He, therefore, affiliated with the AMEZ, which accepted his license to preach.
Martin says that a major turning point in the life of James Walker Hood occurred during the late stages of the Civil War when he was sent south to Union-controlled areas of North Carolina to establish an AMEZ presence in that state.
During his six decades as elder and bishop (1860-1918) in the AMEZ Church, the denomination grew from 5,000 to 750,000 members, the position of bishop replaced the old one of superintendent (1860), bishops began to serve for life instead of having to stand for reelection each quadrennium (1880), and bishops were forced to retire at age seventy-four (1916).
But more significant is the burden of racism within US history: the AME, AMEZ
and CME churches were all formed between 1787 and 1870 in response to racial discrimination and exclusion experienced by African-Americans within the Methodist movement in the US.
Considerably smaller in Florida membership than the AME Church, the AMEZ Church was limited geographically, with outposts in Key West and Tampa Bay, but strongest in the western panhandle.
The authors conscientiously focus on the role of women, both in the laity and in the role of missionary and minister, noting the national AMEZ Church's reputation as one of the first American Protestant groups to ordain women.
Because this is the first state-level history of the AMEZ Church in this crucial period, other scholars will definitely benefit from the information Brown and Rivers have compiled.
For accounts of Hood and Turner, see Sandy Dwayne Martin, For God and Race: The Religious and Political Leadership of AMEZ
Bishop James Walker Hood (Columbia: The University of South Carolina, 1999); and Stephen Ward Angell, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and African-American Religion in the South (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1992).
Explaining the decision to join together, AMEZ
Senior Bishop George W.
9) Nevertheless, in Hood's case some of the annual proceedings of the North Carolina Grand Lodge are available and these records along with the minutes of the AMEZ North Carolina Conference allow us to observe similarities and differences between the two organizations and the role Hood played in each.
This article will argue that for James Walker Hood the activities of the Prince Hall Masons complemented the work of the AMEZ Church.
It serves as useful companion to existing treatments by Sandy Martin (For God and Race: The Religious and Political Leadership of AMEZ
Bishop James Walker Hood [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999]) and Stephen Angell (Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and African-American Religion in the South [Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992]), and to Seraile's own treatment of Theophilus G.