African Americans and the Church of God: Aspects of a Social History
According to James Earl Massey, the purpose of his book published in 2005 was “to trace the response of the Church of God movement in America to the challenge raised by lines of ethnic and social differences as they relate to African Americans who embraced this reform group’s message and endorsed its mission.”¹
Throughout his book, Massey analyzes African American involvement in the Church of God since its inception in the late 1800s. Massey divides his study into four main time periods to better analyze the data pertaining to each one.
- The Provincial Period: 1886-1915
- The Developmental Period: 1916-1946
- The Progressive Period: 1947-1970
- The New Direction Period: 1971-2000
Ultimately, Massey claims that his book tells the story of how large African American churches within the Church of God movement aided in spreading the movement’s message within African American communities.
African Americans and the Church of God is a follow up and basically an updated version of Massey’s An Introduction to the Negro Churches in the Church of God Reformation Movement, published in 1957. Both books have similarly written beginnings; however, the more recent is updated in light of the current events of the early 2000s.
The next page offers a comparative analysis of Rufus Burrow’s work Making Good the Claim.
1. James Earl Massey, African Americans and the Church of God: Aspects of a Social History (Anderson: Anderson University Press, 2005), 6.
Massey, James Earl. An Introduction to the Negro Churches in the Church of God Reformation Movement. 1st ed. New York: Shining Light Survey Press, 1957.