Roots Covenant Church is a church that celebrates the vision of the Kingdom of God John saw in Revelation 7, of every tribe, every tongue, all peoples worshiping Jesus the Lamb together. To commemorate Black History Month this year, each week of February we are setting aside a portion of our gathering to reflect on how members of the African diaspora have impacted Christ’s church and the world.
Last week, we began long before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, long before there was a United States, even long before there was a Protestant Reformation. We looked at the ancient African roots of Christianity.
This week, we are going to reflect on the roots of the Black Church in America by learning about the legacy of Bishop Richard Allen, founder of one of the first of seven historic black denominations in America. He found the African Methodist Episcopal Church (“AME”). The other six are the AME Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME), the National Baptist Convention USA, the National Baptist Convention of America, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
The Black Church in the U.S. has been a prophetic witness to the Kingdom of God, a consistent voice for justice, and a faithful servant to many of the most vulnerable people in our society. Richard Allen paved the way for this vibrant Christian tradition.
God in heaven,
We seek that your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the many saints who have gone before us. Thank you for saints like Bishop Richard Allen, who were willing to engage the powers of their time and to do put their faith to work by bringing your kingdom from heaven to earth.
We thank you Lord Jesus for the power of your Holy Spirit that moved them.
Show us how to honor the legacy of these and all the saints who have gone before us. Make us disciples of Jesus who are committed to more than missions and charity alone.
Make us disciples of Jesus who stand up for justice for the least of these. Make us disciples of Jesus who are willing to stand in the gap for justice, for peace, for repentance and for change in our city, in our nation, and in our world.
In the Name of Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit. One God now and forever.