In 1816 the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized under the leadership of Richard Allen. The first missionary activities with the women began with the organizing of the Dorcas Society by Richard Allen in 1824. They worked together, caring for the ministers who were helping to establish the AME Church. Sarah Allen organized the Daughters of the Conference to sew, mend, and patch coats, pants, and underwear and raise money so that the pastors, with their tattered clothes, might be presentable at the opening of the Conference, after having traveled and worked hard during the year.
Rev. William Paul Quinn was appointed missionary to the West by the General Conference in 1840, and the missionary interest increased. In 1874 a plea came for the women to organize a missionary society to give assistance in Haiti. Mrs. Mary Campbell was chosen as the first President and the Women's Parent Mite Missionary Society was formed. This Society was supported by the southern areas.
Meanwhile, in September of 1893 in South Bend, IN a delegation of women asked permission from Bishop Henry Neil Turner for the organization of a Connectional Missionary Society as there were thousands of women desiring to work in missions. The request was granted, and it was called the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society. The function of this society was to support and supervise the work in South Africa and help mission preachers at home. The society drew members mainly from the northern areas. Whenever the General Conference met, reports from the Missionary Department usually blended commentaries about the two societies. In 1944 at the General Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the two merged and Lucy Hughes became the president.
The Women's Missionary Society of the AME Church has now become connectional, and international, operating all over the church and the world. it has become a corporate body, a channel through which all women of the church have an opportunity to participate and broaden their scope of missions; to use their skills, knowledge, insight, and leadership while touching the lives of many people all over the world.