|Freedmen's Aid Society Methodist Episcopal Church
REPORT ON FREEDMEN'S AID.
Your Committee on "Freedmen's Aid" has had under consideration the duty of the Methodist Episcopal Church to aid in
the relief and education of the freedmen, and the means for the prosecution of this twofold and very necessary work.
Careful inquiries have been made in regard to the operations of the Freedmen's Aid Commissions which have received
contributions from the Methodist Episcopal Church, and also in regard to the relation of the education of the freedmen
to the missionary work of our Church in the South. The following facts have been ascertained; namely:
1. Everywhere in the South the freedmen are eager to have schools among them for their children and for themselves;
but coming forth from the house of their bondage in deep poverty, they are not able, as yet, to support the teachers
they need and desire.
2. Among the freedmen is found the most inviting and promising field of missionary efforts; and every denomination in
our country, imbued with the aggressive spirit of the Gospel, is turning with interest and hope toward them.
3. The efficiency of missions among the freedmen will be greatly increased by having schools connected with them; and
several denominations have wisely adopted plans by which they are thus strengthening their missionary operations.
4. The Missionary and Church Extension Societies of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having before them specific work
recognized by, and under direction of their Board of Managers, do not meet this special educational want of the
5. The Freedmen's Aid Commissions, supported in large measure by contributions from the Methodist Episcopal
Church, have, when applied to, declined to sustain teachers in connection with our missions.
6. A Freedmen's Aid Society has been organized to co-operate with the Missionary and Church Extension Societies of
the Methodist Episcopal Church.
7. The membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church, prompted by feelings of patriotism, a sense of gratitude, and
convictions of duty, will contribute in behalf of the cause of education among the freedmen. These contributions,
applied to schools in connection with our missions, would accomplish more for the freedmen than in any other way, and
give to our Church an influence with that people that will greatly increase her usefulness among them.
In view of these facts, your Committee present the following resolutions for your consideration; namely:
1. Resolved, By the Cincinnati Annual Conference, thjt the time has come for the Methodist Episcopal Church to direct
her contributions for the education of the freedmen so that they shall be applied to the support of schools in connection
with her own mission work.
2. Resolved, That we hereby recognize and approve the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and pledge ourselves, to the utmost of our ability, to provide means for the furtherance of its objects, and to bring the
cause for which it labors before our congregations, wherever practicable, during the Conference year.
3. Resolved, That a Conference Society, auxiliary to the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, be
4. Resolved, That our delegates to the Board of Managers of the Parent Society shall be Rev. William Young and A. S.
W. S. Studley, Chaiirman. J. M. Walden, Secretary.
Ripley, September 1, 1866. The Committee on Freedmen's Aid recommend that the Conference request the
appointment of the following brethren, to work in the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church;
namely: J. M. Walden, Corresponding Secretary; R. S. Rust, Field Superintendent; and J. R. Stillwell, Agent.
By order of the Committee. George Parrott.
Founded on August 7-8, 1866, the Freedmen's Aid Society was an agency of the Methodist Episcopal Church created
to establish schools and colleges for Negroes in the South. The Society provided support for teachers in the institutions
begun by or connected with the Freedmen's Aid Society and helped educate young men for the ministry. They met in
Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Cincinnati, Ohio. Twelve men organized the Freedmen's Aid Society of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. They sent school teachers into the South.
On November 1, 1870, the Freedman's Aid Society was incorporated for the education relief of Freedman in
cooperation with the Missionary and Church Extension Societies of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1872, the
General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church gave its approval to the Act of Incorporation of the Freedman's
Gradually the church responded to the calls of the Society for the money necessary to put up buildings and pay
teachers, until, after fifty years of earnest and faithful service on the part of teachers, and liberal giving by the church,
there were under the control of the Freedmen's Aid Society eighteen institutions of learning, located in strategic
centers throughout the Southern States, with 334 teachers and 5,702 students, sending out their streams of
intellectual, industrial, and moral influence.
Article I. This organization shall be known as the Freedmerit Aid Society of the Annual Conference, and shall be
auxiliary to the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodi9t Episcopal Church.
Art. II. Its object shall be to aid the Parent Society in promoting the cause of education among the freedmen of the
South, in co-operation with the Missionary aud Church Extension Societies of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Art. III. Every member of the Annual Conference shall be an active member of this Society. Any person contributing
dollars shall be an honorary member.
Art. IV. The officers shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and seven Managers, who shall be
Art. V. 1. The President and Vice-President shall perform such duties as usually pertain to their offices respectively. 2.
The Secretary shall keep a correct record of all meetings of the Society and Board of Managers. 3. The Treasurer shall
keep an accurate account of all funds coming into his hands; pay into the Treasury of the Parent Society all funds not
required to meet expenses approved by the Board of Managers.
Art. VI 1. There shall be an annual meeting for the election of officers and transaction of other business, at such time
during the session of the Conference as shall be designated by the Managers. 2. There may be an anniversary
meeting held under the auspices of the Managers during the session of the Conference, to which the Annual Reports
of the Secretary and Treasurer shall he submitted. When no anniversary is held, these Reports shall be made to the
Art. VIII. This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a two-thirds vote.
The Society aided in the establishment and support of the following institutions:
Central Tennessee College, Nashville, Tennessee
Shaw University, Holly Springs, Mississippi
Claffin University and Baker Institute, Orangeburg, S. C.
Clark University and Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.
New Orleans University and Thomson Biblical Institute, New Orleans
Wiley University, Marshall, Texas
Haven Normal School, Waynesboro, Georgia
Rust Bibical and Normal Institute, Huntsville, Alabama
La Teche Seminary, Baldwin, La
Bennett Seminary, Greensboro, N. C.
Richmond Normal School, Richmond, Va.
Cookman Institute, Jacksonville, Florida
Centenary Biblical Institute, Baltimore, Md
Orphans Home, Baldwin, La.
From the American Missionary Vol 37 Issue 2 (Feb 1883)
The Methodist Episcopal Church had from the first co-operated with the undenominational Aid Scoieties in the care of
the Freedmen, in relieving physical suffering and in giving instruction in primary education. But it concentrated its effort
by the organization, in Cincinnati, Aug. 6, 1866 of "The Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist episcopal Church."
This Society now reports six chartered institutions, viz: Central Tennessee College, Nashville, Tennessee; Clark
University, Atlanta, Ga.; Claflin University, Orangeburg, S. C.; New Orleans University, New Orleans, La.; Rust
University, Holly Springs, Mississippi; Wiley University, Marshall Texas. Four Theological schools, viz.: Centenary
Biblical Institute, Baltimore Md.; Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.; Baker Institute, Orangeburg, S. C. and
Thomson Biblical Institute, New Orleans, La. One medical college, viz. Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.; and
14 institutions not chartered. Total number of institutions, 25; teachers, 95; pupils, 3,506. It gives special attention to
Biblical instruction, and at Clark University a Department of Industry is established.