Delivered in Allen Temple A. M. E. Church. 21
of the Lord, Rev. Charles H. Peters, who labored with much
acceptance to the congregation during the year 1841-42. Rev.
Claybourne Yancy succeeded him, and for one year he lead on
the conquering host of the Most High.
In 1843, the conference sent that polished scholar and Chris¬
tian gentleman, Rev. M. M. Clark. I find that he came in
November, 1843, and signed a receipt in full for all demands
on the 7th of August, 1844, for during the year he was elected
general agent of the Book Concern. I am informed that in the
winter of 1843-44, there was a very large revival, and many were
added to the church; among them was Bro. George Peterson.
The next minister in line in this church was the Rev. Thomas
Woodson, a man of rare ability and eminent piety. When he
arrived the church was eight hundred dollars in debt. He told
them that they must raise that amount in the year. Some
shook their heads, others said they would see him when he had
done it, while a few said they would do all they could to help
him. He went to Bro. Peterson and Mother Bird. Mother
Bird said the people had the money and she was going to have
enough to pay that debt. Bro. Peterson and others told her
that they would stand by her; so she went to work, with faith
in God, and before the year was out the debt was paid, and the
whole congregation was singing songs of joy, all thankful to
Mother Bird, the elder, and the trustees for their good work.
September 1st, 1846, I find minutes of a meeting to see who
would take members when the general conference came. The
minutes say "David Smith, Elder,pro tern, in the chair." Then
follows the names of parties, with the number of preachers
each will accommodate.
While the congregation was in the old Bethel, the first annual
conference was held in this city ; this was in 1846. There was
great curiosity to see a colored bishop; such a person had never
been in the city, and every person was on the lookout for the
conference ; for months you could have seen new carpets, chairs,
beds, knives and forks, etc., going to the homes of the members
of Bethel. The conference came, the ministers were well enter¬
tained, and they also made a good impression for African
Methodism in this city Many of them were old warriors;
their locks betokened many years of war, toil, and strife in the
irrepressible conflict for eternal life. Bishop John M. Brown
was ordained deacon at this conference.