Union Church of Africans
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Peter Spencer and William Anderson
Time Period
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, certain black Christians, like Peter Spencer, began to desire the formation of an independent black church. Issues of racial segregation within predominantly white churches alienated African American members, like Peter Spencer, who left the predominantly white Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in 1805 to form the Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Ezion Methodist Episocopal Church, however, still had ties to the Asbury Church and the predominantly white Methodist Episcopal Church, so the desire for black independence was still not achieved. For these reasons, Spencer, along with Willliam Anderson formed the Union Church of Africans in 1813, the first independent church in the United States organized and independently led by blacks.

Though the denomination had as many as 30 congregations by 1843, Spencer’s death left a lack of leadership within the denomination, leading to a series of schism starting in the 1850s.
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
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Peter Spencer portrait- Wikimedia Commons

Ezion-Mt Carmel United Methodist Church, successor to Peter Spencer's original church- BlackPast.org
Book/Journal Source(s)
Russell, Daniel James, 1920. History of the African Union Methodist Protestant Church. Union Star Book and Job Printing and Publishing House.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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