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Stephen W. Angell

African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church bishop and emigrationist, was born in Newberry, South Carolina, the son of Hardy Turner and Sarah Greer, free African Americans. Sarah made great efforts to obtain an education for her son, despite the state prohibition against teaching African Americans to read. In 1848, after Turner's father died and his mother remarried, he was hired as a janitor by lawyers in Abbeville, South Carolina. Recognizing Turner's intelligence, they helped him to master many subjects, including arithmetic, astronomy, geography, history, law, and theology.

From 1848 to 1851 Turner attended numerous camp meetings conducted by Methodist evangelists and underwent a powerful conversion experience. He soon joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, probably in 1849, and determined to undertake a ministerial career. He was licensed to preach in 1853 Subsequently he traveled throughout the South holding huge audiences of blacks and whites spellbound with ...