A.M.E. Zion to protest Wake school board's actions

Staff writerJuly 16, 2010 

— The A.M.E. Zion Church will lend its support to the growing chorus of religious groups opposed to the dismantling of the Wake County school board’s diversity policy, the first national denomination to do so.

The church’s 12 bishops – who are meeting at the downtown Marriott hotel prior to the denomination’s quadrennial convention for Christian education, which begins Saturday – also canceled their winter meeting in Arizona in protest of the state’s newly passed immigration law.

A historic, mostly African-American denomination of about 1.8 million members, the church has typically advanced civil rights causes.

“We’ve been known as ‘the freedom church’ since our founding in 1796,” said the Rev. George McKain, the church spokesman. “We’ve inherited a legacy from Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. “We can’t talk about their legacy if we don’t bring it to life today.”

Two of the church’s North Carolina-based bishops have already voiced their opposition to the Wake County School Board’s actions, joining the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and the N.C. Council of Churches, among others.

A.M.E Zion leaders plan to participate in a protest march Tuesday in downtown Raleigh.

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