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About Us

Rev. Lee Clayton Goodman, Esq.

On Sunday, October 27, 2013 , Bishop T. Larry Kirkland Sr. Presiding Bishop of the 5th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, appointed Rev. Lee Clayton Goodman, Esq. Senior Pastor of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in the heart of St. Louis , Missouri .
An inspiring preacher, Rev. Goodman began his ministry motivated by the theme “I only got a minute”. According to Rev. Goodman, this theme embodies the urgency of the moment in history. Under his leadership St. John has continued its already prominent role as a valuable contributor to the betterment of life in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.
Rev. Goodman believes that the church must be engaged with the community and within weeks of assuming the pastorate he demonstrated what this engagements looks like. After a deadly shooting less three houses from the doors of the church he interrupted Sundays alter prayer and led all the men, young and old to the site of the shooting for an impromptu prayer visual with the family. Under his leadership the church regularly walks the community to distribute information to residents on services that are availing to the community through city, state and federal agencies. Rev. Goodman is most passionate about the youth and to encouraged spiritual mentorship, he has instituted combined Church School, where every first Sunday boys and men study together and girls and women study together.
Rev. Goodman began his ministry at Buren Chapel AME Church in Herculean, Missouri . While at Buren Chapel, he was instrumental in the efforts of many of his congregants receiving financial settlements when a led smelter contaminated the community. He is the founder of Imani African Methodist Episcopal Church in Overland Missouri where he served for ten years. He currently serves as President-Elect of the AME ministerial Alliance of Greater St. Louis.
He is the past president of the Mound City Bar Association, the oldest association of African American Lawyers west of the Mississippi. Under his leadership the Association filed suit against the St. Louis Board of Elections in the wake of the 2000 Elections. As a result of this suit voters in the City of St. Louis are now allowed to submit a provisional ballot when they can not provide proper identification – rather than be turned away from the polls. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he currently serves the Missouri Conference as Dean of the Board of Examiners and president of the AME Ministerial Alliance. He is also legal counsel to the License Collector of The City of St. Louis and an adjunct professor of Business Law at the St. Louis Community College . AND in September 2015 after the tumultuous events in the City of Ferguson Missouri (after the shooting of Michael Brown) Rev. Goodman was appointed as the cities Prosecutor.

Rev. Goodman was educated in the St. Louis Public School System. He matriculated through Lincoln University ( Jefferson City , Missouri ) where he received the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and the Master of Arts degree in Political Science. He is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law ( Washington DC ) and obtained the Master of Divinity Degree from the Eden Theological Seminary ( Webster Groves, Missouri).
A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Rev. Goodman enjoys his ministry, his family and his work. He recently celebrated 19 years of marriage to the former Phyllis Rogers and they have two daughters.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique and glorious history.
It is unique in that it is the first major religious denomination in the Western world that had its origin over sociological injustice rather than theological beliefs and differences.

Founder Richard Allen
Richard Allen our founder was born 1760 into slavery in Philadelphia, PA. At the age of 7, his mother and siblings were sold to a Delaware farmer names Stokeley Sturgis.  At the age of 17 Sturgis sold Richard Allen’s mother and three siblings.   In 1777 at the age of 17 after hearing a white itinerant Methodist minister preach protesting slavery, Richard Allen converted to Methodism and he started preaching.   Allen convinced his owner to have one of the preachers come to the farm and preach.  His owner Master Sturgis hearing the sermon from Daniel 5:27, the preacher believed having slaves was inhumane and on judgment day all slaveholders would be held accountable.  After hearing this sermon, Master Sturgis allowed Richard Allen in 1780 to hire him-self out and to purchase his freedom at the cost of $2,000.00.

RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA – In 1784 Methodism was established as a denomination.  In 1786 St. George Methodist Church invited Richard Allen to come and preach and Richard Allen returned to his birthplace, Philadelphia.   Black and whites worshiped at St. George and with Allen preaching regularly, the Black membership grew and were forced to sit at the back of the church or stand in the back.  Richard Allen approached the elder at St. George several times and asked permission to establish a black church.  His requests were denied forcefully and in an offensive manner.   Out of this growth in Black membership there was uneasiness among the white members.
& SPLIT FROM ST. GEORGE – In 1787, it was during prayer when Richard Allen and Absalom Jones were on their knees praying in the lower gallery when they were told they had to get up. Allen said, ‘Wait until the Prayer is over,” “Wait until the Prayer is over and I will get up and trouble you no more.”   The prayer ended and Richard Allen, Absalom Jones and other Blacks left the church.
FORMATION OF THE FAS (Free African Society)  After leaving St. George’s, the FAS (Free African Society) was formed, with Richard Allen ministering to the spiritual, educational, and general needs of his people.   There were differences within the FAS and began taking on the Quaker culture, but Allen resolved to remain Methodist.
Because Allen did not support the Quaker worship style, in 1789 Allen was read out of FAS.  Even though Allen was disassociated with the FAS, he supported the plan to form the nation’s first black church.  Allen and others in the community contributed monetary support toward this cause.  The FAS gave Richard Allen the responsibility of buying land for the church.  Using his own money, he purchased a plot of land at 6th and Lombard, already a historic Black community.  However, the FAS decided to build a church outside of the black community and the groundbreaking was in 1791. Richard Allen attended the groundbreaking.  The FAS voted to be Episcopalian even though Allen and Absalom Jones wanted to be Methodist.

Replace with your mission/vision

Vision and Purpose:  Our vision and Purpose is to have Purposeful Worship; Intentional Discipleship and Community Trusteeship.

Mission: The Mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people by spreading Christ’s liberating gospel through word and deed.

Motto:  “God our Father Christ our Redeemer the Holy Spirit our Comforter Human Kind our Family”

About God
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

About Man
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates man from God.

Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

About Eternity
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:31-46

About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13

About Salvation
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

About Eternal Security
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.

John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

About The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

About The Bible
The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

About Baptism
Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.

Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2: 8-9; Matthew 28:19-20

About Communion
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross.

Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29