The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Turner, Henry McNeal

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TURNER, Henry McNeal, American bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; b. Newberry Court House, S. C., 1 Feb. 1834; d. 8 May 1915. He educated himself by dint of earnest perseverance and was licensed to preach by the Methodist Church South in 1853. In 1858 he transferred his membership to the African Methodist Church and studied for the classics, Hebrew and divinity at Trinity College. He was the first colored chaplain ever commissioned, and after being mustered out in 1868 was then commissioned chaplain of the regular army. He sat in the Georgia legislature in 1868 and 1870, and in 1880 became a bishop in his Church. He organized four annual conferences in Africa, was a prominent advocate of the return of his race to Africa and published ‘Methodist Polity,’ etc.