our working force.

        The lay membership increased several hundred and the financial reports showed an increase over last year.

        The attitude of Parliament toward the native and colored residents of the Union is reflected somewhat in the passing of a Bill prohibiting any European from selling or leasing any land to a colored or native person; or any colored or native person selling or leasing land to a European; restricting travel; and prohibiting a non-resident in a location from remaining over 24 hours.

        In several cases recently, municipalities have refused a church site to any religious body which does not have a European at its head. Several of our large congregations have been scattered thereby, notably Pretoria and Heidleburg in Transvaal. Pretoria paid over $300 in Dollar Money at the last Conference.

        The care of all the churches under such conditions involves much visitation, and the encouragement of much expenditure.

        I am earnestly endeavoring to serve our Lord and Church. I do not hesitate to confess my deep sense of need of your prayers for patience and perseverance, and above all, for the grace of God.

I am, my dear brethren,
Your fellow laborer,

J. ALBERT JOHNSON.

South Africa, March, 1913.

        Bishop Johnson's patient and uncomplaining demeanor during his eight years of service in South Africa elicited commendation in the Episcopal Address to the General Conference of 1912. He was abundant in labors and untiring in his efforts to extend his usefulness. Among his notable achievements were the establishment of Evaton College, the erection of the Fanny Jackson Coppin Girls' Hall, and the securing of a large and splendid piece of ground, not far from the college, intended to be the site of a home for worn-out ministers. He became noted as one among the most eminent pulpiteers in South Africa without regard to race or color.

        An event to be noted was the second meeting of the Tri-Council of Colored Methodist Bishops, which convened in Big Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Mobile, Ala., February 9-12, 1911. The African Methodist Episcopal Church


Page 289

was represented by Bishops H. M. Turner, W. J. Gaines, B. F. Lee, W. B. Derrick, Evans Tyree, C. S. Smith, L. J. Coppin, H. B. Parks, and J. S. Flipper. Absent on account of physical disability--Bishops J. A. Handy, M. B. Salter, and C. T. Shaffer. Absent in foreign fields--W. H. Heard, West Africa, and J. Albert Johnson, South Africa. Ineffective--Bishop B. T. Tanner.

        The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was represented by Bishops J. W. Hood, C. R. Harris, A. Walters, G. W. Clinton, J. W. Alstork, J. S. Caldwell, G. L. Blackwell, A. J. Warner, and J. W. Smith. The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was represented by Bishops L. H. Holsey, Isaac Lane, R. S. Williams, E. Cottrell, C. H. Phillips, M. F. Jamison, and G. W. Stewart.

        Beyond confirming what was done at the first meeting of the Tri-Council, but little of the proceedings of the second meeting is to be noted except that a declaration strongly favoring organic union was adopted.


Page 290

CHAPTER XX
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONTINUED)

        Twenty-fifth General Conference, Philadelphia, Pa., 1916--Recommendations in the Episcopal Address--Missionary Meeting--Memorial Services--Feeling Tributes Paid to the Memory of Bishop Turner and Bishop Derrick--Announcement of the Episcopal Class of 1908--Election of Bishops and General Officers--Joint Petition of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society and the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society--A Summary of Other Proceedings--Bishop Heard in West Africa--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Special Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

        THE twenty-fifth General Conference convened in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pa., on Monday, May 3, 1916. It was composed of 13 bishops, 12 general officers, 410 ministers, 128 laymen, 14 college presidents, and 14 deans of theological seminaries. Total, 597. There were 83 Annual Conferences represented. The printed Journal of the proceedings contains 548 pages. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop H. B. Parks. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop L. J. Coppin. It covers forty-three pages embracing thirty topics. The Conference was organized by the election of W. D. Johnson as secretary, with the privilege of choosing his assistants. He named R. S. Jenkins, C. A. Williams, H. C. Beasley, P. A. Nichols, assistant secretaries; E. H. Coit, P. A. Scott, J. T. Gibbons, H. L. P. Jones, reading clerks; E. Wittenberg, R. D. Brooks, W. H. Bowen, George R. Jones, O. E. Jones, recording secretaries; T. J. Williams, S. M. Kirk, W. B. Lawrence, W. H. Capeheart, T. D. Scott, H. H. Pinkney, and J. R. Reed, special assistants.

        The Conference was called to order at ten a. m. by Bishop B. F. Lee, who had succeeded Bishop H. M. Turner (deceased) as the senior bishop. The opening prayer was delivered by Bishop J. S. Flipper. Bishop Parks was introduced and delivered the Quadrennial Sermon. Text: Acts 26. 22. "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day." Subject:


Page 291

"The Miracle of Continuance." Among other things he said:

        The greatest truth of all ages is Christianity. The teachings of the wisest and best men of all ages are a wonderful attestation of this fact. God, in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world unto himself, is, therefore, the center of all truth, the beauty of all art, and the corner-stone of all civilization. To lay this great truth upon the heart of the world was the burden of prophet, priest, and patriarch. There were signs, symbols, types, and shadows through the ceremonial and prophetic ages; each and all of which embodied the same truth.

        Through all the ages of the history of God's Church he has seen fit to commission those whom he would have deliver his message. In the prophetic age he inspired his prophets and priests. At no time were men allowed to rush in madly. His priesthood was chosen and set apart with the greatest care. When the Shiloh of Jacob would usher in a new era of Gospel Dispensation, he would carefully select and commission those whom he would have as his representatives. Nothing less than a converted soul, called and commissioned by the Holy Ghost, is a fit subject to preach the gospel of the Master.

        In this day of free-thinking, liberty of press and religion, revelation in science, art, and literature, achievements in invention, state-craft, and diplomacy, explorations and discoveries, man is loath to regard himself helpless. Never since the days of ancient grandeur, when the scholars of Greece and Thebes walked the earth, has human knowledge reached the pinnacle it now boasts. Never since the days of the conquering Alexander the Great, Napoleon, or Cromwell, have the world's armaments of war been so powerful, destructive, and terrifying as they are to-day; as the record of Europe's present great struggle attests. To the ancient papyrean disclosures of the Egyptian and Chaldean priests, of medicinal properties found in plants, water, and earth, have been added thousands and thousands of volumes, and never before did man regard himself a greater master of the wonders of the human body than he is to-day. But in the face of all these wonders and achievements man's utter helplessness is as patent to-day as it was when the Son of God, baptized by the Holy Ghost, came to earth to purchase his redemption upon the Cross of Calvary.

        These are times when the world problems are greater than ever before. The map of the world is being traced in human blood. Industrial, social, and economic questions are engaging the mind of the world. Christianity, real, genuine Christianity, and its practicality are being tried in the fires of a world struggle for the supremacy of the super-man.

        African Methodism, the result of a resistless necessity, founded upon the word of God, and the equality and brotherhood of man, was called into existence in the new world one hundred and twenty-six years ago. How well, by the help of God, it has wrought in every epoch, from the wars of 1812 and every one since to the present day, the lives of


Page 292

its loyal members in the home, on the field of battle, in Church and State, reveal. Her heroism, self-sacrifice, and devotion have left their mark in every walk of life and in every achievement of American life and history. The distinguishing feature of American civilization is her preacher--his Bible, his devotion. No historian has ever yet done justice to the Methodist circuit riders, East and West, North and South. They trained the heart to see the beauties of the Christ-life, and following in their wake came the schoolmarm with books to train the mind to see and read God in life. No less vigilant in its work of preaching and teaching came the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a boon to an oppressed people, measuring up with her limitations to meet the demands upon her, evincing the soberness and consecration of her leaders and preachers.


        The evening of the second day was devoted to hearing addresses of welcome. The meeting was held in the Academy of Music. Addresses of welcome were delivered by Mr. H. A. Mackey, Chairman of the Workingmen's Compensation Board, who represented Governor Brumbaugh; Mayor Thomas H. Smith, on behalf of the city of Philadelphia; H. Y. Arnett, on behalf of the African Methodist Episcopal Churches in Philadelphia; Rev. W. F. Graham, on behalf of the Baptist Churches of Philadelphia; and C. C. Dunlap, on behalf of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which the Conference was held. Suitable responses were made by Bishop J. H. Jones, on behalf of the bishops; W. Sampson Brooks, on behalf of the ministers; J. R. Hawkins, on behalf of the laity.

        The morning session of the third day was occupied in hearing the Episcopal Address, which was read by Bishop L. J. Coppin. Paragraphs from the Address follow:

        Bethel with curious legend and sacred traditions comes down to us through the ages in history of vision and dream and vow. The historian finds about the place a charm that seems to awaken the emotions of his innermost soul; and under the inspiration of its spell, the poet sings his sweetest song. Whether upon joyful wing ascending, or upon stony pillow doing penance, Bethel seems to be the gateway to ultimate triumph. The names of Abraham, Samuel, and Deborah are associated with it. It was once the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and afterwards the religious capital of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat.

        Whatever of sacredness clusters about the name seems not to have been lost when in 1816 it was chosen and adopted as the name of the first church of a denomination that was to have, in varied experiences, a repetition of much of the history that is characteristic of the ancient place.


Page 293

        When Jacob dreamed a dream and vowed a vow and had a vision of hope, Bethel seemed to him a proper designation of the place where the heavenly vision appeared. And so, when the "Angel of the Church in Philadelphia" discovered that the spot upon which he had lighted and built was chosen as the birthplace of a new spiritual freedom, he could think of no more appropriate name to call it by than Bethel. But the environment of our modern Bethel is also suggestive of a name that has the honored distinction of being the environment of one of the seven churches to which the message came from Patmos.

        Philadelphia, the metropolis of the Keystone State, is also rich in historic data, both secular and religious. Independence Hall--the home of the Liberty Bell--stands as an object lesson to the multitudes who, from the ends of the earth, visit the "City of Brotherly Love." The quaint old building tells in silent eloquence what historians have chronicled of courage and of struggle for political liberty; while the church buildings of the same period bear testimony to the fact that the principles of religious liberty were also an integral element in the colonial struggle. Church and State vie with each other here in preserving historic relics and marking historic spots. The Old Swedes' Church, on Swanson Street, below Christian; Franklin's grave, at Fifth and Arch Streets, and the Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street, are placed side by side on the guide for visitors "seeing Philadelphia." This trio of suggestions unite the scientific with the political and religious memorials. A bronze tablet at Seventh and Market Streets calls attention to the spot where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. On the pinnacle of the City Hall, overlooking the whole city, is the statue of William Penn, who, in October, 1682, gave the name "Brotherly Love" to the city that was henceforth to become the historic mecca of the new world. Two years later, in 1684, when the immortal founder was taking leave of his newly-established dominion, he uttered the following address:

        "And thou, Philadelphia, the virgin settlement of this province, named before thou wast born, what love, what care, what service, and what travail hath there been to bring thee forth and preserve thee from such as would abuse and defile thee. My soul prays to God for thee that thou mayest stand in the day of trial, that thy children may be blessed of the Lord, and thy people saved by his power."

        It was not then thought that after a brief period of growth and development upon this virgin soil, selected for the establishment of an ideal commonwealth, the occasion would arise for a twofold declaration of independence, the one political and the other religious. As the years passed and men became more mindful of material advancement, the degenerate trader in human flesh found here a new market for his stolen goods. Be it said to the everlasting credit of the Society of Friends, that after a mighty wrestling with their conscience, like Jacob, they were the first to take a decided and definite stand against human slavery; and so Philadelphia became the cradle of Abolition. History bears testimony to the fact that in every great


Page 294

movement in the unfolding of the Divine plan for the betterment of society, God always finds a man upon whom he can rely as a leader.

        Philadelphia is not lacking in historic data, nor in tablet and monument, intending to memorialize and immortalize the political heroes and heroines of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But the task of erecting monuments to the memory of those who launched the ship of religious liberty for all people oppressed, and that of marking the place where they first wrought, has been left to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        When Richard Allen and his adherents revolted against ecclesiastical proscription, we were but one decade removed from the Declaration of Independence. The sound of the Liberty Bell was still a silent echo to the enthusiastic advocates of independence. The very air appeared to be impregnated with the spirit of the times, and it seemed the auspicious moment for Richard Allen to strike the anvil of faith, and send forth sparks of hope that would illumine the path of unborn generations. It is an historic fact that the spot upon which we meet is the first piece of ground ever purchased in the United States of America for the establishment of a religious society where persons of African descent would be the legal possessors and have absolute control. This fact was pointed out when the city celebrated its two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary, but the spot was not regarded as being of sufficient importance to take its rightful place among other historic landmarks.

        This spot upon which we meet is doubly hallowed by the prayers and tears of those who fought the legal battles which followed the first attempt to throw off the yoke of ecclesiastical bondage. This spot upon which we meet, made all the more sacred because of its being the theater of action of those of our race variety who first attempted to reduce the theory of religious liberty to practice, is also the sacred sepulcher of him who led in the movement. This spot is the mother, the mecca, and the museum of that which is priceless in the historic value of first things. The pulpit, the chair, the kneeling stool, the Bible, and the clock, with other relics, are safely housed here, and serve to bring us in direct touch with the scenes of more than a century past. Meeting upon this historic spot, we seem to breathe anew the spirit which actuated our fathers and mothers and nerved them to undertake what less heroic souls would have considered impossible. We seem to come into vital touch with what at a distance appeared abstract, if not unreal. After an absence of twenty-four years the Church in its representative capacity returns once more to deliberate and legislate upon the spot made memorable as our Connectional birthplace. But this time the meeting is for the twofold purpose of legislating and celebrating. The place seems all the more sacred and memorable as we observe the one hundredth milestone, and recount the trials and triumphs that are numbered with the intervening years. May we not, as it were, take off our shoes as with reverent step we tread upon holy ground? And may He who still walks amid the golden candlesticks


Page 295

make the place awful by His presence; and may He commune with us as we tarry here and inspire us to go forth and enter upon the second ecclesiastical century with prospects bright, with faith sublime, with courage bold, and with a broader vision and higher aspirations as the future lures us on to accomplishments infinitely greater than any recorded in the past.

AN EFFICIENT MINISTRY

        We have used the word "efficient" in order to avoid the too often misused and misunderstood word "educated." By an efficient ministry is meant one that is in every way prepared for the responsible task of leadership in the Church of God. That the "Priest's lips should keep knowledge," is a truism too self-evident to require repetition. In this day of light and knowledge, of free and liberal education, of schools of every description, of a public educational system that begins with the kindergarten and goes step by step to the university, making it possible for all to possess a degree of enlightenment for every vocation in life, it would be no less than a crime, not to say sacrilege, for him who has the care of souls to be content to remain ignorant as it relates to the prevalent learning of the day.

        The Church is the forum for all classes and conditions of people. Men of letters and men from the marts of business, as well as the lowly plodder in manual toil, lay aside the burdens of daily routine and come to the house of God for spiritual enlightenment and direction. They have been too much engaged in the secular duties of life to search out the mysteries pertaining to the kingdom of Heaven. They come with the assurance that he who is "called of God as was Aaron," is prepared to enlighten them upon the subjects that mean infinitely more than the "bread which perisheth." They are hungering and thirsting for the Bread of Life, nor should they wait in vain. Our Lord at the conclusion of a discourse in which he had been instructing his disciples concerning the kingdom of Heaven, spoke as follows: "Have ye understood all these things? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an householder which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." On another occasion he said, "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

        Men cannot obtain certificates to pursue the learned professions until they have qualified themselves for the work. But in too many instances persons are found in ministerial garb who have not mastered the elements of an education in their mother tongue. Others there are who have simply acquired enough to make them appear ridiculous by the misuse of what they have but imperfectly learned. Still another class will, with diplomatic cowardice, denounce learning as being repugnant to spirituality. By a strange inclination on the part of humanity to be by nature perverse, these unprepared leaders can summon a following, at least for a time, but much to the detriment of enlightened


Page 296

Christianity and all that makes for true progress in morals and religion. Therefore, a reasonable literary standard must be maintained for the Christian ministry--a standard which will enable the minister to profitably serve all classes that constitute the sum of humanity.

THE WORLD'S GREATEST WAR

        August 1, 1914, marked the beginning of a sanguinary conflict that has since earned the title of the world's greatest war. It soon became so large and so far-reaching that the average mind could not grasp its import sufficiently to diagnose its cause correctly, forecast its extent, or define properly its ultimate results. Historians, statesmen, and war lords discoursed learnedly upon cause and effect, and all the minute details involved, and entered upon the work of making many books for the instruction of the masses; while art and science found a new field for the display of inventive genius, both in making death-dealing instruments and in finding out ways to avoid their destructive power. Projectiles of death not before dreamed of were invented. Missiles are now being hurled from fleets floating in the blue ether above, while pungent gases exchange places with the life-giving oxygen of the air, and men inhale the breath of death. The earth is burrowed, and arsenals of destruction implanted where the camps of defense are made, connecting fort after fort like subterranean villages. Beneath the surface of the blue sea monstrous vessels sail on watch for the hitherto defiant dreadnaught, which becomes but a harmless derelict upon the subtle approach of the submerged sea-devil.

        The millions spent daily for munitions of war; the destruction of libraries, cities, and works of art; and, most of all, the wanton sacrifice of human life challenge the witch of Endor to bring back the sturdy old general of the sixties to invent a new definition for the World War, while the land as never before is daily being filled with "widows and orphans, and the shadow of death." As the terrible conflict is being led on by Christian nations who have reached the acme of what is called civilization, the heathen can once more ask, "Where is now thy God?" and the infidel can write "Prince of Peace" with a note of interrogation. Pride, selfishness, greed, ambition, and utter disregard for the rights of others, seem to be the prevailing assets of the civilization of our times. The unusual religious fervor that loudly proclaims "the world for Christ," and daily counts its converts by the thousands and tens of thousands, seems in the last analysis to be but an outward demonstration, lacking the inner spiritual life.

RECOMMENDATIONS


Page 297


        A general missionary meeting took place on the evening of the third day. The following foreign missionaries were present: P. Alpheus Luckie, of South America; S. J. Mabote and J. Z. Tantzi, of South Africa; J. P. James, of Santo Domingo; H. G. Knight, of Liberia, West Africa; P. S. Kuze and J. M. P. La Bala, of South Africa; S. E. Churchstone Lord, of Haiti; D. P. Talbot, of South America; I. E. G. Steady, of Sierra


Page 298

Leone, West Africa; Daniel J. Smith, of Barbados. Interesting addresses were made by Bishop Heard, J. W. Rankin, S. E. Churchstone Lord, and J. Z. Tantzi.

        The evening of the sixth day was devoted to the anniversary of the Educational Department. Bishop Chappelle presided. Timely and inspiring addresses were delivered by W. A. Fountain, president of Morris Brown College; R. L. Pope, of Denver, Colo.; R. Vaughan, dean of the Theological Department, Western University; George F. Woodson, dean of Payne Theological Seminary; A. B. Cooper, president of Payne College. The closing address was delivered by A. S. Jackson, Secretary of Education.

        On account of the bishops having changed the time of the assembling of the General Conference from the first Wednesday in May to the first Monday in May, and there being some doubt as to the legality of the change, at the ninth day's morning session the following declaration was adopted:

        Whereas, the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church declares that the General Conference shall meet perpetually once every four years on the Wednesday next after the first Sunday in May; and

        Whereas, by an inadvertence the session of the twenty-fifth General Conference was called to meet the first Wednesday in May, the third day of the month, instead of being called as required by the Discipline on the tenth day of May; and

        Whereas, this variation in date may result in future complications and questions of law as to the validity of such action as may antedate May 10, 1916; therefore, be it

        Resolved, That the General Conference does now confirm, acknowledge, and validate all action that has been taken by this body since the initial meeting May 3, and that the legal force and effect of all said action is hereby declared and confirmed.


        Among those introduced to the Conference were Rev. J. W. McKinney, a fraternal delegate from the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church; Dr. H. K. Carroll, assistant secretary of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America; Revs. S. T. Sheppard, Ezekiel Smith, and O. S. Watts, fraternal delegates from the Union African Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. A. P. Camphor, a fraternal delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. J. E. Saunders, a fraternal delegate from the Christian Church; and Dr. R. H. Boyd, of the Baptist Publishing Board, Nashville, Tenn. The addresses


Page 299

of the fraternal delegates were felicitous and happily received.

        The afternoon of Sunday, the twelfth day, was given over to memorial services. The occasion was solemn and impressive. Bishop Conner presided. Bishop Heard spoke on the life and labors of Bishop Moses Buckingham Salter. The life and labors of Bishop Henry McNeil Turner were set forth in a feeling and touching manner by Bishop B. F. Lee. Bishop C. T. Shaffer eulogized the life and labors of Bishop W. B. Derrick. The memories of Mrs. Sarah Tanner, wife of Bishop Tanner; Mrs. Laura Lemon Turner, relict of Bishop Turner; Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin, wife of Bishop L. J. Coppin, and Mrs. Francis E. Booker Watson, wife of Dr. B. F. Watson, were fittingly referred to.

        A pleasing feature of the Conference was the following announcement made by Bishop Flipper:

        The class of 1908, consisting of Bishops H. B. Parks, J. S. Flipper, J. Albert Johnson, and W. H. Heard, after due consideration decided to offer a scholarship of two hundred dollars ($200) each year for four years in any first-class Methodist Theological Seminary in America or in a foreign country upon the following conditions:

        First, all applicants must be college graduates and licensed to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and shall have had at least one year's experience in our itinerancy.

        Second, all applicants must be sound in body, mind, and morals.

        Third, all applicants must pass a competitive examination before a competent committee at the place where the applicants reside unless otherwise ordered.

        Fourth, the class of 1908 reserves to itself the right to appoint the committee on examination, the said examination to take place once a year at such time and place as the class shall determine.

        Fifth, all applications shall be forwarded to the Secretary, Bishop J. S. Flipper, 401 Houston Street, Atlanta, Ga., with proper recommendations as to soundness of body, mind, and morals, on or before the fourth day of June of each year.

        Sixth, said fund shall be placed in the hands of the Secretary and deposited in some reliable bank to bear interest annually.


        At the morning session of the sixteenth day, May 18, additional interest was given to the Centennial General Conference by the election of two bishops. Suitable religious services conducted by Bishop Tyree immediately preceded the election.


Page 300

There was no election on the first ballot. On the second ballot W. W. Beckett and I. N. Ross were elected.

        The evening session of the seventeenth day was occupied with the election of general officers. The result was as follows: Business Manager of the Book Concern, J. I. Lowe; Editor of the Christian Recorder, R. R. Wright, Jr.; Secretary of Missions, J. W. Rankin; Financial Secretary, John R. Hawkins. The Conference adjourned before the election was completed. Balloting for general officers was renewed at the morning session of the eighteenth day with the following result: Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, R. C. Ransom; Secretary of the Sunday School Union, Ira T. Bryant; Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder, G. W. Allen; Secretary of the Church Extension Society, B. F. Watson; Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League, J. C. Caldwell; Editor of the Western Christian Recorder, J. Frank McDonald.

        The day selected for the consecration of the newly elected bishops was most fitting, namely, Sunday. It was the nineteenth day of the session, May 21. Atmospheric conditions were most favorable and a vast throng of people was present. It was the sixth time that the solemn service of the consecration of bishops was conducted in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pa., the seat of the General Conference of 1916. The first time was in 1816 when Richard Allen was consecrated; the second was in 1828 when Morris Brown was consecrated; the third was in 1836 when Edward Waters was consecrated; the fourth was in 1864 when A. W. Wayman and J. P. Campbell were consecrated; and the fifth was in 1892 when B. F. Lee, M. B. Salter, and James A. Handy were consecrated--eight in all. After the initial religious services were concluded Bishop Lee was introduced to preach the Ordination Sermon. Text: Acts 26. 15-18. Subject: "The Minister and His Calling." It was a clear, logical, and forceful discourse and made a profound impression on all who were privileged to hear it. The closing paragraphs follow:

        My friends, the righteousness of God is neither white nor black; he has no limitations of country, nor demarcations of rivers. It is between you and me on one side, and God Almighty on the other. Get right with God and the world must come to you. God has lifted us


Page 301

above the world, above the devil, and when you get in God's hands you will be dominating. Jesus Christ could not be sacrificed nor crucified until his time came and he will not again assert himself until the time comes. We do not know when it is, but we are to stand on watch and maintain the faith and keep our covenant, remembering the rock from which we were hewn and the ditch from which we were digged. The man who lives and whose name endures is the man who lives right. We consecrate men bishops that they may instigate other ministers to holier living, better feeling, better conscience, and better acts.

        And one thing more, we do not make bishops that they may acquire riches. Not at all. It is necessary that they have good salaries. People lavish money and presents of all kinds upon us, but remember that some of those who make the gifts will criticise you for accepting them. The men who are so ready to heap presents on the bishops at the Annual Conferences do not think any better of them because they accept. It is a weakness that is very old, but never honorable because of its age. In the beginning of this, the second century of the existence of our Church, our bishops should frown upon the practice of ministers offering them presents. We should not sell the elevation, the dignity, and the honor of the bishopric. Bishops ought not to be regarded as beggars. I beg you to lift the episcopacy to the highest plane of Christian purity and righteousness.


        At the conclusion of the sermon the bishops-elect, William Wesley Beckett and Isaac Nelson Ross, were solemnly consecrated bishops in the African Methodist Episcopal Church according to the ritual prescribed and provided for by the Book of Discipline of said Church. The demeanor of the newly-consecrated bishops strongly indicated that they felt the weight of the added responsibilities which they had assumed. May they wear the mantle as worthily as did those who had previously been consecrated on the same sacred spot.

        William Wesley Beckett was presented by J. P. Chavis, of the South Carolina Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Lee, Parks, and Flipper, assisted by D. A. Christy, of the Columbia Annual Conference; D. P. Pendergrass, Northeast South Carolina Annual Conference; W. F. Rice, Piedmont Annual Conference; L. R. Nichols, Palmetto Annual Conference; and George F. Woodson, New Jersey Annual Conference.

        Isaac Nelson Ross was presented by H. Y. Arnett, of the Philadelphia Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Tyree, Shaffer, and Smith, assisted by J. W. Norris, of the Baltimore Annual Conference; M. R. Dixon, Mississippi


Page 302

Annual Conference; J. H. Dickerson, Florida Annual Conference; C. S. Williams, Ohio Annual Conference; and R. V. Branch, Georgia Annual Conference.

        Sunday afternoon was devoted to the cause of temperance. In the absence of Bishop J. Albert Johnson, Rev. E. H. Hunter presided. Stirring addresses were delivered by Mrs. Hill, of Baltimore, and Miss Marie Madre, of Washington, D. C. The closing address was made by Bishop Coppin. Announcement was made that Miss Madre and Mr. W. E. Blaine had given one hundred dollars each to promote the cause of temperance.

        The following resolution, presented by R. W. Mance, of the South Carolina Annual Conference, was read and adopted:

        Whereas, in view of the fact that the financial burden of the Connection has been increased, and the condition of the country is of an uncertain financial status, be it

        Resolved, That in all payments of appropriations to schools and other objects, except those classed under the regular pay-roll of bishops, general officers, widows and orphans, said payments by the Financial Secretary shall be made on a pro rata basis as the condition of the treasury will warrant.


        A spirited and interesting discussion which elicited close attention was provoked by Bishop Flipper declaring that a statement made by A. H. Attaway was dangerous as it seemed to support the dogma of Apostolic Succession. Dr. Attaway in a speech denied the right of the Episcopal Committee to assign the bishops to episcopal districts. It would seem that Dr. Attaway had used the word "prelate" synonymous with the word "bishop," to which Bishop Flipper took exception, claiming that if we accepted the designation of "prelate" it meant that we believe in Apostolic Succession. He stated that the Bishops in Council are only advisory and since that is true, it is necessary that the General Conference should give them authority. J. A. Jones, president of Turner College, asked--"What is an Order?" Bishop Flipper answered, "All the rights conferred on a bishop by election and ordination." J. A. Jones then asked, "What is the bishopric if it is not an order?"

        Bishop Lee, the senior bishop of the Church, stated that the bishops have authority as a Council, without legal provisions having been made therefor. He said that after a lapse of one hundred years it would not be well to fall flat on our faces and


Page 303

say that we have no authority. He also said that he doubted if any Church which has the episcopacy is not prelatic. He asked Bishop Flipper if there is an Episcopal Church that does not have the prelacy. No direct answer was given to this question.

        The Parent Mite Missionary Society and the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society presented a joint petition requesting that the two societies remain intact. The petition was supported by the following statement:

The women of our Church have long since realized the value of religious helpfulness extended to the sick and the dying; we also realize the increasing necessity of protecting the young of our Church, our girls in particular. Therefore, we petition this General Conference to protect the Church and our young girls by establishing an institution to be known as the Sarah Allen Deaconess Home and Training School, to be located at some central point, as a fitting recognition of the loyalty of our women to the faith and principles of our great Church; and that this General Conference appoint a bishop and a committee to locate said institution and specify rules and regulations to govern the same.

        A summary of other proceedings discloses: the refusal to allow the bishops to appoint the marshals; the reception of a fraternal message by telegram from the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, in session at Louisville, Ky., and the return of its acknowledgment through the same channel; extending an invitation to Colonel Theodore Roosevelt to address the Conference; the reception of a communication from the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church; the reception of a message from Colonel Roosevelt expressing great regret that he could not be present; the consideration of a measure proposed by John Harmon, of the Augusta Annual Conference, to legalize the Council of Bishops, which was finally withdrawn; the adoption of a motion offered by Bishop J. S. Flipper that the Committee on Revision be requested to report on what constitutes the Constitution of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and that the same be given a place in the Book of Discipline; the adoption of a resolution requiring the Committee on Temporal Economy to report not later than three days before the final adjournment; the adoption of a resolution to create a commission to


Page 304

memorialize Congress regarding race proscription and the suppression of lynching in the South; the refusal to elect general officers until the committees on the several departments reported; the ordering of the Episcopal Committee to report the boundaries of the districts before assigning the bishops; ordering the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review to be published at Philadelphia instead of Nashville; the refusal to sanction the moving of Bethel's pulpit for the use of each succeeding General Conference; the refusal to sanction the issuance of bonds by Wilberforce University; granting an allowance of one hundred dollars ($100) to a bishop for contingent expenses, the same to be paid by each of the Annual Conferences over which he presides; making the Nova Scotia and Ontario Annual Conferences the beneficiaries of the Missionary Board; the refusal to combine the office of Editor of the Christian Recorder with that of the Manager of the Book Concern; authorizing the creation of a new Annual Conference in Mississippi; the appointment of a committee to devise means to raise five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) for the support of superannuated preachers, widows and orphans, as proposed by R. H. Bumry, of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference; requiring that when the Episcopal Committee submits a report, all its members, except the chairman and secretary, shall be seated; the refusal to elect a supervising architect for the Connection; the adoption of a motion offered by T. H. Jackson to change "Bishops' Council" to "Council of Bishops"; the refusal to recognize the Historiographer as a general officer; gaining information through the Financial Secretary that twenty-one thousand dollars ($21,000) Dollar Money was tied up in a bank failure in Washington, D. C.; the abrogation of the rule adopted by the General Conference of 1908, relative to the tenure of supervision of the bishop of South Africa and the bishop of West Africa.

        This last procedure released Bishop Johnson from further service in South Africa, and Bishop Heard from further service in West Africa. Having commended Bishop Johnson for his labors in South Africa, it is only fair that a word of commendation should be offered in respect to Bishop Heard's work in West Africa. Climatic and economic conditions are far more favorable for successful missionary work in South


Page 305

Africa than in West Africa. Though greatly handicapped by the lack of a sufficient number of properly equipped missionaries, as well as for the means to support them, Bishop Heard did not shirk his task nor his responsibilities, but met them manfully and courageously. During the periods of his furlough at home, he was active in gathering funds and in seeking to stimulate an increased interest in his work. In 1917, through his special solicitations, he secured funds with which to pay for the construction of a power boat for use along the coast and on the Saint Paul's River. This was a commendable undertaking. The boat was constructed in Brooklyn, N. Y., and safely transported to Liberia.

        There are difficulties and perplexities in West Africa that will test the strength of the strongest and the patience of the most patient. The climatic conditions are severely trying and inimical to the health of persons raised in non-tropical regions. Horses, cattle, and small grain cannot be successfully raised on the West Coast of Africa. That is why the white race cannot thrive nor propagate its species there. For the same reason, persons of African descent from temperate climes are no more immune from the deadly malaria than are white people. Climatic conditions in South Africa are largely the reverse of those in West Africa.

NECROLOGY

        The toll of death, as it affected the African Methodist Episcopal Church, during the quadrennium ending May, 1916, was large. Included in the list were Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, twelfth bishop of the Church, who died in Windsor, Canada, May 8, 1915; Moses Buckingham Salter, twenty-first bishop of the Church, who died in Charleston, S. C., March 21, 1913; Bishop William Benjamin Derrick, twenty-third bishop of the Church, who died in Flushing, N. Y., April 15, 1913.

        Other deaths were those of Rev. James M. Townsend, former Secretary of Missions, June 18, 1913; Rev. T. M. Smith, of Georgia, June, 1913; Rev. William Conwell Banton, Montgomery, Ala., June 25, 1913; Rev. Horace S. Graves, Asheville, N. C., July 4, 1913; Rev. W. H. Jones, Gordon, Ark., March 12, 1915; Rev. W. B. B. Bennett, Charleston, S. C., October 1, 1915; Rev. Theobald A. Smythe, Chicago, Ill., January 25, 1916; Rev.


Page 306

J. W. B. Jackson, of Florida, September 17, 1913; Rev. A. J. Bennett, of Florida, July 2, 1913; Rev. James Dean, of Florida, December 19, 1914; Rev. A. Scott, of Florida, May 5, 1915; Rev. R. M. S. Taylor, Georgia Annual Conference, February 19, 1914; Rev. A. J. Wilkerson, North Georgia Annual Conference, April 10, 1915; Rev. F. F. Boddie, South Georgia Annual Conference, February 22, 1916; Rev. Bruce H. Williams, Charleston, S. C., April 9, 1916; Mrs. Sarah E. Tanner, wife of Bishop B. T. Tanner, and treasurer of the Parent Mite Missionary Society, August 2, 1914; Mrs. Fannie Jackson Coppin, wife of Bishop L. J. Coppin, January 21, 1913; Mrs. Laura Lemon Turner, widow of Bishop H. M. Turner, October 11, 1915; and Mrs. Frances E. Booker Watson, wife of Dr. B. F. Watson, Secretary of the Church Extension Society, January 10, 1915.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

        A truly historic gathering of colored Methodists assembled at Cincinnati, Ohio, June 30, 1915, for the purpose of considering federation and cooperation. The meeting was held in Wiley Hall, an auditorium connected with the publishing house of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thirty-six distinguished churchmen, comprising bishops, ministers, and laymen, were present. The following is the list:

        From the Methodist Episcopal Church--Bishops T. B. Neely, W. P. Thirkield, T. S. Henderson, Revs. R. E. Jones, J. P. Wragg; Dr. I. G. Penn, and L. J. Price.

        From the African Methodist Episcopal Church--Bishops B. F. Lee, C. S. Smith, L. J. Coppin, John Hurst, Revs. A. J. Carey, V. M. Townsend, G. W. Allen; Professor J. R. Hawkins, and Professor A. S. Jackson.

        From the Methodist Episcopal Zion Church--Bishops J. S. Caldwell, A. W. Walters, George W. Clinton; Rev. J. S. Jackson, Professor S. G. Atkins, Hon. J. C. Dancy, and Mr. W. M. Trent.

        From the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church--Bishops C. H. Phillips, R. A. Carter, N. C. Cleaves; Revs. J. A. Bray, J. W. Gilbert, J. A. Hamlett, Professor D. C. Potts, W. A. Bell, and G. F. Porter.


Page 308

        The aggregate membership represented by the above groups is approximately one million, six hundred thousand.

        The record of the proceedings indicates that the Conference was one of the most remarkable in the history of colored Methodism. The most outstanding result was the movements toward cooperation. The divisions of colored Methodists have been distinct, independent, and often antagonistic. They have had little fellowship, and the spirit of uniformity has had small influence among them. Their interests have always been one, and in the general struggles for survival, they have been exploited because they have failed to see the necessity of getting together.

        The purpose of the joint meeting of the Commission on Federation was to discuss cooperation, federation, and organic union. Bishop T. S. Henderson, of Chattanooga, called the meeting to order, and at different times during the long session of the day and evening, six bishops--Henderson, Thirkield, Neely, Walters, Lee, and Phillips--presided. The program of procedure was carefully prepared and no time was lost in vain repetition of words. The object of the meeting was approached direct and with considerable definiteness. Most of the emphasis was given to cooperation and federation, which it was felt would secure an effective approach toward organic union. The program submitted and adopted had been worked out in careful detail and with explicit specifications.


Page 309

CHAPTER XXI
FOURTH PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT: 1898-1922 (CONCLUDED)

        Observations on the World War--Signing of the Armistice--Activities of American Methodism from May, 1916, to May, 1922, Inclusive--Sessions of Four General Conferences--Address of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church--Twenty-sixth General Conference, Saint Louis, Mo., May, 1920--Recommendations in the Episcopal Address--Report of the Committee on Organic Union--Election of Five Bishops Ordered--Election of Bishops and General Officers--Other Matters Acted Upon--Necrology--Episcopal Districts and Assignments--Fifth Ecumenical Methodist Conference--Other Methodisms--Four Bishops Elected--Third Tri-Council of Bishops--National Affairs--Bishop Vernon Detained Aboard Ship--Bishop Brooks in West Africa--Bishop Fountain in the West Indies and South America.

        WHEN the General Conference of 1916 opened, German shells were plowing the fields of Flanders. This was in the second year of what eventually proved to be a World War. Various versions of the cause of that holocaust of flame and blood have been given by writers of secular history. In the last analysis, in the opinion of the author, it grew out of a struggle for commercial supremacy between England and Germany. The latter was fast overtaking the former as a supplier of the world's needs for manufactured products of various kinds. This necessitated the constant increase of the German merchant marine. In 1917, when the United States joined the Allies, the war assumed world proportions. Its magnitude as to the loss of manhood power and material worth is practically beyond computation. One of its effects was to largely shatter and dissipate the spiritual atmosphere and to raise the material to a higher level. "The Church has failed!" was no uncommon cry. But what about Christianity--had it failed? To this but one answer can be given: "The foundations of God standeth sure." It is not to be denied that the results of the World War undermined the faith of many. On the other hand, it seems to have given an impulse to spiritism. It brought to the fore far beyond that of any other period


Page 310

of time the question, "Where are the dead and what are they doing?" The sudden snuffing out of the lives of ten million of the youth and flower of the world's manhood created an anxiety of mind and an anguish of soul beyond the power of words to express. At the hearthstone of every nation there stood a Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they were not. The lacerations of the spiritual life of man will not be speedily healed nor will his shattered faith quickly be restored.

        It is yet too early to attempt to measure the untoward effect of the World War on the spiritual thought of the backward peoples. This much may be said, however, that the present swing of the darker races is not toward the Christian religion, but away from it. They fail to understand why so many "God men," or missionaries, are sent among them to set up different standards of faith and doctrine.

        The one outstanding decision as a result of the deliberations of the supreme War Council of the Allies was the decision to subordinate national aspirations to international interests--to put into force and practice the mathematical truism that the whole is greater than any of its parts. This action made victory possible, for at no time did the Allies face the certainty of success until they had mobilized their several units under one supreme command. From the depths of world-wide distress and unrest, from tear-dimmed eyes, from the widow's loneliness and the orphan's wail, from the threatened collapse of moral forces and the decline of spiritual energy--giving comfort and succor to the powers of darkness--there comes the solemn prayer from the Son of God to the commanders and the rank and file of denominational units: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us"; to the end that His Church may go forth to the conquest of sin, bright as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.

        The signing of the Armistice, on November 11, 1918, was universally acclaimed. Mankind grew hilarious with rejoicing. In scope it was a universal jubilee and will abide in the memory of its participants until their death. It is useless to attempt a description of the demonstration in any given community. Shops, factories, business places, offices, and homes


Page 311

were emptied of their occupants as if by magic. Whistles, bells, horns--in fact everything that could be utilized to produce a noise--were brought into requisition. Everywhere in the open, people literally danced for joy. Angels must have responded to the joyous heart-throbs of humanity released from the devastation of war.

        The Allies drew to their support peoples of almost every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue. Caucasians, Asiatics, Africans, and Oceanicans fought side by side to help make the world "safe for democracy." While the white race was solely and absolutely responsible for the World War, the darker races made victory possible for the Allies. Of the two million men who constituted the American Expeditionary Forces, four hundred thousand were colored. One half of the latter were in service over-seas, many of whom made the supreme sacrifice. So far as making America safe for themselves and their kindred is concerned, it seems as though they had died in vain. It cannot be said that America is "safe for democracy" so long as mob law prevails. It cannot be said that righteousness has exalted any people who delight in making bonfires of human bodies. The colored people of America are still the victims of violence and injustice. In many instances, when they ask for bread they are given a stone, and when they ask for a fish they are given a serpent. United States Senator William E. Borah once said, "A flag that will not protect its citizens is a dirty rag and pollutes the atmosphere in which it floats." Lest we forget:


                         "Though the mills of God grind slowly,
                         Yet they grind exceeding small.
                         Though with patience he stands waiting,
                         With exactness grinds he all."

        As to the activities of American Methodism from May, 1916, to May, 1922, inclusive, there are seven outstanding events to be noted, namely, the assembling of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Atlanta, Ga., May, 1918; of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church at Chicago, Ill., May, 1918; of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Des Moines, Iowa, May, 1920; of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Saint Louis, Mo., May, 1920; of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Knoxville, Tenn., May, 1920; of


Page 312

the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Hot Springs, Ark., May, 1922; of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church at Saint Louis, Mo., May, 1922.

        At the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1918, five bishops were elected--John M. Moore, W. F. McMurray, U. V. W. Darlington, H. M. DuBose, W. N. Ainsworth, and James Cannon, Jr. There were no bishops elected at the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in 1918.

        The crowning events of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church were the Episcopal Address and the elevation to the episcopacy of two colored men, Robert E. Jones and Matthew Clair, both being elected as regular superintendents, which was the first time that such action had been taken. Prior to this, Francis Burns (1858), John W. Roberts (1866), Isaiah B. Scott (1904), and Alexander P. Camphor (1916)--all colored--had been elected missionary bishops in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishops Burns and Roberts were both of Liberia, West Africa.

        Portions of the Episcopal Address, presented by Bishop William F. McDowell, read more like the Sermon on the Mount and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address than any literary production that has come under the notice of the author. The following are some excerpts:

        First: The world is not a white man's world.

        Second: The Church of Jesus Christ is not a white man's Church.

        If we needed to take a text, we might well use any of the varied translations of a familiar verse: "God is no respecter of persons." "God does not show partiality." "God makes no distinction between one man and another." "God has no favorites, but he who reverences him and lives a good life in any nation is acceptable to him." Here, almost more than anywhere else, we desire to speak soberly as well as righteously and wisely. We do not wish to fan flames that ought to be quenched. We desire light even more than heat.

        The general facts are familiar. The white races number nearly half the human family; the yellow, black, brown, and red races the remainder. The yellow races are mostly in Asia; the black races, mostly in Africa and other tropical countries; the white races are everywhere and have taken control of most of the earth. The religious distribution is about as follows: Mohammedanism exists chiefly among the black, brown and yellow races, Buddhism chiefly among the brown races, Confucianism chiefly among the yellow races, and Christianity


Page 313

chiefly among the white races, with missionary results in all. These races live under all kinds of governments, and their fighting men have recently been thrown together in the war in a new and significant fashion.

        Some barriers have been broken down, but race misunderstanding, race prejudice, race assertion, and race discrimination are universal and acute. Men are still saying that some races are superior and some inferior, that "there are ordained races and ordained places," ruling races and subject races, races born to conquer and races born to be conquered. Our Christian sentiments have not kept pace with race changes, migrations, and contacts. We have had a blinding vision of humanity as one--one race, one soul, one blood--and a swift, pagan reaction and rebellion against it. Local conflicts and new irritations result to the hurt of all races and to the scandal of Christianity. Some of these outbreaks are small and near, but they portend a deeper, fiercer struggle that threatens to reach the proportions of a world scale before the world gets much older.

        In the United States we have two questions, both large--one much larger than the other. The smaller one is the suppression of local race riots, the prevention of race conflicts, and the elimination of irrational race prejudice. The conflicts and prejudices are not limited to one section or to two races. They are in the South, in the North, and on both coasts. The larger problem is the making of a program for the whole nation, and the establishment of right relations between all races here. One plan seeks to avoid conflicts, the other to create a permanent basis of life together in the name and spirit of Christ. And in the United States, as in the world at large, the Christian Church must be the chief force in securing the final result. Here, as in the world, the Church must possess a positive program of leadership adequate to create conditions, and not simply a makeshift policy of gathering up the pieces after the catastrophe has occurred.


        For many reasons, special significance was attached to the election of Robert E. Jones and Matthew Clair as bishops without limitations. It was a radical and an advanced step, and for years it had been a bone of contention in the Methodist Episcopal Church. That it should have been accomplished while negotiations were pending for unification with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is a fact of deep import. It evidences that the leaders of the Methodist Episcopal Church had fully made up their minds that whatever might be the consequences, they would show themselves as aggressive as the leaders of the Nation in offering a full opportunity, and demanding a square deal, for merit, worthiness, and qualification without regard to race or color. Bishop Robert E. Jones was


Page 314

born February 19, 1872, at Greensboro, N. C. At the time of his election he was the editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate. Bishop Matthew Clair was born October 21, 1865, at Union, W. Va. At the time of his election he was a district superintendent in the Washington Annual Conference. Bishop Jones' first assignment was to the New Orleans Area, composed of the Central Alabama, Mississippi, Upper Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and West Texas Annual Conferences. Bishop Clair was assigned to the Monrovia Area, composed of the Liberia Annual Conference. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was not marked by any outstanding event. There was no election of bishops.

        The twenty-sixth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church convened in the Coliseum in Saint Louis, Mo., on Monday, May 3, 1920. It was composed of 14 active bishops, 9 general officers, 14 college presidents, 11 deans of theological seminaries and departments, 405 ministerial delegates, and 152 lay delegates. Total, 605, an increase of 14 over the General Conference of 1916. There were 82 Annual Conferences represented. The Quadrennial Sermon was delivered by Bishop J. Albert Johnson. The Episcopal Address was read by Bishop J. S. Flipper. The General Conference Journal comprises 397 pages, 151 less than that of the Journal of the General Conference of 1916.

        The morning of the first day's session was devoted to religious services, including the delivery of the Quadrennial Sermon and the administration of the holy communion, in which all of the bishops participated. The services began at 10 a. m. and were presided over by the senior bishop, B. F. Lee, who was the presiding officer throughout the day. The opening prayer was delivered by Bishop C. S. Smith and is printed in full in the General Conference Journal.

        The Quadrennial Sermon, delivered by Bishop J. Albert Johnson, was a distinct feature of the General Conference. It was a masterly effort delivered without the aid of manuscript, and with a great display of spiritual energy. Text: John 16. 12, 13. Subject: "The Mission of the Spirit." The following synopsis of the sermon is an inadequate representation of the whole:


Page 315

        The ages of the world are divisible into three dispensations, presided over by the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

        In the dispensation of the Father, God was known as the Creator; the creation manifested His eternal power and God-head, and the religion of mankind was the religion of nature.

        In the dispensation of the Son, God manifested himself to humanity through man; the eternal Word spoke through the inspired and gifted of the human race to those who were uninspired and ungifted. This was the dispensation of the prophets. Its climax was the advent of the Redeemer; it was completed when perfect humanity manifested God to man. The characteristic of this dispensation was that God revealed himself by an authoritative voice speaking from without, and the highest manifestation of God whereof man was capable was a divine humanity.

        The age in which we at present live is the dispensation of the Spirit, in which God has communicated himself by the highest revelation and in the most intimate communion of which man is capable: no longer through creation, no more as an authoritative voice from without, but as a law within; as a spirit mingling with a spirit. This is the dispensation of which the prophet said of old that the time would come when "they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know ye the Lord:" that is, by a will revealed by external authority from the human mind: "for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." This is the dispensation too, of whose close the Apostle Paul speaks thus: "then shall the Son also be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

        The outward humanity is to disappear so that the inward union may be complete. To the same effect he speaks in another place, "yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." For this reason the ascension was necessary before Pentecost could come; the Spirit was not given, we are told, because Jesus was not yet glorified. It was necessary for the Son to disappear as an outward authority in order that he might re-appear as an inward principle of life. Our salvation is no longer God manifested in a Christ WITHOUT US, but as Christ WITHIN US, the hope of glory.

        In chapters 14, 15, 16, and 17 of the Gospel of Saint John, we enter the inner chamber of the Holy of Holies of the New Testament. Our Lord is preparing for his departure--his physical separation from his disciples; the cloud of the approaching trouble casts its shadow on their hearts. To Him all is distinctly clear; they feel impalpably, or vaguely, the impending tragedy. They are to witness in the succeeding days the abuse, loneliness, execration, contumely, mockery, and torture on the Cross, of His lingering death; His friends helpless; all the hopes they had fostered and built on Him extinguished. To prepare them and His disciples for all time (chap. 17, 20), for a like experience of world sorrow (chap. 16, 33), and that He may point out to them and to the Church universal the source of their hope, their peace, their comfort, their joy, and their life--moral and spiritual--in these chapters,


Page 316

He speaks to the twelve and through them to His disciples in all ages, and finally offers for them and for us that prayer which we may accept as the revelation of His eternal intercession for His followers.

        The discourse is not philosophical nor is it critical; it is purely sympathetic. It is delivered or addressed to friends, and it is to be interpreted rather by the sympathies and spiritual experiences than by a philosophical analysis.

        It sets forth the source of all comfort, strength, guidance, and spiritual well-being in the truth of the direct personal presence of a seemingly absent but really present, a seemingly dead but really living, a seemingly defeated but really victorious Lord and Master. This truth appears and re-appears in different forms in these chapters like a theme in a sublime symphony. At one time it is the promise of the Spirit's presence, again of Christ's, then of the Father's (chap. 14. 16, 18, 21, 23). Now the disciples are commanded to turn their thoughts toward this spiritual presence, this Divine Eminence, for their own sake (chap. 16. 7). Again the appeal is to the love they cherish for their Master (chap. 14. 28). The condition for this personal experience of the invisible presence of their God and Saviour is assured to be obedience in the daily life to the law of love (chap. 14. 21-23; 15. 10). The outcome is declared to be a constant growth in the knowledge of divine truth (chap. 14. 26; 16. 12-13); a singular peace and joy (chap. 14. 27; 15. 11); a supernatural strength in sorrow (chap. 16. 20-22). It is not constructed as a sermon, but a sympathetic conversation in which the overflowing heart seeks to relieve itself in oft repeated utterance. He views, reviews, and re-reviews the topic, and finally terminates His conference with the disciples in these words: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you."

        The inspiration of this gracious promise to the disciples of our Lord moved Dr. Watts to sing:


                         "Go preach my gospel," saith the Lord . . . . . . . . .


                         "I'll make my great commission known
                         And ye shall prove my gospel true,
                         By all the works that I have done,
                         And all the wonders ye shall do."

        Following the sermon, the holy sacrament was administered. Bishops Chappelle, Jones, Conner, and Beckett were the consecrators. The benediction was pronounced by Bishop I. N. Ross.


Page 317

        A part of the afternoon session was devoted to the work of organization. William D. Johnson, of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference, was elected secretary with the privilege of selecting his assistants. He chose R. S. Jenkins, R. B. Smith, T. James Williams, R. L. Pope, H. C. Beasley, assistants; E. H. Coit, J. T. Gibbons, M. F. Sydes, S. T. West, J. M. Wheeler, G. A. Gregg, reading clerks; W. E. Wittenberg, R. D. Brooks, J. B. Green, G. B. Carnes, W. H. Davis, W. H. Bowen, recording secretaries; W. Boyd Lawrence, W. A. Smith, S. M. Kirk, C. F. Billings, H. W. King, C. Nyambolo, J. H. L. Rhone, S. E. C. Lord, A. L. Brisbane, W. W. Allen, special assistants. F. J. Reeves, of the Macon, Ga., Annual Conference, was chosen marshal. His assistants consisted of one from each episcopal district. J. H. Claybourne was elected the official reporter. The Standing Committees as nominated by the bishops were read by Bishop Hurst. On motion, they were approved.

        At this juncture Bishop J. S. Flipper was presented and began the reading of the Episcopal Address. When he had reached page thirty-nine, on motion of T. H. Jackson, of the North Ohio Annual Conference, the further reading of the Address was suspended and made the special order after the reading of the Minutes on Tuesday morning.

        The Address was presented under twenty-four topics and comprises seventy-one printed pages. The outstanding topics were those relating to a constitution and to a supreme court for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The following extracts indicate the general scope and trend of the Address:

        The solidarity of the Church has been preserved, and especially the Church of our choice and persuasion. Attacks have been made upon the Church in general, because of the World War. It was claimed by some that had the Church been as influential as it should have been, there would have been no war; neither the great loss of life. The Church does not and will not plead guilty to this charge. The Church holds the oracles of God, which are as pure and holy to-day as ever; and the failure lies not in the Church, but in the departure of nations and their rulers from the teachings of Holy Writ, which inevitably brings confusion and disaster.

        We, as the accredited representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, from the four cardinal points of the earth have assembled here in the strength and power of Jehovah, whose glory covers the heavens, and whose praise fills the earth, with our eyes upon the Sun of Righteousness, that lighteth every man that cometh into the


Page 318

world. We seek His guidance so that in deliberate and mature thought and consideration, we may enact such legislation as will glorify God, lengthen the cords, and strengthen the stakes of our beloved Zion, and map out a more progressive, and a more intensive and extensive program for both home and foreign missionary work.

CHURCH CONSTITUTION

        Every organized body must of necessity have a constitution expressing in specified terms a stable foundation as a basis or fundamental principle or principles that give life and zest to the organized body. A constitution is a system of fundamental laws that governs the organization, in conformity to which all statutory laws are enacted; said constitution begins and preserves the solidarity of the whole and brings into harmonious relation the several parts that are common to the whole.

        The Church as an organic body must have certain basic laws or principles on which it is established and out of which must arise the declarations of its faith and doctrines that must claim and demand the attention and fidelity of its devotees and adherents. The basic rules of Methodism in general form the system of fundamental laws of every branch of Methodism, and it is befitting that the African Methodist Episcopal Church should set forth what she believes to be the constitution upon which she rests as an organized body of Christian believers.

        Since we have been in line with Methodism in general from its beginning, we believe that the constitution of the African Methodist Episcopal Church should consist of: "The Articles of Religion," "Catechism of Faith," "The General Rules," "The Restrictive Rules," and "The Composition of General and Annual Conferences and Rules Governing these Bodies," these rules or laws to be considered constitutional and all other rules or laws statutory.

SUPREME COURT OF AFRICAN METHODISM

        The creation of a court known as the Supreme Court of African Methodism apparently may be considered an innovation both in our Church and in Methodism in general; but from the broad viewpoint of the origin of the Church and its development for now more than a hundred years, it is not an innovation nor a departure from the work of the fathers, but the outgrowth of what was inherent in the Church when it was organized and had basic or fundamental laws, notwithstanding its necessity and utility may not have been observed nor understood by the fathers.

        Wherever there are basic laws there is a constitution, and wherever there is legislation there must be statutory laws; and the existence of both will at some time face the situation of the unconstitutionality of law, and this will necessitate some tribunal with the power and authority to pass upon it. All statutory law should conform to the constitution of the Church, but since men are not perfect, they will, under


Page 319

stress of excitement and lack of mature deliberation, pass laws that re-act in their execution against the best interests of all concerned; and therefore, there should exist some authorized judicial body to pass upon the legality of such Conference legislation, either to sustain or to declare it unconstitutional; and for this purpose, if the African Methodist Episcopal Church sets apart its constitution--and it has one, even if it does not define it--there should be a supreme court of African Methodism, and the composition of said court should be left to the wise and judicious action of the General Conference.

        Should the General Conference in its judgment see that such a court would be unwise, then the bishops should be given veto power to check harmful and hasty legislation, provided that a two-thirds vote of the General Conference shall be required to over-ride the veto of the bishops.

MOB VIOLENCE

        The various forms of governments that have existed and that now exist in the world have been constituted to safeguard both the personal and property rights of those who are its citizens or subjects; certain fixed laws and statutes have been enacted to adjust legally all differences, and to punish all infractions of said laws and statutes. The highest function that can be performed by any government is the protection of life and property; this gives stability to the government and security to its citizens or subjects in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. The fact that "The powers that be are ordained of God," proves that man needs constituted authority to order aright his dealings with his fellow man. Nothing substantiates this more than that God himself is our Sovereign Ruler, and exercises over all his moral government with moral laws, defining our duties to him and to man. The subversion of municipal, civil, or national government not only weakens its power, but also leaves its citizens defenseless, and a prey to the wickedness and violence of those who stand in defiance of law and order.

        The bishops, ministers, and laity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church have never condoned crime in any person of any race or color, and they register most pronouncedly their condemnation of the forcible violation of the chastity of womanhood of every race. But at the same time, the African Methodist Episcopal Church equally marshals every fiber of its Christian manhood, and all its moral and intellectual strength against the burning, mutilating, or lynching of any human being of any race by mob violence. It stands positively, manfully, determinedly, unconquerably, fixedly, and decisively, for law and order, and the prosecution of all criminals according to the statutory law as enacted by the legislative bodies of every State. We protest in the name of God and the laudable principles of justice against any and every act of mob violence as a punishment for crime; and we appeal to the Christian conscience of this country to rise to the exalted plane of liberty, justice, right, and the elements that constitute


Page 320

stable and established government, and to protect every citizen, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, in every right, privilege, and immunity guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the States thereof.

PROHIBITION

        The African Methodist Episcopal Church, a branch of the Church militant, must ever in accordance with divine teachings and holy Commandments preach, practice, and enforce prohibition, blessing her communicants and adding her quota of influence to the highest and noblest Christian civilization.

EVANGELISM

        African Methodism needs an awakening in evangelism, and it is our hearts' desire and most devout wish that this General Conference will provide for a quadrennial evangelical movement, to begin at some stated time upon the adjournment of the General Conference, and that it continue during the entire quadrennium; and that each minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church become an evangelical flaming torch, lighted from heaven's burning and holy altar, scattering live coals from between the wings of the Seraphim, who stand on either side of heaven's throne of unexcelled beatific whiteness, in their antiphonal chant, crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."

RECOMMENDATIONS

        First. That the Women's Missionary Societies remain intact; the one to be known as the Woman's Home Missionary Society and the other as the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society. That the Mite Missionary Society shall hereafter be known as the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, operating in foreign fields exclusively, and that the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society shall be known as the Woman's Home Missionary Society; both operating under the supervision of the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        Second. That discretionary power be given the bishops in making appointments for more than five years. That they may call for the advice of the Council of Bishops and failing to do so for cause, they shall confer with the bishops of the two adjoining districts.

        Third. That three bishops be elected.

        Fourth. That each station and circuit raise one dollar or more for the American Bible Society, said amount to be brought to the Annual Conference like all other funds.

        Fifth. That West Africa be placed under the Missionary Department and that a bishop be detailed from time to time to visit that field.

        Sixth. That ways and means be devised to have a Drive for Five Million Dollars to cover a term of five years.


Page 321

        Seventh. That a course in missions be established at Payne Theological Seminary.

        Eighth. That the General Conference devise means whereby the statistics of the Church may be gathered and compiled.

        Ninth. That the Western Christian Recorder be revived and an editor elected.

        Tenth. That power be given the bishops to select an official accountant to audit once a year, or as often as necessary, the books of our various departments, and also our schools.


        The evening session of the first day was devoted to the delivery of welcome addresses and responses. The address of welcome on behalf of the Fifth Episcopal District was delivered by Mr. Willis O. Tyler, of the California Annual Conference; on behalf of Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church, by C. A. Williams, the pastor; and on behalf of the city, by Hon. William T. Finley, representing the Mayor. Responses were delivered by Bishop J. H. Jones; W. T. Vernon, of the West Tennessee Annual Conference; and R. C. Ransom, editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review.

        The first major proposition presented was that of the Committee on organic union. This was at the afternoon session of the second day. The report will be found in full in the chapter under the head of organic union. Action on the report was taken and it was adopted by the General Conference as a committee of the whole on the afternoon of the fourth day.

        The anniversary of the Missionary Society was held on the evening of the second day with Bishop J. Albert Johnson as the presiding officer. The principal speakers were Bishop I. N. Ross; J. P. Richards, of Sierra Leone, West Africa; Bishop W. W. Beckett; F. M. Gow, of South Africa; and J. W. Rankin, Missionary Secretary. At the anniversary of the Educational Department, which was held on the evening of the fourth day, Bishop W. D. Chappelle presided with the following as the principal speakers: A. S. Jackson, Secretary of Education; R. W. Mance, president of Allen University; William A. Fountain, president of Morris Brown University; J. R. Campbell, president of Lampton College; John A. Gregg, president of Edward Waters College; and W. S. Scarborough, president of Wilberforce University.

        On the evening of the tenth day, the Episcopal Committee submitted a report recommending that five bishops be elected,


Page 322

and that the election be made the special order of the day for Thursday, May 13, at 10 a. m.; at which time William D. Johnson, of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference; A. J. Carey, of the Chicago Annual Conference; W. S. Brooks, of the Baltimore Annual Conference; William T. Vernon, of the West Tennessee Annual Conference; and William A. Fountain, president of Morris Brown University, Atlanta, Ga., were elected.

        The election of general officers took place immediately after the election of bishops, with the following results: Business Manager of the Book Concern, D. M. Baxter, of the East Florida Annual Conference; Editor of the Christian Recorder, R. R. Wright, Jr., of the Philadelphia Annual Conference (previously elected 1912, 1916); Financial Secretary, John R. Hawkins, of the North Carolina Annual Conference (previously elected 1912, 1916); Secretary of Education, A. S. Jackson, of the Central Texas Annual Conference (previously elected 1912, 1916); Secretary of Missions, J. W. Rankin, of the Northeast Texas Annual Conference (previously elected 1912, 1916); Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, R. C. Ransom, of the New York Annual Conference (previously elected 1912, 1916); Secretary of The Sunday School Union, Ira T. Bryant, of the Central Alabama Annual Conference (previously elected 1908, 1912, 1916); Editor of the Southern Christian Recorder, G. W. Allen, of the Alabama Annual Conference (previously elected 1904, 1908, 1912, 1916); Editor of the Western Christian Recorder, J. D. Barksdale, of the Missouri Annual Conference; Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League, S. S. Morris, of the Virginia Annual Conference.

        The consecration of the newly elected bishops took place on Sunday morning, May 16, with the senior bishop, B. F. Lee, in charge, who announced as the opening hymn, No. 278. Prayer was offered by Bishop J. Albert Johnson. The second hymn, No. 612, was announced by Bishop C. S. Smith. The Scripture was read by Bishop L. J. Coppin. The Decalogue was led by Bishop H. B. Parks. Bishop Evans Tyree preached the sermon. Text: Acts 20. 32.

        Bishop-elect William Decker Johnson was presented by F. M. Johnson, of the Southwest Georgia Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Lee and Heard, assisted by


Page 323

Thomas H. Jackson, of the North Ohio Annual Conference; A. L. Murray, Central Mississippi Annual Conference; W. A. Lewis, West Tennessee Annual Conference; and N. J. McCracken, Chicago Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect Archibald James Carey was presented by S. L. Birt, of the Chicago Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Coppin and Hurst, assisted by W. H. Peck, of the Missouri Annual Conference; E. Wilson, Chicago Annual Conference; J. R. Ransom, Kansas Annual Conference; and Charles Bundy, North Ohio Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect William Sampson Brooks was presented by Anderson P. Gray, of the Tennessee Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Johnson and Conner, assisted by Richard R. Wright, Jr., of the Philadelphia Annual Conference; C. Emery Allen, Michigan Annual Conference; and Thomas Y. Moore, West Texas Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect William Tecumseh Vernon was presented by Charles H. Shelto, of the West Tennessee Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Jones and Ross, assisted by William T. Strong, of the North Mississippi Annual Conference; R. H. Bumry, Pittsburgh Annual Conference; J. D. Dennis, East Arkansas Annual Conference; and W. B. Brooks, North Missouri Annual Conference.

        Bishop-elect William Alfred Fountain was presented by J. T. Hall, of the Macon Annual Conference, and was consecrated by Bishops Flipper and Chappelle, assisted by J. A. Lindsay, of the Atlanta Annual Conference; W. T. Pope, Central Arkansas Annual Conference; and L. G. Duncan, Alabama Annual Conference.

        Other matters acted upon during the Conference were: the motion that the bishops be requested to submit a supplementary report defining their attitude toward the Inter-Church World Movement; the adoption of a resolution favoring the withdrawal of the military occupation from Haiti; the approval of a plan for the purchase of a new site and the erection of a building for the Book Concern; the defeat of the proposition to establish woman's suffrage in the Church by a vote of 230 nays to 195 yeas; the adoption of a resolution creating a Men's Missionary Movement; the increase of the salary of a bishop from $2,500 per annum to $3,500; the increase of the


Page 324

salary of a retired bishop from $1,250 per annum to $1,750; the increase of the salary of the general officers from $1,350 per annum to $2,250; the fixing of the salary of the editor of the Woman's Missionary Recorder at $750 per annum and that of the assistant editor at $250 per annum, to be paid out of the funds of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society, and of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society; the creation of four Annual Conferences--South Alabama, Central Louisiana, Northwest Mississippi, and North Texas; the adoption of the report of the committee on the Federation of Colored Methodist Churches; legalizing the Council of Bishops; the elimination of the bishops as vice-presidents of The Sunday School Union; establishing the right of persons to be received into full membership without the necessity of serving a probationary period of three months; the allowing of persons coming from other sections of our Church without certificates to be admitted into full membership; the establishment of a two-years' course for the training of deaconesses in our Church schools; providing for the licensing of women as missionaries; requiring the membership of the Board of Publication of the Publication Department, and of the Board of Managers of The Sunday School Union to consist of one member from each Episcopal District; providing for representation in the Fifth Ecumenical Methodist Conference, London, England, September 6-16, 1921; the election of Bishop C. S. Smith as Historiographer in lieu of an assignment to the supervision of an episcopal district; substituting the word "consecration" for "ordination" in the service for the ordination of bishops.

        One hundred and twenty-four bills and petitions were presented during the first five days and were referred to appropriate committees. No bills nor petitions were presented after this time.

        The introductions comprised those of Dr. J. M. Robinson, of Chicago, Ill., a fraternal delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. J. A. Hamlett, editor of the Christian Index, a fraternal delegate from the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church; General Julian S. Carr, of North Carolina, a philanthropist, and a friend of the colored people; Rev. Luther Wiseman, D.D., of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Great Britain and Ireland; Rev. W. C. Brown, a fraternal delegate from the


Page 325

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; and Congressman L. C. Dyer, author of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill.

NECROLOGY

        Numbered among those who had been called to depart this life were Bishop Cornelius T. Shaffer, D.D., who died in Lansing, Mich., March 27, 1919; J. Frank McDonald, D.D., editor of the Western Christian Recorder, November, 1918; Professor H. T. Kealing, A.M., president of Western University; John T. Jenifer, D.D., Historiographer of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, March, 1919; and Mrs. Amanda Flipper, wife of Bishop J. S. Flipper, December 24, 1918.

EPISCOPAL DISTRICTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

WORLD WIDE METHODISM

        An event of more than passing interest to world-wide Methodism was the convening of the Fifth Ecumenical Methodist Conference in the Central Hall, Westminster, London, England, September 6-16, 1921. Bishops C. S. Smith, L. J. Coppin, J. S. Flipper, W. H. Heard, W. D. Chappelle, J. H. Jones, W. W. Beckett, W. D. Johnson, A. J. Carey, and W. A. Fountain; Revs. R. R. Wright, Jr., J. B. Bell, C. E. Allen, H. N. Newsome, S. L. Green, G. W. Allen, and J. C. Caldwell; Professor W. S. Scarborough, Professor J. R. Hawkins, Professor A. S. Jackson, Dr. A. T. White, and Dr. J. H. Hale were the delegates designated to represent the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishops Flipper, Chappelle, Beckett, and Fountain, and Dr. Hale were not in attendance. The visitors connected


Page 327

with the African Methodist Episcopal Church were Bishop John Hurst and wife; Dr. Evelyn T. Coppin, wife of Bishop L. J. Coppin; Mrs. Elizabeth Carey and Miss Annabelle Carey, wife and daughter of Bishop A. J. Carey; and Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Watson, of Albany, Ga.

        A preliminary service was held in Wesley's Chapel, City Road, on the evening of September 6, when the Conference Sermon was delivered by Rev. S. P. Rose, D.D., a professor in Wesleyan College, Montreal, Canada. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was represented on the program by Bishop L. J. Coppin; Bishop J. H. Jones; Rev. S. L. Green, president of Shorter College, Little Rock, Ark., and Rev. R. R. Wright, Jr., editor of the Christian Recorder. Those who participated in the general discussions were Bishop A. J. Carey, Bishop J. H. Jones, Bishop C. S. Smith, Dr. Evelyn T. Coppin, and Bishop W. D. Johnson. Bishop C. S. Smith was a member of the Business Committee and presided at the second session of the eighth day--Tuesday, September 13. At the second session of the ninth day--Wednesday, September 14--Bishop J. H. Jones conducted the devotional services and Bishop L. J. Coppin read an essay on "Drifts to and from the Church."

        In the discussion following the first address of the second day, on "Ten Years' Retrospect of Methodist Work in the Western Section," Bishop A. J. Carey delivered an address. In the discussion following the first address of the first session of the third day on "The Relation of Modern Doctrine to Christian Thought," Bishop J. H. Jones delivered an address. At the second session of the fourth day Bishop C. S. Smith delivered an address on "Christian Unity." Following the first address of the first session of the eighth day, on "Women's Work," Dr. Evelyn T. Coppin delivered an informing and brilliant address. At the second session of the same day Rev. S. L. Green delivered the first address on "The Church and the Young: How to Train and How to Use." In the discussion that followed the first address of the first session of the tenth day, on "The Changing Moral Standards of the Age," Bishop A. J. Carey spoke. At the second session of the tenth day, Rev. R. R. Wright, Jr., delivered the first address on "The Church and Social Morality." In the discussion following the first address of the first session of the eleventh day on "Responsibility


Page 328

of Capital and Labor," Bishop W. D. Johnson was heard.

OTHER METHODISMS

        In this connection there are two outstanding events to be noted--the convening of the nineteenth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Hot Springs, Ark., May 1-22, 1922; and the assembling of the fourteenth session of the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church at Saint Louis, Mo., May 3-16, 1922. Among the proceedings characterizing the former was the election of five bishops--W. B. Beauchamp, J. E. Dickey, Samuel R. Hay, H. M. Dobbs, and Hiram Abiff Boaz; providing for the continuation of negotiations for unification with the Methodist Episcopal Church; the address of W. A. Bell, of Atlanta, Ga., a fraternal delegate from the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church; and the liberal views on the race issue expressed by Dr. J. A. Anderson and Judge J. S. Candler, a brother of Bishop W. A. Candler. In discussing the question of unification with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. J. A. Anderson, among other things, said:

We don't bind our Commissioners in advance to exclude anyone from legal membership in the constituency of this future Church into which we are hoping to organize ourselves. In the face of the New Testament that sounds to me to be rather unconstitutional. I want a church that is big enough and broad enough to take in righteous men and women of any race on earth. Sooner or later, when the world shall have been evangelized, you are destined to have a Church after the form of the Chinese, you are destined to have a Church after the form of the Japanese, you are destined to have a Church after the form of the Hindus, and I want it so. It isn't the business of the gospel to reduce everything here to a dead uniformity. It is the business of the gospel to lay hold upon every rightful institution and every rightful form of thought and send it into the life of human beings and draw them all into one form of life that shall be righteous here on earth. A year or two ago in this State we had a meeting in Little Rock where we had a delegation of what I would call the first hundred Negro preachers in Arkansas. Some of our Northern brethren wanted to hear them sing, and they sang two songs. One of them was "Swing low, sweet chariot." They moved my heart, as it moved many a heart in that assembly, to its profoundest depths.

        The following are the sentiments expressed by Judge J. S. Candler:


Page 329

The bugaboo of the membership in a General Conference of a few Negroes is held up to you. Well, I am a Georgian. I was born almost on the edges of a cotton patch. I have hoed cotton by the side of them. I have listened to their crooning; and I tell you, if I am ever so fortunate, by the grace of God, to get to heaven, I expect to meet my old Negro mammy; and if I don't find her, I am going to ask permission to go and look for her, because I know she is there. I am not afraid of that sort of thing.

        Mr. Bell's plea for larger freedom for his race combines all the elements of literary excellence. It is a distinct contribution to classical composition, and rings with the eloquence of Wendell Phillips. He has placed the entire body of American colored people under obligation to him. An excerpt from his address follows:

When our national security was threatened by a foreign foe and no honorable choice was left the government but to enter the late World War, men spoke much of national destiny, of world security for democracy, and of the right of self-determination for all peoples. Here in our own country, in the glorious republic of the West, in America, where the millions of her citizens possess no common lineage nor language nor tradition, where the streets are a babel of tongues and the homes a medley of memories running back through the centuries to alien pasts and into strange lands, we heard on every hand and from the lips of our white neighbors the prophecy that out of the terrific cataclysm of war our country would achieve a national oneness and a national brotherhood founded upon liberty and truth and in which love and justice would hold undisputed reign. Those prophecies sprang from a temporary spiritual feeling of unity evolved by impending national peril and the patriotic exaltation of the times. With the cessation of war came the inevitable bitter reactions of war, and so the hope of my people for liberty and brotherhood received a backset impossible for you to realize. That hope has, however, been strengthened by the work of the Commission on Inter-Racial Cooperation, a movement which seeks to bring together the intelligent Christian sentiment of the two races through conferences for mutual understanding and the working out of a program of social improvement and community uplift. The movement, as we understand it, aims to develop a condition and an attitude which will permit us the largest development of our selfhood in kinship with our fellow man. A big soul from your own Church is directing the Commission, and we hope that your great Church will contribute to this movement its utmost support. It is our ray of hope; the rising star of promise in an otherwise darkened outlook.

        Distinctive features characterizing the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church were the election


Page 330

of four bishops--R. T. Brown, president of Miles Memorial College, Birmingham, Ala.; James C. Martin, agent of the Publishing House; James Arthur Hamlett, editor of the Christian Index; John W. McKinney, a presiding elder in the Texas Annual Conference; the repeal of the automatic rule for the retirement of bishops adopted by the General Conference of 1914; and the creation of the office of Financial Secretary.

        The third meeting of the Tri-Council of Colored Methodist Bishops assembled in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Louisville, Ky., February 14-16, 1918. This meeting should have been held in February, 1914. Those in attendance from the African Methodist Episcopal Church were Bishops B. F. Lee, Evans Tyree, C. S. Smith, C. T. Shaffer, L. J. Coppin, H. B. Parks, J. S. Flipper, John Hurst, W. D. Chappelle, J. H. Jones, J. M. Conner, W. W. Beckett, and I. N. Ross. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was represented by Bishops G. W. Clinton, J. S. Caldwell, R. C. Bruce, G. L. Blackwell, A. J. Warner, G. C. Clement, W. L. Kyles, and J. W. Alstork. The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was represented by Bishops L. H. Holsey, R. S. Williams, E. Cottrell, C. H. Phillips, W. F. Jamison, R. A. Carter, and N. C. Cleaves. The Rev. John M. Goucher, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a representative of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were visitors, and after having been introduced, delivered addresses in which they set forth the importance of all Methodist bodies in America celebrating the Centennial of the organization of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

        On the evening of the first day, George W. Smith, mayor of the city, delivered a felicitous address of welcome. That which signalized the third meeting of the Tri-Council was the appointment of a Commission consisting of three bishops, three ministers, and three laymen from each of the participating bodies to consider the subject of organic union. It was agreed that the Commission should meet in Saint John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday, April 3, 1918. An address directed to the constituencies of the three participating bodies, chiefly dealing with the Migration Movement, the World War, After the War, and Unity Among Christians, was formulated and adopted. The main agreements


Page 331

of the first and second meetings of the Tri-Council were reaffirmed.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

        In this connection, a recrudescence of violence during 1921 and 1922 is regrettably noted; particularly is this true in relation to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. A stunning blow was dealt American civilization by an outburst of savagery at Kirwin, Texas, on Saturday afternoon, May 6, 1922, which resulted in the burning of three colored men on the public square, in the presence of practically all the inhabitants of the town--women and children included--as well as many from the surrounding country.

        The passage in 1922 by the national House of Representatives of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, and the proposal for Congress to authorize the loan of $5,000,000 to the Republic of Liberia, West Africa, engaged general attention.

BISHOP VERNON DETAINED ABOARD SHIP

        An event of exceptional significance in the affairs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was the detention aboard ship of Bishop W. T. Vernon and family on their arrival at Cape Town, South Africa, by order of an official of the Immigration Department; which led to the following correspondence, the whole thereof being self-explanatory:

(Copy)
PETITION

DETROIT, MICHIGAN,
April 18, 1921. To the Honorable Secretary of State
Of the United States,
State Department, Washington, D. C.

Your Honor:

        Your orators, a committee representing the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, beg to call your attention to the following averments, and most respectfully request that you give them the necessary consideration:

        FIRST. The African Methodist Episcopal Church, an ecclesiastical organization formed in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., United States of America, April, 1816, was duly recognized by the Government of Cape Colony, now a part of the Union of South Africa, March 12, 1901. A copy of the "Conditions of Recognition" is hereunto attached.


Page 332

        SECOND. May, 1900, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Columbus, Ohio, assigned Bishop L. J. Coppin to the supervision of our work in South Africa, where he continued for a period of four years.

        May, 1904, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Chicago, Ill., assigned Bishop C. S. Smith to the supervision of our work in South Africa, where he remained for two years.

        May, 1908, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Norfolk, Va., assigned Bishop J. Albert Johnson to the supervision of our work in South Africa. Bishop Johnson continued in the supervision of said work until May, 1916.

        May, 1916, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Philadelphia, Pa., assigned Bishop W. W. Beckett to the supervision of our work in South Africa.

        May, 1920, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Saint Louis, Mo., assigned Bishop W. T. Vernon to the supervision of our work in South Africa.

        THIRD. Bishop Vernon arrived in London, England, enroute to South Africa, December 2, 1920, accompanied by his wife and son. His passport to South Africa was viséd by the proper official in London. In addition to his passport, he carried letters of recommendation from prominent Americans, including one from former President Taft. Bishop Vernon served as Registrar of the United States Treasury during President Roosevelt's second administration.

        FOURTH. December 17, 1920, Bishop Vernon and family embarked at Southampton, England, for Cape Town, South Africa, where he arrived on Saturday, January 8, 1921. Instead of being allowed to land at Cape Town on the arrival of the ship, as were the other passengers, he was forcibly detained aboard ship by the immigration officer and informed that he could not land, on the ground that he was an undesirable alien. At four o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, he and his family were taken from the ship on which they had arrived and escorted, under guard, to the S.S. "Durham Castle," due to sail from Cape Town for Southampton, January 11, 1921.

        Through the energetic efforts of the American Consular force at Cape Town, Bishop Vernon and family were granted permission to land just two hours before the S.S. "Durham Castle" was scheduled to sail.

        FIFTH. For a period of three days and nights, Bishop Vernon and family were kept under guard in a state of painful anxiety and suspense; and this notwithstanding the African Methodist Episcopal Church had been formally recognized by the Government of Cape Colony, March 12, 1901. It is to be remembered that Bishop Vernon held an American passport viséd by the proper official in London, giving him permission to proceed to South Africa.


Page 333

        SIXTH. In view of the foregoing, your orators pray your Honor to interrogate the British Government as to the cause of Bishop Vernon's detention at Cape Town, despite the formal recognition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by the Government of Cape Colony, March 12, 1901; feeling that an explanation should be made by the British Government, such as will comport with the dignity of American citizenship and the entente cordiale existing between friendly nations.

And your orators will ever pray.

Signed: C. S. SMITH,
Chairman of the committee.

J. ALBERT JOHNSON,
J. H. JONES.

Address of the Chairman,
87 East Alexandrine Avenue,
Detroit, Michigan.

(Copy)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington.
August 5, 1921.

C. S. SMITH, D.D.
Bishop of the A. M. E. Church,
87 East Alexandrine Avenue,
Detroit, Michigan.

Sir:

        The Department refers to its letter of April 26, 1921, in further reference to the detention at Cape Town on January 8, 1921, of Bishop William T. Vernon and encloses herewith for your information copies of a despatch and of its enclosure from the American Consul General at Cape Town, South Africa, regarding this matter.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
For the Secretary of State:

HENRY P. FLETCHER,
Under Secretary.

Enclosures:
From Consulate General,
Cape Town, South Africa,
June 22, 1921.

(Copy)
(Enclosure in Despatch No. 21, dated at Cape Town, South Africa,
June 22, 1921, File No. 855.)

AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL,
Cape Town, South Africa,
June 22, 1921.

        MEMORANDUM Regarding the detention of Bishop W. T. Vernon of the African Methodist Episcopal Church upon his arrival at Cape Town on January 8, 1921, and the subsequent successful efforts of this


Page 334

Consulate General in obtaining the South African Government's consent for him to remain in the Union.


        Bishop William T. Vernon of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Kansas, arrived in Cape Town from England on the S.S. "Llanstephan Castle" on the afternoon of January 8, 1921. He was detained from landing by the Immigration Department, Cape Town, and later transferred to the S.S. "Durham Castle," then in port, and there held subject to deportation.

        Bishop Vernon was detained under that portion of the Immigration Act of the Union of South Africa (No. 22 of 1913), which reads that "Any person or class of persons deemed by the Minister on economic grounds or on account of standard and habits of life to be unsuited to the requirements of the Union or any particular Province thereof," and under a general Ministerial order prohibiting the entry of all colored persons into the Union of South Africa.

        At the request of Bishop Vernon on Monday, January 10, 1921, I requested Vice Consul Allen to see him, and later I myself called upon him on board the S.S. "Durham Castle." Upon ascertaining the full details of his detention I immediately despatched the following telegram to the Minister of the Interior, Pretoria:

        "Pisar, American Viceconsul to Minister of the Interior, Pretoria.

        "Urgent. With reference to the refusal for permission to land withheld from Bishop William Vernon, colored, now on board steamship Durham Castle, the following is submitted further for your information, in view of which I respectfully request reconsideration your decision. Bishop Vernon served as Registrar of the United States Treasury for a number of years and is a person of recognized standing in the United States. Bishop Vernon's passport bears visés from the British Consul at New York granting permission to enter England and from the Foreign Office, London, granting permission to enter South Africa."

        To this telegram I received a reply from the Minister announcing that permission to land temporarily had been granted Bishop Vernon.

        The temporary permit granted Bishop Vernon was for a period of one month, he being obliged to give a cash guarantee of $400.

        After he supplied me with more complete details concerning himself and his Church, I addressed a letter to the Governor-General asking him whether Bishop Vernon could not be permitted to remain permanently in South Africa in view of the fact that his predecessors were allowed to enter and conduct the work of their organization, which had grown to considerable dimensions.

        On January 26, 1921, I had not yet received a reply to this letter, when the Prime Minister, General Smuts, came to Cape Town in the course of the Parliamentary election campaign then going on. I went to see him but he preferred I take the matter up with his secretary, who would do everything possible for me.


Page 335

        The latter suggested that I address a personal note to Col. Shawe, the Secretary for the Interior, then in Pretoria, and that he would also write to him setting forth General Smuts' favorable attitude toward the admission of Bishop Vernon into South Africa.

        I consequently addressed the following note to Col. Shawe.

(Copy)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA,
January 26, 1921.

DEAR COL. SHAWE:

        At the suggestion of the Prime Minister's Secretary, Mr. Brebner, I am writing you this personal note concerning the case of Bishop William T. Vernon of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who arrived in Cape Town by the S.S. "Llanstephan Castle," and whom the Union Government kindly consented to permit to remain for the period of one month.

        Bishop Vernon informed me that when he called at the British Embassy in Washington for the purpose of having his passport viséd to permit him to travel to South Africa he was referred to the British Passport Control Office at New York. This office viséd his passport, enabling him to travel to England, and instructed him to call at the Foreign Office, London, for his visé to South Africa. Bishop Vernon followed these instructions and was given a visé by the Foreign Office permitting him to travel to the Union.

        Bishop Vernon seeks to remain in South Africa for a period of years for the purpose of carrying on the work of Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which he states now has nearly fifteen thousand members and about one hundred ministers. He states that his Church has been recognized by the Union Government to the extent that they receive grants of land for schools and buildings. Their ministers hold traveling concessions and the right to marry.

        Bishop Vernon informed me further that he has come here to succeed other bishops who have regularly supervised the work of their Church in South Africa. From 1900 to 1904 Bishop L. J. Coppin of Philadelphia, Pa., was in charge; from 1904 to 1908 Bishop C. S. Smith of Detroit, Mich., and W. B. Derrick of New York; and from 1908 to 1916 Bishop J. Albert Johnson of Philadelphia, Pa., conducted the work. Bishop W. W. Beckett of Charleston, S. C., came in 1916, but soon returned to the United States on account of the war. Since then Rev. F. M. Gow has acted as superintendent while Bishop Vernon has been appointed for this quadrennium.

        Bishop Vernon is a man of recognized standing in the United States and prominent in his sphere of work. He was at one time President of the Western University of Kansas, one of the leading colored educational institutions of the United States. President Roosevelt appointed him registrar of the United States Treasury, which position he held for a number of years. In his own country he is looked upon as a man of the most upright character, sane and moderate in all his teachings.


Page 336

He desires to remain in South Africa to carry on the good work of his predecessors.

        I commend Bishop Vernon's case to you for your fullest consideration, believing that his teachings and actions will mutually serve the best interests of the Government and the Church. I trust that you will use your influence in granting Bishop Vernon the necessary permission to remain in South Africa to carry on the work of his predecessors.

Very respectfully yours,

(Signed) CHARLES J. PISAR.
American Vice Consul.

Colonel H. B. Shawe,
Secretary of the Interior,
Pretoria.


        On February 9, 1921, Col. Shawe replied as follows:

(Copy)

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Union Buildings, Pretoria.
9 Feb. 1921.

Dear Mr. Pisar.

        In reply to your letter of the 26th ultimo, regarding the admission of Bishop Vernon of the African Episcopal Church, I am able to inform you that the Honorable the Minister of the Interior agrees that Bishop Vernon shall be allowed to remain in the Union, and I have issued instructions to the Immigration Authorities at Cape Town accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed) H. B. SHAWE.


(Copy)

The American Vice-Consul,
Cape Town.

        In consequence of the above permission to remain in South Africa the Immigration Department, Cape Town, refunded to Bishop Vernon the cash guarantee he left with it at the time the temporary permit was granted.

        In connection with the above the Department is respectfully referred to my Despatch No. 3056 of February 15, 1921, wherein I enclosed copy of a letter of appreciation from Bishop Vernon for my efforts in his behalf, and the Department's reply of March 26, 1921, File 125.2756/25.

CHARLES J. PISAR,
American Vice Consul.


        Another event significant in the march of African Methodism was the laying of the corner-stone, on September 22, 1921, of


Page 337

the Monrovia College and Industrial Institute at Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, by Bishop William Sampson Brooks, who at the time was in charge of the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in West Africa. The site selected for the school comprises twelve acres of ground and is on the outskirts of Monrovia, on Crown Hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Montserrado River.

        The dimensions of the building are given as 148×60 feet, including a piazza 10 feet wide all around. It is to be three stories high, and to rest upon a stone foundation, the main structure to be built of cement blocks. The sills are to be of African hard wood with an imported iron frame, and it is said that when the structure is completed it will contain every modern facility for school purposes. The estimated cost of the ground, building, and equipment is $75,000. Besides giving a liberal college course, the institution will lay special emphasis on industrial training. It is intended that the institution shall form the nucleus of a Tuskegee Institute in Liberia. If sufficiently sustained and practically operated, it will exercise a potent influence in the educational and industrial development of Liberia. If the Republic of Liberia is to be perpetuated and maintained as the gateway to heathen Africa, it must be perpetuated, maintained, and led mainly by persons trained in the schools of Liberia. They must be fitted for the work of the reconstruction and redemption of Africa; and they must be persons who know the instincts, idiosyncrasies, and moral suasion of the African race.

        Bishop Brooks returned to America in the spring of 1922 and inaugurated a financial campaign with $50,000 as the objective to complete the building on Crown Hill. Up to July 1, 1922, he had secured about $15,000. Of this amount Bethel Church, Baltimore, Md., contributed $2,700. Whether it would have been the better part of wisdom to have planted the school in the hinterland among the raw natives rather than in close proximity to Monrovia is a question for the future to determine. The Liberian College is adjacent to Monrovia, where the Methodist Episcopal Church also has a school. The relatively small number of Americo-Liberians in Monrovia do not, in the opinion of the author, need further educational facilities through the founding of additional institutions of learning,


Page 338

in or adjacent to that community. The future of Liberia hinges on the civilization and development of the native. Bishop Brooks has been so zealous in the interest of the institution which he has founded that he merits both praise and favorable consideration. He has some of the qualities of Bishop William Taylor, to whom reference has already been made. He raised $20,000 prior to his initial trip to Liberia for the work there.

        The year 1921 witnessed another advance in the march of African Methodism. During this year Bishop W. A. Fountain went on a tour of inspection through the West Indies, and British and Dutch Guiana on the mainland of South America. He was accompanied by Professor A. S. Jackson, the Secretary of Education, and the Rev. R. C. Holbrook, of Arkansas.

        When organic union took place between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the British Methodist Episcopal Church, the former came into possession of the work which had been planted by the latter in the West Indies and British Guiana. In 1873 Bishop Willis Nazrey, of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, visited the West Indies, going as far south as Demerara, British Guiana. This Church had gained a foothold on the islands of Bermuda, Saint Thomas, Trinidad, and British Guiana, prior to 1888. Bishop R. R. Disney paid two visits to Demerara--1887, 1888. In 1899, and for the first time, Demerara was visited by a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the person of Benjamin Franklin Lee. Here he held a joint session of the Windward Islands and British Guiana Annual Conferences. Other joint sessions of these Conferences were held at Georgetown by Bishop C. S. Smith in 1901, Bishop John Hurst in 1914, and Bishop W. A. Fountain in 1921. In 1915 Bishop John Hurst, accompanied by Rev. J. W. Rankin, Secretary of Missions, visited Jamaica, British West Indies. They received a number of churches and organized the Jamaica Mission Conference, thereby gaining a foothold for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This work was visited by Bishop C. S. Smith in 1917 and by Bishop W. A. Fountain in 1922. In the latter year Rev. R. C. Holbrook and wife, of Arkansas, departed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        The early planting of the banner of the African Methodist


Page 339

Episcopal Church in Haiti and San Domingo has previously been referred to. Bishop J. P. Campbell was the first of our bishops to visit Haiti. He was accompanied by Rev. J. M. Townsend, who at the time was the Corresponding Secretary of the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Society. In December, 1899, Bishop James A. Handy visited Haiti. In 1901 this country was visited by Bishop C. S. Smith, who went there again in 1904 to represent the African Methodist Episcopal Church at the Centennial of the Independence of that Republic. Our chief missionary representatives in Haiti have been Revs. C. W. Mossell, S. P. Hood, S. George Dorce, John Hurst, T. O. Astwood, A. D. Holder, and S. E. Churchstone Lord; in San Domingo, Revs. A. H. Mevs, H. C. C. Astwood, and J. P. James. The latter has been our representative for over twenty years and is still there. By reason of length of service he is the dean of all our missionaries engaged in foreign work.

MEETINGS OF GENERAL CONFERENCES: 1860-1920

        1860, Pittsburgh, Pa., May 7-25; 1864, Philadelphia, Pa., May 2-27; 1868, Washington, D. C., May 4-26; 1872, Nashville, Tenn., May 6-24; 1876, Atlanta, Ga., May 1-18; 1880, Saint Louis, Mo., May 3-25; 1884, Baltimore, Md., May 5-26; 1888, Indianapolis, Ind., May 7-28; 1892, Philadelphia, Pa., May 2-23; 1896, Wilmington, N. C., May 4-22; 1900, Columbus, Ohio, May 7-25; 1904, Chicago, Ill., May 2-27; 1908, Norfolk, Va., May 4-21; 1912, Kansas City, Mo., May 6-23; 1916, Philadelphia, Pa., May 3-23; 1920, Saint Louis, Mo., May 3-18.


Page 340

CHAPTER XXII
DEPARTMENTS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

        THE Book Concern, located at 631 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Pa., is the oldest of all the Connectional Departments. The first edition of the Book of Discipline was published there in 1817. The first hymn book was published in 1818. Richard Allen, the first bishop, served in the capacity of general book steward from 1818 to 1826. Rev. Joseph M. Corr, the first regularly appointed general book steward, served from 1826 to 1835. In this year (1835) he reported that the sales of Disciplines and hymn books amounted to $300, and that he had a surplus of $60 as a nucleus for the "Publishing Fund." His death occurred in October, 1835, when he was succeeded by George Hogarth, a local deacon resident in Brooklyn, N. Y., who continued in office until 1848. During his incumbency the Book Concern was moved from Philadelphia to New York. It was next located in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1848. In this year Rev. Hogarth's term of office expired and he was succeeded by Augustus R. Green, whose term continued until 1852. During this year (1852) the Book Concern was moved back to Philadelphia, its present location. W. T. Catto was elected general book steward, his term continuing until 1854. The following have also served in this capacity: J. P. Campbell, 1854-1860; Elisha Weaver, 1860-1868; Joseph Woodlyn. 1868-1869; A. L. Stanford, 1869-1871; B. T. Tanner, 1871-1872; W. H. Hunter, 1872-1876; H. M. Turner, 1876-1880; Theodore Gould, 1880-1884; J. C. Embry, 1884-1896; T. W. Henderson, 1896-1900; R. H. W. Leake, 1900-1902; J. H. Collett, 1902-1909; R. R. Wright, Jr., 1909-1912; J. I. Lowe, 1912-1916; R. R. Wright, Jr., 1916-1920. In 1920 the present manager, D. M. Baxter, was appointed, and his term of office expires in 1924. He is planning the purchase of a new site and the erection of a building at a cost of $150,000, as the headquarters of the Publication Department. This is a very necessary and commendable undertaking. The receipts for the quadrennium ending March 31, 1920, were $135,881.63, an


Page 341

increase of 12½% over the preceding quadrennium. The disbursements for the same period, ending March 31, 1920, were $135,269.17.

        The general term Publication Department is now recognized as a more fitting and comprehensive term for the Book Concern. Three weekly papers, namely, the Christian Recorder, published at Philadelphia, Pa.; the Southern Christian Recorder, published at Nashville, Tenn.; and the Western Christian Recorder, published at Kansas City, Kan., are issued under the auspices of the Publication Department; also the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review (quarterly), published at Philadelphia, Pa.

        The Christian Recorder was established in 1852. Only fifteen issues were published in two years, 1852-1854. M. M. Clarke was the first editor. During the period from 1854-1856, twenty-four issues were brought out, J. P. Campbell being the editor and manager. Other incumbents of the office of editor covering the period between 1854 and 1868 were Elisha Weaver, A. L. Stanford, and James Lynch. At the General Conference of 1868, B. T. Tanner succeeded to the editorship and continued in that capacity until May, 1884. His successor was B. F. Lee, who continued in the office until May, 1892. He was succeeded by H. T. Johnson, who served until 1909. He was followed by R. R. Wright, Jr., who was chosen by the Publication Board to fill out Rev. Johnson's unexpired term. Rev. Wright served as editor and manager from 1909 to May, 1912. At the General Conference of that year he was elected editor, and reelected in 1916 and in 1920. His present term expires in May, 1924.

        The Southern Recorder, which was initiated as a private enterprise by Bishop H. M. Turner about the year 1886, was subsequently purchased by J. C. Embry for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was recognized as one of the Connectional organs by the General Conference of 1888, and its name was changed to the Southern Christian Recorder. At the same General Conference, M. E. Bryant was elected managing editor. His career was short, as he died at Mobile, Ala., in 1890. His body was interred at Selma, Ala., where he had formerly lived. At the meeting of the Council of Bishops, at Jacksonville, Fla., in February, 1891, C. L. Bradwell was


Page 342

elected to succeed him as managing editor. At the General Conference of 1892, A. M. Green was elected. At the General Conference of 1896, R. M. Cheeks was chosen, and at his death, which occurred at the General Conference of 1900, G. E. Taylor succeeded to the position. In 1904, Rev. Taylor was displaced by G. W. Allen, who was re-elected in 1908, 1912, 1916, and 1920. His present term will expire in May, 1924.

        The Western Christian Recorder was established as a private enterprise by J. Frank McDonald in 1891, and was adopted by the General Conference of 1904 as one of the Connectional organs. J. F. McDonald was continued as managing editor until he departed this life, in November, 1918. At the General Conference of 1920, the present incumbent, J. D. Barksdale, was elected. His term will expire in May, 1924.

        The establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review grew out of a suggestion made by B. T. Tanner, presumably about the year 1883. Dr. Tanner's suggestion pointed simply to the launching of a quarterly publication which was to be a vehicle of expression for the higher order of intellectuals among the ministry and laity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At the General Conference of 1884, the suggestion assumed concrete form, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review was created, with Dr. Tanner as its first managing editor. On his election to the bishopric by the General Conference of 1888, he was succeeded by L. J. Coppin, who held the office until 1896. At the General Conference of that year H. T. Kealing was elected managing editor and continued in office until the General Conference of May, 1912, when he was succeeded by the present incumbent, R. C. Ransom. The latter was reelected in 1916 and 1920. His present term will expire in May, 1924.

MISSIONARY DEPARTMENT

        The Missionary Department ranks second in point of seniority as an organized force. It was established by an act of the General Conference of 1844. The General Conference of 1864 adopted a constitution for the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Society. Rev. John M. Brown was elected secretary and a general board was provided for. The following persons have served as secretaries: John M. Brown,


Page 343

1864-1868; James A. Handy, 1868-1872; George W. Brodie, 1872-1876; R. H. Cain, 1876-1880; J. M. Townsend, 1880-1888; W. B. Derrick, 1888-1896; H. B. Parks, 1896-1908; W. W. Beckett, 1908-1912; J. W. Rankin, 1912-1924 (expiration of present term).

        The receipts of the department for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1922, were $68,750.35. Total expenditures for the same period, $66,944.02.

        The Voice of Missions (monthly) is the official organ of the Missionary Department. It was founded in 1892.

        Two potent auxiliaries to the Missionary Department are the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society, organized at Washington, D. C., May 8, 1874, and adopted by the General Conference of 1876; and the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, organized at South Bend, Ind., in 1893, and adopted by the General Conference of 1896. The first corps of officers of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society consisted of Mrs. M. A. Campbell, president; Mrs. C. M. Burley, recording secretary; Mrs. J. H. Hunter, corresponding secretary; and Mrs. Harriet A. Wayman, treasurer.

        Mrs. G. T. Thurman was the first General Superintendent of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society.

        An important auxiliary to the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society is the Young People's Department, organized at Wilberforce, Ohio, in June, 1912, and approved by the General Conference of 1920. Mrs. Christine Smith was the first Secretary-Treasurer of this department.

        A helpful auxiliary to the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society is the Juvenile Department, organized at Philadelphia, Pa., in May, 1916, and adopted by the General Conference of 1920. Mrs. C. B. Thompson was the first superintendent.

        The official organ of the Woman's Parent Mite Missionary Society and the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society is the Woman's Missionary Recorder (monthly). It was established in May, 1912.

FINANCIAL DEPARTMENT

        The third department ranking in seniority is the Financial. The first plan of systematic giving for Connectional purposes


Page 344

was initiated by the General Conference of 1844. The plan required every minister to collect two cents a month from each member. This became commonly known as the "two-cent" money. At the General Conference of 1868, the "two-cent" plan was displaced by one requiring each minister to collect one dollar from each member annually. This system is the basis of the present Dollar Money system, upon which the Financial Department was organized at the General Conference of 1872, the executive officer being designated as the Financial Secretary. J. H. W. Burley was the first incumbent. He held the office from 1872 to 1879, when he departed this life. He was succeeded by J. C. Embry, who served out J. H. W. Burley's unexpired term. At the General Conference of 1880, B. W. Arnett was elected, and continued in office until 1888. He was succeeded by James A. Handy, 1888-1892; J. H. Armstrong, 1892-1896; M. M. Moore, 1896-1900; P. A. Hubbard, May, 1900-January 14, 1902; E. W. Lampton, 1902-1908; John Hurst, 1908-1912; J. R. Hawkins, 1912, 1916, 1920 (present term expires in 1924).

        The grand total of receipts from 1872 to March 31, 1922, are given as $6,225,582.73. Of this amount $2,554,310.44 was raised during the ten years of Mr. J. R. Hawkins' administration, 1912-1922.

        At the annual meeting of the Financial Board for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1922, the total amount of Dollar Money reported collected for that year was $328,936.28. This was a net increase of $7,098.58 over the previous fiscal year--about 63 cents per capita on the basis of 521,000 members--which is the high water mark of the success of the Dollar Money System after fifty years of continued effort.

Distribution of the Dollar Money, 1920-1924

        The forty per cent to the Financial Department covers the expenses of the salaries of bishops and general officers, allowances for widows and children of deceased bishops, the general expenses of all meetings of the Council of Bishops, expenses of all special Committees representing


Page 345

the Church organizations, and emergency claims of a general nature not otherwise provided for. This is disbursed through the Financial Department direct.

        The twenty per cent to the Financial Department is applied as a Pension Fund for superannuated ministers, widows and orphans of deceased ministers, and is paid quarterly by the Financial Secretary.

        The eight per cent to the Church Extension Department is used to extend the work in building new churches and is disbursed through the Department of Church Extension.

        The eight per cent to the Department of Education is used to supplement money raised on Educational Day for the support of our schools and colleges. It is disbursed through the Department of Education.

        The eight per cent to the Missionary Department is used to supplement the funds for mission work, with the special direction that one half of it is to be applied to the work in foreign fields and the other half for home mission work. It is disbursed through the Department of Missions.

        The sixteen per cent to the Annual Conference Finance Committee is used to help missionary preachers and to cover the contingent expenses of each Annual Conference and is disbursed through the Annual Conference Finance Committee.

EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT

        This department ranks fourth in seniority, and was inaugurated by the General Conference of 1876, the executive officer being designated as Commissioner of Education. J. C. Embry was the first incumbent of the office, and was serving as such when he was elected Financial Secretary in 1879. At the General Conference of 1880, B. F. Watson was elected Commissioner of Education, and his support was fixed on the commission basis, namely, that he was to receive 25% of all the money he collected. The General Conference of 1884 reorganized the Educational Department and designated the executive officer as Secretary of Education. W. D. Johnson was elected the first incumbent of the newly designated office, and was reelected in 1888 and in 1892. In 1896 John R. Hawkins succeeded to the office and was reelected in 1900, 1904, and 1908. In 1912, A. S. Jackson succeeded to the office, being reelected in 1916 and 1920. His present term expires in 1924.

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION

        The next department ranking in seniority is that of the Connectional Sunday School Union. As the primordial steps


Page 346

leading to the organization of this department are to be found elsewhere in this volume, it is not necessary to repeat them here. From the date of its organization to the present it has had but three executive officers or secretaries: C. S. Smith, August 11, 1882, to May, 1900; W. D. Chappelle, May, 1900, to May, 1908; Ira T. Bryant, May, 1908, to May, 1924 (expiration of present term). The headquarters of the Sunday School Union were located in Bloomington, Ill., from 1882 to 1887. They were then removed to Nashville, Tenn., where they are at present. The first real estate acquired by the Sunday School Union was a five-story stone-front building, located at 206 North Side of Public Square, Nashville, Tenn. This was purchased and paid for during the administration of C. S. Smith, who installed a complete printing plant and began the publication of the first literature ever published in this country especially for the use of colored Sunday schools. Five publications were regularly issued--the Teacher's Quarterly; the Scholars' Quarterly; the Juvenile Lesson Paper; the Gem Lesson Paper; and the Child's Recorder, which has since been supplanted by the Young Allenite.

        The success of W. D. Chappelle was signalized by the rehabilitation of the printing plant, which had been destroyed by fire, the installation of electric lights, and the conducting of the business on a high plane of efficiency.

        From the standpoint of concrete constructiveness, Ira T. Bryant is to be credited with the noblest achievements in the development of the Sunday School Union. Finding that the first building had become inadequate to meet the needs arising from the rapid growth of the business, he purchased a larger and more eligible site, on which he erected a substantial and commodious building. This he equipped with automatic sprinklers and installed a modern printing plant. The building is located on the corner of Eighth and Lea Avenues. The estimated value of the grounds, building, and equipment is $150,000. The lot includes five separate parcels, purchased between April 8, 1914, to September 3, 1919, inclusive, at a total cost of $23,294.75. The property on the Public Square was sold for $9,200 cash. The receipts of the business for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1920, were $88,075.09.

        A day to be known as Children's Day was incorporated in


Page 347

the organization of the Sunday School Union, to be observed annually, at which time a voluntary contribution was to be solicited from all the Sunday schools throughout the Connection for the support of said Sunday School Union. The first Children's Day was held in October, 1882. The contributions amounted to $737.77. The grand total of these contributions from October, 1882, to May, 1920, was $102,383.45.

CHURCH EXTENSION SOCIETY

        This department ranks fifth in seniority, having been organized at the General Conference of 1892. It thus far has had only two executive officers, or secretaries--C. T. Shaffer, 1892-1900, and B. F. Watson, the present incumbent, whose term of office does not expire until May, 1924. This department has aided hundreds of our struggling churches and saved not a few from the sheriff's hammer. Its resources are wholly inadequate to meet the demands for aid made upon it by struggling churches. The total receipts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1921, were $38,773.51.

ALLEN CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOR LEAGUE

        The junior department is the Allen Christian Endeavor League, tentatively brought into existence by the General Conference of 1900. B. W. Arnett, Jr., was elected its first secretary and served until May, 1904, when he was succeeded by E. J. Gregg. The latter served one term and was succeeded by J. C. Caldwell, who was reelected in 1912 and in 1916. At the General Conference of 1920, J. C. Caldwell refused to stand for reelection and was succeeded by S. S. Morris. His term will expire in May, 1924. This department has not received the measure of support that it merits. All that it needs to prove a potential factor in the moral advancement of our young people is for its plans to be given a fair trial.

INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING

WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY

        Frequently an enterprise has had many beginnings whose absolute date and character are indeterminable. One of the apparent movements that stand in organic relation to Wilberforce


Page 348

University, Wilberforce, Ohio, is dated September 21, 1844, when a committee was appointed in the Ohio Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to select a site for a seminary of learning on the "manual labor plan." One hundred and seventy-two acres, twelve miles west of Columbus, were purchased, and Union Seminary was projected.

        On September 28, 1853, the Cincinnati Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church selected a committee which recommended "the establishment of a literary institution of a high order for the education of colored people generally"; and in May, 1856, "Tawawa Springs," a beautiful summer resort in Greene County, Ohio, was purchased and Wilberforce University had location. By concurrent action, the Methodist Episcopal and the African Methodist Episcopal Conferences of Ohio entered into cooperation for the success of the university. It was incorporated August 30, 1856, and a board of twenty-four trustees selected, including Governor Salmon P. Chase, President R. S. Rust, Ashland Keith, of the colored Baptist denomination, and Bishop D. A. Payne; and the broad principle was adopted that there shall never be any distinction among the trustees, faculty, or students, on account of race or color.

        The university began its work in October, 1856, under Rev. M. P. Gaddis, as principal. He was succeeded by Professor James K. Parker, and he, by Dr. Richard S. Rust, the first president. During the first epoch, which terminated with the Civil War, the number of students, largely the children of southern planters, varied from seventy to a hundred. Revivals were experienced, and commendable progress made in literary culture. The war closed the school, and the Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew from the field.

        On March 10, 1863, Bishop D. A. Payne purchased the property for $10,000, and associated with himself Rev. James A. Shorter (afterwards a bishop) and Professor John G. Mitchell in the reorganization of the university, Bishop Payne becoming president.

        The Union Seminary property was sold, and the proceeds, faculty and pupils merged into a larger enterprise. On the day that Lincoln was assassinated, the main building was burned, and the growing work checked. But the heroic founder and his


Page 349

associates redoubled their efforts. Congress in 1870 appropriated $25,000; Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase bequeathed $10,000; the Charles Avery estate added $10,000 and the American Unitarian Association gave for lectures $6,000. During this administration $92,875 was raised, and the registration of students reached 1,553.

        For thirteen years Bishop Payne presided over the affairs of the university. He called to his aid such instructors as Dr. William Kent, of England; Professor T. E. Suliot, of Edinburgh, Scotland; Dr. J. K. Mitchell, of Oberlin; Professor W. B. Adams, of Amherst; Professor B. K. Sampson, of Oberlin, and Professor J. P. Shorter, of Wilberforce, Ohio. Among the ladies who rendered valuable service were Miss Esther T. Maltby and Miss Jane Woodson, of Oberlin; Mrs. Alice M. Adams, of Holyoke, and Miss Mary McBride, of Oswego.

        From under Bishop Payne's hands went out twenty-six graduates, including J. P. Shorter, B. F. Lee, J. W. Beckett, S. T. Mitchell, Miss Hallie Q. Brown, C. I. Maxwell, the Misses Copeland, and others who afterwards attained wide influence and national prominence. In the undergraduate class were R. H. Cain, M. B. Salter, William H. Hunter, A. A. Whitman, C. S. Smith, and others. President Payne left his impression on every line of development. He organized the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Society of Inquiry on Missions, and the Woman's College Aid Society, and secured a Ward Museum worth $2,000.

        The Rev. B. F. Lee succeeded to the presidency in 1876. He continued at the head of affairs for eight years, registering 1,179 students and graduating forty-one. There was raised during the period $79,202.80.

        This administration gave to the world a brilliant galaxy of cultured young men and women, for the pulpit, for the school room, and for general service. All through these years revivals occurred with the return of every session, and hundreds of young men and women learned life's noblest lesson of consecrated purpose to the cause of God and mankind. Through the Missionary Department of the Church, the Island of Haiti was brought into close relations, and five of her sons entered upon various courses of study.

        In 1884, President Lee accepted the editorial chair of the


Page 350

Christian Recorder, Philadelphia, Pa., from which he arose to the highest station in the Church--the bishopric.

        His successor was S. T. Mitchell, of the class of 1873. During his administration the university continued a steady growth; 2,924 students registered. On April 5, 1898, the Legislature of Ohio, by a unanimous vote in both Houses, placed to the credit of the Endowment Fund of the university, the Randolph Fund of $6,643.

        On March 19, 1887, the Legislature passed a law establishing the "Normal and Industrial Department." It is supported entirely by the State, and over it the State exercises controlling power. It is placed on the same financial basis as the other State educational institutions, receiving a levy of one hundredth of a mill on the grand tax duplicate, about $17,800 per annum. No higher endorsement of a colored institution can be found in the United States. Professor J. P. Shorter was the first superintendent.

        Wilberforce University was the first colored institution to have a United States Military Department. On January 9, 1894, President Cleveland detailed Lieutenant John H. Alexander to organize and instruct such a department at Wilberforce.

        His sudden death created a vacancy which was filled by the appointment of Lieutenant Charles Young, who at that time was the only remaining commissioned colored officer in the United States Army. Lieutenant Young rendered excellent service to the university not only in a military capacity, but also in giving gratuitous instruction in French and Trigonometry.

        S. T. Mitchell was succeeded in the presidency by the Rev. J. H. Jones, under whom the institution made rapid growth, reaching an enrollment of 595 pupils and 33 officers and teachers. In June, 1906, the university celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary or Golden Jubilee, which proved to be an occasion of great interest and profit. Aside from the renewed inspiration and impetus given the work, it was the occasion of liberal offerings on the part of interested friends and sympathizers throughout the Connection, nearly $5,000 being raised during the Jubilee Celebration.

        This, too, was the occasion for the dedication of Galloway


Page 351

Hall, a large stone and brick building erected by the State of Ohio at a cost of over $60,000, and the Carnegie Library, generously donated by Mr. Andrew Carnegie at a cost of about $18,350.

        At the last meeting of the Board of Trustees (1922) the secretary's report showed that the university has assets, including Endowment and Trust Funds, to the amount of $238,161.21.

        For the scholastic year ending June 19, 1922, there had been an enrollment of 281 in the college department.

        On December 7, 1922, a disastrous fire completely destroyed the interior of Shorter Hall. This was not only a great loss to the university, but practically removed one of the ancient landmarks. Steps were immediately taken to erect a new and more commodious Shorter Hall. Plans were drawn and a contract was let calling for an expenditure of $271,671. The building is absolutely fireproof, modern in every particular and the very last word in construction and appointments. There are 26 classrooms, dormitory accommodations for 444 students, administrative offices, a dining room that seats 800 at one time, and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2,000. Rev. J. A. Gregg is the president.

MORRIS BROWN UNIVERSITY

        The ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the State of Georgia, fully realizing the necessity of an institution for the preparation of young men and women for every department of Christian work, and also cognizant of the importance of an industrial training school for both sexes, resolved upon the establishment of a school to be known as Morris Brown College.

        On the 5th day of January, 1881, the North Georgia Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church assembled in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, on what was then known as Wheat Street, but now Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Ga.; and in their deliberations decided to postpone no longer the building of a higher institution of learning for Negro boys and girls.

        At this session the following trustees were elected: Bishop W. F. Dickerson, Revs. W. J. Gaines, A. W. Lowe, J. A. Wood,


Page 352

Peter McLane, Richard Graham, Andrew Brown, R. A. Hall, A. Gonicky, J. B. Warner, D. J. McGhee, W. H. Harris, and A. J. Miller.

        On January 19, 1881, the Georgia Annual Conference met in Saint Philip's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Savannah, Ga., and elected the following trustees: Revs. E. P. Holmes, C. L. Bradwell, S. H. Robertson, G. W. H. Williams, J. W. Wynn, Henry Strickland, William Raven, William D. Johnson, W. C. Gaines, W. H. Powell, and James Porter.

        On February 1, 1881, the trustees of the Georgia and North Georgia Annual Conferences assembled in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Ga., to decide upon a location; and at this meeting the present beautiful site, overlooking the city of Atlanta, at the corner of the Boulevard and Houston Street, was secured at a cost of $3,500. This amount was paid in full and the title deeds duly recorded.

        In 1884 the foundation of the north wing of the college (Gaines Hall) was laid. It was completed at a cost of $9,000, and dedicated on the 24th day of November, 1885. The total amount expended in improving the grounds and building the north wing was $12,500. The building was erected under the supervision of Rev. W. J. Gaines, then Presiding Elder of the Atlanta District. After an earnest effort means were provided for furnishing the building with the necessary school furniture, at a cost of $600.

        On October 15, 1885, the doors of Morris Brown College were opened and 107 pupils entered its portals.

        In the summer of 1891 the foundation of the south wing of the college (Grant Hall) was laid, and thereon was erected another beautiful building of the same size as the north wing. This building, as the former, was erected under the supervision of Bishop W. J. Gaines, then the bishop of the Sixth Episcopal District.

        Bishop Abraham Grant during his administration finished the dormitories for boarders and appointed the first president, in the person of A. Saint George Richardson.

        In 1896 the General Conference, in session at Wilmington, N. C., assigned Bishop Henry McNeil Turner to the Sixth Episcopal District. During this quadrennium he paid off the old mortgage debt and appointed Rev. James M. Henderson the


Page 353

president, under whose administration the school took high rank as an institution of learning.

        In 1904 the General Conference met in Chicago, Ill., and again assigned Bishop H. M. Turner to the Sixth Episcopal District. During this quadrennium, the Rev. J. S. Flipper was president and brought about many improvements. He had pictures of all the bishops hung on the walls of the chapel; he installed electric lights, systematized the industries, and added a Tailoring and a Sewing Department as well as a Music Department. Many new volumes were placed in the library, and the enrollment exceeded that of any previous year. The courses of study were greatly strengthened.

        In May, 1908, the General Conference met in Norfolk, Va., and Bishop C. S. Smith was assigned to the Sixth Episcopal District. At a meeting of the Board of Trustees in the same month and year, Bishop Smith was elected president of the Board and the Rev. E. W. Lee was chosen president of the college. Bishop Smith took immediate steps to make much needed improvements in the buildings and grounds. The Trades Building, which had practically fallen into disuse, was converted into a dormitory for young men. The dilapidated board fence in the front of the campus was replaced with an iron one. The grounds were graded, the front part of the campus was sodded, and a number of trees were planted. The interior of the main building was thoroughly overhauled, the chief improvement being the installation of a steam plant of sufficient capacity to heat it throughout. In 1910 the upper part of the main structure was seriously damaged by fire. The insurance company promptly settled the loss and the damage was speedily repaired. The president of the college, Rev. E. W. Lee, earnestly and loyally cooperated with Bishop Smith, and he is entitled to a full share of the credit for the extensive improvements that were made in connection with the institution.

        A financial drive, initiated in 1910 by Bishop Smith, and for which he is entitled to the sole credit, with the object of raising $25,000, commemorative of the quarto-centennial of the founding of Morris Brown College in 1911, resulted in a cash contribution of $30,000. Of this amount, $20,000 was used to make the first payment on the purchase price of 632 acres of


Page 354

land, situated within three miles of the court house in Macon, Ga. The total purchase price was $25,000. This land is most favorably located and has frontage on two of the best roads leading to Macon. It is the largest tract of land acquired by purchase by any institution of learning in this country devoted to the education of colored youth.

        In May, 1911, while attending the Commencement of Wilberforce University, at Wilberforce, Ohio, President E. W. Lee died suddenly. The following August the trustees met in Macon, and elected the Rev. W. A. Fountain president.

        At the General Conference in Kansas City, Mo., in 1912, Bishop J. S. Flipper was assigned to the Sixth Episcopal District, and became president of the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College. Under his episcopal supervision Rev. Fountain established an excellent Commercial Department, a Domestic Science, and a Military Department; provided for instruction in basketry, organized a band and an orchestra, and added many valuable books to the library. He installed new printing presses and gas. The frame house which had been used as a boys' dormitory was moved, and a five-story brick building of 58 rooms, with all modern equipment, erected at a cost of $18,000. The old dormitory was made over into a grammar school and is known as the Wyley Grammar School. The improvements included cement steps and sidewalks for the buildings and grounds.

        At a meeting of the board of trustees, June 5, 1912, it was agreed to amend the charter in order to change the name from Morris Brown College to Morris Brown University; to change the name of Payne Institute, Cuthbert, Ga., to Payne College, and to have Morris Brown University consist of Morris Brown, Payne College, Central Park Normal and Industrial Institute, Savannah, Ga., and Turner Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.--all in accordance with the recommendations of Bishop J. S. Flipper, president of the trustee board.

        On June 19, 1922, the trustees of Morris Brown University purchased from the city of Atlanta the ground and buildings situated at the southeast corner of Irwin Street and the Boulevard, for the sum of $60,000, the initial payment being $20,000. This property was used for many years as a public school for white children. There are two buildings--one brick and the


Page 355

other frame. The former will house the Turner Theological Seminary, while the latter will be used for the grammar school department. This purchase has added greatly to the value of the university and increases its frontage the length of a whole block facing the Boulevard. Professor John H. Lewis now fills the office of president.

ALLEN UNIVERSITY

        Allen University, located in the beautiful city of Columbia, S. C., is one of the leading institutions of the South. Its history dates from July, 1870, when the Columbia District Meeting was held at Newberry, S. C. At this meeting it was agreed to secure a farm in the town of Cokesbury, S. C., containing one hundred and fifty acres of land, including buildings, for the sum of $2,250 on time, or $2,000 cash, the owner donating $100. The proposition was submitted to the Annual Conference by Rev. Miller and the school was started under the name of "Payne Institute."

        Through Bishop Dickerson, who was appointed over South Carolina in 1880, a change was brought about in the educational work of the State, and Payne Institute was merged into Allen University at Columbia. At the Annual Conference held in Spartanburg, a Board of Trustees was appointed which secured a charter from the State, December 24, 1880. The property was purchased for $6,000, and is pleasantly and conveniently situated.

        In the student body of Allen University almost every county of South Carolina has been represented, including representatives from other States. There have gone out 490 graduates, among whom are men holding prominent places in both Church and State.

        The present status of Allen University is such as to rank it among the leading schools of South Carolina. It confers all the degrees common to such institutions, including the degree of Licentiate of Instruction, which enables its graduates to teach in any of the public schools of the State without examination.

        The school property consists of four acres of land within the city limits, and eight buildings, two of these being large three-story


Page 356

brick structures, valued at $110,000. A commodious administration building is now being constructed and its completion is anticipated early in 1923. It will be known as Chappelle Hall in honor of Bishop W. D. Chappelle, under whose fostering care the university has moved forward with great strides. It is the beneficiary of an annual appropriation from the General Educational Board. The president is R. W. Mance.

PAUL QUINN COLLEGE

        Paul Quinn College was established in 1881. It is located at Waco, Texas, on the east side of the Brazos River, about one mile from the center of the city. The campus consists of twenty-two acres, two of which were purchased by Bishop J. H. Jones at a cost of $5,500.

        From the beginning the school has done good work, though it has never been fully equipped. The institution has been maintained by contributions from the people and by tuition. It has no endowment fund.

        Realizing that the great need of the race is for skilled labor, Paul Quinn College has made the Industrial Department coordinate with the other departments. Special effort is being made to broaden the scope of the work already begun and to add other trades. The department is well organized. The grounds are under cultivation and the fruitfulness of the garden greatly reduces the current expenses of the boarding department, furnishing vegetables for the entire year.

        Equipment and supplies have been added to the Science Department and it is prepared to do efficient laboratory work in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Agriculture. The Commercial Department offers unusual opportunities to those who wish to prepare themselves along business lines.

        The Theological Department is supplied with hundreds of volumes from the Bishop Grant bequest, and other valuable books. It is under the direction of Dr. Burgan and is for the benefit of the wide-awake minister who desires to prepare himself for enlarged opportunities.

        Several hundred carefully selected volumes have been added to the already well-equipped library. These volumes are especially adapted for research work in the study of English,


Page 357

History, American and English Literature, Science, Education, and Biography.

        During Bishop C. S. Smith's supervision of the work in Texas, 1912-1916, a long-standing mortgage, bearing interest at 10%, was paid. In addition to this, sewerage was provided and connected with the girls' dormitory. The building was equipped with toilets and baths and an efficient steam heating plant installed. Other improvements were made and the business interests of the college were systematized.

        Bishop Smith was succeeded by Bishop Joshua H. Jones, who aroused the people to the need of a new dormitory for the girls. And so incessant and tireless was he in his labors, and so extensive in his travels throughout Texas, that he met with phenomenal success in raising funds. When he retired from the work in 1920, he left $20,000 in Liberty Bonds toward the construction of the dormitory. It is now under course of erection and is a large, substantial building of concrete and steel. It is to be named Johnson Hall in token of the valuable service rendered the institution by Bishop W. D. Johnson, who was appointed to the supervision of the Tenth Episcopal District at the General Conference of 1920. J. K. Williams is the president of the college.

KITTRELL COLLEGE

        This school was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and began its first session at Kittrell, N. C., February 7, 1886. It was incorporated by the Legislature of North Carolina, March 7, 1887.

        Touching the history of Kittrell College, it is related that several years previous to the purchase of the property at Kittrell, Miss Louisa Dorr, a faithful teacher from the North, conducted a Bible Training Class in connection with her school work in the city of Raleigh. Several of the young men became enthusiastic over the studies and created a sentiment in favor of better facilities. The matter was taken to the North Carolina Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and at once assumed definite shape, resulting in the proposition to establish a school in the State and the selection of the site at Kittrell, N. C.

        The leading spirit in the organization of the school was the


Page 358

Rev. R. H. W. Leake. Associated with him were such men as Revs. George D. Jimmerson, J. E. C. Barham, George Hunter, W. D. Cook, W. H. Giles, Henry Eppes, Cornelius Sampson, W. H. Bishop, R. Lucas, and J. G. Fry, who under the episcopal supervision of Bishop W. F. Dickerson, contracted for the property.

        In the selection of Kittrell the committee secured one of the most desirable localities in North Carolina. The place selected was formerly known as "Kittrell Springs," and for several years had been one of the most popular winter resorts of the South. The climate is mild and salubrious. The physical features of this section are grand and imposing in aspect, its topography is conducive to excellent drainage, and is, therefore, promotive of a high degree of healthfulness. The first session began February 7, 1886, with three teachers--Professor B. B. Goins, principal, Mrs. M. A. Goins, matron, and Professor John R. Hawkins, business manager.

        The school work improved from year to year, growing in prestige and patronage until it was thoroughly established in the confidence of the people throughout the State. In 1888 the Virginia Annual Conference agreed to help support this school and transferred its school interest from Portsmouth, Va., to Kittrell, said Conference being given equal representation on the Trustee Board.

        In 1899 Professor John R. Hawkins was made principal of the institution, and the nature of the work was extended so as to give wider scope and a more practical course of study.

        The idea of self-help is strongly infused into the life of all the pupils and every student is given the opportunity to pay something toward his school expenses by the labor of his hands. Since 1890 there have gone out from Kittrell 280 graduates who are doing efficient work in different parts of the country.

        In 1896, when Professor Hawkins was elected General Secretary and Commissioner of Education by the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Professor C. G. O'Kelly succeeded him as president of Kittrell. After two years the latter resigned and his place was filled by the election of Professor J. S. Williams, who served two years. Since the expiration of Professor Williams' term, the following have served as presidents: Professors P. W. Dawkins, J. L.


Page 359

Wheeler, D. J. Jordan, and G. H. Edwards, the present incumbent.

        The financial and general business management of Kittrell College is in keeping with the system governing the best and most successful business enterprises. Kittrell promises to become an important educational center, attracting hither not only hundreds of boys and girls, but families who wish to locate where better educational advantages may be enjoyed. It has grown steadily every year, and its present status ranks it among the best and most successful schools of the South. Its patronage includes several States with an enrollment of 256 pupils, and 15 officers and teachers. It is situated on 60 acres of improved land and has grown from one to six buildings, the sixth and largest having been erected at a cost of $30,000.

EDWARD WATERS COLLEGE

        Edward Waters College, in Jacksonville, Fla., which has had such marked growth and is doing such telling and successful work in this State--where a school of this kind is greatly needed--was organized and put in operation on a small scale in 1883. The leading spirits in its formation and permanent establishment were the late Revs. W. W. Sampson and W. P. Ross, and Rev. John R. Scott. Rev. Sampson became the traveling agent for the institution, Rev. Ross the first president, and Rev. Scott the first principal.

        The old school building, that was destroyed by fire in May, 1901, was erected by members of Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, in 1885, and rented to the trustees of Edward Waters College; but at the annual meeting of the trustees at Monticello, in December, 1888, Bishop B. W. Arnett, presiding, they decided to enter into negotiations with the trustees of the church to purchase the buildings. This they succeeded in doing in April, 1889. Ten thousand dollars was the contract price. The magnificent brick structure, with every school advantage, and a fine chapel (having a seating capacity of 200) became the property of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of the State of Florida, under the direct control of the trustees elected by the several Conferences. The school--judging from the signs of the times--has before it a


Page 360

bright and successful future. The purpose of this school is to give young men and women a thorough education and a trade; and to fit ministers, teachers, and others for greater and wider fields of usefulness.

        During the ten years (1912-1922) that Bishop John Hurst has been the president of the Board of Trustees, Edward Waters College has witnessed surprising developments and achievements. New life, energy, ambition, and inspiration have been infused to a high degree, resulting in a substantial forward movement. Professor John C. Wright now fills the office of president.

WESTERN UNIVERSITY

        Just before Emancipation, a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Eben Blatchley, founded a school (Freedmen University), at Quindaro, Kan., for the education of colored youths, where Western University now stands. The school was continued for some years with varying success. On October 18, 1877, after years of struggle, and with a dying prophecy that on these grounds there would some day be a great institution for the education of the Negro youth, Dr. Blatchley passed away.

        The work made little progress for years; but earnest efforts were made during this time by Bishops Ward, Brown, and Handy, who saw the first unfolding and success come during the administration of Bishops Tanner and Shaffer.

        Bishop Abraham Grant was an inspiration to the work, and an era of increased prosperity characterized the educational interest of the District during his incumbency. The present curriculum is modeled after the best institutions, and embraces a theological, collegiate, normal, academic, and musical department, and the State Industrial School. Two stone buildings--Brown Hall and Ward Hall--accommodate a large number of students from different parts of the West. The university has had a steady growth in numbers, property valuation, and influence.

        Ward Hall is a splendid three-story structure. The first and second stories are of stone, and the third, of brick. It was completed under the administration of Bishop Grant. This building is named for Bishop Ward, whose heroic efforts on behalf of education had much to do with arousing interest


Page 361

along that line on the part of the African Methodist Episcopal Church throughout the West.

        For several years efforts were made to secure legislative assistance. This was apparently an impossible undertaking until sentiment was aroused in its favor by the message of Governor W. E. Stanley, of Kansas, to the Kansas Legislature at the session of 1898-1899, in which, among other things, he said:

One of the most recent movements in the State is the attempt to establish an industrial school at Quindaro for the Negro. No race ever emerged from slavery, and in so short a time reached such an advanced position in all branches of industrial pursuits as the colored race in America. They have also made great advance in literature and the arts. If within the limits of the Constitution, I would suggest that the Quindaro movement be given aid and encouragement by the State.

        This noble sentiment of encouragement was followed up by an introduction into the Legislature, and passage of the Bailey Bill, creating. "The State Industrial Department." By an almost unanimous vote, irrespective of party, the Legislature appropriated $22,000 for building, equipping, and maintaining an industrial building. Stanley Hall, a large three-story building, erected in accordance with the provisions of the Bailey Bill, stands as a noble tribute to the philanthropy and generosity of the State of Kansas. This imposing structure was completed and opened during the scholastic term beginning September 9, 1901.

        The school has an elementary, academic, normal, junior college, theological, music, and commercial department. The Music Department offers instruction in voice, piano, violin, harmony, history, and composition, and has an orchestra and a band. The commercial course includes the practical operation of a student commercial bank. The Industrial Department offers training in carpentry, cabinet-making, tailoring, blacksmithing, horseshoeing, wheelwrighting, steam and electrical engineering, mechanical and architectural drawing, printing and bookbinding, stock and poultry raising, auto mechanics, sewing, millinery, and landscape gardening.

        The school owns 133 acres of land suburban to Kansas City, Kan. On it are seven magnificent brick structures, all of which


Page 362

are steam-heated, lighted by electricity, and supplied with city water. Its faculty consists of thirty of the most efficient teachers that could be secured from the standard schools of the country. The location is ideal. It is near a commercial metropolis, in the heart of the great Middle West, and is healthful and beautiful. Its present achievements are remarkable, and its future is very promising. Professor F. Jesse Peck is now serving as president.

SHORTER COLLEGE

        Shorter College, located at North Little Rock, Ark., was founded in May, 1886. In 1885, the Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church passed resolutions forming a joint commission on church schools. Bishop T. M. D. Ward, the presiding bishop, appointed the following commissioners to formulate plans and organize an institution of learning:

        Arkansas Annual Conference--Revs. W. A. J. Phillips, J. P. Howard, B. J. Finney, M. F. A. Easton, and J. C. Jones.

        South Arkansas Annual Conference--Revs. John M. Collins, John A. Hogus, E. Robinson, and Henry Lucas.

        West Arkansas Annual Conference--Revs. A. A. Williams and S. L. Winstead.

        The following commissioners met in the library of J. P. Howard, Little Rock, May, 1886: Revs. W. A. J. Phillips, J. P. Howard, B. J. Finney, John M. Collins, and A. A. Williams. They established Bethel University (now Shorter College) in the name of God, without a dollar. Professor Julius Talbot was elected principal, with Miss Mary M. Burnett as assistant teacher. The first term began September 15, 1886, in the basement of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at Ninth and Broadway Streets, Little Rock, Ark. The enrollment for the first year was 109.

        The first Board of Trustees was composed of Bishop T. M. D. Ward, president; Rev. W. A. J. Phillips, vice-president; A. A. Williams, secretary; Rev. J. P. Howard, treasurer, Revs. G. E. Trower, J. C. Jones, H. H. King, A. J. Russell, J. M. Collins, E. H. H. Pettigrew, S. L. Winstead, R. A. Sinquefield, and W. H. Williams.

        Professor A. D. Delaney was elected principal in 1887, and


Page 363

Miss Mary Jane Murphy, assistant teacher. The school prospered and the work was enlarged by securing a new location. A two-story frame building, at Eleventh and Gaines Street, was purchased. In 1888, at the suggestion of Mr. Delaney, the name was changed to Bethel Institute. Professor John R. Rector was elected principal in 1890. He taught for only three days and then resigned to accept a government clerkship. Miss Murphy finished the term.

        Rev. J. I. Lowe, Presiding Elder of the Arkadelphia District, the pastors, members, and friends pledged $3,000 for buildings and grounds on condition that the school be moved to Arkadelphia. The proposition was accepted and on September 23, 1891, the fifth session of Bethel Institute began at Arkadelphia with Professor S. T. Boyd as principal and Rev. A. H. Mevs as assistant.

        In December, 1892, by motion of Rev. J. W. Walker, the name was again changed from Bethel Institute to Shorter University, in honor of Bishop James Alexander Shorter. The following served as presidents: B. W. Arnett, Jr., 1893-1894; T. H. Jackson, 1895-1897; F. F. Vinegar, 1897-1898; Dr. J. A. McGivary Jones, 1898-1900. In 1900 T. H. Jackson was again elected president.

        The school was carried on for a time in Bethel Church, North Little Rock, but in 1893 was moved to the new building on its own grounds. At a meeting of the Trustee Board on January 16, 1901, a resolution offered by Dr. P. W. Walls was adopted amending the Articles of Incorporation of Shorter College, and filed for record in the office of the Secretary of State on April 14, 1903. At this time the name was changed from Shorter University to Shorter College.

        In May, 1904, Dr. T. H. Jackson was succeeded by the election of Dr. P. W. Walls as president, who remained until the month of July, when he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. A. H. Hill. Dr. T. H. Jackson was elected dean of the Theological Department in May, 1904. Others elected were: Rev. O. L. Moody, president, and Rev. J. N. Campbell, dean of theology, July 10, 1912; Dr. William Byrd, president, July 15, 1914; Rev. J. N. Campbell, president, and Rev. H. G. Montgomery, dean, May 14, 1917; Rev. S. L. Green, president, and Rev. H. G. Montgomery continued as dean, May 29, 1919.


Page 364

CAMPBELL COLLEGE

        Campbell College, at Jackson, Miss., was organized in 1887. It was first located in the cities of Vicksburg and Friar's Point, Miss. Until 1898 it remained at the two respective places as two separate schools when, during the administration of Bishop W. B. Derrick, it was decided to unite these two into one large institution. Jackson, Miss., was chosen as the site.

        The progress of the college has been in most respects very encouraging. This has been due to the loyalty, labors, sacrifices, and endeavors of the ministers, laymen, and friends throughout the State, who are anxious not only for the promotion and advancement of the race in higher Christian education, but who are ready doers and givers for every worthy cause, especially the general elevation of the race.

        Campbell College plans to meet the educational needs of the Negro youth of the twentieth century by offering them the advantages of a Christian education through its Normal, Industrial, Scientific, Collegiate, Missionary, and Theological Departments. Training in these, coupled with practical work in domestic economy, will enable them to lead useful lives.

        The school has suffered heavy losses, the destruction of its main buildings by fire, but the interest in it is greater than at any previous time. Under the present administration there have been enrolled as many as 330 pupils with a corresponding increase in the amount of money raised throughout Mississippi for its support. The school owns 1,137 acres of land, which is more than is owned by any other one of our institutions, but it is too remote from it to be subject to the direct management of the school authorities. If the fine timber on this tract of land should be converted into cash, it would create a substantial fund which would support the institution permanently. Doubtless this will be done. The present value of the school property is estimated at $77,000. Professor H. N. McGhee is the president.

PAYNE UNIVERSITY

        Payne University is located in Selma, Dallas County, Ala. It was established in 1889 through the united efforts of the


Page 365

Annual Conferences in Alabama, the leaders in the movement being Revs. J. S. Shaw, W. H. Mixon, D. C. Cothram, M. E. Bryant, and others.

        For several years the school property consisted of one two-story frame building in a very desirable part of the town, and the school was operated for day pupils only. Now a regular boarding department has been opened, and the old frame building once used for class-room purposes has been repaired, and is being used as a dormitory for girls. A new two-story brick building, containing six large class rooms and a chapel or assembly room, has been erected at a cost of $6,150, thereby giving the school possession of an entire block, except one small lot, which cannot be bought at this time. The recently acquired property embraces six three-room houses, which have a rental value of $360 per annum. Four of these buildings are now being used for dormitory purposes.

        The school has grown rapidly and gives promise of still greater achievements. The annual income has reached a mark indicative of success, and the ministry and laity of the State of Alabama are rallying to the support of their institution as never before. The bonded debt is being reduced every year, while the improvements add much to the value of the property. In both name and work the institution is an inspiration to all. It is under the management of President H. E. Archer, assisted by a strong faculty, consisting of ten teachers.

TURNER NORMAL COLLEGE

        In the Tennessee Conference of 1885 the Committee on Education offered a report recommending the establishment of a school within the State limits. Said report was adopted and a committee composed of Revs. Evans Tyree, T. B. Caldwell, and G. W. Bryant was appointed with full power to act. The result was the selection of property at Shelbyville, Tenn., and the establishment of the Shelbyville High School, with Rev. C. S. Bowman, pastor in charge of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at that place, acting as principal. He was succeeded in 1887 by Rev. B. A. J. Nixon. In 1896 the institution was chartered under the name of "The Turner Normal and Industrial Institute." Professors Nixon, Edmondson, Turner,


Page 366

Boone, and Jones did good work in the capacity of principals of this school between the years of 1887 and 1906. It has outgrown the limited quarters first provided, and aside from the two lots owned in Shelbyville, the trustees have recently purchased eighteen and one half acres of land, well-wooded, high, and beautifully situated. On this property has been erected a large, well-arranged building, containing a chapel, girls' dormitory, recitation rooms, living rooms, dining hall, kitchen, pantry and store room, music room, and president's office.

        The school gets a small part of the general education fund, but its chief support comes from funds within the State. The cheerful and liberal spirit shown in the past gives promise of very satisfactory results in the future. Rev. J. A. Jones is serving as president for the second time.

PAYNE INSTITUTE

        In 1888 there was organized in the Cuthbert Presiding Elder District a district high school, and it was named in honor of Bishop Daniel A. Payne, a pioneer worker in education. For two years the school was taught in the church building. During the summer of 1890, a structure 60×40 feet was erected. This was a two-story building of pleasing architecture on the second story of which there was an auditorium with a seating capacity of 400. This building was destroyed by fire; but the trustees, faculty, and friends set to work at once, and now they have on the same spot a better and larger building--a brick structure valued at $8,000, with an indebtedness of less than $1,000. Cuthbert is admirably adapted to school purposes. It is in what is regarded as one of the highest regions of the State.

        The school is 118 miles southwest of Macon, Ga., and 105 miles southeast of Montgomery, Ala. It has grown in prestige from year to year. The presidency is filled by Professor A. B. Cooper.

LAMPTON COLLEGE

        The Delhi School, now known as Lampton College, was chartered in 1890 according to the law of the State of Louisiana, under the supervision of Bishop A. Grant. The board of incorporators was composed of Revs. J. Grins, J. W. Rankin,


Page 367

P. W. Williams, and J. H. Martin, Mr. Handy Walton, and Professor L. H. Harris.

        The first teacher of the school was Professor William Jenifer, now of Washington. For several years the school was located at Delhi, La., where the trustees owned one building and twenty-eight acres of land. This building was destroyed by fire in 1907 and since then the trustees have decided to move the school to Alexandria, La., where they have purchased and arranged for a new school building. Rev. J. R. Campbell is serving as president.

FLEGLER HIGH SCHOOL

        Like Georgia, South Carolina has two Connectional schools. At Marion, S. C., is Flegler High School, named in honor of Rev. S. F. Flegler, the Presiding Elder. It was organized in 1889 by Rev. E. J. Gregg, ex-General Secretary of the Allen Christian Endeavor League, who secured the services of Miss Mattie E. White, of Charleston, S. C., as a teacher.

        The school was first taught in the African Methodist Episcopal Church building. In 1891 Rev. Flegler erected the present building, in which the school has been carried on ever since. It is regarded as a feeder for Allen University; and derives its support from the Marion District, supplemented occasionally by a small appropriation from the Department of Education.

BETHEL COLLEGE

        Bethel College, near Montgomery, Ala., is the junior of our home institutions. The property consists of more than 200 acres of arable land on which there are a number of buildings. It was originally used by the Catholics as an institution for the training of colored youth. Some three years ago lack of success induced the owners to offer it for sale, and it was purchased by representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Alabama. It occupies a commanding site. From the campus, which occupies the highest point, one is afforded a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding country. It borders one of the main roads leading to Montgomery and is about three and one half miles from that city. The value of the ground is rated at $500 per acre at least. From reports


Page 368

given out, those responsible for its management were evidently satisfied with the first year's work. Rev. F. R. Sims is the president.

PAYNE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

        The organization of Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio, was brought about through the efforts of Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett. The plan was presented to Rev. James A. Handy, Professor J. P. Shorter, Bishop W. J. Gaines, Bishop B. F. Lee, and Bishop A. Grant, who approved and gave their hearty cooperation. Authority was secured from the Board of Trustees as follows:

        The Board of Trustees of Wilberforce University, at its session in June, 1890, on motion of Bishop A. Grant, made Bishop B. W. Arnett chairman of a committee to consider the propriety and feasibility of establishing a Theological Seminary at Wilberforce, to be a part of it, but to be controlled by a special committee, so that it could be made more efficient. The following was the committee: Bishop B. W. Arnett, Wilberforce, Ohio; Bishop W. J. Gaines, Atlanta, Ga., Bishop A. Grant, San Antonio, Texas; Rev. J. A. Handy, Washington, D. C.; Rev. B. F. Lee, Philadelphia, Pa.; Rev. T. H. Jackson, and Professor J. P. Shorter, Wilberforce, Ohio.

        The question of how to improve the facilities of the Theological Department, how to get more persons to attend and thereby increase the power of the pulpit, was carefully and prayerfully considered. The growing demands of the Church and the imperative requirements for leaders, were weighed by the committee, and they came to the unanimous conclusion that unless the Church put forth some organized effort to perpetuate an intelligent ministry, it would lose its prestige. It was apparent to the committee that the magnitude of the work of the Church, and the complexity of the organization made it necessary for those who were to control and manage it to be trained in the doctrine, laws, customs, and history of the Church, from its organization to the present, so that they could see its possibilities and comprehend the work to be done in the future.

        The plan of the committee was presented to the Trustee Board at its session of June 18, 1891, and after some modifications,


Page 369

was unanimously adopted. The name chosen was Payne Theological Seminary of Wilberforce University, in honor of Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne, the senior bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was the first dean of the seminary, his successor being Dr. J. G. Mitchell, one of the founders of Wilberforce University. After Dr. Mitchell's death, Bishop Tanner held the position of dean for a short while, being succeeded by George F. Woodson, the present dean.

        The Seminary has had a steady and substantial growth from year to year, having reached an enrollment of as many as forty-five students, a number coming as scholarship students from several Conferences. Over one hundred young men have been graduated and joined the ranks of the active ministry in doing service for the Master. The present status of the Seminary shows it to be in a better condition than at any time in its history. The ground and building which it occupies were purchased from Rev. J. G. Mitchell and wife.

FLIPPER-KEY-DAVIS COLLEGE

        The last school to be noted is Flipper-Key-Davis College, located at Tullahassee, Okla. It was established in 1917. Rev. T. M. Green is the president.

MISSIONARY SCHOOLS

        The Missionary Department maintains schools at Port au Prince, Haiti; Collymore Rock, Barbados; Georgetown, British Guiana; Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana; Sierra Leone and Liberia, West Africa; and Evaton, South Africa.


Page 370

CHAPTER XXIII
ORGANIC UNION

        First Proposal, 1846--Second Proposal, 1864--Third Proposal, 1868--Fourth Proposal, 1885--Fifth Proposal, 1892--First Tripartite Agreement, 1918--Second Tripartite Agreement, 1922.

        AVAILABLE records disclose the fact that at five different periods the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church were engaged in the consideration of organic union--1846, 1864, 1868, 1885, and 1892. In 1918 a tripartite agreement for organic union was entered into by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The proposal of 1864 is contained in Schedule A; that of 1885, in Schedule B; that of 1892, in Schedule C; that of 1918, in Schedule D; and that of 1922, in Schedule E.

SCHEDULE A

        "Whereas, it is a fact greatly to be lamented that on the account of the disunion in Christian fellowship; on the account of the division of means to do good and bless mankind; on the account of the towering prejudices, thrown up as high as the heaven-reaching top of the Alpine Mountains, between the two connections; on the account of the sacred cause of schools, day and Sabbath, and the cause of general education; and on the account of the present, future, and eternal welfare of immortal souls; two religious denominations of Christians in these United States, occupying nearly co-extensively the same territory, are in their present position, a heavy weight, the one to the other, in the high mission of the Church militant, of spreading the knowledge of the Lord among us; that is to say, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; therefore,

        "Resolved, that if, in the good providence of the Great Head of the Church, any plan or system can be devised and matured


Page 371

by which the two bodies can be amicably brought together into one consolidated body, in which they can both consistently agree upon terms of Christian fellowship we, the members of the Baltimore Annual Conference, entertain no objection to the same."

        The records do not show that the resolution was followed by concurrent action of the Churches named therein.

        Touching the matter of organic union by the General Conference of 1864, T. G. Steward, who was present when the subject was under discussion, in his book, Fifty Years in the Gospel Ministry, published in 1921, says:

        "I attended a convention held by the representatives of these two bodies and was not favorably impressed at the time. I felt that there was mutual distrust and that each side was seeking to test the other."

        A special committee (subject to change) was appointed to consider the subject, namely, H. M. Turner, John Peck, William D. W. Schureman, J. M. Williamson, W. A. Davis, E. T. Williams, and Charles Burch. After due deliberation the committee presented the subjoined report:

        "We, your committee, to whom was referred the subject of the union of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, after giving the subject the most careful attention, beg leave to report as follows:

        "Your committee find in existence in the various parts of the United States two separate and distinct religious organizations, to wit: the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, both professing the same faith and preaching the same gospel, and being separated by only a few points upon which hang no important issues.

        "And your committee, firmly believing in the universally received maxim that weakness follows division, and strength follows union, and that this principle is exemplified by the continued separation of the two aforementioned bodies, we can but lament its further continuance. And in view of the momentous events daily transpiring, plainly indicating to every thoughtful mind the expediency and the vital importance of a union among all colored people, social and ecclesiastical;


Page 372

and while the light of civilization and the claims of our holy religion, as well as the vast harvest to be gathered into the garden of our Lord and Master, call upon us to arise in the majesty of a noble purpose; releasing ourselves from all the embarrassments which a separate existence has unfortunately occasioned, we offer to our sister Church a friendly and Christian negotiation, having in view the combination of the two bodies.

        "Therefore, to consummate so desirable an object your committee would respectfully recommend the appointment of one elder from each Annual Conference District, in connection with two bishops, to confer with the same number of elders, and the two Superintendents of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, who may have received an appointment, and are endorsed with power to act in the matter aforesaid, by their General Conference.

        "Said committee of their General Conference shall have power to call a convention consisting of such a number of delegates as may be agreed upon by them from each Connection. This convention, when once assembled, shall have power to agree upon articles of consolidation. Said articles of consolidation must be submitted to all the Annual Conferences of each Connection, and if ratified by a majority of the same, they shall be final.

        "Your committee further reports that in view of the fact that the Methodist Episcopal Church has, in the most Christian manner, interested itself in this important office by appointing its highest officers, even its bishops, to act as friendly mediators in this matter; therefore, be it

        "Resolved, that we accept this mediation and kindly invite them to a friendly participation in the above mentioned conference." Charles Burch, S. L. Hammond, William A. Dove, James M. Williamson, George A. Rue, E. J. Williams, Samuel Watts, Committee.

        Instead of a committee of one from each Annual Conference to confer with a similar one from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, a committee of nine elders, with the Council of Bishops, was ordered. The elders were: Charles Burch, Stephen Smith, John A. Warner, John Turner, J. M. Williams, John M. Brown, George A. Rue, Elisha Weaver, and J. D. S.


Page 373

Hall. A sub-committee of three was appointed to wait on the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, then in session in Philadelphia, to make known the action taken by the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church relative to organic union. On the day following, a committee of three from the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church appeared before our General Conference. Revs. S. T. Jones, J. Trusty, and S. M. Giles constituted the committee. After delivering addresses they presented the following resolution:

        "Resolved, by the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church that the body cordially receive the representation just made to it by the said committee on church union, created by the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and that we promise at the earliest opportunity to give the subject that Christian and fraternal consideration which its importance so earnestly demands."

        The committee appointed by the two Conferences met, and after canvassing the subject agreed to hold a convention on the second Tuesday in June, 1864, in Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Philadelphia, to be composed of twenty-five delegates from each denomination. The names of the twenty-five delegates from the African Methodist Episcopal Church were as follows:

        John M. Brown, Daniel W. Moore, and M. F. Sluby, of the Baltimore Annual Conference; William Moore, J. Woodlyn, and William D. W. Schureman, of the Philadelphia Annual Conference; Jonathan Hamilton, J. M. Williams, and R. H. Cain of the New York Annual Conference; J. A. Shorter, Samuel Watts, and John Gibbs, of the Ohio Annual Conference; Willis R. Revels, Charles Burch, and æneas McIntosh, of the Indiana Annual Conference; Joseph P. Shreeves, George A. Rue, and W. W. Grimes, of the New England Annual Conference; John Turner, M. M. Clark, and B. L. Brooks, of the Missouri Annual Conference. To these were added John Peck, Stephen Smith, Leonard Patterson, and Lewis S. Lewis. The bishops were included as counselors and advisors.

        May 26, 1864, the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church appointed Revs. S. T. Jones, J.


Page 374

B. Trusty, and S. M. Giles a committee to present Christian greetings and resolutions to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At this time the General Conferences of both Churches were in session at Philadelphia. At this period the Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church fixed May 25 as the time of the assembling of its General Conference. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which convened the first Monday in May, delayed final adjournment in order that it might be in session when the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church should convene. On May 27, the committee, headed by Rev. S. T. Jones, afterward a bishop, submitted the following report, which was adopted:

        "Whereas, by the working and control of an all-wise and gracious Providence, circumstances and events have so conspired during the present great struggle as clearly to indicate that the set time to favor Zion has fully come; and

        "Whereas, it is especially manifested as relates to that portion of the Church composed of colored Methodists in America; and

        "Whereas, we should prove ourselves false alike to the principles of our holy religion, our obligations as the representatives of Christ, and our duty and responsibilities as the leaders of a people weak because divided, if we should fail from any minor consideration to improve the present favorable opportunity, having in view the future peace and prosperity of the Church, and the moral, social, and political interests of the race with which we are immediately identified; therefore,

        "Resolved, That the great principle of Christian union and brotherhood we fully endorse, and that all proper means be employed in furtherance of that principle, and that our warm sympathies are with those who are heartily engaged in the effort to unite in one body the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        "Resolved, That as an evidence of our sincerity, and with a view of facilitating the consummation so ardently desired, this Conference appoint a committee of nine with the Bench of Superintendents forthwith, who shall be authorized and empowered to confer with a similar committee in connection with the Bench of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal


Page 375

Church on all matters touching a consolidation of the bodies represented."

        A committee of three--J. W. Hood, J. H. Smith, and J. P. Hamer--was appointed to inform the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church that in compliance with their wishes a committee had been named to confer with them on the consolidation of the Connections. On returning they represented that six o'clock that evening had been fixed upon for the joint meeting. S. T. Jones, J. W. Loguen, P. G. Laws, Sampson Talbot, G. H. Washington, I. Coleman, J. W. Hood, J. D. Brooks, J. P. Hamer, S. M. Giles, and W. F. Butler, with Superintendents1 Bishop and Clinton, constituted the committee on the part of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. They reported to the Conference on Saturday, May 28, that it had been agreed to submit the subject of consolidation to a convention composed of twenty-five on each side, and to have their action submitted to all the Annual Conferences for confirmation. The list is as follows:

        1 The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had not yet adopted the title of bishop.


        New York Annual Conference--W. H. Pitts, Isaac Coleman, Jeptha Barcroft, Jacob Thomas.

        Philadelphia Annual Conference--Sampson Talbot, S. T. Jones, Charles J. Carter, J. B. Trusty.

        New England Annual Conference--S. M. Giles, W. F. Butler, G. H. Washington, J. W. Hood.

        Southern Annual Conference--J. D. Brooks, R. H. G. Dyson, J. P. Hamer, J. A. Williams.

        Allegheny Annual Conference--Abraham Cole, J. B. Cox, James A. Jones.

        Genesee Annual Conference--J. W. Loguen, James H. Smith, William Sanford, Bazel McKall.

        Reserves--J. P. Thompson, Jacob Anderson, G. A. Spywood, R. A. Gibson, P. G. Laws, John Thomas.

        The Southern Annual Conference referred to in the above list is the North Carolina, which was organized on December 17, 1864, Superintendent J. J. Clinton, presiding.

        The convention met at the time and place agreed upon and continued in session for two days. Bishop A. W. Wayman was elected president. Superintendents J. J. Clinton, W. H.


Page 376

Bishop, and Bishop J. P. Campbell were chosen vice-presidents. Two committees were appointed. One on studies and one on hymn book. M. M. Clark, J. M. Brown, E. D. Davis, J. P. Campbell, and E. Weaver constituted the committee on studies. J. P. Campbell, A. L. Stanford, E. Weaver, and B. T. Tanner formed the committee on hymn book. For some unknown reason neither one of these committees ever met. It is a most singular circumstance that the name of H. M. Turner does not appear other than as the proponent of organic union, and as a member of the special committee of eight to consider his proposal.

        The following is the platform agreed upon by the convention held in Philadelphia, Pa., June 14-16, 1864, between the representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church:

        "Whereas, the great principles of Christianity, as taught by Christ and his Apostles, call upon the Church militant to labor for the spread of God's kingdom among men throughout the whole world, by means of preaching, teaching, and a general diffusion of knowledge; and

        "Whereas, the wants of our oppressed race in this land demand that we should leave no legitimate means unemployed to husband our strength and prepare for the work of evangelizing the world, especially that of instructing and elevating the millions of freedmen in the South; and

        "Whereas, there has been a growing tendency among the members of the said Churches for a union of the two Connections, and action has been taken in the Annual Conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on this subject; and also many articles have appeared in the Christian Recorder and Anglo-African, discussing the propriety of a union which cannot be properly effected without the action of the General Conferences of both Churches; and, deeply convinced of the importance of Christian union and fellowship, and of the retarding and pernicious influences usually consequent upon division; therefore,

        "Resolved, That the undersigned members and representatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the African Methodist Episcopal Churches in America, with a sense of their responsibility to God, as well as a sense of the grave and delicate


Page 377

responsibilities resting on them as the conservators of the dearest rights and interests of that portion of the great family of God for whom they act, respectfully present to the Convention the following articles as the basis of a permanent union of the respective bodies of the same represented by the delegates:

POINTS ON WHICH WE ALREADY AGREE

        "I. We find ourselves already agreeing, first, in doctrine; second, in our mode of worship; third, in the system of an itinerant ministry; fourth, in being Methodists. Our classmeetings, love feasts, and prayer meetings are the same. Our general rules are the same. We each have Official Boards, Quarterly, Annual, and General Conferences. So far, we agree in being Episcopal Methodists.

POINTS ON WHICH WE AGREE IN THE EVENT OF A UNION

        "II. We agree to change the Connectional names by which the two bodies are now designated, and to adopt the following denominational title, 'The United African Methodist Episcopal Church in America.'

LAY REPRESENTATION

        "III. We agree that the rights of the people to a lay delegation in the General Conference shall be maintained, but that the United General Conference shall from time to time fix the ratio of such representation; and that such lay delegates are to be chosen by the Quarterly Conferences, stations, or circuits, by the male members of the same.

OF TRUSTEES

        "IV. We agree that as the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church are members of the Quarterly Conference, and the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church are not members of, but amenable to the Quarterly Conferences for the faithful discharge of their duty, the final disposition of this question shall be left to the first ensuing United General Conference; each to abide by its decision.

THE REJECTION OF A MINISTER

        "V. We agree that no trustees nor official board shall have


Page 378

power to reject a minister sent to the society by the appointing power when there is nothing against his Christian conduct to disqualify him, without the concurrence of two thirds of the members of said church; and, where such rejection does occur, by a two-thirds vote and on reasonable grounds, the appointing power shall change such rejected minister. But all such ministers must remain until removed by the proper authority.

OF TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL CONTROL

        "VI. We agree to give the spiritual control of the churches to the appointing power, and to the Conference; leaving to the people the control of all temporal interests; but subject to quarterly examination.

OF DISCIPLINE

        "VII. We agree that the Book of Discipline in use in each body at the sitting of the ratifying General Conference of the two Connections, shall be submitted to a committee of twelve members of said General Conference, equally chosen from each party; and that the committee shall report their revision to said General Conference, which shall ratify the same before it becomes a law.

OF EPISCOPACY

        "VIII. We agree to adopt the superintendency or the bishopric, as the convention may elect. And in the event of the adoption of the bishopric by the convention, the choosing and ordaining of the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church shall be left to the General Conference of said body; all parties agreeing to recognize such ordination if performed in a legal way.

THE SUBMISSION OF THE PLATFORM

        "IX. We agree that this platform or articles of consolidation shall be submitted: first, to the male members of each Connection; second, to the Quarterly Conference; and third, to the Annual Conferences of the same. Should a majority of the male members and Quarterly Conferences of each Connection endorse it, and a majority of the Annual Conferences of the same ratify it, a certified copy of such endorsement and ratification


Page 379

shall be sent from each Annual Conference to the ensuing United General Conference, whose decision shall be final.

OF FINAL RATIFICATION

        "X. We agree that the basis of union and consolidation, which we have now agreed upon, shall not be considered binding until submitted to all the churches, the Quarterly, and Annual Conferences, and ratified by a vote of at least two thirds of the United General Conference of 1868; and until then, the two Connections shall remain distinct and independent bodies, living on friendly terms, as distinct and independent Christian bodies ought to live.

        "On motion, the convention then adopted the bishopric by a large majority, which, according to the 9th article, determines that form of superintendency. You will perceive that the rights and interests of the people, in keeping with the great democratic idea, have been carefully considered and cheerfully recognized in the third and sixth articles of the above platform. We now submit the great question to you, before God and before Jesus, who prayed that his people might become one, carefully to consider and decide. The prosperity of the Church, the destiny of the race, and the happiness or misery of unborn millions depend on your decision. A. L. Stanford, J. B. Trusty, J. Woodlyn, H. Davis, S. T. Jones, Committee on Consolidation."

        All that needs to be said of the proposal of 1868 is that it emanated from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and that the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church refused to consider it on the ground that the African Methodist Episcopal Church had not kept faith with the Agreement of 1864. The Agreement of 1864 stipulated that it should be submitted to the Annual and Quarterly Conferences of both Churches, which was done by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, but not by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of 1868 proposed the continuance of the negotiations for organic union, but upon a different basis. This is the proposal that the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church refused to consider.


Page 380

SCHEDULE B

Articles of Agreement

        The African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, through their respective Commissions on Organic Union, in session at Washington, D. C., July 15-17, 1885, adopted the following:

  • I (1) We find ourselves already agreeing in doctrine; (2) in our mode of worship; (3) in the system of our itinerant ministry; (4) in being Methodists; (5) in our class meetings, prayer meetings, and love feasts; (6) our General Rules are the same; (7) both have official boards, Quarterly, District, Annual, and General Conferences. Hence, in these we are Episcopal Methodists.
  • II We agree that the rights of the people to lay representation in the General Conference shall be maintained; but that the United General Conference, hereinafter provided for, shall from time to time fix the ratio of such representation.
  • III We agree to give the spiritual control and such temporalities as are inseparable from the support of the ministry of the Church, to the appointing power and to the Conferences; leaving to the people the control of the temporal interests--such as the acquisition of lands, the building of chapels, and the payment of debts upon such properties--but subject to quarterly examinations, as provided in the Discipline, made and altered by the General Conference from time to time.
  • IV We agree that the Book of Discipline in use in each body at the sitting of the ratifying united General Conference of the two Connections shall be submitted to twelve or more members of the said General Conferences equally chosen from each Connection, and the Committee as chosen shall report its revision to the United General Conference, which shall ratify the same before it becomes a law.
  • V We agree that the most important institutions of learning, the Book Concerns, and the periodicals now being published, shall be continued.
  • VI We agree to share alike the benefits and liabilities of the respective Connections.
  • VII We agree to change the Connectional names by which the two bodies are now designated, and to adopt the following
    Page 381

    denominational title, "First United Methodist Episcopal Church."

  • VIII We agree that as the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church are members of the Quarterly Conferences, and that the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church are not members of, but are amenable to the Quarterly Conferences for the faithful discharge of their duties, the final disposition of this question shall be left to the first United General Conference, each to abide by its decision.
  • IX We agree that no trustee nor official board shall have power to reject a minister sent to the society by the appointing power (submitted by the African Methodist Episcopal Commission). The Zion Commission submitted the following amendment: insert after appointing power, "Where there is nothing against his Christian character or conduct to disqualify him, and even then such minister must remain until removed by the appointing power or by a committee." This was referred to the first United General Conference.
  • X We agree to retain the episcopacy. The bishops now in office shall continue in the same during their natural lives, or so long as their conduct conforms to the gospel rules, and as such shall share alike the benefits and prerogatives of the episcopacy; provided that the person or persons who may hereafter be elected to the episcopal office shall be ordained to the said office in conformity with the regularly established usages of Episcopal Methodism.
  • XI We agree that the question of general finance be referred to the first United General Conference for adjustment.
  • XII We agree that the platform or articles of consolidation shall be first submitted to a joint meeting of the bishops of the two Connections, who shall issue a pastoral address to the ministers and members of the same, describing the mode by which the matter shall be laid before the respective Connections. It shall be submitted to the Annual Conferences, the Quarterly Conferences, and to the members. Should two thirds of the Annual and Quarterly Conferences and two thirds of the members endorse the plan for organic union, a certified copy of such endorsement and ratification shall be sent from each Annual Conference by the secretary of the same to the ensuing General Conferences respectively.

Page 382

  • XIII We agree that the basis of union and consolidation which we have adopted shall not be considered binding until submitted to all the Annual and Quarterly Conferences, and to the membership, and ratified by at least two thirds of the members of the United General Conference; and until then, the two Connections shall remain distinct bodies living on friendly terms as religious bodies ought to live.
  • XIV The General Conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church shall, in 1888, at their respective places of convening on the fifth day of their respective sessions, set apart an hour between 9 a. m. and 12 m. when the result of the decision of all the Annual and Quarterly Conferences and churches shall be canvassed. Should it be ascertained that a two-thirds majority of the said Conferences and churches have ratified the Articles of Consolidation, the General Conferences shall immediately proceed to arrange a time and place for a session of the United General Conference for the ratification of the above Articles, and to declare the union consummated.
  • XV The platform agreed upon by the Joint Commission shall be published in the official organs of each Connection and remain in the columns of the same until the assembling of the General Conferences.

        Signed in Washington, D. C., July 17, 1885, on behalf of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church,

        JOHN T. JENIFER, Chairman.

        Signed on behalf of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion
Church.

        J. C. PRICE, Chairman.

        Attest: I. H. WELCH and J. C. DANCY, Secretaries.

        In obedience to Article XII, and upon the call of the senior bishops of the two Connections, the first joint meeting was held in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., 1886, when a majority of the bishops of each denomination were present.

        At this meeting the Articles of Agreement were amply examined and discussed, which resulted in their agreement upon all except VII and X.

        The bishops disagreed upon Article VII, in relation to the name, and Article X, in relation to the episcopacy.


Page 383

        The bishops being unable to effect an agreement, it was resolved to adjourn to a subsequent meeting, to be convened at Atlantic City, N. J., in August, 1887.

        Accordingly a majority of the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church appeared at Atlantic City at the time designated, but only one of the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was present--Bishop S. T. Jones.

        After waiting forty-eight hours for the absent ones it was resolved to take no action, except to call another joint meeting before the assembling of the General Conference of each Church, respectively. December 15, 1887, was designated as the date, and Mobile, Ala., as the place. The call was sent to the official organs of the two churches August 24, 1887, and the bishops were requested to attend. About the 8th of December Bishop Turner called Bishop Payne's attention to the fact that a majority of the bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church would be holding Annual Conferences between the 7th and 15th of December. Thereupon the senior bishops of both Churches agreed upon the indefinite postponement of the further consideration of the subject of organic union.

SCHEDULE C

        At the nineteenth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, convened in Philadelphia, Pa., in May, 1892, the following resolution, introduced by A. M. Green, was adopted:

        "Resolved, That a committee of one from each Annual Conference be appointed by this General Conference on the subject of organic union of all colored Methodist Churches, and especially of the African Methodist Episcopal and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connections.

        "Resolved, That in order to be more expeditious in this regard, the committee to be appointed is hereby requested to make the Articles of Agreement formulated by the Commissioners of the two bodies herein named the best of their efforts under this resolution.

        "Resolved, That this committee be and is hereby requested to report to this body as early as possible so that the action of this General Conference, if favorable to organic union, may


Page 384

be conveyed to other Methodist bodies interested in the proposed union."

        The committee provided for in the foregoing resolution consisted of Bishop H. M. Turner, Bishop B. T. Tanner, J. A. Handy, L. H. Smith, J. H. Bell, J. G. Yeiser, J. R. Scott, R. F. Hurley, J. A. Johnson, and B. W. Roberts. This committee immediately proceeded to Harrisburg, Pa., where the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was in session. During the meeting of the joint Commission at Harrisburg, the chief point in the way of an agreement seemed to center around the name to be chosen to designate the unified Church. The proposal of 1892 is contained in Schedule C. The Commission representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Harrisburg telegraphed to the General Conference of said Church, in session in Philadelphia, Pa., that the agreement for organic union between the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had been perfected except as to the title, for which unanimous consent could not be obtained. The General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church favored "African Zion Methodist Episcopal Church." Immediately after the telegram from the African Methodist Episcopal Church commissioners had been read, "A. M. Green offered the following resolution:

        "Resolved, That with a spirit of true fraternity and a desire for the consummation of glorious results to be accomplished by the organic union of these two Churches, this General Conference unanimously accept the proposition of organic union, and the title adopted by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion General Conference and telegraphed to us through Bishop H. M. Turner."

        On motion of J. B. Stansbury, the rules were suspended so that immediate consideration could be given to Dr. Green's resolution. Bishop D. A. Payne was allowed to have the following statement recorded:

        "The blessed Saviour just before his betrayal by Judas to be crucified knelt down and prayed that all his people might be one--a universal unity. In accordance with the spirit of that prayer, I, as an individual, am willing to give up every name for the Church's sake. And I want to say now, that he


Page 385

who gets between the fulfillment of that prayer and God's Church will surely be crushed. God will sweep him from the face of the earth as a woman sweeps away dust with a broom. I am surprised that any brother should quibble over so small a thing as a name when it conflicts with the interest of God's Church. The name 'African' is not scriptural, but 'Zion' is. Africa represents only a continent but 'Zion' represents the Church--the whole Church. I hope that you will adopt the telegram."

        The proceedings of the morning session of the tenth day, May 11, clearly manifest that there was a majority and a minority report submitted by the Committee on organic union. The text of the two reports is contained in Schedule C. The record further shows that the motion offered by B. A. J. Nixon to substitute the minority report for the majority report was adopted by a vote of 178 yeas to 74 nays. (See General Conference Journal, 1892, pages 34, 35.) On pages 114-15 of said Journal the resolution of A. M. Green, previously noted, was adopted by a vote of 168 yeas to 6 nays. There is an apparent contradiction in the record of the tenth day and the twenty-third day. The author, being a delegate to the General Conference of 1892, and present at all the sessions, does not hesitate to affirm that the minority report, contained in Schedule C, was adopted. The vote of the General Conference on the twenty-third day was evidently on the broad proposal for organic union.

THE MAJORITY REPORT

        To the Bishops and Members of the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church:

        Your Commission appointed to consider the proposition of organic union with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church met a similar commission appointed by the General Conference of said Church, on Friday, May 20, 1892, at 12 o'clock, m., in the Zion Church, Harrisburg, Pa.

  • I. After a comparison of the Books of Discipline, it was shown that we agreed in Doctrine and Discipline.
  • II. It was further agreed that all statutory differences be relegated to the First United General Conference.
  • III. Several names for the United Church were proposed,
    Page 386

    and a prolonged discussion was entered into. Finally it was agreed by a vote of 22 for and 2 against (the two opposing being members of our own commission) that the name be African-Zion Methodist Episcopal Church.

Respectfully submitted,

H. M. TURNER, Chairman.

J. A. JOHNSON, Secretary.

THE MINORITY REPORT

Bishops and Members of the General Conference:

        We, a small minority of the Commission created by your venerable body, respectfully beg to report that we did not concur with the majority of the brethren whom you sent to confer with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, for the purpose of effecting an organic union between the two Connections.

        The following is our reason:

        Both Connections were known as African Methodist Episcopal Churches up to twenty-four years ago. Therefore, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection was in every particular as much an African Methodist Episcopal Church as our Connection. Now to impose the term Zion or African Zion Methodist Episcopal Church upon us, is to literally absorb us, and to blot out our individuality as a Connection. We were willing to accept the terms African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, but to accept African Zion Methodist Episcopal Church would be no union at all. It would be the simple absorption of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, from which every sense and emotion of our nature revolts.

Your obedient servants,

H. M. TURNER,
P. A. HUBBARD.


        It is a singular coincidence that Bishop Turner should have signed both the majority and the minority report. It will be remembered, however, that he signed the former as the chairman of the Commission on Organic Union.

        It is worthy of note that during the morning session of the twenty-third day, May 24, a telegram was received from the


Page 387

African Methodist Episcopal Zion General Conference as follows:

        We prefer title adopted by Commission, but in spirit of accommodation will accept "African and Zion Methodist Episcopal Church."

        C. R. HARRIS.

        Bishop Turner threw his powerful influence against the adoption of any title other than that of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and carried with him a majority of the General Conference.

SCHEDULE D

BIRMINGHAM, ALA., April 3, 1918.

        ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT drawn up by the Committee appointed by the Tri-Council of Bishops at Louisville, Ky., February 16, 1918, touching the subject of organic union between the three denominations composing the said Tri-Council, namely, The African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.

        We, your Committee, after solemn prayer for divine guidance, submit the following recommendations as articles of agreement to be considered as hereinafter provided:

Preamble

        Historically speaking, it is seen that the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Churches, originated in a similarity of causes; and therefore resulted in a similarity of effect as regards their respective organizations. Then are there any good and sufficient reasons for keeping separate these three Methodist Churches that have never had any ecclesiastical differences among themselves? If it be true that each and all of us are utilizing every means at our command to consummate the great commission to disciple the world, then it naturally follows that our usefulness in Christian work would be multiplied by working together as a united force.

        Believing as we do that organic union is practicable, desirable, and feasible, we recommend:

  • I That the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African
    Page 388

    Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church unite organically into one body, under the denominational title of: "THE UNITED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH"

  • II That this recommendation for organic union be presented for ratification to the General Conferences of the three above named denominations in the order of meeting, namely: the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, meeting in Chicago in May, 1918; the African Methodist Episcopal General Conference, meeting in Saint Louis, Mo., May, 1920; and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion General Conference, meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., May, 1920.
  • III That should these three named denominations at their quadrennial meetings aforesaid, approve and ratify the recommendations herein named, we further recommend that said articles so approved be sent for ratification to the Annual Conferences of the three named denominations in the order of their annual meetings next following ratification by the two General Conferences meeting in May, 1920.
  • IV That copies of these recommendations be carried by each presiding elder and pastor from the Annual Conference to the district or charge to which he may be assigned, namely: each district, circuit, station, or mission. That said pastor, upon taking charge of his station, circuit, or mission, as the case may be, shall inform the people that upon a certain day and date, allowing at least thirty days' notice, and not later than ninety days thereafter, they will be called together to vote upon the resolution touching organic union between the three denominations above named; and that at said called meeting, after at least thirty days' notice had been given, the above resolution--number one--shall be read and, after mature deliberation, voted upon.
  • V That should three fourths of the members of the Annual Conferences present and voting, and a majority of the members of each local Church or congregation present and voting, vote for said resolution number one, on organic union, then it shall be declared as adopted by said Annual Conferences and local churches or congregations. That correct copies of the Minutes bearing upon the subject, kept by the Annual Conferences and the congregations, giving
    Page 389

    the date of the meeting at which the vote was taken, the number voting for and the number voting against, shall be presented to the next ensuing General Conference of the three denominations aforesaid, meeting respectively, in May, 1922, and May, 1924.

  • VI That a true and accurate record of the said meeting of each congregation shall be made and kept, showing the date and place of meeting, the number voting for and the number voting against the said resolution of organic union; and one copy of the same duly signed by the pastor and attested by the church clerk or secretary of said meeting, shall be deposited with the pastor, and by him presented for record at the next ensuing Annual Conference of which he is a member.
  • VII That if it be found that the number of Conferences and congregations necessary for ratification have voted for approval and the measure has thus passed, a General Conference of the three bodies shall be called to convene at such time and place as shall be determined by the Joint Commission to be named by the General Conferences of the three denominations above named.
  • VIII That representation in the first General Conference of the United Church as above named, shall be uniform, as provided and agreed upon by the three denominations above named.
  • IX That the business of said United General Conference is to be the same as any other legislative body; and that it shall legislate for the government of the United Church; provided, however, that nothing fundamental to Methodism, in the way of doctrinal tenets and constitution, shall be changed.
  • X That we agree to share alike the benefits and liabilities of each Connection that is a party to this union; that the titles of all properties now held in the name of each separate organization, be transferred to the United Methodist Episcopal Church; that as far as possible, all deeds and legacies be taken over by the United Methodist Episcopal Church, either by the decision of the courts and special enactments when necessary, or by such officers and authorities as may have the legal right to do so; and that the details of such transactions be worked out by the General Conferences of the three denominations above named.

Page 390

  • XI That the bishops in office at the time of the approval of these articles in the three above named Churches shall continue in the same in accordance with the laws and regulations covering the official tenure of bishops in their respective Churches.

Present Federation

        XII. Be it recommended to our several denominations that during the period of these organic negotiations, the spirit and plan of federation as outlined in the Bishops' Louisville Address, or any plan which may suggest itself to the parties concerned in this union, be encouraged: in all cases that the closest bonds of association and fellowship be maintained between our memberships; that there be an exchange of pulpits where possible, among our ministers; and upon the request of any of the bishops of these three Churches, there be an exchange of ministers to serve as pastors; and that the said pastors, when so exchanged, shall have the same standing in the Church to which he is sent as was held in the Church from which he was sent.

        That we encourage the exchange of fraternal messengers to Annual and District Conferences, Sunday-school Conventions and Women's Missionary Meetings, particularly in States where the three or even two denominations operate.

        That our bishops invite bishops of either denomination to sit and counsel with them at Annual Conferences; to the end that we may become acquainted with the spirit and policies of our Churches, and that a feeling of oneness of purpose and accomplishment might the easier and more rapidly grow.

        Respectfully submitted:

        Commissioners for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

        Bishops L. J. Coppin,

        Bishops W. W. Beckett,

        Bishops H. B. Parks,

        Elders J. W. Walker,

        Elders John Harmon,

        Elders W. S. Carpenter,

        Laymen J. R. Hawkins,

        Laymen F. P. Sykes,

        Laymen Green Jackson,


Page 391

        Commissioners for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

        Bishops G. W. Clinton,

        Bishops J. S. Caldwell,

        Bishops G. C. Clement,

        Elders J. M. Martin,

        Elders E. D. W. Jones,

        Elders W. W. Slade,

        Laymen S. G. Atkins,

        Laymen W. J. Trent,

        Laymen Oscar W. Adams,

        Commissioners for the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.

        Bishops R. S. Williams,

        Bishops R. A. Carter,

        Bishops N. C. Cleaves,

        Elders J. W. Gilbert,

        Elders R. S. Stout,

        Elders J. A. Bray,

        Laymen J. F. Lane,

        Laymen J. A. Lester,

        Laymen W. A. Bell.

        This agreement was negatived by the non-concurrence of a majority of the Annual Conferences of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. This adverse action was chiefly stimulated and promoted by Bishop C. H. Phillips, who circulated a manifesto containing Fourteen Points against organic union on the basis of the "Birmingham Plan."

SCHEDULE E

        A meeting to further consider organic union was held at Washington, D. C., June 27, 1922. Frankness compels the statement that this meeting was very largely a failure, due to a serious disagreement among the representatives of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop C. H. Phillips refused to commit himself to the further consideration of organic union on the ground that the General Conference of his Church, convened at Saint Louis, Mo., in May, 1922, had not authorized the creation of a commission to continue negotiations


Page 392

for organic union. This statement was positively confirmed by Bishop R. A. Carter and was not challenged by Bishop N. C. Cleaves. It was emphatically denied by Bishop R. S. Williams. In view of this it appears to the author as if it were useless to further consider, for the time being, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church as one of the units of the Tripartite Agreement, except so far as it may relate to federation. The following is the declaration of the meeting:

        We, your Committee on Plan of Procedure, beg to submit the following report:

        Whereas, we believe that the organic union of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church is practicable, desirable, and feasible; and whereas, we recognize the necessity of some definite outline of the plans and propositions underlying the question of organic union; we respectfully recommend this question of organic union to be approached from the following angles:

        (1) That the entire commission, consisting of twenty-four (24) members with eight (8) representatives from each participating body, be divided into two (2) groups, consisting of four (4) from each denomination, to be styled a Sub-Commission with authority to study, formulate, and recommend plans for the basis of union; taking under consideration the following subject, to wit:

        Group "A." The Name and Polity, as to doctrines and administration; the Episcopacy--Episcopal Districts and Annual Conferences.

        Group "B." Department Life--Institutions and Property Rights.

        (2) This Sub-Commission to make report to the full Commission at such time as said Commission is or may be called to meet.

        (3) Believing that a larger general Commission is desirable, we recommend that the Council of Bishops of each of the participating bodies be asked to increase the number of commissioners from eight (8) to fifteen (15).

        (4) Resolved, That during the period of negotiations the members of our respective Churches, Annual Conferences, our pastors, presiding elders, general officers, and bishops be urged


Page 393

to exercise the most kindly fellowship and cooperation, looking toward that unity of spirit and service which will consummate organic union.

        (5) Resolved, That a copy of this report be submitted to all of our Church organs.

Respectfully submitted,

COMMITTEE
G. L. BLACKWELL, Chairman.
R. A. CARTER,
G. C. CLEMENT,
C. M. TANNER,
J. A. BRAY,
J. F. LANE,
J. M. MARTIN,
J. R. HAWKINS,
S. L. GREEN.


Page 394

CHAPTER XXIV
AFTER-WAR PROBLEMS

FOREWORD

        THE data contained in this Memoranda is informing and interesting.

        The "Proceedings of a Board of Officers," with the "Special Correspondence" which immediately follows, is of grave and serious import. For officers of the United States Army to brand twelve million American citizens with the stigma of "natural inferiority, rendering them unfit to be leaders and officers of men," is, to say the least, a high-handed outrage.

        The mind that is free from bias will, in the light of impartial consideration, regard the Military Orders of approval and commendation as ample proof of the courage and efficiency of colored troops who were a part of the Expeditionary Forces and were numbered among the combatants.

        The crisp and sane statements contained in the "Illuminating Information" are noted for their freedom from bitter complaint and rancor. Indeed, the Commission has been profoundly impressed with the mental equipoise displayed by the various colored officers and privates with whom it has been in touch before and after their demobilization. Their spirit and conduct are worthy of all praise.

        It is with a feeling of supreme pleasure and gratification that the Commission gives out the pronunciamento that the colored soldiers who shared the stress and storm of the World War have returned to civil life, mindful that


                         "Peace hath her victories,
                         No less renown than war."

        On Behalf of the Commission,

Signed: C. S. SMITH, Chairman,
J. R. HAWKINS, Secretary.


Page 395

A MEMORIAL

To the Congress of the United States:

        The Commission on After-War Problems of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, representing a religious organization numbering a million communicants and adherents, now in the one hundred and third year of its denominational existence, prompted by a sense of stern duty, respectfully directs your attention to the solemn and ominous statements which characterize the following poem, printed in the September issue of the Messenger, a magazine published monthly by colored people in New York City:

IF WE MUST DIE!


                         If we must die, let it not be like hogs
                         Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
                         While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
                         Making their mock at our accursed lot.
                         If we must die, oh, let us nobly die,
                         So that our precious blood may not be shed
                         In vain; then even the monsters we defy
                         Shall be constrained to honor us, though dead!


                         Oh, kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
                         Though far outnumbered, let us still be brave,
                         And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
                         What though before us lies the open grave?
                         Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
                         Pressed to the wall, dying, but--fighting back!

        Though the poem is the production of a West Indian Negro, a native of Jamaica, it, nevertheless, reflects the conviction of a large group of American citizens of African descent--a group who feel that death is preferable to a state half-way between slavery and freedom. This group has sworn by the blood of their kinsmen who fell on the battlefields of France, in a death grip with the foe, to help make the world safe for democracy, that they will no longer tamely submit to a denial of the rights guaranteed them by the National Constitution.

        This does not mean that they intend to go around with a chip on the shoulder seeking for trouble; that they mean to be needlessly offensive; that they will provoke a conflict, or that they intend to resort to force to secure a fair measure of righteous justice. Not at all. It means that they will pursue


Page 396

the path of peace, imposing on themselves the virtue of self-restraint to the limit, impelled by the lofty purpose to agitate for a better understanding between the races. They will demand a hearing at the bar of public opinion.

        It is quite certain, however, that the fulminating of the archaic and vicious dogma, "This is a white man's country," which of late has been resurrected, will not conduce to a better understanding between the races. Moreover, when General Lee surrendered his sword to the commander of the triumphant armies of freedom at Appomattox, that dogma fell a shattered idol.

        This year is the ter-centenary of the coming of our forebears to this country, which antedates by a year the coming of the Pilgrim Fathers. Our claim to an equitable ownership of this country is attested by three centuries of toil for its development and expansion, as well as by heroic deeds and sacrifices in its defense on fields of sanguinary conflict from Bunker Hill to Metz. We are here, and here to stay--not as aliens or pariahs, but as a bona fide and integral part of the body politic. Our supreme desire is to be allowed to exercise our inalienable rights without let or hindrance, to prove a strong prop in the support of American institutions, and to continue a helpful factor in the development of American industry.

        We most earnestly pray the Congress to make diligent inquiry as to the underlying cause of the race riots at Washington, D. C., Chicago, Ill., and Knoxville, Tenn., with the view of formulating such suggestions for adoption by the people as, in your judgment, may prove a safeguard against similar outbreaks in the future, and also lead to the establishment of a more friendly relationship between the races.

        And your petitioners will ever pray.

CHARLES S. SMITH, Chairman, Detroit, Mich.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.

JOHN R. HAWKIN, Secretary, Washington, D. C.,
Financial Secretary African Methodist Episcopal Church.

JOSEPH S. FLIPPER, Atlanta, Ga.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.

J. ALBERT JOHNSON, Baltimore, Md.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.


Page 397

WILLIAM H. HEARD, Jackson, Miss.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.

JOHN HURST, Jacksonville, Fla.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.

WILLIAM D. CHAPPELLE, Columbia, S. C.,
Bishop African Methodist Episcopal Church.

RICHARD R. WRIGHT, JR., Savannah, Ga.,
Editor Christian Recorder, African Methodist Episcopal Church.

ARTHUR S. JACKSON, Waco, Texas,
Secretary of Education, African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Detroit, Mich., September 22, 1919.

PROCEEDINGS OF A BOARD OF OFFICERS

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP MEADE, MD.,
February 26, 1919.

        Proceedings of a Board of Officers appointed by paragraph 9, Special Orders No. 34, Headquarters, Camp Meade, Md., February 6, 1919, to investigate and make recommendations relative to fitness of:

        
Dent Thomas Marshall Captain 368th Infantry
(Surname) (First Name) (Middle Name) (Rank) (Organization)

        for appointment in the Regular Army.

        
The Board met 1:00 p. m. February 26. 1919.
  (Hour) (Month) (Day)  

        Present: Colonel Charles B. Noyes, 17th Infantry; Lieutenant Colonel Bloxham Ward, 17th Infantry; Major Marshall B. Queensbury, 17th Infantry.

        The Board examined all available witnesses and records, and awarded the following ratings:

        
Physical Intelligence Leadership Personal Qualities General Value Total
9 9 9 9 1 24 16 1 60 52

        1 The percentage of general value was arbitrarily reduced from 24 to 16 so as to reduce the total from 60 to 52, which is below the minimum rating for favorable recommendation.



Page 398

        The Board, therefore, recommends that

        
Dent Thomas Marshall Captain 368th Infantry
(Surname) (First Name) (Middle Name) Rank (Organization)

        be not examined for appointment in the Regular Army.

        Reason--Unqualified by reason of qualities inherent in the Negro race. An opinion of the Board based on the testimony of five white officers serving with the 368th Infantry, Negroes are deficient in moral fiber and force of character, rendering them unfit as officers and leaders of men.

CHARLES B. NOYES,
Colonel, Infantry,
President.

BLOXHAM WARD,
Lieutenant Colonel, 17th Infantry,
Member.

MARSHALL H. QUEENSBURY,
Major, 17th Infantry,
Recorder.

A true copy.
WM. KIRBY,
Lieut. Colonel, F. A.,
Adjutant.


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE NO. 1

DETROIT, MICH., April 18, 1919.

The Honorable Secretary of War,
Washington, D. C.:

        DEAR SIR--The Commission of After-War Problems of the African Methodist Episcopal Church deplores the necessity of calling your attention to the enclosed copy of the "Proceedings of a Board of Officers," the contents of which, except the withholding of the name of the applicant, are self-explanatory. The name of the applicant appears on the copy of the "Proceedings" hereunto attached.

        While we confess to an overwhelming sense of chagrin, we are, nevertheless, mindful of the fact that the nation, all things considered, has just passed through the most trying period in its history. This makes apparent the possibilities of errors,


Page 399

irregularities, indiscretions and overstepping of authority by officials in their individual capacity or in group relationship. We have now and then heard it stated on the part of non-officials that Negro officers holding commissions would not be admitted into the Regular Army. We were not prepared, however, to note the use of such inexcusable, unjustifiable and reprehensible language as is found in the enclosed copy setting forth the "recommendations" of the Board.

        In the name of the Negro youth who so recently made the supreme sacrifice that the world might be made safe for Democracy; in the name of the heroic dead who fell in the shock of battle along the trail of the nation's bloody combats from Bunker Hill to Carrizal, we challenge the statement that Negroes "by reason of qualities inherent in the Negro race" are rendered "unfit as officers and leaders of men."

        If it is the fixed policy of the government to act upon the theory that Negroes are lacking in "inherent qualities" to fit them for officers in the Regular Army, or for any reason that would not apply to white men, we would greatly appreciate a plain statement to that effect.

        With sentiments of high regard,

Sincerely yours,

C. S. SMITH,
Chairman of the Commission.


ANSWER

WAR DEPARTMENT--WASHINGTON

April 30, 1919. Bishop C. S. Smith,
Commission on After-War Problems,
35 East Alexandrine Avenue,
Detroit, Mich.:

        MY DEAR BISHOP SMITH--You recently addressed to the Secretary of War a communication calling attention to a certain endorsement which had been placed upon the record of a colored officer.

        This whole matter had been called to the attention of the Secretary of War. War Department records received to date show that the endorsement quoted by you was made in the


Page 400

case of one colored officer. When brought to the attention of the Chief of Staff, he personally directed the Commanding General at Camp Meade to revoke this finding. This endorsement will not appear upon the record in question. He also directed that in the matter of colored officers being commissioned in the Regular Army that there is to be no exclusion on account of color.

        I am sure that you will be pleased that this action has been taken by the War Department, and I personally share with you the satisfaction of feeling that the finding quoted by you, and which was placed upon the record of the colored officer, will not appear upon his permanent record as filed in the War Department.

Sincerely yours,

EMMETT J. SCOTT,
Special Assistant to Secretary of War,
Rooms 144-146.


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE NO. 2

DETROIT, MICH., May 13, 1919.

To the Honorable Secretary of War,
War Department,
Washington, D. C.

        DEAR SIR--April 18, 1919, the Commission on After-War problems of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, through its Chairman, addressed to you a letter in re the "Recommendations" of a Board of Officers. A copy of said letter is hereunto attached and marked "Exhibit A."

        April 30, 1919, a copy of the letter hereunto attached, and marked "Exhibit B," was received from Mr. Emmett J. Scott, Special Assistant to Secretary of War.

        It is our judgment that the heinousness of the "Recommendation" of the "Proceedings of a Board of Officers" in re Captain Dent demands that the Secretary of War make answer direct.

        The reason underlying the "Recommendation" cannot justly be construed as applying solely to Captain Dent, but is a withering indictment of the Negro race as a whole. As members of the race affected, we would admit the natural inferiority which the "Recommendation" affirms were we to condone it, or


Page 401

fail to demand that the officers who framed the "Recommendation," as well as the officers on whose testimony it is based, be required:

        First, to make plain the meaning of the statement, "unqualified by reason of qualities inherent in the Negro race."

        Second, that the five white officers serving with the 368th Infantry, on whose testimony the Board of Officers based "an opinion," be required to furnish a reasonable degree of proof that "Negroes are deficient in moral fiber and force of character rendering them unfit as officers and leaders of men."

        Third, should the Board of Officers fail to comply with the requirement noted as "First," and should the testifying officers fail to comply with the requirement noted as "Second," that both the Board of Officers and the testifying officers be summoned before an Efficiency Board to establish the fact that they are men of such sound judgment, acumen and sense of justice as to make them worthy of the uniform they wear.

        We assure you, Honorable Secretary, that it is an exceedingly painful task to remind you that the "Recommendation" is not only a foul libel on our living kinsmen who, during the past six decades, have wrought imperishable deeds in the stress and storm of war to maintain unsullied the national escutcheon, but that it is a vile calumny on our departed ones who fell defending their country's flag in every bloody conflict in which the nation has been engaged from Bunker Hill to Metz. The spirit of these heroes, whose silent tents are spread on fame's eternal camping ground, invoke us to defend the sacred memory of their loyal deeds; and, God helping us, we can do no other!

With sentiments of high regard,
Sincerely yours,

C. S. SMITH,
Chairman of the Commission.


ANSWER

WAR DEPARTMENT--WASHINGTON
May 23, 1919.

        MY DEAR BISHOP SMITH--Your letter of May 13 has just been brought to my attention and I have looked into the matter


Page 402

to which it refers. I am very happy to reaffirm to you the information contained in Dr. Scott's letter of April 30. I was, as you know, absent from the country at the time of this occurrence. The Chief of Staff, however, promptly revoked the findings complained of, and, so far as the records are concerned, no evidence of this so-called endorsement is found in them.

        I have so frequently expressed in the most public way my appreciation of the services of the colored soldiers, both in the services of supply and on the actual fighting front, that it would hardly seem that any fresh expression could add to the strength of what I have already said.

Cordially yours,

NEWTON D. BAKER,
Secretary of War.

BISHOP C. S. SMITH,
35 East Alexandrine Avenue,
Detroit, Mich.


MILITARY ORDERS

        (Copies in French of all the military orders included in this publication are in the hands of the Commission.) The units of the 93d Division (Colored), were brigaded with French troops.

P. C., October 8, 1918.

157th Division Staff.

        GENERAL ORDER No. 234

        In transmitting to you with legitimate pride the thanks and congratulations of the General Garnier Duplessix, allow me, my dear friends of all ranks, Americans and French, to thank you from the bottom of my heart as a chief and a soldier the expression of gratitude for the glory which you have lent our good 157th Division. I had full confidence in you, but you have surpassed my hopes.

        During these nine days of hard fighting you have progressed nine kilometers through powerful organized defenses, taken nearly 600 prisoners, 15 guns of different calibers, 20 minenwerfers and nearly 150 machine guns, secured an enormous amount of engineering material, an important supply of artillery


Page 403

ammunition, brought down by your fire three enemy aeroplanes.

        The "Red Hand" sign of the division, thanks to you, became a bloody hand which took the Boche by the throat and made him cry for mercy. You have well avenged our glorious dead.

Signed, GOYBET,
General, Commanding 157th Division.


P. C., October 7, 1918.

9th Army Corps, Staff 3d Bureau, No. 2555.

        Note

        The 157th, 161st and the 2d Morrocan Divisions are leaving the Army Corps. The General commanding the 9th Army Corps addresses to them his most sincere thanks and his warmest congratulations for the glorious success achieved by their admirable ardor and their indomitable tenacity. He salutes the brave American regiments who have rivaled in intrepidity their French comrades.

        He cannot recount here the feats which