The A.M.E. Zion Church became the first national church denomination to officially oppose the Wake County school board majority's elimination of the diversity policy.
As noted in today's online article by Yonat Shimron, the church's 12 bishops, announced today they'll back Tuesday's NAACP rally against the school board. The bishops also canceled their winter meeting in Arizona in protest of the state’s newly passed immigration law.
“We’ve been known as ‘the freedom church’ since our founding in 1796,” said the Rev. George McKain, the church spokesman. “We’ve inherited a legacy from Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. “We can’t talk about their legacy if we don’t bring it to life today.”
The 12 bishops are meeting at the downtown Marriott hotel prior to the denomination’s quadrennial convention for Christian education which begins Saturday. Convention members are expected to join Tuesday's rally.
A historic, mostly African-American denomination of about 1.8 million members, the church has typically advanced civil rights causes.
Two of the church’s North Carolina-based bishops have already voiced their opposition to the Wake County school board’s actions, joining the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and the N.C. Council of Churches, among others.