Denomination refers to the governing body with which a church affiliates. The denomination provides a framework under which the local church operates. It creates a system for oversight and protection of the congregation. There are many denominations out there and even some churches that elect to operate without affiliation to any specific group.
Springdale is a part of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) family of churches. The denomination has churches across the globe and is grateful to God to have congregations in thirty-nine countries on five continents. The denomination has a stable force for social justice and the empowerment of people since 1816 when it was officially established. For more information about the history of the denomination and the impact it has had around the world, visit http://www.ame-church.com/our-church/.
As a church that values and promotes diversity within our congregation, we are often asked does being A.M.E. somehow limit who is welcome in the congregation. ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, the opposite is true. As a denomination birthed from the pain and rejection that comes from exclusionary practices, we wholeheartedly open our doors and heart to everyone and welcome anyone who desires to worship the Lord with us.
About the Name
African: The term “African” refers to people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that our church was founded in Africa or that it is for people of African descent only. It simply means that those Americans who founded our denomination were of African descent and we proudly recognize this fact. Richard Allen also used the term “people of color”. He advocated human dignity and religious liberty for people of African descent in America.
Methodist: Our church is a member of the family of “Methodist” Churches. Richard Allen, our founder and first active bishop, believed that no other religious group of denomination would better suit his people as did Methodism. He was impressed with its emphasis upon the plain and simple gospel, which the under-developed needed. He felt Methodism had what we needed to encourage us to make progress, to worship God freely, and to fill every office available to us in the church and in our community.
Episcopal: The word “Episcopal” refers to the form of government under which our church operates. The Episcopal form of government means that the chief executive and administrative officers of our denomination are our Bishops. Their authority is given to them by the General Conference. Stated briefly, their responsibilities are to oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of our church, including presiding over annual conferences, making pastoral appointments, ordaining deacons and elders, organizing missions, and generally promoting the interest of the denomination.