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By Ladye MGM

Amen starred Sherman Hemsley who previously played George Jefferson, the egotistical but successful dry cleaner who 'moved on up' from his house in Queens (next to Archie Bunker in All In The Family) to the deluxe apartment on Manhattan's east side in the hit comedy The Jeffersons.

He made a great character transition from entrepreneur of his own business to heading the First Community Church as Deacon Ernest J. Frye, who was also an Attorney for the state of Philadelphia.

His co-star, Clifton Davis (of That's My Mama fame) played the handsome, eligible Pastor Reverend Reuben Gregory. (An ordained minister in real life).

This was a very enjoyable comedy that showcased the joys, sorrows, mishaps, and humor of running a church. While Reverend Gregory would usually take the sensible, no-nonsense approach, Deacon Frye would be the one who stopped at nothing to execute church business (and his law practice), taking advantage of every opportunity in the best interest of the church and congregation.

Some of his questionable ‘on the edge’ schemes would be ridiculed by the Reverend, his devoted daughter Thelma Frye (played by Anna Marie Horsford) or the Church Board (The Hetebrink Sisters played by Roz Ryan and Barbara Montgomery and a wise-cracking senior church officer Rolly Forbes played by veteran actor/musician Jester Hairston), but the end result was a good laugh for all who tuned in.

Thelma had her eyes set on the handsome Pastor from the beginning of the series, and in later shows she and the Reverend dated and eventually married.


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"I loved the show and thought the whole series was sweet. Sherman was just as funny the deacon as he was George Jefferson in the Jeffersons."


"I loved this TV series and wish it still aired in my area. It was very funny and yet heartwarming, I guess you could see some of your own self and others close to you in the characters on the screen. While so many of the episodes were entertaining and funny, the most endearing and extremely funny episode to me was the one of when Reuben takes Thelma to her class reunion and starts to fall in love with her."


"Only 1 year and 1/2 after The Jeffersons was uncerimoniously pulled from CBS's schedule after 11 seasons, Sherman Hemsley returned to TV in Amen on NBC. Playing the Deacon Earnest Frye, of a small church he was the perfect foil for the Reverend Clifton Davis (who's a preacher in real life as well. ) Living with Earnest was his 30 something spinster daughter who had yet to find a husband or a true purpose in life. She falls in love with the Reverend who is almost oblivious to her obviuos feelings for him. In season 4 he finally realizes he loves her too and tells her on a plane that may be crashing! (It doesn't of course. )

Mainly, the show emphasises the importance of spirituality and friendship without being "preachy". A lot of plotlines involved possible embarrasing situations involving the Deacon or the Reverend. In one episode work being done for the church grounds causes the building (and some of the flock) to sink halfway into the saturated ground! Earnest is caught 1/2 dressed with a large woman in a pool, helping her practice for her baptism. Some people walk in and shout, "Deacon Frye, what are you doing in the water with that woman?!" To which he replies, "The Backstroke!" After 5 season Ernie's daughter and the Reverend get married and have a baby but the ending is simply, life goes on."


"My most memorable Amen was when, for the first time, Reuben took the time to see how beautiful Thelma really was and the tables were finally turned from Thelma's constant chasing of the handsome Reverend.

He took her to her high school reunion as a favor to the Deacon and because Thelma felt her life was a failure in comparison to her rich, competitive well-to-do high school girlfriend Darlene. Thelma was looking exceptionally radiant that evening, and Reuben took advantage of telling Thelma just how lovely she was by making a good showing in front of her friends.

At first, Reuben was putting it on for Thelma's ego, but later as the evening progressed, it became obvious he saw the 'Beauty' of the night as he cited Lord Byron's classic poem "She Walks In Beauty". . . first to her friends. . . and later to Thelma while looking deeply into her eyes, and leaving her with a soft kiss gently placed on her lips to end a memorable evening for both."

--Ladye MGM

"I used to watch this show sometimes back in the late Awesome80s, but I found Clifton Davis to be too moralistic. "

--LM Williams



Aired: September 27, 1986 - July 27, 1991

Cast: Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford, Barbara Montgombery, Ros Ryan

Network: NBC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC

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