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God and BlacknessRace, Gender, and Identity in a Middle Class Afrocentric Church$
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Andrea C. Abrams

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814705230

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814705230.001.0001

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The First Afrikan Way

The First Afrikan Way

Method and Context

(p.25) 1 The First Afrikan Way
God and Blackness

Andrea C. Abrams

NYU Press

This chapter provides context for understanding the First Afrikan Presbyterian Church by describing the evolution of African-centered ideology within the Presbyterian congregation as well as the church's similarities and differences in comparison to other Afrocentric religious communities. It also describes the methodology used to conduct this study. The First Afrikan was originally named the Salem Presbyterian Church. Established in 1893 as a predominantly white congregation, Salem Presbyterian elected to dissolve the congregation in 1991 as the changing racial demographics of the area made it difficult to hold the church together or to retain pastoral leadership. In 1993, efforts were made to resuscitate the church and serve the now predominantly African American congregation. By the end of the year, one hundred and fifty people were interested in becoming members, and a decision was made to rename the church as the First Afrikan Presbyterian.

Keywords:   First Afrikan Presbyterian Church, African-centered ideology, Afrocentric religious communities, Afrocentric congregations

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