An historic meeting of Black Methodists, united around social justice issues, was held Mar. 1-3 in Columbia, S.C. It was the first multi-denominational gathering of African American Methodists held in 45 years. Leaders announced the â€œGreat Gatheringâ€ at press conference held last month at the National Press Club, with: (l-r) Bishop Warren M. Brown (AMEZ), Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr. (AMEZ), Bishop John Bryant (AME), Rev. Paul L. Brown, Sr. (CME), and Rev. Staccato Powell (AMEZ). Photo by Roy Lewis
Three of the nationâ€™s largest African American denominations stepped across religious boundaries to coalesce around social issues impacting their members. Growing social ills, including high unemployment and the plight of African American men, lead to the historic meeting held March 1-3 â€“ called the Great Gathering â€“in Columbia, South Carolina.
Senior Bishops from the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ) and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) agreed on the urgency of the meeting and said it was the first time the three denominations had met together in 45 years.