The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. George’s made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794, Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME.
The early church was dedicated to meeting the needs of the people. During a period of turmoil, poverty, and a sense of hopelessness, the apostles shared a vision of deliverance to a lost society. The heart of the witness was in the idea that Christ died and rose from the dead to redeem God’s people and reunite mankind in brotherhood.
Those who were sent by God had to be empowered before they could start the Great Crusade. The people had to be on one accord and tightly knitted together through prayer and an allegiance to the ministry. The church was filled with the Holy Spirit and people dedicated their lives to the will of God. The scripture recounts a day when all the new converts brought everything they owned, all their possessions, and turned them over to the Apostles for distribution among all the people, as needed.
Therefore as we strive to become a true body of believers, our philosophy and prime motive must be driven by the theme of providing ministry. We must live and breathe on the substance of ministry, saving the lost, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, developing young people, visiting the sick and incarcerated, and setting the captives free. With this philosophy, we then develop God’s plan to provide resources and any other need our work may require.
We share with you the vision of our church’s future, that as we look to God for our spiritual stability, we look to the goals of ministry that will impact our church, our community and ourselves.
First A.M.E. Church was founded in 1999 by Pastor David Ferguson. First and foremost, we offer a spiritual worship service through the preaching of God’s word with prayer and songs. We are a mission church dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing food, clothing, and spiritual guidance. We are a family church where we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are a community church where everyone is welcomed to attend. Come casual; comes as you are, just come!