Historical Perspective

But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. Matthew 6: 33 -34 (Amplified Bible)

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is a post-war Methodist body, organized by African Americans after the Civil War. It was born out of a need! It was nurtured in the cradle of a vision of service to a recently freed, unlearned, pauperized, distraught and oppressed people, stilling suffering form the scars of slavery.

The time of the organization of the Christian (Colored) Methodist Episcopal Church was December 15, 1870 at Jackson, Tennessee. The leader at the first General Conference was Bishop Robert Paine, Senior Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, presiding. Participating in the first General Conference were Reverends, Green, Watson, Taylor, Miles, Vanderhorst, Holsey, Lane, Anderson and Thirgood; and Lay Delegates were: Brothers Mitchell, Harris, and J. Bostic. Brother Bostic was chairman of the Episcopal Committee and recommended Reverend Miles and Reverend Vanderhorst as the first Bishops of the Church.

There were eight Annual Conferences which made up the first General Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church – Memphis Conference, Mississippi Conference, Alabama Conference, Georgia Conference, Kentucky Conference, Texas Conference, and South Carolina Conference. A connectional system of Colleges was established including: Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee; Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama; Texas College, Tyler, Texas; Phillips School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia.

Today, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is one hundred forty-one years strong with ten Episcopal Districts and forty-two Annual Conferences. The Methodist Episcopal Church South instructed its bishops to organize the “colored Methodist” into an independent organization. Bailey Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was established in December 1870 after the last forty-five colored members of First Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa organized to form their own church.

Bailey Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was incorporated on December 20, 1965. The following Trustees signed the deed: Brothers Mack Arthur McCrackin, Willie S. May, Mal Tucker, Willie Johnson, Owen Hinton, J.C. Hardaway and Sherman Hosea. The Church was rebuilt on June, 1998 and the following Trustees signed the deed: Brothers Howard Bostic, Charlie Collins, Jr., Joseph Dantzler, John England, Marie Hood, Sherman Hosea, W.S. May, Mack A. McCrackin, Winston Morris, Costroe Palmer, Sr., Ronald Range.

Clergy who have served Bailey are: Reverends: A. L. Scott, J. S. Humphries, W. W. Thomas, Virgil L. Bailey, J. D. Jenkins, W. J. Colvin, B. W. Finch, Dr. A. J. Hicks, W. E. Bouyer, C. Bray Robertson, James Poole, William Charles Larkins and the current pastor for forty-five years, Dr. Willie Clyde Jones.

The history of Bailey Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is the history of the “body of regenerated and redeemed believers and followers of Christ, crusading for the souls of men.”