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The impact of five individuals in American History

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

(Ephesians 4:11-12).


The title of this synopsis is Lateral Links of Greatness: the impact of five individuals in American History A BLACK HISTORY PRESENTATION


God has poured out his Spirit in the lives of great men and women during the history of our great nation.  During the last three centuries even pre-dating America as a nation, African Americans led the charge in the preparation of Christ’s return.  The Church played an instrumental part in representing the plight of African-Americans.  Whether an Apostle, a Prophet, a Pastor, a Teacher, or an Evangelist, in conditions of severe inequality, having experienced the chains of slavery, unrelenting racism or just life: The Joy of the Lord, lifted five individuals while facing great adversity:

1 Richard Allen
Richard Allen AME Church Founder

And He gave some Apostles: Richard Allen born 1760 wanted to worship unburdened from white preferential treatment.

Sarah Allen 1764 1849
Sarah Allen 1764 1849

Therefore, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1794, the first independent black denomination in the United States. Sara Allen his wife, a great support to him also worked taking care of runaway slaves; including feeding and clothing them and helping organize men and women.  The Allen’s’ took on social welfare issues for church members and the community and now the AME church exists on five continents in 39 countries

7 Lee Jarena

And He gave some Evangelist: Jarena Lee (Born 1783) was a woman filled with the spirit of God who spoke at times while in attendance in Allen’s congregation.   She traveled to Philadelphia from her New Jersey home in Cape May, to worship.  She was given to evangelism; Allen recognized her ministry and approved her to preach. She became an itinerant preacher and was the first black woman to publish an autobiography in America in 1836. (quote)“ I had preached 138 sermons, and traveled between 27 and 28 hundred miles.  Returned from Brooklyn, and attended a quarterly meeting at Flushing. . . . Saturday evening I gave an exhortation, and preached Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, the Lord accompanied the word … I arrive safe at home, found my son and friends all well, and then heard the truth of his conversion, for which I yet give glory to God.


Early Pentecostals Lucy Farrow and William Seymour (African Americans) Pictured.
Early Pentecostals Lucy Farrow and William Seymour (African Americans) Pictured.

And He gave some Pastors: Lucy Farrow was the Pastor of a Holiness church in Houston she was also the niece of Frederick Douglas and worked as a governess to Reverend Charles Parham an early proponent of speaking in tongues and who coined the phrase glossalia: (speaking in other tongues) she left William J. Seymour, at the helm of her congregation when her job transferred her to Topeka, Kansas where Rev. Parham taught training classes on conviction, repentance, sanctification, healing and the work of the Holy Spirit.

32 B William J Seymour w wife Jenny Moore
William Seymour and wife Jenny (Moore) Seymour

And He gave some teachers:

William J. Seymour gleaned foundational teaching on the Holy Spirit.  Due to racism he was not even permitted to pray with the others while seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit under Rev. Parham.  Nonetheless, Seymour hungered for more of God and was determined to learn.  Parham later noted that Seymour could recite word-for-word the teaching he learned while sitting at the door while Parham taught white ministers.  He later became Pastor of the famed Azusa Street Mission which gave rise to the Pentecostal Movement upon the Earth.

 From 1909 to 1914, roughly equal numbers of African Americans and whites came to him for ordination (in 1910 alone, Bishop Mason ordained 300 white Pentecostal preachers.
From 1909 to 1914, roughly equal numbers of African Americans and whites came to him for ordination (in 1910 alone, Bishop Mason ordained 300 white Pentecostal preachers.

And He gave some prophets: Charles Harrison Mason: founder of the Churches of God in Christ received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1906 at the Azusa Conference conducted by William Seymour.  In 1897, while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).  He believed God promised him, “If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come.” In 1907 COGIC was incorporated. Mason Temple was constructed during WWII while construction materials were in high demand.  This was a miracle!  This task was completed for less than $400,000 making it the largest, black-owned convention hall in America.  Mason dedicated the nearly 5000 seat auditorium in 1945 visualizing the culmination of his dream.  From this efficis Dr. King, gave his final sermon on April 3, 1968.

From 1760 to 1960 FIVE magnanimous individuals are linked to progressively reveal the mandate of Christ until His return AMEN


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Believers in Jesus Christ who join together in fulfilling their mission to make disciples

  1. body of Baptized Believers

    Chapel of the Nativity of St. Mary
  2. bride of Christ
  3. body of Christ
  4. ekklesia (1577) called out ones, persons legally called out or summoned

Scripture A: (Foundation of the Church)

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Gate: Authority of the grave, Greek Mythology: the underworld inhabited by departed souls.

Gehenna (1067) the final destination of the wicked, the prison of fallen angels or evil spirits.

  1. Stanley calls Peter a Charter member (pg. 8) The Catholic Church refers to Peter as the Vicar of Christ. From Vicarious:  serving instead of someone or something else, that has been delegated, vicarious authority also the first Pope (i.e. succeeding Popes fulfill “the shoes of the fisherman”
  1. 2.      DENOMINATIONS “Whatever name we apply to a particular fellowship, there is only one church, and it belongs to no particular denomination” (Stanley pg. 8).

a. Denominations are like cars (i.e. Acura, Buick, Cadillac-Deville, etc.) they all get you to point A to point B;  Point A being Earth, point B namely Heaven.  Representing the Father (Maker), The Son (Owner’s Manual) and The Holy Spirit (GPS).  Faith (gas), Hope (steering wheel) and love (tires).  You’ll have a bumpy ride without love, no direction without hope and your going nowhere without faith.

Some appear to be real Christians, but are not.  They are cults.  They name themselves after Christ  like the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormons) and who appear to be going somewhere but are only like the false moving cars, as seen on television with stationery drivers and fast moving backdrops.


  • Scripture B: (See I John 4:3 to discern a church from a cult).

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world” (I John 4:2-3).

b. The church is an organism (something living) as opposed to an organization.  Christ (CEO) yet lives.

c. Denominations are so appealing because humans are by nature territorial and naturally cling to groups, familiar and or chosen to conform to particular taste.  When asking someone “what church do you attend” don’t let your joy abate after finding out they are from a different denomination but rejoice in the fact that they have made Jesus the Lord of their life.

d. The church is not a denomination or a building. According to Stanley it leaves the parking lot after service in cars (bottom of page 9).

  • Scripture C: (Mission of the Church is called the Great Commission meaning to make disciples)

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).


Question 1: How does one commonly separate from the mission of the church?

  • Scripture D: (The Timeless Mission of the Church: Soul winning!)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 30:11).

  1. 3.      FRESH OIL We must always be willing to reinvent ourselves.  Heaven rejoices along with all denominations within the Body of Christ when a soul is brought to Christ (snatched from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the marvelous light of the Knowledge of God and His Love for us).  While the focus doesn’t change the methods vary.  The winning of souls must remain the top priority of the members of the body of Christ; yet, the creative means of spreading the gospel can always be updated and varied. The foundation stays the same but the curtains you can change or the paint can be refreshed.

Question 2: Explain Stanley’s statement, “As we change, we must so stay the same?” (pg. 11)

  • Scripture E: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty

(2 Corinthians 3:17).


  1. 4.      LIBERTY: Liberty is the foundation of Prosperity and Peace in any environment.  People thrive when they are free in an environment: to maximize gifts and talents free from oppression.  Man is only truly free when Christ is honored, that is why you greatness whenever you see Christ receiving the Glory.  The Foundation of the house must remain the same but you can change the curtains or paint the house.  Christ is the foundation and bedrock of the church, the confession of Christ as Lord must not change!  You can change the method for soul winning but you must not change the confession that Jesus is Lord. The prelude of any testimony should be: Jesus is Lord and this is only communicated to one’s spirit by the Spirit.  Flesh and blood doesn’t recognize Jesus as Lord of its own accord, Flesh must be brought under subjection to the Spirit of God which always says “Jesus is Lord” this is the foundation of the system of  government that we call the church.
Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: Church pg. 8
Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: Church pg. 8