We are rapidly approaching the General Conference which meets in
Kansas City, May 1912. Many important problems will meet us there, not
the least of which will have to do with our relations to other Methodist
bodies, the election of bishops, the rearrangement of our publishing interests
and filling of vacancies in the General Offices.
All of these are weighty matters, as they involve the merits of men and
the wisdom of measures. In all probability we shall have before us some
proposition looking to the closer affiliation, if not the union of the colored
Methodist bodies and the colored members of the Methodist Episcopal
A very determined effort is being made to segregate all Negroes and com-
bine all whites in Methodism. At the bottom this is unrighteous because
based on the spirit of race pride or race hate, but the church of Christ in
America may not have enough of his spirit to prevent it. It will not be
without a strong protest, however, and we cannot say whether the effort
will succeed this time; but it has on its side the American feeling of dislike
for the darker races.
The leading colored men in the Methodist Episcopal Church are opposed
to separation, notwithstanding the strong declaration of Bishop Scott, the
only man of their color on the bench. Whether they can rally enough of the
men in white who would legislate to scotch the movement remains to be
seen; for certainly it will be no more than scotched unless the American
churches get a new consignment of Christianity more Pauline in its catho-
licity than the brand now used for every day consumption.
As to the election of bishops in the African Methodist Church, it is a
matter of grave concern and one to be prayed over. The need is for men
who love the church more than themselves, men who will keep the law
themselves for conscience sake and not use it to crush personal opponents;
and, again, men who are broad in their sympathies and of respectable
educational attainments--these are the men the Church is longing for and
needing to keep it in its accustomed place in the forefront.