BMCR is the organized Black caucus of The United Methodist Church, one of the denomination's five U.S.- based racial-ethnic caucuses. The caucus represents more than 2,400 Black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African-American members across the United States.
On Nov. 20-21, 1967, in Detroit at the East Grand Boulevard Methodist Church, a group of Black Methodist leaders met and planned a National Conference of Negro Methodists, which occurred in March 1968 in Cincinnati, Ohio and when that conference ended, they had organized as Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. They strategized and prepared for the end of racial segregation and the anticipated formation of the new United Methodist Church at the 1968 Uniting General Conference.
BMCR has consistently been the voice of Black United Methodists and an advocate for the growth and development of Black churches. The mission of BMCR is to raise up prophetic and spiritual leaders who will be advocates for the unique needs of Black people in The United Methodist Church.
When The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, the caucus effectively lobbied for the creation of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race and the desegregation of The United Methodist Publishing House. BMCR also helped the denomination launch numerous landmark mission initiatives, including the Black College Fund (1970), the church-wide missional priority on Strengthening and Developing the Ethnic Minority Local Church (1976 to 1988), and Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (1996).
The list of ministries created and continued, with the aid of BMCR include Africa University, Black College Fund, Gammon Theological Seminary, the African American Methodist Heritage Center, and the Minority Self- Determination Fund. The national organization encompasses sub-groups operating as local, conference, jurisdictional, and youth caucuses. These function as advocacy, ministry, and leadership development organizations.
Historically, the Black church is the center of the Black community and very careful consideration is given to the many social problems that affect not only the local Black church but also the Black community. Some examples of social issues that affect the Black community are unemployment and inadequate housing. Many of the issues have been present in the community for a number of years but they have also become even more crucial as time has passed.
BMCR continues to be a necessary force for change and accountability in the United Methodist Church today. This change and accountability spills over and benefits the Church’s global body. So much is still to be done. From this day forward our dedication must be deep, our commitment sure, and our action certain. God’s work and way are contemporary in every age. There is no waiting for tomorrow - expectations from our time to another. It is cowardly and without faith to cry that the situation will adjust itself. Our time under God is now!!
BMCR membership is important because: