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Henry McNeal Turner
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Henry McNeal Turner

Born: February 1, 1834 in Newberry Courthouse, South Carolina
Died: May 8, 1915 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Ordained an AME bishop: 1880

Henry McNeal Turner is widely considered the most important figure in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) after its founder Richard Allen. Born free, he experienced a profound religious conversion at 15 and a few years later he became became an evangelist for Methodism. It was not until he was 24 that he became a pastor for the AME Church. In 1880 he became a bishop of the AME Church, the first southern black to ever hold that position. Later in life he joined with those who felt that African Americans should emigrate and return to Africa where they could better live free.

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