The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the AME Church, is a member of the Methodist family of churches. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by black people in the world. The Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded it in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence and integrity in worship.
Today, the AME Church is a global denomination. It has episcopal districts in over 30 countries on four continents (six in Africa, India and one in Latin America/Caribbean). It operates programs in global ministry, publishing, Christian education and public information. In recent years, the church has expanded to Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and India. There are headquartering facilities in Washington, DC and in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. The church also operates several schools, colleges, a university, and seminaries in the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa.
The Mission of the AME 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 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 serve the needy.