AME CHURCH HISTORY
The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) connectional organization grew out of the Free African Society (FAS), which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. They were responding to racial discrimination encountered while worshipping at Saint George Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
Prior to the Civil War, the AMEC rapidly spread throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Major congregations were established in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Detroit. The denomination reached the Pacific Coast in the early 1850s with churches in Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco, and other places in California. Moreover, Bishop Morris Brown established the Canada Annual Conference.
Today, the AMEC has membership in twenty episcopal districts in thirty-nine countries on five continents. The work of the church is administered by twenty-one active bishops and nine general officers.
"God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family."
The mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.
ABOUT NEWMAN AFRICAN METHODIST CHURCH
Newman AME Church is part of the larger African Methodist Episcopal Church connectional organization. We are grateful that God's grace and his son Jesus Christ provided a way for Rev. Augustus R. Green to organize Oakland County's first African American church in 1861. At first services were held in homes, in a church basement, and in a schoolhouse. The charter members were Mr. and Mrs. George Newman, Ms. Harriet Washington, Mr. Henry Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Stevens, and Mr. John Jones. On August 1, 1868, the church was incorporated as Newman African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was named for George Newman, a founding member, whose loyalty and devotion kept the sometimes-faltering church alive.
We are grateful that God's grace and his son Jesus Christ provided the inspiration and guidance for Newman AME Church to have played a major role in the growth and development of the city of Pontiac. From the ranks of its congregation have come the Northern Oakland NAACP, formed in 1920; the city's first mayor, the Honorable W. Holland; many city commissioners; a county commissioner; a superintendent of the Pontiac School District; many teachers and leaders in the educational community; many business leaders; and the nonprofit corporation Newman Housing Authority, which constructed Newman Court Apartments.
We are grateful that God's grace and his son Jesus Christ provided patience, strength, and motivation to continue to serve the community in and around the city of Pontiac. Newman remains active in the community with its support of Whitman Elementary School, Haven, Strong United Neighbors Time Bank, and the Boy Scouts. Newman also runs a Friday Community Feeding Program and a full array of weekly worship and fellowship opportunities.
Through God's mercy and grace, the congregation bought a church building in downtown Pontiac with a seating capacity of one hundred in 1872. This building underwent many improvements and additions until it was claimed by urban renewal in 1961.
The current structure, at 233 Bagley Street in Pontiac, was constructed in 1963. The conceptual design for this building was developed by Pastor Rev. J. Allen Parker. The building seats seven hundred people and sits on a site of over six acres of land. A major expansion and renovation project of this structure is currently underway. Phase one of this project is slated for completion by fall 2019.