Ecumenical and Interreligious

African Methodist Episcopal Church Council of Bishops Statement on Confederate Monuments

August 23, 2017
Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations

The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church supports the national movement to remove all symbols and monuments to white supremacy. The purpose of these symbols is to celebrate white power and its ability to keep  “minorities” fearful, passive and powerless.

These monuments may have a place in a museum of Confederate or Southern History, where they can be put in factual historical context. These monuments have no place in a nation made up of immigrants from ethnic groups from every  populated continent. People should be judged by the “content of their character” not their skin color or ethnicity.

We celebrate all pastors and community activists who are already leading in this effort and taking strong visible stands against these symbols of white supremacy. 

We celebrate Duke University for voting to taking down a monument on their campus to Robert E. Lee.

We celebrate Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, Maryland and the courageous political leadership in Birmingham, Alabama and Lexington, Kentucky for their strong political action.

The Council of Bishops will be vigilant in monitoring the uptick of white supremacy activity, supporting all steps to protect civil and human rights, engaging with coalitions of faith based/civil rights groups, and educating the communities we serve regarding the urgent need to find solutions to racism

The Council of Bishops encourages all of our churches, pastors, ministers, chaplains, lay people, missionaries and young people to write letters/emails to the President of the United States, their U.S. Senators, Congress people and designated local officials supporting the removal of all these reminders of past white spiritual, political and economic dominion.

We encourage our pastors to share this communiqué with their members in worship and with community leaders in public forums as soon as possible. #RighteousResistance! #TheyMustComeDown!  #IAmAME!

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, President, Council of Bishops

Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Secretary, Council of Bishops

Bishop Vashit M. McKenzie, President, General Board 

Bishop McKinley Young, Senior Bishop

The Rev. Margaret Rose

Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations

Richard Mammana

Associate for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations