African-American History- Christian Denominational Involvement the African-American Essay

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African-American History- Christian Denominational Involvement

The African-American church, and African-American clergy, have been at the forefront of "nearly every major social, moral, and political movement in the black community," according to the Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics (Djupe, et al., 2003, p. 9). And there is not one particular denomination that African-American Christians are drawn to, any more than there is any one specific denomination that Caucasians are drawn to. This paper reflects the different churches that African-Americans have been drawn to, namely the AME, the Pentecostal Roman Catholic Church, and Episcopalian Church.

The School of Divinity at Regent University reports in its 2007-2008 Colloquium on African-American Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements in the U.S. that "Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity is the fastest growing segment of the African-American Church." Indeed, black Christians have been heavily involved in nearly all aspects of the Pentecostal movement "…from founding at the Azusa Street Revival at the beginning of the 20th Century," the School of Divinity reports. The Pentecostal experience has been the genesis of certain styles of music and preaching -- and involved with social change issues -- for black Christians for a long time.

Did African-Americans rely on the "good graces of white Catholics" in order to promote their "full inclusion in the life of the church"? The answer, according to author Anthony Pinn, is no. Daniel Rudd was a principal organizer in the movement to have black Christians become active members in the Catholic church.
He believed -- beginning in 1889 -- that the "increased visibility" of African-Americans -- as African-American Catholics -- might well improve the "general perception of African-Americans" in the sense that "religious commitments well lived" would "foster transformation on all levels…" (Pinn, 2006, p. 172).

Stephen J. Hunt explains that in the Pentecostal Roman Catholic bloc of believers, the "Spirit-Filled" evangelicals' views were not always welcoming to African-Americans. The more conservative stances on social issues like "standard-of-living" did not appeal to "black Pentecostals…" in fact it "moved many poorer blacks away from the more conservative positions…" that were to be found within the Roman Catholic positions (Hunt, 2005).

As for the Episcopalian Church, there has been an embrace of, and welcoming of African-Americans….....

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