The Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church was organized December 16, 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee by 14 delegates from eight Colored Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1866. The Conference was in response to the expressed desires and wishes of its African American constituents to have their own seperate and independent organization.
With the election of two bishops (William H. Miles and Richard Vanderhorst) and the doctrines, organizational structure, and ordination requirements of the new church firmly established, a new branch of Methodism was born. Fully independent, the C.M.E. Church sent forth to preach the good news, teach divine truth, and heal the brokenness of life by the power of God in our risen Savior.
After the Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church was organized in Jackson, Tennessee, a handful of Memphians met in a spirit of Christian love and fellowship. In various homes, they held weekly prayer meetings to give God the glory and to celebrate the gift of togetherness. After a number of such meetings, this small - but faithful - group of Christians embraced a vision that bound them to each other and to God: Establish a permanent and fixed place to have religious services.
Armed with a goal and the knowledge that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", these believers stepped out on their faith and founded Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church in the late 1870's. From these seeds of humility and Christian love, grew the Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church of today.
Selecting a name for the church was the responsibility of charter members. They searched the "Books of Books" for a mountain peak whose description symbolized their hopes and aspirations. "Mount Pisgah" stood out. It is said that Moses viewed the Promised Land from the top of Mount Pisgah. The lofty peak of Mt. Pisgah encouraged their hearts; thus, the name of Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church was adopted.