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- Committee on Missions and Education: April 8, 1867
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON MISSIONS AND EDUCATION
Bishop and Members of the South Carolina Conference: (Appendix: Page 25)
We, your Committee appointed on Missions and Education, beg leave to report, that the past year has been one of great success in the cause of missions. Many new fields have been opened, and score of ministers have put on the missionary harness and bravely periled their all for the sake of carrying the Gospel to the poor. The result of their labor has been the accession of more missionary fields than we can supply with preachers. Your Committee regrets to inform you that we shall lack near one hundred preachers of supplying our missionary demands. Everywhere the cry is, send us the Gospel through the heralds of the A.M.E. Church. But ministers and means are both inadequate to the enormity of the work. Your Committee therefore would recommend that appointment of an agent by this Conference to travel and collect money for the sole benefit of the Southern work. Which agent shall be subject to such rules, regulations and restrictions as shall be adopted by the several Superintendents of Missions in Committee of the Whole, except that they shall in no respect fail to report regularly to the Corresponding Secretary of the Parent Society, John M. Brown, No. 49 Holliday Street, Baltimore, Md. The education of our people is also engaging the attention of the world; and while much credit is due the A.M.E. Church for her labors in that direction, your Committee have fears that some of our ministerial representatives are not alive to its indispensable importance. We therefore recommend that the Conference require each Itinerant Minister to raise and report the same next Conference, a Lyceum, Reading, Debating, or Literary Society in his field of labor, and that he be held accountable for failure or neglect. And further, that each Pastor, as per Discipline, see that the rule requiring Local Preachers and Exhorters to labor in the Sunday Schools is enforced. And any local Preacher or Exhorter, who shall refuse to do so, shall be forthwith suspended from his official position. Your Committee would further recommend that in view of the small number of our Brethren in this Conference who can write intelligently, that the Conference require each Pastor to write out the minutes of some meeting, and send it quarterly to his Presiding Elder for criticism and correction, so as to advance his business knowledge, and hasten his fitness to do the business of the Church. Your Committee also thinks the time has come when we should begin to lay the foundation of an educated ministry even among our Southern brethren; therefore we would recommend that a Committee of Five be appointed to devise a plan and select a place for the erection of a suitable institution, either in Georgia, North or South Carolina, where our young ministers can study at least the elements of Divinity, who are unable to avail themselves of the benefits of Wilberforce University; and that said Committee report at the next South Carolina Conference.
All of which we respectfully submit.