P.O. Box 1024
The Rt. Reverend Samuel Lawrence Green, Sr.
Presiding Bishop of the 7th Episcopal District (S.C.) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Reverend Judy Richardson
Presiding Elder of the Greenville District
The Reverend Roland E.D. Sigman
The word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it was for persons of African descent only.
The church's roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel.
Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.
African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The AMEC grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George’s MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. George’s made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME.
The geographical spread of the AMEC prior to the Civil War was mainly restricted to the Northeast and Midwest. Major congregations were established in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, and other large Blacksmith's Shop cities. Numerous northern communities also gained a substantial AME presence. Remarkably, the slave states of Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, and, for a few years, South Carolina, became additional locations for AME congregations. The denomination reached the Pacific Coast in the early 1850’s with churches in Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco, and other places in California. Moreover, Bishop Morris Brown established the Canada Annual Conference.
The most significant era of denominational development occurred during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Oftentimes, with the permission of Union army officials AME clergy moved into the states of the collapsing Confederacy to pull newly freed slaves into their denomination. “I Seek My Brethren,” the title of an often repeated sermon that Theophilus G. Steward preached in South Carolina, became a clarion call to evangelize fellow blacks in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and many other parts of the south. Hence, in 1880 AME membership reached 400,000 because of its rapid spread below the Mason-Dixon line. When Bishop Henry M. Turner pushed African Methodism across the Atlantic into Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1891 and into South Africa in 1896, the AME now laid claim to adherents on two continents.
While the AME is doctrinally Methodist, clergy, scholars, and lay persons have written important works which demonstrate the distinctive theology and praxis which have defined this Wesleyan body. Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett, in an address to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, reminded the audience of the presence of blacks in the formation of Christianity. Bishop Benjamin T. Tanner wrote in 1895 in The Color of Solomon – What? that biblical scholars wrongly portrayed the son of David as a white man. In the post civil rights era theologians James H. Cone, Cecil W. Cone, and Jacqueline Grant who came out of the AME tradition critiqued Euro-centric Christianity and African American churches for their shortcomings in fully impacting the plight of those oppressed by racism, sexism, and economic disadvantage.
Today, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has membership in twenty Episcopal Districts in thirty-nine countries on five continents. The work of the Church is administered by twenty-one active bishops, and nine General Officers who manage the departments of the Church.
"God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family"
The Apostle's Creed
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 sitteth on 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 sin, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
The AME Church Mission
The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of
PSAME Church Mission Statement
Poplar Spring A.M.E. Church
Rev. A.R. Kollock, Sr.
It is the mission of Poplar Spring
Poplar Spring was originated and established in 1825 by the residents of Ora Station. Later they met on the Fleming Mill Road, where they sang and prayed together near the Watts Cotton Mill, called the Lent Fleming Place, known then as the Sire Moore Place.
Soon after the freeing of the Slaves in 1865, Poplar Springs was established here in the Ora community. A group came together under the inspiration of God and the authorization of Richard Allen, the founder of the A.M.E. Church. The people started to form a church; they came to a popular location near a spring and a cluster of Poplar trees.
A brush harbor was built, which they gave the name Poplar Spring, the name of our first church. The pastor was the Rev. Robert Holmes, from 1872 to 1873.
In 1884, land was purchased by the Trustee Board from Mr. Nabors to build the first wooden structure in the present site of the Scuffertownship.
Poplar Spring has suffered three tragedies; one, a burning down in the 1900’s under the leadership of Rev. Humbert; a burning in 1931 under the leadership of Rev. M. Massey, and on July 7, 2007 the church was again destroyed by fire under the leadership of Rev. George W. Brown, Jr. A new sanctuary was built and dedicated to the glory and honor of God each time.
GROWING FOR GOD’S GLORY:
Poplar Spring has undergone several reconstruction projects since its existence in order to make accommodations for the changing times. The sanctuary was remodeled in 1973 under the leadership of Rev. George. T. Devlin. A church parsonage was purchased and remodeled in the 1980’s. New church school rooms and fellowship hall was constructed and dedicated under the leadership of Rev. Casey J, Childs, II in 1993. The sanctuary was again remodeled and dedicated, under the leadership of Rev. Robert E. Kennedy on May 29, 1999. The completion and dedication of the present church structure was February 13, 2010, under the leadership of Rev. George W. Brown, Jr.
The Poplar Spring A.M.E. Church, as we can see from the history, has suffered many hardships, trials and tribulations, but we have and are still carrying on the works that are set before us.
CONTINUING OUR HERITAGE:
Today we reflect upon the changes that have occurred. The church building, incomes of members, roads, transportation, homes, schools and life in general have changed for the better. God has truly blessed the members of Poplar Spring A.M.E. Church.
Poplar Spring is proud of its heritage and its history will go on and on with God’s help and guidance.