Concord, Mississippi

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“When CME church first began, it stood for the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. That meant the congregation was all black, but our leadership and bishops were all white. If you look behind the church by those oak trees over there, you’ll see their gravestones. But in 1957, we changed the CME to Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and put in place black leadership. It was important for us as a community to have our leadership reflect our values and for us to make decisions collaboratively. Our old church was built in 1867. For a long time, it didn’t have any electricity and was built out of wooden planks with no insolation. We did a few renovations, but after a while, we decided we needed to change something. As a community, in 2005, even though we didn’t have enough money, didn’t have the assistance of the Conference, and had trouble getting loans, we decided to build a new church. We did it in faith. In 2008, we finished it. We don’t have much money left, but we did it.” The church bulletin’s headline: “We’ve come this far by faith.”

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Original church.

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