The narrative about the Woman Clothed in the Sun provided Bulgakov and his followers, the Zionites
, a cultural script, which served, in Clifford Geertz's words, as both a model of and a model for reality.
Richard Allen's vision of a pan-African Methodist alliance attracted many Zionites.
Because White and Lambert had been Zionites, New York's African Methodists took the affront personally.
Black Methodists temporarily forgot Allen's machinations when William Stilwell approached the Zionites in July 1820 with news of his group's departure.
Their fears confirmed, the Zionites explored options that would allow their ministers, deacons in Methodist nomenclature, to be elevated to elders.
The Zionites approached Allen to request that he promote their deacons to elder, but Allen refused unless they placed their church under his authority.
Some Zionites considered leaving Methodism and approached Bishop Hobart at Trinity Episcopal Church to request ordination for their deacons.
Episcopalian ministers hesitated to support an independent black ministry and suggested the Zionites return to William Stilwell.
However, evidence indicates the Zionites made autonomous decisions apart from Stilwell and the plebeian church.
Rush notes that the Mort Street Bethel Church was consecrated on 23 July 1820, the week after Stilwell approached the Zionites.