The New Bern District is one of three districts in the North Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (A.M.E. Zion) Church. Located in southeastern North Carolina, it serves 19 churches in a four-county area: Craven, Jones, Lenoir, and Onslow. The District is the A-Team's home, where each member strives to live a life that impACTS: Accountability, Christ-Like, Team Building, and Stewardship.
The A.M.E. Zion Church has a rich history. It is known as the Freedom Church because Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglas were members. It has a long and distinct history exceeding two hundred years in training ministers and leaders to preach, teach, and make disciples as part of the Great Commission.
The A.M.E. Zion church emerged as a denomination from the Methodist Episcopal Church in the late 1700s. People of color did not have the same right to use their gifts as their white counterparts did in the Methodist Episcopal Church. This treatment troubled Bishop Francis Asbury, the first consecrated bishop in America that helped Methodism flourish in our fledgling nation. To resolve this inequity and avoid objections by white southern delegates, Bishop Asbury secretly ordained several ministers of color at an annual conference in New York.
The inequity continued even though the Methodist General Conference began ordaining people of color in the 1800s. Following several meetings with Bishop Asbury, the African Americans officially severed ties with white Methodism circa 1828. They chartered the African Methodist Church in New York. To avoid confusion with Richard Allen's Philadelphia Black Methodist Movement, the General Conference added Zion to its denominational name.
The expansion of the A.M.E. Zion denomination in the northeast eventually led to Rev. James W. Hood targeting North Carolina's New Bern and Beaufort areas in the south as expansion opportunities. Both had large African American populations. St. Andrew's Chapel in New Bern and Purvis Chapel in Beaufort eventually affiliated with the A.M.E. Zion denomination under Rev. Hood's leadership. In conjunction with Bishop Joseph Jackson Clinton, Rev. Hood established the North Carolina Conference in 1864. In 1879, St. Andrew's Chapel in New Bern officially became St. Peter and known as the Mother Church of the South.
Twelve episcopal areas exist in the A.M.E. Zion denomination today: New Bern District is part of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District (ENCED). The New Bern District has nineteen pastors.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Rev. Dr. EC Dobson
Presiding Elder for the New Bern District
(252) 670-1127 (Mobile)
Mrs. Shelia Monroe
The Right Reverend Kenneth Monroe
Presiding Prelate, North Carolina Conference
Living A Life That ImpA.C.T.S. (Accountability, Christ-like, Team Building, Stewardship)