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Reminiscences of the Proclamation of Emancipation
212              THE  A. M. E. REVIEW

nation, and trying to preach a trial sermon, which the Annual Con-
ference severely criticized for three hours the next day. I thought
I would fail to be admitted till finally Bishop Payne arose and said,
"Now, brethren, you know that this young man, Bro. Turner,
preached a more able sermon than one-half of you can deliver, for
he did not know what was going to be his text till I gave it to him
as he was entering the pulpit. Yet I regard his effort highly com-
mendable." These words or remarks of Bishop Payne turned the
tide, and I was unanimously admitted on probation into the traveling
work. Then Bishop Paul Quinn, who was occupying a seat in the
Conference, rose from beside Bishop Payne and came to where I was
sitting and said, "My young brother, you need not be discouraged,
because these older men went for you as they did, everybody who
is admitted into the Conference has experienced the same thing, and
a number of applicants have gone out of the door and have never
been seen since. They treat everybody that way, some for fun and
others to give you a taste of the Itinerant life, before you enter
upon it." Bishop Payne transferred me to the Baltimore Conference,
and assigned me to the Tissue St. Mission, where I received from
ten to twenty-five cents a week for support. I frequently had to
give my wife ten cents to go to market. She would buy one cent of
this, two cents of that, and three cents of something else, but she
would purchase enough in one way and another to provide a respect-
able meal. Thus we had to exist on that amount, and what the
people would voluntarily donate, till I was sent to another mission,
which generally allowed me fifty cents a week. Somehow we man-
aged to live with an occasional lecture from myself on the subject
of Physiology, until Bishop Payne chanced to pass by our residence
one day and came in and inspected my library and was dumfounded
at our books and the various subjects which they treated.  The
Annual Conference was only a few weeks off, and he appointed us
to Israel Church, which had several hundred members, in Washing-
ton, D. C. We had a fine congregation and every seat filled, and
Israel Church was the center of attraction. Rev. A. M. Green, D. D.,
now of the Louisiana Conference, reported my sermons and gave me
a notoriety and a popularity every Monday, which increased the size
of my congregation till hundreds had to stand out doors and listen
as best they could to the words which came out through the win-
dows. I am under a debt of gratitude to Dr. Green from that day
to this.
    The Civil War between the states was then in full blast, and
the seeming odds were at that time in favor of the Confederate
forces, or to use a familiar term, "the rebel army." The agitation
of enlisting colored soldiers was engaging public attention. Israel
Church was only a couple of hundred yards from the United States
Capitol, where mighty speeches were being made in the United


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 29, Num. 3

Reminiscences of the Proclamation of Emancipation


Volume:  29
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  211
Date:  01/1913


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