HISTORICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The African Methodist Episcopal Church was formally organized in 1816 in the United States. It developed from a congregation formed by a group of blacks who withdrew in November 1787 from St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia because of restriction in seating; blacks had been confined to the gallery of the church. Those who withdrew had formed the Free African Society in the spring of 1787, the forerunner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and built Bethel African Methodist Church in Philadelphia. In 1799 Richard Allen was ordained its minister by Bishop Francis Asbury of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1816 Asbury consecrated Allen bishop of the newly organized African Methodist Episcopal Church, which accepted Methodist doctrine and discipline. The church speaks of Richard Allen, William Paul Quinn, David A. Payne, and Henry M. Turner as the "Four Horsemen" instrumental in the establishment of the church.
The church is Methodist in church government, and it holds a general conference every four years. In 1991 the church claimed 3,500,000 members and 8,000 congregations. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
St. Paul A.M.E. Zanesville is one of the oldest and most highly respected churches within the Zanesville Community and Southeastern Ohio Region, having been founded in 1876.
BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN
Richard Allen was born February 14, 1760 and died March 26, 1831. Soon after Allen was born to slave parents, his family was sold to a Delaware farmer. At age 17 he became a Methodist convert and at 22 years old was permitted to preach. Two years later in 1784 at the first general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Baltimore Allen was considered a talented candidate for the new denomination's ministry. In 1786 he bought his freedom and went to Phaladelphia, where he joined St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church. Occasionally, he was asked to preach to the congregation. He also conducted prayer meetings for blacks. Restrictions were placed on the number permitted to attend these meetings and Allen, dissatisfied, withdrew in 1787 to help organize an independent Methodist church. In 1787 he turned an old blacksmith shop into the first church for blacks in the United states. His follwers were know as Allenites.
In 1799 Allen became the first African American to be officially ordained in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The organization of the Bethel Society led in 1816 to the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which elected Allen its first bishop.
Grace Palmer Women's Missionary Society
We have a very active Women's Missionary Society. The purpose of the Grace Palmer Missionary Society is to foster and maintain local and global missions related to various community ministries. We visit nursing homes as one of our outreach ministries. We have contributed to such national organizations as the United Negro College Fund, and the International Church World Service Organization to assist with providing blankets as part of our "relief" ministry. During the holidays we do Hat, Glove and Scarf Trees, which enabled us to give over 175 hats, gloves and scarves to the three Zanesville Elementary Schools for those in need this past year. Our Society has contributed to and volunteered with many agencies serving young people, women and the disadvantaged such as the Salvation Army, Christ's Table and the Christ's Community Food Pantry. We also feed the homeless at the YWCAFamily Center in Columbus, Ohio as part of our regional outreach ministry.
The Steward Board
The Steward Board Members are:
* Ms. Deanna Martin - Steward Board Chairperson
Mrs. Betty Bellamy, Mrs. Pat Frenzley - Emeritus, Mrs. Hortense Jones, Mrs. Bonnie Jordan, Mr. Steve Kullman, Mrs. Juanita Mitchell - Emeritus, Mr. Sam Mitchell-Emeritus, Mr. Tony Payton, Ms. Connie Quarles.
Junior Steward Board Member - Ms. Costella Haley.
The Trustee Board
The Trustee Board Members are:
* Mr. Kenny Wooten - Trustee Board Chairperson
Mr. Paul Jones Sr., Mr. Les Kelley, Mr. Phil Palmer.
Summer Youth Program
The St. Paul AME young people participated in a wonderful 2012 summer youth program which kept them engaged in reading activities at the Muskingum County Library, museum field trips, swimming, various arts & crafts, cooking lessons and gardening. A free lunch program was part of the 2012 summer youth program.