Historical and Seini-Centenial Address,
ALLEN TEMPLE A. M. E. CHURCH,
February 8, i 874,
BY REV. BENJAMIN W. ARNETT.
Dsar Bishop, Elders, and Congregation :
In appearing before you in the capacity of historion, I
must confess that the novelty of the position, and my inability to
do justice to the subject and the occasion, makes me wish the
mantle had fallen on other and broader shoulders.
But it is otherwise, and I will do the best I can under the
circumstances. Truly we have met in this large and commo¬
dious temple to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of the
noble band of Christians who were the founders of this society,
and also to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this society.
We have come together to look over the road traveled, and
rejoice in our triumphs, and learn from our defeats. We want
to ascertain whether we have been any benefit to this commu¬
nity in a religious, educational, moral, or social point of view.
Have we added anything to the interest of the colored race ? or,
in other words, has the church paid any attention to the wants
of the race ? Has she been faithful to her mission ? If we
find we have done something, then I, for one, am willing to
start on the journey to the Centenary Celebration with new
energy, zeal, and patience, trusting in the God of our fathers.
But if we find we have not done anything in the past, then let
us disband our forces and give up the ship.
Now let us examine the subject carefully, honestly, and in
the light of history, and let the work of the past be the wit¬
nesses. We will call your attention to the rise and progress of
the African M. E. Church in this country.