We are Professing Members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) which is a mainline Protestant denomination with 12.6 million members and a major part of Methodism. The Mission of the UMC —“… is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches and extension ministries of the Church provide the most significant arenas through which disciple-making occurs.”
With at least 12.6 million members as of 2016, the UMC is the largest denomination within the wider Methodist movement of approximately 80 million people across the world. At least 5 million of those members are from African nations where it is a fast growing church and faces daily the adversary. In the United States, the UMC ranks as the largest mainline Protestant denomination, the largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, and the third largest Christian denomination.
We worship in local church of the UMC called Keys of the Kingdom UMC, a new start congregation.
From our beginning 400 years ago on August 25th, 1619 at Old Point Comfort as Africans in the USA and then, after passage of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution, as American citizens of African Heritage called African Americans or Blacks, we have played a vital role in the development of the USA.
Furthermore, in 2005, the nations of the African Continent through their Intergovernmental organization called the African Union defined the African Diaspora (AU) as “… peoples of African descent and heritage living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship, and who remain committed to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” In 2012 The AU expanded, in writing but not in fact, its membership to those who do not live in its established 5 regions to a 6th region – the African Diaspora. Now in 2019 they have said for us to organize ourselves, in the USA that is 47M people of African Descent.
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) is the organized African American caucus of the United Methodist Church. BMCR represents and is dedicated to more than 2,400 African American United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African American members across the United States.
Since its 1967 inception in Detroit, BMCR has consistently been the voice of Black United Methodists and an advocate for the growth and development of black churches. When The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, the caucus effectively lobbied for the creation of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race and the desegregation of The United Methodist Publishing House.
We at Keys of the Kingdom UMC understand idea for an ethnic caucus that addressed the concerns and needs of the Black constituency of the newly merged United Methodist Church emerged in 1967 from conversations between the Rev. James Lawson, Dr. Negail Riley, Rev. Marshall Hodge, Dr. Gilbert Caldwell, Bishop Woodie W. White and Ms. Minnie Stein. In March 1968 a National Conference of Negro Methodists was convened and adjourned as Black Methodists for Church Renewal. It was at this conference that the words “Our time under God is now,” were spoken by Dr. Ernest Smith. Those prophetic words later became the motto of BMCR, and they are as relevant today as when they were uttered over 50 years ago.
We do this action in this historic year of 400 years of our people in the USA and believe it is now our time under God now to grow our congregation and past time for the people of African Descent in the USA to unite. We do so in alignment with the theme of this year’s BMCR conference “The Journey Continues: Celebrating Our Faith, Hope, and Renewal.”
The Social Principles (¶¶ 160-166) provide our most recent official summary of stated convictions. The Resolutions recorded in the Book of Resolutions expand on the Social Principles. These Resolutions are the official statements of The United Methodist Church that we use to build our actions on.