Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church
3304 Fontaine Avenue
Jackson, Mississippi  39213
J. Benjamin Barnes, III-Pastor
Dr. Charles E. Holbrook, Sr.-Presiding Elder
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr.- Presiding Prelate
"We Walk By Faith and Not By Sight"

Mission Statement

The mission of  Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church is to restore the honor and integrity of our Holy Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amongst our body of believers, to teach the Word of God in a way that is understandable and practical in everyday living, to exemplify genuine brotherly and sisterly love and concern for the saved and the unsaved, to equip the body for discipleship, and to become the champions of our community, so that humanity may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.

Our Beliefs

The Articles of Religion

The foundational doctrines of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church are found in what is commonly referred to in Wesleyan Methodism as The Articles of Religion. The Articles of Religion derived from the Church of England and abridged by John Wesley, Founder of Methodism, for Methodists in America in 1784.

Article I - Of Faith in the Holy Trinity

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and good; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Article II - Of the Word, or Son of God, Who Was Made Very Man

The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided; whereof is one Christ, very God and very Man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.

Article III - Of the Resurrection of Christ

Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.

Article IV - Of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

Article V - Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation

The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testaments of whose authority was never any doubt in the church. The names of the canonical books are:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of Ezra, The Book of Nehemiah, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, Cantica or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the Greater, Twelve Prophets the Less.

All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical.

Article VI - Of the Old Testament

The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testaments everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses as touching ceremonies and rites doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

Article VII - Of Original or Birth Sin

Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.

Article VIII - Of Free Will

The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.

Article IX - Of the Justification of Man

We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.

Article X - Of Good Works

Although good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.

Article XI - Of Works of Supererogation

Voluntary works—besides, over and above God's commandments—which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly: When you have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.

Article XII - Of Sin After Justification

Not every sin willingly committed after justification is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore, the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and, by the grace of God, rise again and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned who say they can no more sin as long as they live here; or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.

Article XIII - Of the Church

The visible church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.

Article XIV - Of Purgatory

The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardon, worshiping, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.

Article XV - Of Speaking in the Congregation in Such a Tongue
 as the People Understand

It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the primitive church, to have public prayer in the church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understood by the people.

Article XVI - Of the Sacraments

Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in him.

There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.

Those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, confirmation, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel; being such as have partly grown out of the corrupt following of the apostles, and partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not the like nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, because they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.

The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves condemnation, as St. Paul saith.

Article XVII - Of Baptism

Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. The Baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church.

Article XVIII - Of the Lord's Supper

The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of
Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped.

Article XIX - Of Both Kinds

The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.

Article XX - Of the One Oblation of Christ,
Finished upon the Cross

The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit.

Article XXI - Of the Marriage of Ministers

The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best to godliness.

Article XXII - Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches

It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the rites and ceremonies of the church to which he belongs, which are not repugnant to the Word of God, and are ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the like, as one that offendeth against the common order of the church, and woundeth the consciences of weak brethren.

Every particular church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification.

Article XXIII - Of the Rulers of the United States of America

The President, the Congress, the general assemblies, the governors, and the councils of state, as the delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of America, according to the division of power made to them by the Constitution of the United States and by the constitutions of their respective states. And the said states are a sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.

Article XXIV - Of Christian Men's Goods

The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

Article XXV - Of a Christian Man's Oath

As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James his apostle, so we judge that the Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the prophet's teaching, in justice, judgment, and truth.

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About Us

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, familiarly known as the CME Church, was organized December 16, 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee by 41 former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Composed primarily of African Americans, the CME Church is a branch of Wesleyan Methodism founded and organized by John Wesley in England in 1844 and established in America as the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784. As such it is a church of Jesus Christ adhering to the basic tenets of historic Methodism, welcoming into its fellowship any and all desiring to “flee from the wrath to come and be saved from their sins.” It holds that Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Son of God whose life, teachings, sacrificial death on the cross and glorious resurrection from the dead reconciled humankind to God, overcame sin and conquered death, procuring thereby eternal salvation to all who believe. The CME Church believes that the Holy Spirit is God’s continuing presence in the world empowering the church to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfill its mission of saving and serving all humankind. Basic to the faith of the CME Church is the conviction that the Bible is the inspired Word of God containing all things necessary for human salvation. Presently the church reports approximately 850,000 communicant members in the continental United States, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, D. R. Congo.

The CME Church came into being in the tumultuous aftermath of the civil war and throes of Reconstruction. Beginning in 1619, the enslavement of native Africans, captured in their homeland and transported to America under horrendous conditions known as the Middle Passage, became integral to the American way of life. By the 19th century chattel slavery, especially on the cotton, cane and tobacco plantations of the South, had become the "Peculiar Institution." Despite the principles and precepts of Jesus Christ, however, the Christian churches of the South not only approved and advocated slavery, but even accepted it in their midst. Foremost among them was the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which in 1844 had separated from the Methodist Church over the issue of slavery. When the Civil War began in 1860, it had more slave members than any other religious denomination. At the end of the war, amidst its devastation, almost 100,000 members remained in the M. E. Church, South. It was of these members that in 1866 the General Conference of that church asked, “What shall be done to promote the religious interests of our colored members?”
The answer was predicated on the expressed desires and requests of those “Colored” members. For example, Isaac Lane of Tennessee, and later Founder of Lane College, said, “At once we made it known that we preferred a separate organization of our own . . . established after our own ideas and notions.” Lucius Holsey of Georgia, and later Founder of Paine College, wrote, “After emancipation a movement was at once inaugurated to give the Negroes a separate and independent organization.” Aware of these desires, James E. Evans, chair of the committee considering the issue, said, “The General Conference believed that the colored people, now that they are free, would desire a separate church organization for themselves.” Accordingly, the General Conference authorized the bishops of the church to organize their “Colored” members into their own “separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction.” Between 1866 and 1870 the bishops carried out the dictates of the General Conference. In May 1870 they reported that all necessary and legal steps had been taken to organize a separate church the followingwinter. So it was that those 41 former slaves gathered in Jackson in 1870 were duly elected and properly authorized to organize their own separate and independent “Colored Methodist Episcopal Church“(changed to “Christian Methodist” in 1954) they elected William Henry Miles and Richard H. Vanderhorst, the first bishops.

The CME Church is organized into eleven Episcopal Districts, nine in the Continental United States and two on the continent of Africa. Each Episcopal District consists of geographical Regions presided over by a bishop elected by the General Conference. Several connectional departments under the authority of a General Secretary carry out the ministries of the church, such as Christian Education, discipleship, evangelism, and missions. Its theological school is Phillips School of Theology, which is a part of the Interdenominational Theological Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The CME Church sponsors four liberal arts colleges: Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee; Paine College, Augusta, Georgia; Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama and Texas College, Tyler, Texas. The Connectional Headquarters and publishing operations of the CME Church are located in Memphis, Tennessee.

By Bishop Othal Hawthorne Lakey
The History of the CME Church, Othal Hawthorne Lakey, CME Publishing House, Memphis, Tennessee: 1985.
The Rise of “Colored Methodism”: A Study of the Background and Beginnings of the CME Church, Othal Hawthorne Lakey, Crescendo Press, 1972.
Is God Still at Mama’s House? The Women’s Movement in the CME Church, Othal Hawthorne Lakey and Betty Beene Stephens, CME Publishing House, Memphis, Tennessee, 1994.
A History of the Women’s Missionary Council of the CME Church, William C. Larkin: 1910.
The History of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (1870 – 2009): Faithful to the Vision, Ore L. Spragin, 2011.
An Ex-Colored Church: Social Activism in the CME Church, 1870 – 1970,Raymond R. Sommerville, Jr., Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 2004.

Lane Chapel Church History

The original Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church was built in 1896 on South West Street in Jackson.  According to Mother Brown the church would be known as "The Women's Church" due to the lack of male participation.  Eventually, males began to attend Lane Chapel.

Some of the founders of the original church were:

Mrs. Corine Smith
Mrs. Dessie Ree Johnson
Mrs. Tanzella Weathersby
Mrs. Cora Dixon
Mrs. Wille Little
Mrs. Marie Griffin
Mrs. Cassie Harrison
Mrs. Zula Pendleton
Reverand Monrol
Reverend J.W. Brown, Pastor

In 1923 the first Cornerstone was laid by the Mason Lodge.  The presiding officers at this time were:

Mr. W.H. Randolph
Mr. M.C. Coleman
Mr. S.L. Miles
Mr. W.M. Amos
Ms. Aleatchers Brown

The new Lane Chapel was built in 1954 on 3304 Fontaine Avenue.  Lane Chapel was under the leadership of Reverand J.R. Cole, Presiding Elder and Bishop Luther Stewart.  The members that came from the old Lane Chapel were:

Ms. Aleatchers Brown
Mrs. Ruby Bruno
Ms. Martha Edwards
Ms. Ada Sandifer
Mrs. Bullock
Mrs. Bartee Everett.

The second Cornerstone was laid in 1958 by Stringer Grand Lodge, Grand Master James G. Gilliam.  Officers of the church were: 

Mr. Eugene Liddell
Mr. Cato Thompson
Mr. Willie McInnis
Mr. J.C. Clark
Mr. Matt Weathersby
Mr. Green Miles
Mrs. Laura Thompson
Mrs. Mary O'Dell
Mrs. Patsy Neeley
Mrs. Dessie Ree Johnson
Mrs. Corine Smith
Ms. Aleatchers Brown

Past Pastors

Reverend J.W. Brown
Reverend J.R. Cole
Reverend M.M. Harrison
Reverend W.H. Hudson
Reverend John McCainey
Reverend W.B. Easterling
Reverend Thomas Sanders, Jr.
Reverend Robertson
Reverend Albert J. Rawls
Reverend L.O. Wesley
Reverend Earnest Miller
Reverend O.L. Spraggins
Reverend Henry Wilson
Reverend Darryl Claybon
Reverend C.L. Shelton
Reverend Dr. Emma Armstrong
Reverend J.L. Mingley
Reverend Troy Miller
Reverend Jeffery Adams

Church Leadership and Auxiliaries

Reverend Johnnie Benjamin Barnes, III

Recording Stewardess and Church Secretary 
Sister Denise Wesley

Sister Joyce Sutton

Assistant Treasurer
Sister Rosie Levy

Lane Chapel Board of Christian Education
Sister Denise Wesley- Chairman
Sister Denise Sims- Assistant Chairman

Stewardess Board
Sister Rosie Levy- President
Mother Muriel Frierson
Sister Sybil Haynes
Sister Keshia Barnes
Mother Mynetta Smith-Emeritus
Mother Aleatchers Brown-Emeritus

Board of Trustees
Sister Ruthie Cannon
Sister Denise Sims
Brother Mike Cannon

Usher Board
Brother Mike  Cannon
Brother John Gross
Brother Simeon Barnes

Missionary Board
Sister Joyce Sutton- President

Evanglism and Outreach
Sister Denise Wesley
Sister Rosie Levy
Sister Joyce Sutton
Reverend Dennis Spivey
Brother Mike Cannon
Pastor Johnnie Benjamin Barnes, III

Sister Kristen Sharp- Musician
Sister Rosie Levy- President
Sister Denise Wesley
Sister Joyce Sutton
Sister Kimsey Castin

Committee on Reclamation
Sister Ruthie Cannon
Pastor Johnnie Benjamin Barnes, III

About Pastor Barnes

Johnnie Benjamin Barnes, III was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, February 16, 1980, to the parentage of J.B. Barnes, Jr. and Elaine Barnes of Collins, Mississippi.  He is the grandson of the late Elder Dorothy Clayborn.
He graduated with a BA in Political Science from Belhaven College and a MSE in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.
He entered the ministry in 2008 while attending Healing Point Ministries in Hammond, Louisiana, where he was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2009 he returned to Mississippi and rejoined his family church Shady Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Collins, Mississippi.  He was licensed to preach and received Baptist Ordination in 2010.  He attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he completed a course in Christian Ethics.
He and his family embraced his Methodist heritage by joining the CME Church by way of Holly Springs CME, Bassfield, Mississippi, in 2013 under the leadership of Pastor Gerald Hudson.  He served Holly Springs CME Church as the Director of Evangelism and Outreach.
He was appointed to be the pastor of Lane Chapel CME Church, Jackson, Mississippi, by Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr. in January 2015, where he now serves on the Greenwood-Jackson District of the 4th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Elder Dr. Charles E. Holbrook, Sr.-Presiding.  
He is an educator and coach by trade.  He has served in the United States Army and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He has held membership in several organizations including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, American Football Coaches Association, Alcorn State University Honors Society, and NAACP College and Youth Division.
He is married to Shawonda LaKeshia Barnes of Bassfield, Mississippi.  They are the parents of four children: Benji, Bryce, Simeon, and Shia.

Photo Gallery


​Sister Denise Sims- 8th

Jackson, Mississippi