Bishop Turner Fires at the Secretaries
Christian Recorder: March 26, 1885
I trust I am not mad. I hope I am only indignant. I pray that it is nothing more. But several weeks ago I put a notice in your paper—the CHRISTIAN RECORDER—calling upon the Secretaries, and for fear some would be too trifling, I also extended the call to the assistant Secretaries, requesting them to answer a series of questions about the statistics of our church, that I might give them to the world as ordered by our late General Conference. I also stated that I would return home by the 15th of March to open said letters and make up the final account. True to my word, I reached home on the night of the 15th inst., but when I began to examine the statistics, I found that not half of the conferences had been heard from, including those that only sent me minutes, and the lost letters which some kind friend found and sent me from New Orleans. I came nearly a thousand miles to be here and attend to this business, but I am prevented through negligence or laziness, I do not know which, for surely it cannot be willful meanness, for there is nothing to be mean about. I as an individual am to be no more benefitted than anyone else. I am sure there is no pay for it.
The A. M. E. Church is the only Methodist body upon the face of the earth that pays its secretaries for keeping the minutes of the annual conferences, yet these secretaries cannot answer a few plain questions for the good of the connection and the religious world. I reckon they are waiting for me to pay them for it. Now, I shall give you another chance, my dear brethren, I shall postpone the time until the 25th of April, and all conferences not heard from by then I shall publish in the RECORDER so that your ministers and Bishops can see the interest their paid secretaries have in the Church. This letter may displease some of you, but you cannot get more displeased than I am at present. I hope your displeasure will help you to roll in the answers asked for at once.
H. M. Turner