The Freedom Church
ABOUT THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCH
Founded in 1796 in New York City, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is among the first organized Black churches in America. James Varick, born in 1750 to a mother in slavery in Newburgh, New York, was one of the original founders of the church and later became the first Black Methodist Episcopal Zion Bishop. The A.M.E. Zion church, known from its inception as The Freedom Church, has long been associated with social activism, civil right, and education. Early A.M.E. Zion freedom fighters include Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Bishop Alexander Walters, who along with Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, helped to found the NAACP in 1909. Other notable Zionites in the 20th century include Paul Robeson and Coretta Scott King.