Sarah Allen Women’s Mission Society at Mother Bethel
The Sarah Allen Women’s Missionary Society is the local “branch” of the AME Church Women’s Missionary Society (WMS). It is composed of three or more people for the purposes of instilling in its membership cooperation with the local church in its responsibilities; providing financial support to the conference branc, area and local delegates to the Conference Branch; supporting the Conference Branch financially, and fostering missionary activities by the local church, area, and conference.
Leader: Marie Quianoo
The MBAMEC Arts Council
The MBAMEC Arts Council expresses love and the character of God through performative arts. The Arts Council strives to play a significant role in church and community engagement while providing an expressive avenue for collaboration, multicultural inclusion, and the presentation of impactful and thought-provoking projects. The goal is to help people envision the will of God by making the Divine visible, audible, and palpable through various cultural art forms.
The work of the MBAME Arts Council preserves the integrity of Mother Bethel’s history by using arts education to supplement and enhance that history for the church and community. Our point of view reflects the African American religious experience and culture utilizing professional and non-professional artists in theatre, music, dance, art, poetry, etc., with the use of multimedia productions to preserve and support existing ministry programs.
The mission of the MBAME Church School is to teach, train, nurture, prepare, and recruit adults and children for Christian service. Church School emphasizes biblical principles, which are essential for effective Christian growth and participation. Church School’s core principle is to enable and support individuals’ ability to analyze and readily apply the teachings of Jesus as they live in an ever evolving society.
You are invited to join Church School each Sunday morning.
Contact Person: Dr. Edwin R. Ferguson
Meeting Schedule: Adult Church School begins at 8 AM. Children’s Sunday School begins at 11AM.
The Mother Bethel Coffee Hour is an orrganized group of members who volunteer to meet each Sunday to prepare and present a continental breakfast, from 8:30 to 9:30a.m., in our historic Fellowship Hall, for Bethel worshippers and visitors.
The Coffee Hour Group also provides special services for guests and visitors.
Contact Person: Elizabeth Wilson
Combined Usher Board
The Mother Bethel Usher Board’s mission is to embody what it means to for a house of worship to create a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere to visitors, members, and friends. Often, their pleasant attitudes and welcoming demeanor is the first experience a person has with Mother Bethel and its spirit of a radical hospitality.
Ushers support and serve the church through a variety of means. Some examples of their work include seating the congregation, rendering assistance to the officers of the church, assisting members who experience illness during service, handing out bulletins, collecting tithes and offerings, and assisting those who kneel around the altar. The ushers also assist during funerals, annual conferences, various services and events,including those away from the church. The Ushers’ mission is to insure that people attending Mother Bethel feel welcomed every time our doors are open.
Leader: Sharon Coleman
Meeting Schedule: First Sunday of each month.
The Mission of the Feeding Ministry is to witness to the love and blessings of God by Feeding those in need with a nourishing meal and enhancing the fellowship of the church by assisting with food service.
From it’s beginning in the 1980’s, the primary function of Mother Bethel’s Feeding Ministry has been to provide meals to the homeless. At one time, meals were prepared and served at the church by the various organizations. Presently, our ministry of 25 -30 members is responsible for the purchase, preparation, And serving of dinner to the 150-215 men who reside at Our Brother’s Place, a Shelter at 918 Hamilton St., Phila. We meet at the site by 2 p.m. on each 4th Saturday, From September through June. Additionally, the Feeding Ministry manages the Sunday coffee hour, and assists with other church related food service when required.
We thank God for the privilege of working hard and caring for one another other.
Contact Person: Maxine Jenkins
The Health Commission
Historically, the AME Church has actively encouraged wellness and healing. The MBAME Health Commission continues to carry this legacy through its current work. The members aim to provide the best health-related information and to promote the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well being of members of the Mother Bethel AME Church and, by extension, its community. Furthemore, the Commission advocates for healthcare as a right and not a privilege. By challenging the unjust structure that creates health and healthcare disparaties, the Commission gives voice to the health issues that are prevalent in African Americans and other marginalized communities.
The Health Commission encourages each organization in the church to prioritize health and wellness in its endeavors. Those persons interested in participating in the Health Commission should have healthcare, science, or related experience as well as the desire to promote the well-being of members and community.
Chair Theodore Whitney, Md
Co-Chair Rhunette Ferguson, RN
In 1910, trustees formed the Historical Commission for the purpose of recording, collecting and preserving the history of Mother Bethel AME Church and our founder, Richard Allen. This commission is unique to MBAME Church and aims to chronicle every service and significant occurrences as it relates to Mother Bethel AME Church and its influence on African American life in the United States. Furthermore, as stewards of our African Methodist History, we have the additional responsibility to insure that our historical facts are accurate and verified. Our collection (documents, photos, obituaries and other historical items) is maintained by an archivist and is protected by accepted standards for preservation of such items. The Historical Commission also searches for documents and artifacts held by other institutions or persons that can be added to our collection.
The Historical Commission wants to engage members and friends in telling the story of the African Methodism. Our history is your history. Individuals who are interested in supporting the Historical Commission should speak with the chairperson or pastor.
Leader: Everod Coleman
The Historical Society is an organization that increases awareness of the historical events that have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of Mother Bethel and the AME church. The Society creates an atmosphere that encourages AME Church members and the general public to develop and maintain a love and appreciation for the history, tradition and principles of the AME Church.
The Historical Society develops and prepares docents to provide a consistent and sufficient explanation of the Historical materials, documents and items of interest in the Richard Allen Museum, the sanctuary and other areas of the church. The Historical Society provides tours to visitors from all over the world. Virtual tours are available upon request to all who wish to learn about AME history and see the museum.
A prospective docent can attend a meeting or by expressing their interest to a docent, or the Historical Society President. We provide a comprehensive training course that must be completed. Because learning is a continuous process, the monthly meeting introduces a new study or informational topic.
Leader: Ann Saunders
Meeting Schedule: Every third Saturday of each month at 11:30 on zoom.
When the church reopens we will meet at 10:00 AM.
The Lay Organization
The Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is commissioned to teach, train and empower its members for lay ministry, global leadership and service following the tenets of Jesus Christ. The Lay encourages members to conduct a systematic and regular study of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and parliamentary procedures to promote love, order and appreciation of the history, traditions, principles and development of African Methodism.
All un-ordained members (anyone who is not a clergy person) of the AME Church are considered lay members and are welcome to be a part of the formal Lay Organization.
Lay Organization meetings occur on the 4th Saturday of the month at 11:00 AM with the exception of July & August.
Leader: Yvette Baines
Men’s Fellowship (Sons of Allen)
The Men’s Fellowship is committed to providing a space for the development and continuous expansion of resistance to social inequities. We undergird these efforts by the intellectual activism found primarily in the pages of contemporary African American scholarship. With God as our helper, we attempt to relate the information we acquire to biblical principles and look for opportunities to apply these principles to our daily lives. We hope to inspire the generations that follow to pursue liberation and salvation based on the sound scholarship of a contextual knowledge base. The Men’s Fellowship is our contribution to the continuing struggle towards justice based on the love ethic of what Howard Thurman calls, “the religion of Jesus.”
Recently completed books include: The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by Rev. James Cone, PhD.; The Powers That Be, by Rev. Walter Wink, PhD.; The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby, PhD; Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, by Joy Degruy, PhD.
We invite individuals who want to join Men’s Fellowship to contact Rev. Harry Taylor for more information.
Leader: Robert Wilford
Meeting Schedule: 9am on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month
The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Missions Commission, under the direction of the Steward Board, oversees the church programs related to welfare and charity. The commission addresses the needs of the community and the church members while working in concert with the pastor and other societies and departments of the church, particularly the Missionary Society and the Young People’s Department. The commission reports annually to the Steward Board and the general church at the quarterly conferences and otherwise as needed.
Leader: Dr. Beverly Coleman
The main function of the stewardesses is to assist the stewards in the discharge of the duties relative to the rituals of baptism and the Lord’s Supper by providing the implements and elements of the Holy Communion and Holy Baptism. Specifically, stewardesses dress the pulpit and altar rail with suitable clean coverings that reinforce the revised common lectionary reflecting the traditional Christian year among Protestants.
The pastor nominates lay members, who are confirmed by the stewards, to become stewardesses.
Leader: Karen Green
Young People’s and Children’s Division (YPD)
The Young People’s and Children’s Division (YPD) of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) operates under the guidelines set forth by the Doctrine and Discipline of the AME Church. Our local organization falls under the Mother Bethel Sarah Allen WMS and is also affiliated with the YPD in the Shrine Area, Philadelphia Conference, 1st Episcopal District, and the AME Church Connection. The purpose of the YPD is to teach the history of the AME Church and to serve as a training ground for Christian service and leadership those aged from 2 to 26. All young people affiliated with Mother Bethel are encouraged to become a member through active participation. There are programs, trainings and fellowship opportunities held throughout the calendar year that encourage engagement at each level of the YPD. Participating in these events helps young people better comprehend the connectional nature of the AME Church to its members around the world and their role in continuing the AME traditions.
Projects include collecting items for those in need, making cards for the sick and shut-in members and supporting local community organizations through fundraising. We also have activities that foster Christian fellowship and networking opportunities. Our monthly meetings are held every 2nd Sunday. Any young person from 2 – 26 years old who wants to participate in the YPD should contact the President or Advisor.
President, Madison Tyler
Advisor, Joetta Cryer