Black Church Beginnings: The Long-Hidden Realities of the First Years  -     By: Henry H. Mitchell
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Black Church Beginnings: The Long-Hidden Realities of the First Years

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

African American slaves (and freedmen) turned wholeheartedly to Christianity for their lifeblood's sustenance, but how this occurred has always been something of a mystery. In exhaustively reviewing all that's known about the period, Mitchell dispels a number of misconceptions. 184 pages, softcover. Eerdmans.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 184
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0802827853
ISBN-13: 9780802827852
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Black Church Beginnings provides an intimate look at the struggles of African Americans to establish spiritual communities in the harsh world of slavery in the American colonies. Written by one of today's foremost experts on African American religion, this book traces the growth of the black church from its start in the mid-1700s to the end of the nineteenth century. As Henry Mitchell shows, the first African American churches didn't just organize; they labored hard, long, and sacrificially to form a meaningful, independent faith. Mitchell insightfully takes readers inside this process of development. He candidly examines the challenge of finding adequately trained pastors for new local congregations, confrontations resulting from internal class structure in big city churches, and obstacles posed by emerging denominationalism. Original in its subject matter and singular in its analysis, Mitchell's Black Church Beginnings makes a major contribution to the study of American church history.

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    August 2, 2005
    Dr. Robert W. Kellemen
    Author Henry Mitchell writes and teaches history as a family portrait worthy of sharing not only with the family (African Americans) but with the neighbors (all Americans). In the first half of "Black Church Beginnings," Mitchell documents the interplay between African religion, African American Christianity, and European Christianity. This is fascinating material presenting with insight and passion. He puts to rest the notion that slaves were simply passive recipients of their masters' religion, teaching instead that the spiritual impact went both ways.The second half of the book was different from what I anticipated from the title, subtitle, cover picture, and table of contents. I had hoped for more detailed descriptions of the daily and weekly life of the Free Black Church from Reconstruction to Civil Rights. What I found instead was a historical outline of important dates with very brief comments about some key figures. As an outline, it was detailed and helpful. As a continuation of the excellent narrative shared in the first half of the book, I was a tad disappointed. Reviewer: Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of the forthcoming "Sacred Companions: The Story of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," and of "Soul Physicians," and "Spiritual Friends."
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