160 years ago,

with the Civil War looming, a small group who shared a similar vision of love joined together in the home of a Mr. Henry Russell. Regularly meeting in Mr. Russell’s basement, this group bonded through the chaos and uncertainty that lay ahead for the country. Determined to make a difference in the community, they formed Bethel A.M.E. Adrian on August 4, 1858 under the guidance of Rev. George R. Clark.

For the next decade, this small group of visionary and driven people continued to meet in the basement of various loyal members. Before you knew it, what started off as a few, grew to many. A prominent lawyer, Mr. Backus, saw the continued growth and presented a site for the church to establish a home in 1869. It was a lot on the corner of Butler and Locust St.

160 years ago,

with the Civil War looming, a small group who shared a similar vision of love joined together in the home of a Mr. Henry Russell. Regularly meeting in Mr. Russell’s basement, this group bonded through the chaos and uncertainty that lay ahead for the country. Determined to make a difference in the community, they formed Bethel A.M.E. Adrian on August 4, 1858 under the guidance of Rev. George R. Clark.

For the next decade, this small group of visionary and driven people continued to meet in the basement of various loyal members. Before you knew it, what started off as a few, grew to many. A prominent lawyer, Mr. Backus, saw the continued growth and presented a site for the church to establish a home in 1869. It was a lot on the corner of Butler and Locust St.

160 years ago,

with the Civil War looming, a small group who shared a similar vision of love joined together in the home of a Mr. Henry Russell. Regularly meeting in Mr. Russell’s basement, this group bonded through the chaos and uncertainty that lay ahead for the country. Determined to make a difference in the community, they formed Bethel A.M.E. Adrian on August 4, 1858 under the guidance of Rev. George R. Clark.

For the next decade, this small group of visionary and driven people continued to meet in the basement of various loyal members. Before you knew it, what started off as a few, grew to many. A prominent lawyer, Mr. Backus, saw the continued growth and presented a site for the church to establish a home in 1869. It was a lot on the corner of Butler and Locust St.

Bethel AME Exterior - Back in the day

However, the red shingled white trimmed building that the group found for the site needed quite a bit of repair. The building was previously used as a meeting hall. After some love and attention, what was once was a meeting hall became their church home. And for the next 100 years it continued to be. But again, these were visionary and driven people, who rose the next generation to be just as motivated and inspired children. So the church grew and grew.

On July 1, 1968, the church moved into a temporary home at the Goodwill of Adrian. Making way for the construction of the brand new facility, which began on July 31, 1968. It took over a year for the new church home to be finished. But on March 8, 1970 the entire town of Adrian rejoiced and came together for the opening of the church doors.

The new Bethel was all that had been hoped for in a church home since the meetings in Mr. Russell’s basement. It was a place of warmth, beauty and tranquility. The entire community came together to make the new facility possible, and to show their gratitude an Open House Tea event was hosted on April 26, 1970 at the church. A special tea was presented to donors, patrons, members and many friends of the community.

However, the red shingled white trimmed building that the group found for the site needed quite a bit of repair. The building was previously used as a meeting hall. After some love and attention, what was once was a meeting hall became their church home. And for the next 100 years it continued to be. But again, these were visionary and driven people, who rose the next generation to be just as motivated and inspired children. So the church grew and grew.

On July 1, 1968, the church moved into a temporary home at the Goodwill of Adrian. Making way for the construction of the brand new facility, which began on July 31, 1968. It took over a year for the new church home to be finished. But on March 8, 1970 the entire town of Adrian rejoiced and came together for the opening of the church doors.

The new Bethel was all that had been hoped for in a church home since the meetings in Mr. Russell’s basement. It was a place of warmth, beauty and tranquility. The entire community came together to make the new facility possible, and to show their gratitude an Open House Tea event was hosted on April 26, 1970 at the church. A special tea was presented to donors, patrons, members and many friends of the community.

However, the red shingled white trimmed building that the group found for the site needed quite a bit of repair. The building was previously used as a meeting hall. After some love and attention, what was once was a meeting hall became their church home. And for the next 100 years it continued to be. But again, these were visionary and driven people, who rose the next generation to be just as motivated and inspired children. So the church grew and grew.

On July 1, 1968, the church moved into a temporary home at the Goodwill of Adrian. Making way for the construction of the brand new facility, which began on July 31, 1968. It took over a year for the new church home to be finished. But on March 8, 1970 the entire town of Adrian rejoiced and came together for the opening of the church doors.

The new Bethel was all that had been hoped for in a church home since the meetings in Mr. Russell’s basement. It was a place of warmth, beauty and tranquility. The entire community came together to make the new facility possible, and to show their gratitude an Open House Tea event was hosted on April 26, 1970 at the church. A special tea was presented to donors, patrons, members and many friends of the community.

Bethel Exterior - 2

Over the years, Bethel A.M.E. Church (lovingly known as the “Methodist Church”) has been a gracious, warm and giving Church that has had a continued presence and positive impact on families in Adrian and the surrounding communities.

Bethel has been a place where many young people have grown up in the church and began their Christian journey. Bethel is currently the meeting site for the Lenawee County Branch NAACP meetings, and continues to be a present help to the students attending Adrian College and Siena Heights College, as well as partner with other dedicated churches and organizations that help our community.

Today, Bethel A.M.E. Church strives to continue to provide a spiritual and church sanctuary for those who are seeking to come closer to God and to serve Him with gifts and talents.

Over the years, Bethel A.M.E. Church (lovingly known as the “Methodist Church”) has been a gracious, warm and giving Church that has had a continued presence and positive impact on families in Adrian and the surrounding communities.

Bethel has been a place where many young people have grown up in the church and began their Christian journey. Bethel is currently the meeting site for the Lenawee County Branch NAACP meetings, and continues to be a present help to the students attending Adrian College and Siena Heights College, as well as partner with other dedicated churches and organizations that help our community.

Today, Bethel A.M.E. Church strives to continue to provide a spiritual and church sanctuary for those who are seeking to come closer to God and to serve Him with gifts and talents.

Over the years, Bethel A.M.E. Church (lovingly known as the “Methodist Church”) has been a gracious, warm and giving Church that has had a continued presence and positive impact on families in Adrian and the surrounding communities.

Bethel has been a place where many young people have grown up in the church and began their Christian journey. Bethel is currently the meeting site for the Lenawee County Branch NAACP meetings, and continues to be a present help to the students attending Adrian College and Siena Heights College, as well as partner with other dedicated churches and organizations that help our community.

Today, Bethel A.M.E. Church strives to continue to provide a spiritual and church sanctuary for those who are seeking to come closer to God and to serve Him with gifts and talents.

Meet the Pastor

Rev. Lynn Jackson is a compassionate woman of God that lives to care for God’s people. She currently serves as Pastor for the loving congregation at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which is a church for all people.

Her ministry began at Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit, where she attended since 1991. Following God’s call, she served as a teacher for the Wednesday Night Youth Bible Study, Heaven on Earth Ministry, D.O.V.E.S (Daughters of Virtue Empowered Spiritually), Women in Ministry and Barat House Ministry. She also served as the President / Board Chair for the L.I.F.T. Women’s Resource Center.

After becoming ordained as Deacon (2009) / Elder (2011), she was given her first Pastoral assignment at Visitor’s Chapel AME in Detroit (2012).

Rev. Jackson’s educational background includes a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) from Ashland Theological Seminary where she began work on her doctorate in Transformational Leadership. Rev. Jackson is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and uses her gifts to help those in need.

After thirty-seven and one half (37 ½) years with the Postal Service, she retired in 2015 and enjoys spending time with her family. She is happily married to Dwayne, her husband of thirty-one (31) years. Together they have three beautiful children Rachel, David and Stephanie and six grandchildren Jada, Amari, Nala, Julian, Major and Dominic.

Rev. Lynn Jackson is a compassionate woman of God that lives to care for God’s people. She currently serves as Pastor for the loving congregation at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which is a church for all people.

Her ministry began at Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit, where she attended since 1991. Following God’s call, she served as a teacher for the Wednesday Night Youth Bible Study, Heaven on Earth Ministry, D.O.V.E.S (Daughters of Virtue Empowered Spiritually), Women in Ministry and Barat House Ministry. She also served as the President / Board Chair for the L.I.F.T. Women’s Resource Center.

After becoming ordained as Deacon (2009) / Elder (2011), she was given her first Pastoral assignment at Visitor’s Chapel AME in Detroit (2012).

Rev. Jackson’s educational background includes a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) from Ashland Theological Seminary where she began work on her doctorate in Transformational Leadership. Rev. Jackson is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and uses her gifts to help those in need.

After thirty-seven and one half (37 ½) years with the Postal Service, she retired in 2015 and enjoys spending time with her family. She is happily married to Dwayne, her husband of thirty-one (31) years. Together they have three beautiful children Rachel, David and Stephanie and six grandchildren Jada, Amari, Nala, Julian, Major and Dominic.

Past Bethel & A.M.E. Leaders

Bishops

Bishop H.M. Turner

Bishop J.M. Conners

Bishop C.S. Smith

Bishop W.J. Vernon

Bishop J.A. Gregg

Bishop George W. Barber

Bishop F.D. Jordan

Bishop Joseph A. Gomez

Bishop Howard J. Primm

Bishop Hubert Robins

Bishop Samuel S. Morris

Bishop James H. Mayo

Bishop Robert Thomas Jr.

Bishop Phillip R. Cousin

Bishop John R. Bryant

Bishop John F. White

Presiding Elders

Presiding Elder Shelton

Presiding Elder C.E. Allen

Presiding Elder J.W. Sanders

Presiding Elder W.A. Crider

Presiding Elder Wiseman

Presiding Elder W.E. Walker

Presiding Elder David Amysey

Presiding Elder R.F. Washington

Presiding Elder James A. Aikens

Presiding Elder Joseph A. Parker

Presiding Elder Harold C. Huggins

Presiding Elder Norman V. Osborne

Pastors

Rev. G.B. Walls

Rev. R.H. Shelton

Rev. P.S. Marks

Rev. W.A. Crider

Rev. A. Smith

Rev. Fredrick Carter

Rev. W.W. Clarke

Rev. Pierson

Rev. F.M. Findley

Rev. E.L. Clark

Rev. Ware

Rev. David Ampey

Rev. C.A. Graine

Rev. Nelson

Rev. Lamont

Rev. Charles Penny

Rev. Hurd

Rev. Houston

Rev. Simmons

Rev. Joseph A. Parker

Rev. Walter Smith

Rev. Edward Roundtree

Rev. Mack Taylor

Rev. Wm. A. White

Rev. W.H. Jones

Rev. Samuel Stafford

Rev. Thomas Givahn

Rev. Alfred Knowles

Rev. Bowman Johnson

Rev. J.W. Cook

Rev. Wm. Saunders

Rev. Willie Clements

Rev. E.W. Arnold

Rev. Thomas VanLeer

Rev. W. Mordeau Williams

Rev. Oscar Crear

Rev. L.B. Johnson

Rev. Calvin Rice

Rev. Thomas Harrell

Rev. Clarence Carrington

Rev. Charles Harpole

Rev. Charles Wilson

Rev. Fredrick Gaddy

Rev. Paul Mugala

Rev. Oveta Fuller-Caldwell

Rev. Joseph Funchess

Rev. Lynn M. Jackson

Rev. G.B. Walls

Rev. R.H. Shelton

Rev. P.S. Marks

Rev. W.A. Crider

Rev. A. Smith

Rev. Fredrick Carter

Rev. W.W. Clarke

Rev. Pierson

Rev. F.M. Findley

Rev. E.L. Clark

Rev. Ware

Rev. David Ampey

Rev. C.A. Graine

Rev. Nelson

Rev. Lamont

Rev. Charles Penny

Rev. Hurd

Rev. Houston

Rev. Simmons

Rev. Joseph A. Parker

Rev. Walter Smith

Rev. Edward Roundtree

Rev. Mack Taylor

Rev. Wm. A. White

Rev. W.H. Jones

Rev. Samuel Stafford

Rev. Thomas Givahn

Rev. Alfred Knowles

Rev. Bowman Johnson

Rev. J.W. Cook

Rev. Wm. Saunders

Rev. Willie Clements

Rev. E.W. Arnold

Rev. Thomas VanLeer

Rev. W. Mordeau Williams

Rev. Oscar Crear

Rev. L.B. Johnson

Rev. Calvin Rice

Rev. Thomas Harrell

Rev. Clarence Carrington

Rev. Charles Harpole

Rev. Charles Wilson

Rev. Fredrick Gaddy

Rev. Paul Mugala

Rev. Oveta Fuller-Caldwell

Rev. Joseph Funchess

Rev. Lynn M. Jackson

African Methodist Episcopal

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. It means that the church is governed by Bishops. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.

The Mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.

At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME 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 to serve the needy. It is also the duty of Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training.

The ultimate purposes are:

  1. Make available God’s biblical principles,
  2. Spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and
  3. Provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people.

In order to meet the needs of every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2) Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) the history and significance of the AME Church, (5) God’s biblical principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.

“God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family.”

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.

Close Menu
×