Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and African-American Religion in the South
In the first serious book-length treatment of Henry McNeal Turner, Stephen Ward Angell, associated professor of religious studies at Florida A & M University, focuses on the life of a truly fascinating figure. Reverdy Ransom, one of Turner's colleagues, described him as an "epoch-making man," and Angell himself characterizes Turner as "one of the outstanding African-American leaders in the two generations after emancipation" (p. 1). The historical significance of the man lies with the role he played in the transformation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. When he joined it in 1858, the A.M.E. Church claimed approximately 20,000 members located in the North, the Midwest, and the border states; by 1896, it counted 452, 725. Much of the increase came from the former Confederacy, and Turner deserves a great deal of credit for the church's successful mission to the South. Given the importance of this man and his contribution as well as the significance of the era during which he lived, it is ironic that except for Mungo M. Ponton's short,...
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