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The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists. Allen was consecrated its first bishop in 1816. It began with 8 clergy and 5 churches, and by 1846 had grown to 176 clergy, 296 churches, and 17,375 members The 20,000 members in 1856 were located primarily in the North.<ref>James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (1995)</ref><ref>A. Nevell Owens, Formation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Nineteenth Century: Rhetoric of Identification (2014)</ref> AME national membership (including probationers and preachers) jumped from 70,000 in 1866 to 207,000 in 1876.<ref>The Annual Cyclopedia: 1866," (1867) p 492; The Annual Cyclopedia: 1876 (1877) p 532</ref>


African Methodist Episcopal Church sections
Intro  Church name  Motto  History  Beliefs  Church mission  Colleges, seminaries and universities  Structure  Bishops (past and present)  General officers  Notable clergy and educators  Ecumenism  See also  Footnotes  Further reading  External links  

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