Thursday, March 12, 2015
"A Century of Commitment, A Legacy of Love." That reverent theme will mark a joyous celebration of the former, all-African American Delaware Annual Conference Saturday, May 30, at Philadelphia's historic Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, 750 S. Broad St. Bishop Gregory Palmer of the West Ohio Area, a Philadelphia native, and Bishop Ernest Lyght (retired), of New Jersey, will headline the celebration. They will be joined by host Bishop Peggy Johnson and other former clergy and lay members of the old Delaware Conference.
From 1864 until it merged with adjoining geographical conferences in 1965, the racially segregated conference of black Methodists stretched from Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore up through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and north of New York City. It was the first all-black conference to organize, in order for black churches in the original Methodist Episcopal Church to have their own black pastors, manage their own affairs and be free of white control.