Robert L. Hall


The development of religious freedom and the establishment of independent churches by blacks, following the Civil War, was a momentous change in black-white social relations. Although the black churches of various denominations shared a general feeling of assertiveness and independence, the individual churches in Tallahassee, representing distinctive denominations, were not uniform in their historical origins, political orientations, or leadership styles. Following the war, black Southerners of the Methodist persuasion had several paths open to them. A sizable number cast their lot with the African Methodist Episcopal Church which made remarkable inroads in the former slaveholding states. A smaller number, about 500 in Florida as of 1869, retained ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, until they could fulfill their desire for independence through the formation of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of America.