The AME congregation met in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
In 1872, after serving in the South Carolina Senate (1868–72), Cain was elected as a Republican Congressman in the U. House of Representatives, continuing a tradition of religious leaders serving in political positions.
State law and city ordnance required lawful churches to be dominated by whites, though African Americans held separate services, usually in the basements.
Hampstead Church was part of the "Bethel circuit" of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent black denomination in the United States, founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 by Richard Allen.
They created an independent congregation because of a dispute over use of the black burial ground.
Upon his release, he and several other prominent members fled to Philadelphia; others managed to reconstitute the congregation in a few years.
In reaction to Nat Turner's slave rebellion, in 1834 the white-run city of Charleston outlawed all-black churches.
City officials again raided the church in 18 in a pattern of harassment. Additional trials took place over the following weeks, with more than 30 men executed and others deported from the state.
Their original church was burned down by a crowd of angry whites. Morris Brown was imprisoned for many months, though never convicted.
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, often referred to as Mother Emanuel, is a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Founded in 1816, Emanuel AME is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the Southern United States, with the first independent black denomination in the United States as well as one of the oldest black congregations south of Baltimore.