Chapter

“For Their Satisfaction or Redress” African Americans and Church Discipline in the Early South

Betty Wood

in The Devil's Lane

Published in print June 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112436
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854271 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112436.003.0008
“For Their Satisfaction or Redress” African Americans and Church Discipline in the Early South

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This chapter explores the case of Reverend John Chalmers, a white preacher of a bi-racial Methodist congregation in Annapolis. His case was initiated by two enslaved women members of his congregation, who alleged that their minister had made unacceptable sexual advances toward them. It notes that the rights claimed by Afro-Baptists and Methodists to use the disciplinary structures of their churches for their own reasons and purposes, “was not simply an abstract right.” Among the rights claimed by Afro-Baptists and Methodists were the demands for the right to an equality of respect from their coreligionists and the right to protection against any form of abuse, be it verbal, physical, or emotional, perpetrated against them by any other of their fellow church members. The chapter explains that Afro-Baptists and Methodists employed the disciplinary mechanisms of their churches to articulate publicly their understanding of their rights as Christians.

Keywords: African Americans; church discipline; Afro-Baptists; Afro-Methodists; Christians; r ights; church members

Chapter.  7817 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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