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Bishop Daniel Payne
*On this date in 1811, Bishop Daniel A. Payne was born. He was a Black historian, educator, and AME minister.
He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to free Black parents, London and Martha Payne. He attended a private school in Charleston, South Carolina, and Gettysburg Seminary in Pennsylvania. He also did a great deal of studying on his own. Payne was the first Bishop to have formal theological seminary training. He, more than any other individual, is responsible for the A.M.E. church's interest in trained ministry.
Payne was ordained an elder in the Lutheran Church in 1837. He was admitted to the Philadelphia Annual Conference in 1842. He was the first Black president of a Black college in the western world (Wilberforce University). He served as their president for sixteen years, advising the African Methodist Church purchased the school. Overall, Payne was the sixth Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He built and nurtured churches in Washington, D.C., New York, and Baltimore.
He was elected the Historiographer of the AME Church in 1848. Payne was elected a Bishop at the General Conference in New York City on May 7, 1852, where he presided over the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Districts. He was a serious author; his books, "History of the A.M.E. Church,” 1891 and Recollections of Seventy Years 1888, were his greatest writings and were an authoritative source of history of the first 75 years of the church. He was married to Eliza Clark Payne, the father of one child and the stepfather of four; Julia, John, Laura, Augusta, and Peter. Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne died on November 2, 1893.
An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage
by Marvin Andrew McMickle
Judson Press, Copyright 2002