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Short profiles of Christian denominations in the U.S.

About the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Date Founded:  Members separated from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1787 in Philadelphia.  Denomination officially founded in 1816.

Membership/Number of Clergy:  2,500,000/6,000 as of 2009.

Headquarters:  500 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203

Schools & Seminaries:  Edward Waters College, Morris Brown College, Paul Quinn College, Shorter College, Wilberforce University, Jackson Theological Seminary, Payne Theological Seminary, Turner Theological Seminary-part of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Publications:  The Christian Recorder

Website:  Each of the 21 districts maintains its own website.  The list can be found at

Core Beliefs: The AME Church shares basic Methodist beliefs based on The Apostles’ Creed and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion.

Short History:  The church began when African American attendees at St. George's MEC in Philadelphia were not allowed to pray with the white members of the church.  The denomination was started by the Rev. Richard Allen who had been ordained by Francis Asbury and started Bethel AME in 1794. Bethel joined with other African American congregations to form the denomination in 1816.  The AME Church grew mainly in the Northeast until the aftermath of the Civil War when missionaries to the south brought in large numbers of former slaves.  The church is organized into episcopal districts and the Bishops are the Chief Officers of the Connectional Organization. They are elected for life (and retired at age 73) by a majority vote of the General Conference which meets every four years. A list of current and retired bishops of the church.

Local Churches:  There are 5 AME churches in the Louisville.  The closest one to campus is Trinity AME, 811 South Jackson St., Louisville, KY 40203.  To find others, use the church finder at

AME Church Symbol

African Methodist Episcopal Church symbol