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The Book of Discipline


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HISTORICAL PREFACE

We, the representatives of The African Union Methodist Protestant Churches, in General Convention, June 1850, assembled acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church, and the word of God as the sufficient rule of faith and practice in all things pertaining to godliness, and being fully persuaded that the representative form of Church government is the most spiritual, best suited to our conditions, and the most congenial with our views and feelings as fellow citizens with the Saints and the household of God; and whereas, a written Discipline, establishing the form of Church government, and securing to the ministers and the members of the Church their rights and privileges, is the best safeguard of Christian liberty; we, therefore, trusting in the protection of Almighty God, and acting in the name and by the authority of our constituents, do ordain and establish, and agree to be governed by the following elementary principles of this Book of Discipline.

We deem it expedient to enlarge upon the causes of our withdrawal from The Methodist Episcopal Church, or to annex the elementary principles of our Book of Discipline, as we intend to publish in pamphlet form of exposition of the whole matter.

In conclusion, we beg leave to state that this branch of the Church of Christ, being duly organized under the fostering care of the "Great Bishop of the Church," and guided by his counsel, firm as a rock, the Church shall stand, amidst scenes of confusion and members' complaints. The Almighty, who always watches over the destinies of his people put into the heart of a brother to suggest a plan to advance the interests of the Church by uniting two branches of the Christian Church into one inseparable interest, namely; The African Union Church and the First Colored Methodist Protestant Church, and to effect this object, a general convention was called, and due notice given to the different Churches in connection with the two religious bodies.

Pursuant to special notice, the Representatives of The African Union Church and the First Colored Methodist Protestant, met in General Convention on the afternoon of the 25th day of November, A.D., 1865, at 3 o'clock, in St. Thomas Church, in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, and after a protracted session of several days, the Convention adopted a platform to unite the two branches of Zion into one Church, to be known and distinguished by the name of The African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church of the United States of America, or elsewhere.

And to consummate this union the General Convention did hereby constitute a General Conference, to be held in the city of Wilmington, Delaware, on the morning of the 25th day of August A.D., 1866.

Pursuant to previous arrangements, the First General Conference of the Represent-atives of The African Union Church, and the First Colored Methodist Protestant Church, assembled on the 25th day of August A.D., 1866, in the City of Wilmington, State of Delaware The General Conference did then and there form a Book of Discipline for their future government:

AND WHEREAS, We, The Representatives of The African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church, in General Conference assembled, acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Head of the Church and the word of God as the sufficient rule of faith and practice in all things pertaining to Godliness, and being fully persuaded that the representative form of Church government is the most Scriptural, best suited to our condition, and most congenial without views and feelings as fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

AND WHEREAS, A written Discipline, establishing the form of government and securing to the Ministers and members their rights and privileges, is the best safeguard of Christian liberty.

We, therefore, trusting in the protection of Almighty God, and acting in the name and by the authority of our constituents, do ordain, establish and agree to be governed by the articles of The Discipline.

 
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