Bishop Reverdy Ransom (seated), Mrs. Ransom, and the State Presiding Elders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1932. Morris Brown, a free African-American, formed Charleston's Emmanuel Church in 1817, the first AME congregation in the state. Closed down after the Denmark Vesey rebellion in 1822, the Emmanuel Congregation was rebuilt in 1861, and is still one of Charleston's largest African-American congregations. The AME church was an important source of African-American leadership in the state after the Civil War. For example, Richard H. "Daddy" Cain, a Brooklyn minister who came south as a missionary, founded an important African-American newspaper in South Carolina, served in the state Senate, and represented South Carolina in the Reconstruction Congress before resigning from politics to become an AME bishop. Richard S. Roberts photograph.
Courtesy of the Estate of Richard Samuel Roberts.