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Posted by / 04-Nov-2017 13:39

In black churches, women generally were not permitted to preach.

No story spoke more powerfully to slaves than the story of Exodus, with its themes of bondage and liberation brought by a righteous and powerful God who would one day set them free.It is likely that the slaves who arrived in Jamestown had been baptized Catholic and had Christian names.For the next 200 years, the slave trade exported slaves from Angola, Ghana, Senegal and other parts of West Africa to America's South.Some white owners allowed the enslaved to worship in white churches, where they were segregated in the back of the building or in the balconies.Occasionally persons of African descent might hear a special sermon from white preachers, but these sermons tended to stress obedience and duty, and the message of the apostle Paul: "Slaves, obey your masters." Both Methodists and Baptists made active efforts to convert enslaved Africans to Christianity; the Methodists also licensed black men to preach.

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Forging a unique synthesis, slaves gathered in "hush harbors" -- woods, gullies, ravines, thickets and swamps -- for heartfelt worship which stressed deliverance from the toil and troubles of the present world, and salvation in the heavenly life to come.