Coppin Memorial AME Church is a community of faith that takes the commandments of Jesus seriously. We are serious about discipleship, about meeting the needs of the people in our community and about serving God and God's people on the South Side of Chicago and beyond.
Our beliefs are summed up by the Apostle’s Creed which states: “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried. The third day He arose from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Our AME DNA
The Start of our Denomination
The seeds for the formation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church were sown in the midst of slavery in 18th century America. The great spiritual awakenings along with the rise of Methodism in America helped shape the movement of Africans, free and slave, who attended the great camp meetings where thousands were converted. In 1758 two women became the first Africans to be baptized by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Africans were charter members of the first American Methodist society in 1764.
In 1787, Reverend Richard Allen, the founder and first bishop of the A.M.E. Church, along with Absalom Jones, and a band of followers withdrew from the St. George’s Methodist Church in Philadelphia because of the unkind treatment and discrimination they were subjected to. They felt they could no longer worship in a congregation that would not affirm their personhood, nor fully incorporate them into the church as children of God with equal potential and worth.
One day Allen and others were interrupted during prayer by white congregants and asked to leave the segregated sanctuary. After they finished praying they left the church and vowed to never return. Soon thereafter they began worshiping in a blacksmith shop and founded the Free African Society, which would later evolve into the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC).
For over 200 years, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has fought the enemies of justice and freedom for all people. It has affirmed and defended the rights of oppressed people, those of African descent and others; and its scope of concern and action has been, and remains, as limitless as the Christian religion, hence its motto: “God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, The Holy Spirit our Comforter, Humankind our Family.”
Our Denominational Name
AFRICAN means the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean the church was founded in Africa or that it is for people of African descent only. It does mean that the Americans who founded it were of African descent and we proudly recognize this fact and honor the rich legacy and heritage of our founders. We welcome all who worship Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
METHODIST refers to the church’s membership in the family of Methodist churches. Richard Allen, the founder and first consecrated bishop, felt that the form and format of Methodism would best suit the needs of the African community at that time.
EPISCOPAL refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The Episcopal form of government means the chief executive and administrative officers of our denomination are our bishops. Their authority is given to them by the General Conference which consists of elected representatives of the entire denomination. Our Bishops are responsible for overseeing the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church.
Coppin Memorial AME Facts
District — We belong to the 4th Episcopal District
Bishop — Our Bishop is the Rt. Rev. John F. White
Episcopal Supervisor — Dr. Penny White
Presiding Elder - Rev. Thomas Hughes
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