African American Historical Society Kicks Off Black Exodus Events

historicalsociety.jpgMinisters prepare to address packed Black Exodus meeting last Sunday Left to right; Rev. George Woodruff, Dr. Amos C. Brown, Rev. Arnold Townsend, Rev. Regnaldo Woods.

The Ecumenical Program held last Sunday at the African American Art and Cultural Complex brought together the founding churches who were instrumental in organizing the Black Exodus movement, First African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Third Baptist Church and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church.
At Sunday’s event the 3 churches celebrated what was called the libation in remembrance of the Black Exodus declaring a year of Jubilee marking the 150th anniversary. Representatives of the three churches recited verses relating to their church’s participation in the Exodus Movement the clergy represented at the Libation celebration were Rev. Regnaldo Woods, Bethel AME Church who told the audience; Whereas great servants such as Rev. Barney Fletcher, Rev. J.B. Sanderson, Rev. Thomas Marcus Ward were sent by the African Methodist Episcopal Church to form AME congregations throughout California, including Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and members such as fugitive slave and Underground Railroad leader James Williams helped build the Church.
Rev. Dr Amos C. Brown, Pastor of Third Baptist church told of William and Eliza Davis opened their home for worship to create the oldest black Baptist Church west of the Rockies, and the abolitionist leader Rev. Charles Satchell was called to lead the church against “all other immoralities, including, as a matter of Christian consideration, American Slavery” and laymen like George Washington Dennis took direct action to free the escaped slave Archy Lee.
Rev. George Woodruff, First AME Zion Church talked of how the distinguished Rev. John J. Moore made First AME Zion Church a headquarters for the Franchise League, taking a leadership role in the Colored Convention of California and publishing the abolitionist newspaper the “Lunar Visitor” saying “we have all the nerve and energy to complete, as well as the brains to plan a work of moral regeneration.”