Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Theology & Religion > 134. African Union Hymn book

134.  The African Union Hymn book, designed as a companion for the pious, and friends of all denominations ... compiled by Peter Spencer. Wilmington: Published by P. Spencer, for the African Union Church, 1822. Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

An extremely rare early hymnal for the African American Church, this is the only copy recorded in the national databases. The "Union Church of Africans," also called the "African Union Church," was chartered by Peter Spencer (1782-1843) in Willmington, Delaware in 1813. Now known as the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, usually called the "A.U.M.P. Church," it is the oldest independent black denomination in the United States. Although it began as a Methodist Protestant church, by the 1880s it considered changing to an episcopal structure, a change that was not formally adopted until 1967 when it consecrated its two leaders as bishops.

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