Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, formally known as the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church was formed in 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee. Most CME members that joined the church originally belonged to the Methodist Episcopal (ME) South Church. However, after the Civil War African American membership of the ME South Church dropped from 207,766 in 1860 to 78,742 in 1866, Many freedmen and women struggled to identify with the ME South Church, especially since that denomination formed from proslavery sentiment before the Civil War.  Furthermore, the thought of having an independent denomination was appealing to African Americans after the Civil War. In 1866, at the ME South Church General Conference in New Orleans, the clergy declared that if African American members desired, the bishops could organize African Americans into separate congregations, organize district and annual conferences, obtain suitable preachers, and appoint presiding elders to direct their affairs. From these efforts of separation from the ME South Church, the CME Church was formed four years later. 

Miles Memorial CME, Marshall, TX

In Texas, the first CME church, Miles Memorial CME Church was established in Marshall, where the congregation joined the East Texas Conference.  In 1872, the West Texas Conference was organized, then a Northwest Texas Conference was organized sometime during that decade. Denton County CME churches, including Mt. Pilgrim CME, Lane Chapel, and CME Pilot Point (name unknown) presumably attended the Northwest Texas Conference held in McKinney in 1883. The names of the CME churches in North Texas are not listed in the conference minutes, but the names of the North Texas church circuits are mentioned, which were named after towns. Furthermore, the three churches mentioned above were formed before 1883 and it is likely that the representatives from those churches in Denton County attended that conference.  In 1894, Texas College in Tyler, Texas, was organized by the CME Church, where a few African Americans from Denton County attended. In 1954, the Colored Methodist Church formally changed their name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Map of CME Church Circuits, 1883

Names of circuits

Old Town of Cannon

A CME church from this community attended the conference


Citations: C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, The Black Church in the African American Experience (Durham: Duke University Press, 1990), 48.
  Handbook of Texas Online, Charles E. Tatum, "Christian Methodist Episcopal Church," accessed May 05, 2018,
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  The Marshall News Messenger, November 5, 2016. (accessed May 5, 2018)