An extremely influential portion of our society today is most certainly religion. In African American households especially, the Black church has been essentially passed down to families through history. For many people, it governs their everyday life and many black families spend over 70% of their time attending and participating in Church activities for wholesome association.
Every African American should know that the History of the Black Church stems way before our time, back into the inception of North America when slaves were forced against their will to come here.
According to musefinds.com, Baptists and Methodists licensed black men to preach, and by the 1770s some black ministers, slave as well as free, were pastoring their own congregations. Even before black men were officially licensed to become preachers, slaves still held their own congregational meetings, with or without their owner’s consent. Slave spirituals were sung in the working fields as well as the quarters in which they were held. That is how early African Americans communicated their spiritual feelings, through song, because the majority of them could not read or write.
On February 4th, 1794 the First Black Methodist Episcopal church in America was founded here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as stated on the African American Registry website. After being dragged and forced out of a white congregation during prayer in 1787, Richard Allen, a notable Black minister and orator founded and lead the congregation in efforts to ensure a growing church membership.
Today, there are thousands of Black churches across America. It is a staple in the African American society and although dwindling in membership, has a firm role in the History of African Americans and America.
words by: India Lee
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