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Walters, Alexander (1858-1917), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) bishop and social reformer  

Ralph E. Luker

Walters, Alexander (01 August 1858–02 February 1917), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) bishop and social reformer, African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) bishop and social reformer, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, the son of Henry Walters and Harriet Mathers, both of whom were slaves. He joined Bardstown’s AME Zion church in 1870 and studied in private schools there from 1866 to 1871, when he left to work in Louisville as a waiter. Walters completed his formal education in 1875, graduating as valedictorian of his Bardstown school. During a year as a waiter in Indianapolis, he studied theology with an AME pastor, was licensed to preach, and, in 1877, was appointed pastor of a newly organized AME Zion church in the city. In 1877 Walters married Katie Knox, with whom he had five children. After she died in 1896, Walters married Emeline Virginia Bird; they had one child. When his second wife died in 1902, he married Lelia Coleman of Bardstown; they had no children....