AME Zion Church | South Carolina Public Radio

“A” is for African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The AME Zion church is on of the seventh largest black denominations. It had its beginnings in New York in the early 19th century and by the 1820s was an independent denomination. The church was active in the anti-slavery movement and both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were members of the denomination. After the Civil War, the denomination expanded rapidly into the South. It believed that racial progress was a crucial component of Christian practice and its members participated in Reconstruction-era government, resisted disenfranchisement and segregation-- and promoted foreign missions, education, temperance, women's religious and civil equality, and the 20th century civil rights movement. In South Carolina the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was organizationally established in 1867, had three conferences by 1919, and around 1920 became a separate episcopal district.