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The African American Pulpit

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 Black Church History

The Black Church has historically been a source of hope and strength for the African American community. In 1990, the late professor, C. Eric. Lincoln co-authored, The Black Church in the African American Experience with Lawrence H. Mamiya. They described the, "seven major historic black denominations: the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church; the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church; the National Baptist Convention, USA., Incorporated (NBC); the National Baptist Convention of America, Unincorporated (NBCA); the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC); and the Church of God in Christ (COGIC)," as comprising "the black Church."

Yet it is known that blacks were also members of predominantly white denominations such as the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, United Methodist and Roman Catholic churches. However, Lincoln and Mamiya chose to confine 'the black Church,' to "those independent, historic, and totally black controlled denominations, which were founded after the Free African Society of 1787 and which constituted the core of black Christians."

Since the publication of the Lincoln and Mamiya book, two new black denominations have developed: The National Missionary Baptist Convention (NMBC) and the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship (FGBCF). The FGBCF does not refer to itself as a denomination.

We hope this section of will serve as a resource for information on the historically black Christian denominations and will inspire you to learn the history of your particular denomination. 

If you have information to add to this section or comments you would like to make email:

The following books are excellent reference works on the African American religious experience:

C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, The Black Church in the African American Experience, (Durham: Duke University Press), 1990

Wardell J. Payne, Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity (Washington, DC: Howard University Press), 1995.

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Black Church History Highlights spacer Denominational Resources
The African Methodist Episcopal History   Read...
African Methodist Episcopal Zion   Read...
Christian Methodist Episcopal   Read...
Church of God In Christ   Read...
Progressive National Baptist Convention   Read...
Nat. Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.   Read...
Nat. Baptist Convention of America   Read...
AME Today
AIM Convention (COGIC)
CME's Online
The Christian Index Online (CME)
The Star of Zion
Denominational Official Sites spacer Places to Study

The African Methodist Episcopal
African Methodist Episcopal Zion
Christian Methodist Episcopal
Church of God in Christ
Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship
Nat. Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
Nat. Baptist Convention of America
Nat. Missionary Baptist Convention of America
Progressive Nat. Baptist Convention

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