The country’s three largest African-American Methodist denominations (the African Methodist Episcopal-AME, African Methodist Episcopal Zion-AME Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal-CME) are convening as a body for the first time in 45 years from March 1-3 at the Carolina Coliseum, 701 Assembly St. in Columbia, SC.
“It appears that we could do more together than we can apart,” said Senior Bishop George W.C. Walker, one of the organizers for the historic Great Gathering.
According to a news release, the purpose of the Great Gathering meeting is to address how illiteracy, unemployment, crime, personal responsibility and other issues are affecting African-American men’s ability to be good providers and role models in their communities.
“Together, all our denominations represent a people and a community with many ills and problems,” Senior Bishop John R. Bryant said. “But we feel strongly that we can overcome all that might separate our churches so we can all focus collectively on what we can do to make things better for our people.”
Over the course of three days, some of the country’s leading thinkers from the fields of education, religion and politics will discuss and collaborate on an initiative to solve the problems that the Great Gathering will define. Among the confirmed participants are Princeton University professor scholar Cornel West; Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund; philosopher Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu; platinum recording gospel artist Marvin Sapp; singer Byron Cage, and Grammy winner artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker.
AME Zion pastor Dr. Staccato Powell, who is also the CEO of Grace in the City, a community development corporation that is redeveloping the blighted College Park neighborhood in Raleigh, NC; is the chairman for this groundbreaking summit. All activities will take place at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, SC. For more information, go to http://www.greatgathering.org/ for registration details.