The AME Church was created and organized by people of African descent (most descended from enslaved Africans taken to the Americas) as a response to being officially discriminated against by white congregants in the Methodist church. The church was not founded in Africa, nor is it exclusively for people of African descent. It is open and welcoming to people of all ethnic groups, origins, nationalities, and colors, although its congregations are predominantly made up of Black Americans.
The church's roots are in the Methodist church. Members of St. George's Methodist Church left the congregation when faced with racial discrimination, but continued with the Methodist doctrine and the order of worship.