Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: September 27, 1986

Last Telecast: July 27, 1991

Broadcast History:

September 1986-April 1987, Saturday 9:30-10:00 on NBC

June 1987-Spetember 1988, Saturday 9:30-10:00 on NBC

October 1988-July 1989, Saturday 8:30-9:00 on NBC

August 1989, Saturday 8:00-8:30 on NBC

September 1989-July 1990, Saturday 8:30-9:00 on NBC

August 1990, Saturday 8:00-8:30 on NBC

December 1990-July 1991, Saturday 8:00-8:30 on NBC


Deacon Ernest Frye..... Sherman Hemsley

Rev. Reuben Gregory..... Clifton Davis

Thelma Frye..... Anna Maria Horsford

Casietta Hetebrink (1986-1990)..... Barbara Montgomery

Amelia Hetebrink..... Roz Ryan

Rolly Forbes..... Jester Hairston

Lorenzo Hollingsworth..... Franklyn Seales

Leola Forbes (1987-1989)..... Rosetta LeNoire

Inga (1988-1990)..... Elsa Raven

Chris (1988-1990)..... Tony T. Johnson

Clarence (1990-1991)..... Bumper Robinson


Amen was a breakthrough of sorts - the first hit comedy in TV history to be based on religion.

Sherman Hemsley, who played pushy, egotistical George Jefferson on The Jeffersons for ten years, played a similar character here as an insufferable deacon (and lawyer) whose father had founded the First Community Church of Philadelphia, and who intended to keep it under his thumb. Unfortunately, the new minister, Rev. Gregory, had other ideas and every week he quietly deflated the strutting Deacon. Both, of course, really had the Church's best interests at heart.

Thelma was the Deacon's 30-year-old, unmarried, romantically frustrated daughter, who eventually began dating the handsome new pastor; Casietta and Amelia chattering sisters who were members of the Church board, and Rolly, the board's wise old voice of reason.

Developments in later seasons included the marriage of Rolly to Thelma's great aunt Leola in November 1987; Deacon Frye's "fantasy wedding" to colorful guest star Jackee later that season; and the long-awaited moment when Thelma finally tied the knot with the man of her dreams, Rev. Gregory, in February 1990. In the final season, Deacon Frye was appointed a judge so he could wreak havoc in the courts too.

Younger faces on the show included a charismatic 12-year-old preacher, Rev. Johnny Tolbert (played in several 1987 guest appearances by real-life child Minister Rev. William Hudson, III); 6-year-old parishioner Chris, who was not shy about his opinions; and in the last season, a hip street kid and aspiring rapper named Clarence, who was taken in by the Deacon and who who looked up to him admiringly.

The final original episode was memorable. Deacon Frye staged a telethon to raise money to save the Church, culminating in his wild imitation of James Brown - which was topped when Brown himself walked on and launched into his patented "I Feel Good!" His screams were echoed by screams offstage as an overdue Thelma went into labor and gave birth to the Deacon's first grandchild.

Actor Clifton Davis, best known as the star of the 1974 series, That's My Mama, was also a real-life minister. While appearing in the top-rated Amen, he served as assistant pastor at the Loma Linda, California Seventh-Day Adventist Church.