2016 – 2020 Theme

Quadrennial Theme 2016 – 2020:

THE FREEDOM CHURCH: REFOCUSING ON OUR PURPOSE, REVIEWING OUR PRACTICES, RETOOLING OUR PEOPLE , REACHING OUR POTENTIAL.” 

The statements above were selected from “The Bishop’s Quadrennial Address”
at the General Conference in 2016 in Greenboro, North Carolina.

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32 NLT)

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is our church. For many of us it is the church of our birth, for others, it is the church of their choice, and for all of us, it is the church we love. We have offered our lives and labor to its continued mission. More importantly and of greater significance and meaning than this church being “ours,” The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is God’s church. It is known to us and to many as “The Freedom Church,” and this we do not take lightly. The significance of this legacy now passed to us is precious and prized. We will not let it wane or die. The principle of freedom is inextricably bound with a profound sense of responsibility that calls us to face the challenge of how we may “serve the present age.” Our chosen quadrennial theme focuses on the concept of freedom and how the definition of being God’s church guides and informs our path forward in the 21st century and beyond.

Yet, while no church can ever claim to be perfect, the church must at least strive to be true. As the leaders and Chief Pastors of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, we take seriously the responsibility laid upon us by God and the church. As Dennis M. Campbell has said;

“The need for organization was not apparent to the earliest Christians since it was supposed that Christ would soon return to redeem his people. As time went on, and as second generation Christians were present, it was necessary to attend to structure, organization and planning for the future. It is a sociological truism that human communities must be organized for effective existence. Leadership is necessary for organizations to be effective. No human community can function devoid of leadership.” [1]

[1] Dennis M. Campbell, The Yoke of Obedience: The Meaning of Ordination in Methodism, Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1988, p. 29

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