Historically African American Denominations

For the FACT survey, a group of seven historically African American denominations combined their efforts through the resources of Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. These denominations include:

  • The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)
    The AME dates from 1787 when it split from the Methodist Church. There are currently 3.5 million members located throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa. The AME Church supports over a dozen colleges and seminaries.
  • The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ)
    The AMEZ church began in New York in the late 18th century after splitting from the Methodist Church. The AMEZ denomination currently has over 1.2 million members throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa.
  • The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME)
    The CME is one of three major African American denominations derived from the Wesleyan tradition in America. It was organized by 41 ex-slaves in 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee and has over 3000 churches throughout the United States, West Africa, Haiti, and Jamaica. The CME is presided over by ten bishops, sponsors four colleges and one seminary, and has a worldwide membership of 800,000.
  • The Church of God in Christ (COGIC)
    The Church of God in Christ was founded early in the twentieth century. It is primarily a urban centered church and has over 5.5 million members in the United States. C. H. Mason Seminary, located in Atlanta is its only African American seminary.
  • Baptist
    There are three predominately African American Baptist conventions with a total of approximately 13.5 million members. These are: The National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA); The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. (NBC); and The Progressive National Baptist Association (PNBA). The conventions are located throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
  • United Methodist Church (UMC)
    The Methodist Church was founded in 1784. Black constituency within the Methodist Church has remain stable since 1968 when several factions merged to form the United Methodist Church. The UMC has approximately 3500 African American churches, primarily in the U.S. There have been 42 African Americans elected to the episcopacy since 1968.
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
    African American Presbyterian congregations were first organized in Philadelphia in 1807. Currently there are over 65,000 Black Presbyterians in the U. S., Africa, and southeast Asia. The Presbyterian USA church has a special commitment to developing countries and preservation of African American Presbyterian history.

Together, the African American denominational participation in the FACT project included a survey of churches in the United States. A total of 1,863 verbal questionnaires were collected by the Gallup Organization. View the version of the questionnaire used by the historically African American denominations. Representing these same denominations, Interdenominational Theological Center also contributed supplemental data for FACT2008.

If you are interested in obtaining specific information about the results of the African American denominations survey, please contact Stephen C. Rasor.

If you would like to know more about the African American denominations, visit the various denominational sites:

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