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African-Americans contributing to the Church

Worshipers sing during a Wednesday evening gathering at Kindgom Builders Center, Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston in this 2011 file photo. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications


African-Americans are a vital part of the tapestry of The United Methodist Church. They have played important roles in the development of the denomination in the United States since 1758.

A service of appreciation at the 2004 General Conference celebrated African-American contributions, witness, and presence within the denomination and recognized “those who stayed” in spite of racism.

Today Black Methodists for Church Renewal represents more than 2,400 black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African-American members in the United States.


The Rev. James Lawson (left) joins Martin Luther King and Ralph Jackson at a March 1968 press conference. Photo used with permission from the SCLC of California.

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Drs. Robert Prince (left), Larry Lundy (center) and Claude Williams share a pew at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, where they are part of a weekly Bible study for seniors. All three were groundbreaking black doctors in Dallas — Prince in obstetrics, Lundy in podiatry and Williams in orthodontics. Photo by Wil Murphy, for North Texas Conference.

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