African Methodist Episcopal Church
Established in 1811
What We Believe
1. The Holy Trinity: There is but one living and true God. He is the maker and preserver of all things. We experience the one God through three aspects of His personality; namely, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This three-fold aspect of God we call the Holy Trinity.
2. The Incarnation of Christ: In Christ there are two natures - divine and human - joined together in one person. In other words, Jesus is truly God and truly man.
3. The Resurrection of Christ: Christ truly arose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
4. The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. He is one of the three aspects through which we experience God.
5. The Holy Scriptures: The bible contains all we need to know to be saved.
6. The Old Testament: The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; in both the Old and New Testaments, eternal life is offered to mankind.
7. Original Sin: All men have inherited evil impulses from their ancestors. This corruption of the nature of every man is called "original sin." It goes back to Adam, the first man.
8. Free Will: Every person is free to choose right or wrong; but even if you choose to do right, you must have God's help to live a good and holy life.
9. The Justification of Man: We are saved by faith in Christ and by that faith alone. Good works cannot save us.
10. Good Works: Good works are the fruit of our faith in Christ.
11. Works of Supererogation: The belief one can do more good than God requires is called "works of supererogation." We do not believe in this doctrine. No one can do more good than he/she ought to do or be better than he/she ought to be.
12. Sin After Justification: A Christian may depart from grace and fall into sin again. But those who truly repent receive God's forgiveness and rise again to a good and holy life.
13. The Church: The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men and women in which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered.
14. Purgatory: We do not believe in the idea of purgatory, which is the doctrine that there is a place other than heaven or hell where souls go after death to be cleansed of sin. Nor do we believe in the worship of images, relics and saints.
15. Familiar Speech: Public worship and the sacraments should be conducted in a language the people can understand.
16. The Sacraments: There are only two sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
17. Baptism: Baptism is the sign of regeneration or the new birth. It marks the beginning of the Christian life. Infants and children, as well as adults, should be baptized.
18. The Lord's Supper: The Supper of the Lord is a symbol of Christ's suffering and death for us. The bread and wine are not changed into the actual body and blood of Christ; they represent His broken body and shed blood.
19. Communion in Both Kinds: Both the bread and the wine are to be given to the people in the Lord's Supper.
20. The Sacrifice of Christ: The sacrifice of Christ is for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other satisfaction for sin but that alone.
21. The Marriage of Ministers: The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law to abstain from marriage. Therefore, it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry.
22. Rites and Ceremonies of the Church: It is not necessary that the rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same or exactly alike. Every denomination has a right to adopt and use a ritual of its own, but the rites that have been established by the church should be faithfully observed by its members.
23. The Government of the United States: The United States is and ought to be a free and independent nation. All righteous government should be supported and defended by Christians.
24. Christian Man's Goods: Christians have the right to own private property. However, every man should give liberally of his possessions to help others.
25. A Christian Man's Oath: Christians should not swear. They may take an oath, however, as may be required by the courts of the land.