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Today "the black church" is widely understood to include the following seven major black Protestant denominations: the National Baptist Convention, the National Baptist Convention of America, the Progressive National Convention, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the Church of God in Christ.New historical evidence documents the arrival of slaves in the English settlement in Jamestown, Va., in 1619.In the 1830s and 1840s, Southern churchmen undertook an active campaign to persuade plantation owners that slaves must be brought into to the Christian fold.
The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.
They came from the kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo, in present-day Angola and the coastal Congo.
In the 1500s, the Portuguese conquered both kingdoms and carried Catholicism to West Africa.
Many worshipped in established, predominantly white congregations, but by the late 18th century, blacks had begun to congregate in self-help and benevolent associations called African Societies.
Functioning as quasi-religious organizations, these societies often gave rise to independent black churches.
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In black churches, women generally were not permitted to preach.