Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Presbyterian Church is a mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. A part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the US, known for its progressive stance on doctrine; the PC was established by the 1983 merger of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, whose churches were located in the Southern and border states, with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, whose congregations could be found in every state. The named Presbyterian Church in America is a separate denomination whose congregations can trace their history to the various schisms and mergers of Presbyterian churches in the United States; the denomination had 1,415,053 active members and 19,491 ordained ministers in 9,304 congregations at the end of 2017. This number does not include members who are baptized but who are not confirmed or the inactive members affiliated. For example, in 2005, the PC claimed 318,291 baptized, but not confirmed and nearly 500,000 inactive members in addition to active members.
Its membership has been declining over the past several decades. Average denominational worship attendance dropped to 565,467 in 2017 from 748,774 in 2013; the PC is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States. Presbyterians trace their history to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century; the Presbyterian heritage, much of its theology, began with the French theologian and lawyer John Calvin, whose writings solidified much of the Reformed thinking that came before him in the form of the sermons and writings of Huldrych Zwingli. From Calvin's headquarters in Geneva, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe. John Knox, a former Roman Catholic Priest from Scotland who studied with Calvin in Geneva, took Calvin's teachings back to Scotland and led the Scottish Reformation of 1560; because of this reform movement, the Church of Scotland embraced Reformed theology and presbyterian polity. The Ulster Scots brought their Presbyterian faith with them to Ireland, where they laid the foundation of what would become the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought Presbyterianism to America as early as 1640, immigration would remain a large source of growth throughout the colonial era. Another source of growth were a number of New England Puritans who left the churches because they preferred presbyterian polity. In 1706, seven ministers led by Francis Makemie established the first American presbytery at Philadelphia, followed by the creation of the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717; the First Great Awakening and the revivalism it generated had a major impact on American Presbyterians. Ministers such as William and Gilbert Tennent, a friend of George Whitefield, emphasized the necessity of a conscious conversion experience and pushed for higher moral standards among the clergy. Disagreements over revivalism, itinerant preaching, educational requirements for clergy led to a division known as the Old Side–New Side Controversy that lasted from 1741 to 1758. In the South, the Presbyterians were evangelical dissenters Scotch-Irish, who expanded into Virginia between 1740 and 1758.
Spangler argues they were more energetic and held frequent services better atuned to the frontier conditions of the colony. Presbyterianism grew in frontier areas. Uneducated whites and blacks were attracted to the emotional worship of the denomination, its emphasis on biblical simplicity, its psalm singing; some local Presbyterian churches, such as Briery in Prince Edward County, owned slaves. The Briery church purchased five slaves in 1766 and raised money for church expenses by hiring them out to local planters. After the United States achieved independence from Great Britain, Presbyterian leaders felt that a national Presbyterian denomination was needed, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America was organized; the first General Assembly was held in Philadelphia in 1789. John Witherspoon, president of Princeton University and the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence, was the first moderator. Not all American Presbyterians participated in the creation of the PCUSA General Assembly because the divisions occurring in the Church of Scotland were replicated in America.
In 1751, Scottish Covenanters began sending ministers to America, the Seceders were doing the same by 1753. In 1858, the majority of Covenanters and Seceders merged to create the United Presbyterian Church of North America. In the decades after independence, many Americans including Calvinists and Baptists were swept up in Protestant religious revivals that would become known as the Second Great Awakening. Presbyterians helped to shape voluntary societies that encouraged educational, missionary and reforming work; as its influence grew, many non-Presbyterians feared that the PCUSA's informal influence over American life might make it an established church. The Second Great Awakening divided the PCUSA over revivalism and fear that revivalism was leading to an embrace of Arminian theology. In 1810, frontier revivalists organized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Throughout the 1820s, support and opposition to revivalism hardened into well-defined factions, the New School and Old School respectively.
By the 1838, the Old School–New School Controversy had divided the PCUSA. There were now two general assemblies each claiming to represent the PCUSA. In 1858, the New School split along sectional lines when its Southern synods and pre
United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination based in the United States, with historical confessional roots in the Congregational and Lutheran traditions, with 4,956 churches and 853,778 members. The United Church of Christ is a historical continuation of the General Council of Congregational Christian churches founded under the influence of New England Pilgrims and Puritans. Moreover, it subsumed the third largest Reformed group in the country, the German Reformed; the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957 to form the UCC. These two denominations, which were themselves the result of earlier unions, had their roots in Congregational, Lutheran and Reformed denominations. At the end of 2014, the UCC's 5,116 congregations claimed 979,239 members in the U. S. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 0.4 percent, or 1 million adult adherents, of the U. S. population self-identify with the United Church of Christ.
The UCC maintains full communion with other mainline Protestant denominations. Many of its congregations choose to practice open communion; the denomination places high emphasis on participation in worldwide interfaith and ecumenical efforts. The national settings of the UCC have favored liberal views on social issues, such as civil rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, abortion. However, United Church of Christ congregations are independent in matters of doctrine and ministry and may not support the national body's theological or moral stances, it is self-described as "an pluralistic and diverse denomination". The United Church of Christ was formed when two Protestant churches, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957; this union adopted an earlier general statement of unity between the two denominations, the 1943 "Basis of Union". At this time, the UCC claimed about two million members. In 1959, in its General Synod, the UCC adopted a broad "Statement of Faith".
The UCC adopted its constitution and by-laws in 1961. There is no UCC hierarchy or body that can impose any doctrine or worship format onto the individual congregations within the UCC. While individual congregations are supposed to hold guidance from the general synod "in the highest regard", the UCC's constitution requires that the "autonomy of the Local Church is inherent and modifiable only by its own action". Within this locally focused structure, there are central beliefs common to the UCC; the UCC uses four words to describe itself: "Christian, Reformed and Evangelical". While the UCC refers to its evangelical characteristics, it springs from mainline Protestantism as opposed to Evangelicalism; the word evangelical in this case more corresponds with the original Lutheran origins meaning "of the gospel" as opposed to the Evangelical use of the word. UCC is theologically liberal, the denomination notes that the "Bible, though written in specific historical times and places, still speaks to us in our present condition".
The motto of the United Church of Christ comes from John 17:21: "That they may all be one". The denomination's official literature uses broad doctrinal parameters, emphasizing freedom of individual conscience and local church autonomy. In the United Church of Christ, creeds and affirmations of faith function as "testimonies of faith" around which the church gathers rather than as "tests of faith" rigidly prescribing required doctrinal consent; as expressed in the United Church of Christ constitution: The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all, it looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers, it affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, in purity of heart before God.
In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. The denomination, looks to a number of historic confessions as expressing the common faith around which the church gathers, including: The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Heidelberg Catechism, Luther's Small Catechism, The Kansas City Statement of Faith, The Evangelical Catechism, The Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ. In 2001, Hartford Institute for Religion Research did a "Faith Communities Today" study that included a survey of United Church of Christ beliefs. Among the results of this were findings that in the UCC, 5.6% of the churches responding to the survey described their members as "very liberal or progressive", 3.4% as "very conservative", 22.4% as "somewhat liberal or progressive", 23.6% as "somewhat conservative". Those results suggested a nearly equal balance between conservative congregations.
The self-described "moderate" group, was the largest at 45%. Other statistics found by the Hartford Institute show that 53.2% of members say "the Bible" is the highest sourc
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'; the ROC, as well as the primate thereof ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019; the Christianization of Kievan Rus' seen as the birth of the ROC, is believed to have occurred in 988 through the baptism of the Kievan prince Vladimir and his people by the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whose constituent part the ROC remained for the next six centuries, while the Kievan see remained in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until 1686.
The ROC claims its exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Christians, irrespective of their ethnic background, who reside in the former member republics of the Soviet Union, excluding Georgia and Armenia, although this claim is disputed in such countries as Estonia and Ukraine and parallel canonical Orthodox jurisdictions exist in those: the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Metropolis of Bessarabia, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, respectively. It exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the autonomous Church of Japan and the Orthodox Christians resident in the People's Republic of China; the ROC branches in Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine since the 1990s enjoy various degrees of self-government, albeit short of the status of formal ecclesiastical autonomy. The ROC should not be confused with the Orthodox Church in America, another autocephalous Orthodox church, that traces its existence in North America to the time of the Russian missionaries in Alaska in the late 18th century; the ROC should not be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, headquartered in the United States.
The ROCOR was instituted in the 1920s by Russian communities outside Communist Russia, which refused to recognize the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate de facto headed by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky. The two churches reconciled on May 17, 2007; the Christian community that developed into what is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church is traditionally said to have been founded by the Apostle Andrew, thought to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea. According to one of the legends, Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city; the spot where he erected a cross is now marked by St. Andrew's Cathedral. By the end of the first millennium AD, eastern Slavic lands started to come under the cultural influence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In 863–69, the Byzantine monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, both from the region of Macedonia in the Eastern Roman Empire translated parts of the Bible into the Old Church Slavonic language for the first time, paving the way for the Christianization of the Slavs and Slavicized peoples of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Southern Russia.
There is evidence that the first Christian bishop was sent to Novgorod from Constantinople either by Patriarch Photius or Patriarch Ignatios, c. 866–867. By the mid-10th century, there was a Christian community among Kievan nobility, under the leadership of Bulgarian and Byzantine priests, although paganism remained the dominant religion. Princess Olga of Kiev was the first ruler of Kievan Rus′, born a Christian, her grandson, Vladimir of Kiev, made Rus' a Christian state. The official Christianization of Kievan Rus' is believed to have occurred in 988 AD, when Prince Vladimir was baptised himself and ordered his people to be baptised by the priests from the Eastern Roman Empire; the Kievan church was a junior metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Ecumenical Patriarch appointed the metropolitan, a Greek, who governed the Church of Rus'. The Kiev Metropolitan's residence was located in Kiev itself, the capital of the medieval Rus' state; as Kiev was losing its political and economical significance due to the Mongol invasion, Metropolitan Maximus moved to Vladimir in 1299.
Following the tribulations of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Church was pivotal in the survival and life of the Russian state. Despite the politically motivated murders of Mikhail of Chernigov and Mikhail of Tver, the Mongols were tolerant and granted tax exemption to the church; such holy figures as Sergius of Radonezh and Metropolitan Alexis helped the country to withstand years of Mongol rule, to expand both economically and spiritually. The Trinity monastery founded by Sergius of Radonezh became the setting for the flourishing of spiritual art, exemplified by the work of Andrey Rublev, among others; the followers of Sergius founded four hundred monasteries, thus extending the geographical extent of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1439, at t
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States. It consists of two eparchies, ruled by two bishops, including missions; the Church's current leader is Metropolitan Antony. The Church's head offices and Consistory are based in New Jersey. Seraphim Surrency writes: Bishop Bohdan, with what backing the Greeks could give him, moral and little financial, continued to give some competition to the organization of Teodorovich, now called the "Ukrainian Metropolia", but it was a losing battle. In addition to the administrative ineptitude of Spylka, his moderation in matters Ukrainian seemed to work against him. Spylka succeeded in attracting some Americans who were interested in Orthodoxy and most in ordination. Spylka ordained over a dozen native converts to the Orthodox priesthood without requiring any theological education and as might be expected the results were disastrous. In 1942, when persecution of the Church in Ukraine eased under the German occupation, a number of bishops were consecrated for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church there.
One of these bishops, Archbishop Mstyslav, emigrated to Canada in 1948 to head the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. In 1949, however, he moved to the U. S. and joined Spylkas' group. After Archbishop Mstyslav's departure from Canada, the Canadian Church was headed by Metropolitan Hilarion Ohienko. Mstyslav desired the unity of the two jurisdictions and worked to reconcile the two churches and convince Teodorovych to accept re-consecration as a condition for union. In 1950, the two rival jurisdictions held synods at which unification was approved by both, on October 13, a combined unification synod was held, with both groups signing onto union. A number of clergy and parishes under Spylka were unconvinced of the sincerity of the "UOC of USA" group and convinced him to reject the union. Union was proclaimed, but it was not complete, lacking the support of Spylka and those who had convinced him to remain separate. Archbishop Mstyslav joined the new united church - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, along with a number of Spylkas' parishes, the union was celebrated on October 14 by those who participated.
Mstyslav died three years after his election as Patriarch, His death was followed by an enormous division of the UOC in Ukraine, in the United States. He was buried in a crypt under St. Andrew's Memorial church in South Bound Brook, USA. After the death of Patriarch Mstyslav, on October 20, 1993 Volodymr, at that time was the Metropolitan of Chernigov was elected Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus-Ukraine. Archbishop Antony was present at the local council as he was a candidate for the position of Patriarch as well. Following the death of Patriarch Mstyslav in 1993, Archbishop Antony was a candidate at the “Sobor” of the Mother Church in Kyiv, Ukraine, to succeed him as Patriarch of the UOC-Ukraine. Archbishop Antony subsequently was unsuccessful in his candidacy, shortly thereafter, together with his followers within the UOC-USA, despite Patriarch Mstyslav’s decree to remain independent, clandestinely entered into contracts, understandings with the Greek Patriarchate Church of Constantinople. Archbishop Antony and his followers became hierarchs of the Greek Patriarchate Church and assumed Greek Bishop Titles.
The Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul now claims that the UOC-USA is under its jurisdiction and that the diocese is no longer Autocephalous and all parish properties belong to the bishops. 1994 the Hierarchs of the UOC-USA met with the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, at the Patriarch's invitation, came to an agreement recognizing the canonicity of the Church and accepting the UOC-USA and the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora into Ecumenical Patriarchate. Part of the agreement included Protocol 937 between Patriarch Bartholomew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Alexei of the Russian Orthodox Church which detailed that the terms of the Russian Church accepting the EP's absorption of the UOCUSA under her omophoron was that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA must renounce their autocephaly and not aid the church in Ukraine. In November 1996, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America were united under Metropolitan Constantine, who headed the Central Eparchy of the Church.
Bishop Vsevolod was headed the Western Eparchy of the Church. Archbishop Antony heads the Eastern Eparchy. Archbishop Antony served as President of the Consistory. On October 6, 2007, the 18th Regular Sobor of the UOC-USA nominated Hieromonk Daniel as Bishop-Elect for the UOC of the USA. On January 9, 2008, Patriarch Bartholomew and the Great and Holy Synod of Constantinople formally elected and ritually included Archimandrite Daniel in the Diptychs of Holy Orthodoxy as titular Bishop of Pamphilon. Bishop Daniel was consecrated as bishop in May 2008, at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Parma, OH and named the new ruling bishop of the Western Eparchy of the UOC-USA. On 21 May 2012 Metropolitan Constantine was buried in Pittsburgh, his place of birth. At a Special Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in October 2012, Archbishop Antony was selected Metropolitan-elect and successor to Metropol
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, or Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an Oriental Orthodox Church with autocephalous patriarchate established by Severus of Antioch in Antioch in 518, tracing its founding to Antioch by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the 1st century, according to its tradition. The Church uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James, associated with St. James, the "brother" of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. Syriac is the liturgical language of the Church based on Syriac Christianity; the primate of the church is the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II since 2014, seated in Cathedral of Saint George, Bab Tuma, Syria. The church claims apostolic succession through the pre-Chalcedonian Patriarchate of Antioch to the Early Christian communities established by Saint Peter in Antioch, Roman Empire, in Apostolic era, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Evodius was bishop of Antioch until 66 AD, was succeeded by Saint Ignatius of Antioch.
In A. D 169 Theophilus of Antioch wrote sole surviving work consists of three apologetic tracts to Autolycus. Patriarch Babylas of Antioch was considered the first saint recorded as having had his remains moved or "translated" for religious purposes. Eustathius of Antioch supported Athanasius of Alexandria who opposed the followers of the condemned doctrine of Arius at the First Council of Nicaea. During the time of Meletius of Antioch the church split due to his deposition for Homoiousian leanings which resulted in the Meletian Schism, which saw several groups and several claimants to the see of Antioch; the patriarchate was forced to move from Antioch in A. D. 518 due to emperor Justin I, who enforced a uniform Chalcedonian Christian orthodoxy throughout the empire. In circa 518, the Syriac Orthodox Church continued to recognize Patriarch Severus of Antioch as the legitimate patriarch despite his deposition by the Byzantine Empire while those who sought communion with Rome accepted the Council of Chalcedon and the formula of Pope Hormisdas, recognized the new Chalcedonian patriarch of Antioch Paul the Jew.
Patriarch Severus of Antioch was a significant bishop in the organisation of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Byzantine Empire, after he was expelled from Antioch in 518. Bishop Jacob Baradaeus is credited for ordaining the majority of the miaphysite hierarchy while facing heavy persecution in the 6th century. Around 1665, many Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, affirmed allegiance to the Syriac Orthodox Church, establishing the Malankara Syrian Church reuniting with the See of Antioch for the first time since the schism of the Church of the East from the jurisdiction of Antioch in 484 after the execution of Babowai. In the Fertile Crescent, controversy occurred in 1783 when a few members of its hierarchy entered in full communion with the Catholic Church, establishing the Syriac Catholic Church as part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Despite this, the Syriac Orthodox Church remains larger in members and clergy than the Syriac Catholic Church. Although established in Antioch, due to persecution, first by the Chalcedonian Romans followed by the Muslim Arabs, the church's patriarchate was subsequently seated in Mor Hananyo Monastery, Ottoman Empire, whereafter Homs, Damascus, since 1959.
A diaspora has spread from the Levant and Turkey throughout the world, notably in Sweden, United Kingdom, Austria, United States, Guatemala, Brazil and New Zealand. The church's members are divided in 26 archdioceses, 11 patriarchal vicariates, its original area is present-day Syria and Iraq. The Syriac Orthodox Church participates in ecumenical discussions, being a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960, of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974; the precise differences in theology that caused the Chalcedonian controversy is said to have arisen "only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter", according to a common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope Paul VI of the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday 27 October 1971 and again in the common declaration statement between Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Pope John Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday 23 June 1984.
The church is referred to as the Jacobite Church, but it rejects this name due to its Apostolic origin. The Syriac Orthodox Church is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, a distinct communion of churches claiming to continue the patristic and Apostolic Christology before the schism following the Council of Chalcedon in 451; the Syriac Orthodox Church claims the status as the most ancient Christian church in the world by apostolic succession from the Patriarchate of Antioch. According to Saint Luke, "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch". Saint Peter and Saint Paul are regarded as the co-founders of the Patriarchate of Antioch in AD 37, with Saint Peter serving as its first bishop and considered the first patriarch of and by the Syriac Orthodox Church having been selected by the founder of the church Jesus Christ; when Saint Peter left Antioch and Ignatius presided over the Patriarchate of Antioch. Because of the significance attributed t
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. It is the second-oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world; the Serbian Orthodox Church comprises the majority of the population in Serbia and the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is organized into metropolises and eparchies located in Serbia and Herzegovina, Croatia, but all over the world where Serb diaspora lives; the Serbian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, member of the Eastern Orthodox communion. Serbian Patriarch serves as first among equals in his church; the Church achieved autocephalous status in 1219 under the leadership of St. Sava, becoming independent Archbishopric of Žiča, its status was elevated to that of a patriarchate in 1346, was known afterwards as the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. This patriarchate was abolished by the Ottoman Turks in 1766; the modern Serbian Orthodox Church was re-established in 1920 after the unification of the Patriarchate of Karlovci, the Metropolitanate of Belgrade and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro.
Christianity spread to the Balkans beginning in the 1st century. Florus and Laurus are venerated as Christian martyrs of the 2nd century. Constantine the Great, born in Niš, was the first Christian Roman Emperor. Several bishops seated in what is today Serbia participated in the First Council of Nicaea, such as Ursacius of Singidunum. In 380, Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius decreed that his subjects would be Christians according to the Council of Nicea formula. Greek was used in the Byzantine church. With the definite split in 395, the line in Europe ran south along the Drina river. Among old Christian heritage is the Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima, established in 535, which had jurisdiction over the whole of present-day Serbia. However, the Archbishopric did not last, as the Slavs and Avars destroyed the region sometime after 602, when the last mention is made of it. In 731 Leo III attached Illyricum and Southern Italy to Patriarch Anastasius of Constantinople, transferring the papal authority to the Eastern Church.
The history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the work De Administrando Imperio, compiled by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. The DAI drew information on the Serbs among others, a Serbian source; the Serbs were said to have received the protection of Emperor Heraclius, Porphyrogenitus stressed that the Serbs had always been under Imperial rule. His account on the first Christianization of the Serbs can be dated to 632–638; the establishment of Christianity as state religion dates to the time of Prince Mutimir and Byzantine Emperor Basil I. The Christianization was due to Byzantine and subsequent Bulgarian influence. At least during the rule of Kocel in Pannonia, communications between Serbia and Great Moravia, where Methodius was active, must have been possible; this fact, the pope was aware of, when planning Methodius' diocese as well as that of the Dalmatian coast, in Byzantine hands as far north as Split. There is a possibility that some Cyrillomethodian pupils reached Serbia in the 870s even sent by Methodius himself.
Serbia was accounted Christian as of about 870. The first Serbian bishopric was founded at Ras, near modern Novi Pazar on the Ibar river. According to Vlasto, the initial affiliation is uncertain; the early Ras church can be dated to the 9th–10th century, with the rotunda plan characteristic of first court chapels. The bishopric was established shortly after 871, during the rule of Mutimir, was part of the general plan of establishing bishoprics in the Slav lands of the empire, confirmed by the Council of Constantinople in 879–880; the names of Serbian rulers through Mutimir are Slavic dithematic names, per the Old Slavic tradition. With Christianization in the 9th century, Christian names appear; the next generations of Serbian royalty had Christian names, evident of strong Byzantine missions in the 870s. Petar Gojniković was evidently a Christian prince, Christianity was spreading in his time; the Bulgarian annexation of Serbia in 924 was important for the future direction of the Serbian church, by at latest, Serbia must have received the Cyrillic alphabet and Slavic religious text familiar but not yet preferred to Greek.
In 1018–19, the Archbishopric of Ohrid was established after the Byzantines conquered Bulgaria. Greek replaced Bulgarian Slavic as the liturgical language. Serbia was ecclesiastically administered into several bishoprics: the bishopric of Ras, mentioned in the first charter of Basil II, became part of the Ohrid archbishopric and encompassed the areas of southern Serbia, by the rivers Raška, Ibar and Lim, evident in the second charter of Basil II. In the chrysobulls of Basil II d
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church called the A. M. E. Church or AME, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination, it is the first independent Protestant denomination to be founded by black people. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists, it was among the first denominations in the United States to be founded on racial rather than theological distinctions and has persistently advocated for the civil and human rights of African Americans through social improvement, religious autonomy, political engagement. Allen, a deacon in Methodist Episcopal Church, was consecrated its first bishop in 1816 by a conference of five churches from Philadelphia to Baltimore; the denomination expanded west and south after the Civil War. By 1906, the AME had a membership of about 500,000, more than the combined total of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, making it the largest major African-American Methodist denomination.
The AME has 20 districts, each with its own bishop: 13 are based in the United States in the South, while seven are based in Africa. The global membership of the AME is around 2.5 million and it remains one of the largest Methodist denominations in the world. African The AME Church was created and organized by people of African descent as a response to being discriminated against by white congregants in the Methodist church; the church was not founded in Africa, nor is it for people of African descent. It is open and welcoming to people of all ethnic groups, origins and colors, although its congregations are predominantly made of up Black Americans. Methodist The church's roots are in the Methodist church. Members of St. George's Methodist Church left the congregation when faced with racial discrimination, but continued with the Methodist doctrine and the order of worship. Episcopal The AME Church operates under an episcopal form of church government; the denomination leaders are bishops of the church.
"God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family" Derived from Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne's original motto "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother", which served as the AME Church motto until the 2008 General Conference, when the current motto was adopted. The AME Church grew out of the Free African Society, which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, other free blacks established in Philadelphia in 1787, they left St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church because of discrimination. Although Allen and Jones were both accepted as preachers, they were limited to black congregations. In addition, the blacks were made to sit in a separate gallery built in the church when their portion of the congregation increased; these former members of St. George's made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although the group was non-denominational members wanted to affiliate with existing denominations. Allen led a small group.
They formed the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1793. In general, they adopted the doctrines and form of government of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel's independence, Allen sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an institution independent of white Methodist congregations; because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia in 1816 to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the "African Methodist Episcopal Church". It began with eight clergy and five churches, by 1846 had grown to 176 clergy, 296 churches, 17,375 members; the 20,000 members in 1856 were located in the North. AME national membership jumped from 70,000 in 1866 to 207,000 in 1876. AME put a high premium on education. In the 19th century, the AME Church of Ohio collaborated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, a predominantly white denomination, in sponsoring the second independent black college, Wilberforce University in Ohio.
By 1880, AME operated over 2,000 schools, chiefly in the South, with 155,000 students. For school houses they used church buildings. After the Civil War Bishop Henry McNeal Turner was a major leader of the AME and played a role in Republican Party politics. In 1863 during the Civil War, Turner was appointed as the first black chaplain in the United States Colored Troops. Afterward, he was appointed to the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia, he settled in Macon and was elected to the state legislature in 1868 during Reconstruction. He planted many AME churches in Georgia after the war. In 1880 he was elected as the first southern bishop of the AME Church after a fierce battle within the denomination. Angered by the Democrats' regaining power and instituting Jim Crow laws in the late nineteenth century South, Turner was the leader of black nationalism and proposed emigration of blacks to Africa; the African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique history as it is the first major religious denomination in the western world that developed because of race rather than theological differences.
It was the first African-American denomination