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African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and C. R. Harris (Cicero Richardson), 1844-1917
Historical Catechism of the A. M. E. Zion Church. For Use in Families and Sunday Schools.
Charlotte, N. C.: A. M. E. Zion Publication House, 1922.


Cicero Richardson Harris (1844-1917) was a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (A. M. E. Z.) Church, U. S. A. He was also an educator and the business manager for the Star of Zion, the official publication of the A. M. E. Z. Church. Harris' Historical Catechism of the A. M. E. Zion Church employs the standard question and answer format of the catechism to teach members about the Church's history. However, the type of information included in the work suggests that it may have also been intended as an educational tool for outsiders.

In this catechism, Harris emphasizes the continuity between the Church and biblical history by comparing the A. M. E. Z. Church to ancient churches. Harris follows this lesson with explanations of church doctrine and practices including means of grace, prayer, and preaching. The catechism also goes on to describe the foundation and history of the A. M. E. Z. Church, including the details of its separation from the Methodist Episcopal (M. E.) Church. It cites people, places, and dates important to the Church's organization and operation. Lastly, an appendix to the catechism details the most updated information relevant to the Church, including membership and financial statistics and data regarding Church sponsored schools and publications.

Maryellen Davis

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