African-Americans contributing to the Church

African-Americans are a vital part of the tapestry of The United Methodist Church. They have played important roles in the development of the denomination in the United States since 1758.

A service of appreciation at the 2004 General Conference celebrated African-American contributions, witness, and presence within the denomination and recognized “those who stayed” in spite of racism.

Today Black Methodists for Church Renewal represents more than 2,400 black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African-American members in the United States.

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Social Concerns
The Rev. James Lawson says the Black Lives Matter movement is the most important nonviolent campaign since the civil rights movement. 2016 File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Lawson: Black Lives Matter a religious movement

The Rev. James Lawson says the Black Lives Matter movement is the most important nonviolent campaign since the civil rights movement.
Social Concerns
The Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, a retired United Methodist pastor and civil rights activist who marched alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., speaks during a Black Lives Matter rally June 7 in Willingboro, N.J. To Caldwell’s right is his wife, Grace Caldwell. To Caldwell’s left is the Rev. Vanessa Wilson, chairperson of the Greater New Jersey Commission on Race and Religion and pastor of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Willingboro. The protest was one of many taking place in the U.S. in smaller cities and towns involving United Methodists. Photo by Aaron Wilson Watson.

Smaller communities affected by protests

United Methodists have been involved in Black Lives Matter rallies in small towns and midsize cities.
Mission and Ministry
A woman in protective gear holds out a swab to a woman who has come for COVID-19 testing at Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Cars lined up early for the June 29 opportunity. Photo by Matt Jacob, North Texas Conference.

Church parking lots fill for COVID-19 testing

More United Methodist congregations are offering space for screenings, hoping to reach groups at special risk.