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C. H. Phillips (Charles Henry), 1858-1951
The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America: Comprising Its Organization, Subsequent Development and Present Status
Jackson, Tenn.: Publishing House C. M. E. Church, 1925.


Charles Phillips' The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America provides an ongoing narrative of the Colored Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church's history from its founding in 1870 to its current activities and future prospects in 1925. Book I covers the period from 1870 to 1898; Book II documents Church history from 1898 to 1925. Phillips uses the General Conferences of the C.M.E. Church as an organizing principle for his work, recounting important decisions and personages, and reprinting church documents relevant to Conference proceedings. He punctuates the continuous stream of historical events with interpretations of the significance of these events for his denomination.

Phillips pays special attention to conflicts between the C.M.E. Church and the other two predominant denominations of black Methodists: the African Methodist Episcopal (A. M. E.) Church, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (A. M. E. Z.) Church. He ends the book with a series of his own addresses against the proposed union of the three churches. In The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, researchers will find not only a comprehensive church history, but also an eloquent and impassioned argument for the distinctiveness and independence of the C. M. E. Church.

Maryellen Davis

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