Annual Report of The African American Methodist Heritage Center
To The 47th Annual Meeting of the Black Methodists for Church Renewal – March 28, 2014 No tree can flourish without its roots.
Some roots are very deep and not easy to find or to trace. These are the roots of many of the hundreds of traditionally African American churches of Methodist tradition which are found along the byroads and highroads and the streets and avenues of these United States. Some of the historical roots are closely guarded as treasures passed down through the founding families of some congregations. Where ever they are, they should be located, preserved and cherished as the foundations so needed to help United Methodism be a vital instrument of service to God.
AAMHC continues to encourage local congregations to seek out their beginnings, to recover their treasures and to preserve them for posterity. Congregations are encouraged, first to determine if they have the capacity to provide state of the art protection for their documents. They are encouraged to consider sharing their collections with the AAMHC for preservation along with the other valuable artifacts in the AAMHC collection. At least one notable addition to the collection were the papers of William Jason, one of the great patriarchs of the former Delaware Conference of the Central Jurisdiction.
United Methodists are invited to contact AAMHC about the possibility of placing historical documents in the AAMHC collection. The church is losing rich history as our members die and their families dispose of materials they do not recognize as valuable to the story of African Americans in Methodism. You are a vital link in the telling of our story; be sure your family knows of your interest in sharing your sermons, papers, writing, etc. with the wider church through the AAMHC.
The success of the calendar “Images of Promise” encouraged the Board of Directors to develop and publish the third in the series – the 2014 Calendar “Banners of Promise. This beautiful calendar features banners from Methodist churches and sources. They recall the experience of Moses – “And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner.” (Exodus 17:15) The calendar is inspirational and educational. It provides dates of historical importance to the United Methodist Church and our Pan-Methodist partners. Every family should have one. Copies are available for ten dollars each.
During the year we completed the fifth DVD in the series “We’ve Come This Far by Faith.” The series presents the story of African Americans in Methodism in the Western Jurisdiction, the South Central Jurisdiction, the Southeast Jurisdiction, the North Central Jurisdiction and the Northeast Jurisdiction. A set of five videos is available for $40.00 or individual DVD’s are available for $10.00 each. The may be obtained via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, AAMHC, 36 Madison Avenue, PO Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940. These are excellent resources for use during the May observance of Methodist Heritage Sunday. The DVD’s are suitable for use with Church School classes as well as new member classes. Members will learn more about the rich story of Methodism and the role African Americans played in the development of that heritage.
The AAMHC is available to you as a resource as you plan historical events in your local church or jurisdiction. Contact us via the e-mail address below.
Black Methodists for Church Renewal has been a strong supporter of the AAMHC since it launched us as an independent entity. We share a common heritage and a common goal to ensure the full participation of African Americans in the life of our denomination. We welcome your suggestions, your support and your financial contributions. Our ministry is not yet complete and we need you to help us be more effective.
John Heyward, Vice President
Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the rich history of African Americans in Methodism.