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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.
Marilyn Mellowes was principally responsible for the research and development of the series God in America and has served as its series producer.
She produced and wrote From Jesus to Christ, the First Christians, a four-hour FRONTLINE series that premiered in 1998.
In 1787, for example, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones organized the Free African Society of Philadelphia, which later evolved into two congregations: the Bethel Church, the mother church of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination, and St.
Thomas Episcopal Church, which remained affiliated with a white Episcopal denomination. Historian Mary Sawyer notes that by 1810, there were 15 African churches representing four denominations in 10 cities from South Carolina to Massachusetts.
Yet most of the enslaved lay outside the institutional church.It is likely that the slaves who arrived in Jamestown had been baptized Catholic and had Christian names.For the next 200 years, the slave trade exported slaves from Angola, Ghana, Senegal and other parts of West Africa to America's South.Here they provided the hard manual labor that supported the South's biggest crops: cotton and tobacco.In the South, Anglican ministers sponsored by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, founded in England, made earnest attempts to teach Christianity by rote memorization; the approach had little appeal.