The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is taking exception to a press statement from the Coalition of African-American Pastors’ (CAAP) president William Owens.
Charisma News originally published an article based on Owens claim that the CAAP and the AME will call on black pastors to “withhold support from President Obama because of his ongoing disrespect for the views of many of us in the black church.”
Charisma News accurately reported Owens’ statement, but failed to directly contact the AME before the story was posted. Charisma News has since apologized to the AME for failing to verify the denomination’s position in the matter.
According to Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr., president of the AME Church Council of Bishops, "As a denomination, we do not endorse candidates for any political office. As such, we cannot ‘withdraw’ support from President Obama because we cannot endorse any candidate for political office and did not endorse the president. No organization has been authorized to speak for the AME Church."
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, chairperson of the AME Church's Commission on Social Action said, "Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors."
In the Episcopal Address to the worldwide church, the Bishops of the Church said, "We call upon each of our congregants to become registered and vote on election day ... and urge all of our churches to conduct voter registration drives." Bishop John R. Bryant, senior bishop of the AME Church, said, "We shall continue to advocate for the well being of all humankind, so that they can freely hear the liberating gospel of Jesus the Christ.”