"B" is for Brown, Morris (1770-1849)
"B" is for Brown, Morris (1770-1849). Clergyman. Brown, a free mulatto, was born in Charleston. He received a license to preach as a Methodist lay preacher and organized an African congregation in Charleston. The parish became popular with slave and free persons of color—initially drawing 1,400 members. However, after white Methodist officials reduced the control that black Methodists could have over their own church, Brown led most of his congregation out of the denomination. In 1818 he became an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal or AME Church and his Charleston congregation grew to more than 3,000. After the Denmark Vesey plot, Brown fled to Philadelphia and his church was closed. In 1828 Morris Brown was elected the second bishop of the growing AME church and after the death of its founder, the church’s sole bishop.