Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Acts 8:26-40: Some Biblical Evidence of Early African Christianity

Read Acts 8:26-40 where we hear that the treasurer of Queen Candice of Ethiopia was reading the Holy Scriptures (the prophet Isaiah) when a minister of the Gospel, Phillip, explained the scriptures to him. This would seem to show two things: there were adherents to Judaism in Ethiopia around the 50's; and that there was at least one Christian in the royal palace in Ethiopia at that time.

It may be that the Jews of Ethiopia were closely connected to those of Judea by trade routes, etc. The timeline previously posted reflects that two Syrian Christians influenced those in the palace in Ethiopia in the early 300's. They reported to Athanasius that Christianity was strongly established in Ethiopia - whether from their influence or not we don't know. It may have been that they discovered it that way when they began to work in the palace there.

Evidence from the 4th century in church history reveals a strong influence on Ethiopia from Alexandrian, Egypt. First, there is the fact that Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria,Egypt ordained Frumentius Bishop in Ethiopia around 320 c.e., and there is also evidence that during persecutions Egyptian Christians fled to and found refuge in Ethiopia. One would expect that there was a certain "cross-fertilization" from this deep connection of these two communions. Persecutions were drastic in the 300's during the time of Athanasius who had to go into exile twice.

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