The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is a Christ-Centered, Bible-Based, Justice-Seeking, and Holy Spirit led global faith-community, committed to bringing all persons into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The AME Society of Versailles, Kentucky, named after the Biblical Author and Apostle of Christ, Saint Paul, has been endeavoring to carry out the Great Commission of Christ Jesus, that is "to make disciples", and the Mission of the AME Church, for over 170 years.
The Mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual and physical development of all people. We seek to engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost and to serve the needy. Our ultimate purposes are 1) to make available God’s biblical principles, 2) to spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and 3) to provide continuing programs that will enhance the entire social development of all people.
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Our Local and Connectional Staff
Ministry requires Ministers. Meet ours from the Local level to the Connecitonal level, from our Pastor to our Bishop.
Our Local Organizations and Ministries
Ministries ultimatley seek to bring others into relationship with God, and do this in a variety of ways.
Who we are, What we believe
We are a Christian Community, but every Church has its history, interpretation of scripture, and specific points of view.
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Pastor Hale is a born and bred AME; his father, the retired Itinerant Elder, the Rev. Frederick E. Hale, Jr., joined the AME Church 5 days before "Billy" was born in 1972. William began his ministry in 1989 with his trial sermon at age 17, began pastoring in 1992 shortly after being ordained an Itinerant Deacon, and was ordained an Itinerant Elder of the AME Church in 1994. He now serves proudly Saint Paul Versailles just as his father did during most of the 1990's.
William is the father of 3 sons (Logan, Kaleb and Malcolm), and in addition to pastoring Saint Paul, he is blessed to serve as the Presiding Elder of the Commonwealth District - cwd.ame13.org!
Evangelist Lang began her preaching ministry in 2010 under the leadership of the Reverend James Smith. She served the Kentucky Annual Conference of the AME Church as a Conference Evangelist since the fall of 2010 and for a time served as the Supply Pastor of Perkins Chapel AME Church, Wilmore, Kentucky. Her preaching power and Christian spirit cannot be commended enough, she is a blessing whenver she preaches, teaches or leads in any capacity, and is a true Servant of Christ!
The Right Reverend Jeffrey N. Leath is the 128th Elected & Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The former Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia, PA, was elevated to the bishopric in July of 2008, in St. Louis, MO., and he's been serving the 13th Episcopal District since 2012.
Visit ame13.org to learn more about our Chief Pastor, and Dr. Susan Leath, M.D., our Episcopal Supervisor, and the happenings of the AME Church in Kentucky and Tennessee!
Born August 27, 1957 and accepted Christ as his personal Savior in the summer of 1969 at Atlanta, Georgia, Presiding Elder Golphin accepted his call to preach in 1983, preaching his initial sermon the 3rd Sunday in August of that year at Wilson Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was admitted to the West Tennessee Annual Conference in October, 1984. He was appointed by Bishop Leath over the newly established Bluegrass District in 2018.
Visit bgd.ame13.org to learn more about our Middle Pastor and his dynamic ministry, and the work of the Bluegrass District of the AME Church!
Individuals nominated by the pastor to serve as the spiritual leaders of the church.
The "under-shepherds" who work with the Pastor to care for the members and help keep everyone (active and inactive) connected to the Body.
Individuals elected by the church body who are charged with the responsibility of the upkeep and any improvements made to the physical plant of the church.
Individuals who prepare the elements for Holy Communion and assist the pastor in the visitation of the sick and shut-in of the church.
Individuals who greet and help direct guests and members to their seats, and maintain order in the service.
The purpose of the music ministry is to worship the Lord through song and partner with the preached word in order for the hearts of the people to be fertile to receive the word.
The "Organized Lay" trains the members on the history and the functions of the church, and provide leadership experiences.
Individuals committed to the mission of the church and empowered by the Holy Spirit to help others to engage in ministry and action.
The purpose of the YPD is to provide meaningful youth training programs in all areas of church life, increase the knowledge of the AME Church history, and provide leadership experiences.
The AMEC grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George's MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. George's made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel's independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME.
The geographical spread of the AMEC prior to the Civil War was mainly restricted to the Northeast and Midwest. Major congregations were established in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, and other large Blacksmith's Shop cities. Numerous northern communities also gained a substantial AME presence. Remarkably, the slave states of Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, Louisiana, and, for a few years, South Carolina, became additional locations for AME congregations. The denomination reached the Pacific Coast in the early 1850's with churches in Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco, and other places in California. Moreover, Bishop Morris Brown established the Canada Annual Conference.
The most significant era of denominational development occurred during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Oftentimes, with the permission of Union army officials AME clergy moved into the states of the collapsing Confederacy to pull newly freed slaves into their denomination. "I Seek My Brethren," the title of an often repeated sermon that Theophilus G. Steward preached in South Carolina, became a clarion call to evangelize fellow blacks in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and many other parts of the south. Hence, in 1880 AME membership reached 400,000 because of its rapid spread below the Mason-Dixon line. When Bishop Henry M. Turner pushed African Methodism across the Atlantic into Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1891 and into South Africa in 1896, the AME now laid claim to adherents on two continents.
While the AME is doctrinally Methodist, clergy, scholars, and lay persons have written important works which demonstrate the distinctive theology and praxis which have defined this Wesleyan body. Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett, in an address to the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions, reminded the audience of the presence of blacks in the formation of Christianity. Bishop Benjamin T. Tanner wrote in 1895 in The Color of Solomon – What? that biblical scholars wrongly portrayed the son of David as a white man. In the post civil rights era theologians James H. Cone, Cecil W. Cone, and Jacqueline Grant who came out of the AME tradition critiqued Euro-centric Christianity and African American churches for their shortcomings in fully impacting the plight of those oppressed by racism, sexism, and economic disadvantage.
Today, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has membership in over twenty Episcopal Districts in over forty countries on five continents. The work of the Church is administered by twenty-one active bishops, and nine General Officers who manage the departments of the Church.
I Believe in God the Father, Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; The third day He arose from the dead, He ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I Believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
1. OF FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this God-head, there are three persons of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
2. OF THE WORD OR SON OF GOD, WHO WAS MADE VERY MAN
The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the God-head and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
3. OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
Christ did truly rise from the dead, and took again his body with all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and sitteth until he returns to judge all men at last day.
4. OF THE HOLY GHOST
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
5. THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES FOR SALVATION
The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scriptures, we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
The Names of the Canonical Books:
|Genesis||The First Book of Chronicles|
|Exodus||The Second Book of Chronicles|
|Leviticus||The Book of Ezra|
|Numbers||The Book of Nehemiah|
|Deuteronomy||The Book of Esther|
|Joshua||The Book of Job|
|Judges||The Book of Psalms|
|The First Book of Samuel||Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher|
|The Second Book of Samuel||Cantica, or Songs of Solomon|
|The First Book of Kings||Four Prophets, the Greater|
|The Second Book of Kings||Twelve Prophets, the Lesser|
All the books of the New Testamemt as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical.
6. OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and the New Testament, everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore, they are not to be heard, who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments, which are called moral.
7. OF ORIGINAL OR BIRTH SIN
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk) but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
8. OF FREE WILL
The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore, we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God; by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
9. OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF MAN
We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by faith, and not by our own works or deservings; wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
10. OF GOOD WORKS
Although good works, which are the fruit of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgments: yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that they by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree is discerned by its fruit.
11. OF WORKS OF SUPEREROGATION
Voluntary works, besides, over and above God's Commandments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ said plainly," When ye have done all that is commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants."
12. OF SIN AFTER JUSTIFICATION
Not every sin willingly committed after justification is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore, the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God, rise again, and amend your lives. And therefore they are to be condemned who say they can do no more sin as long as they live here; or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
13. OF THE CHURCH
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
14. OF PURGATORY
The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardon, worshipping, and adoration, as well as images, as of relics, and also invocations of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant of the Word of God.
15. OF SPEAKING IN THE CONGREGATION IN SUCH A TONGUE AS THE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the primitive Church, (to have public prayer in the Church,) or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understood by the people.
16. OF THE SACRAMENTS
Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith faith in Him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord, in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
Those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel; being such as have partly grown out of the corrupt following of the Apostles; and partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not the like nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, because they have not any visible sign, or ceremony ordained of God.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that received them unworthily, purchase to themselves condemnation, as St. Paul saith.
17. OF BAPTISM
Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference; but it is also a sign of regeneration, or the new birth. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the church.
18. OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a Sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch, that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is faith.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
19. OF BOTH KINDS
The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people: for both parents of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to administered to all Christians alike.
20. OF THE ONE OBLATION OF CHRIST, FINISHED UPON THE CROSS
The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacraments of masses, in which it is commonly said that that priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable, and dangerous deceit.
21. OF THE MARRIAGE OF MINISTERS
The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore, it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best to godliness.
22. OF THE RITES AND CEREMONIES OF CHURCHES
It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the rites and ceremonies of the church to which he belongs, which are not repugnant of the Word of God, and are ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the like, as one that offendeth against the common order of the Church and woundeth the consciences of weak brethren.
Every particular Church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies so that all things may be done to edification.
23. OF THE RULERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The President, the Congress, the General Assemblies, the Governors, and the Councils of State, as the delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of America, according to the division of power made to them by the Constitution of the United States, and by the constitution of their respective states and the Councils of States delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of America, and by the Constitutions of their respective States. And the said states are a sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
24. OF CHRISTIAN MEN'S GOODS
The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touching the right, title and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally, to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
25. OF A CHRISTIAN MAN'S OATH
As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord, Jesus Christ and James, His apostle: so we judge that the Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according tot he prophet's teaching, in justice, judgment, and truth.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, whose founders affirmed their humanity in the face of slavery and racism, stands in defense of disadvantaged and oppressed people in the 21st century. From the origins in the Free African Society through the involvement of the AME clergy and lay in the Civil War of the 1860's and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's, the AMEC has preached salvation from sin and deliverance from bondage. The mission expanded to others within the African Diasporas in the Americas, Africa, Caribbean, and Europe. Whether in schools, seminaries, hospitals or social service centers, the AME Church has lived the gospel outside its sanctuaries. This mandate sill informs its ministry, vision and mission in the Church's third century of existence.
The Mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.
At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and to serve the needy. It is also the duty of the Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training.
The ultimate purposes are: (1) make available God's biblical principles, (2) spread Christ's liberating gospel, and (3) provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people.
In order to meet the needs at every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2) Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) the history and significance of the AME Church, (5) God's biblical principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.