March 26

March 26, 1831 – Bishop Richard Allen

Richard Allen crop

Bishop Richard Allen

Bishop Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) died on March 26, 1831 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at age 71. Allen was born a slave in Delaware on February 14,1760,  and would go on to become one of the greatest leaders of the nineteenth century in America.

Original pulpit of Bishop Richard Allen

Original pulpit of Bishop Richard Allen at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, PA

He founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1794, which was the first independent African American church denomination in the United States.  He was elected the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1816.  Although today, the AME Church is still headquartered in Philadelphia where Allen founded it, it’s growth has expanded to thirty-nine countries on five continents with over 2.5 million estimated members. In addition to his work in the ministry, Bishop Richard Allen was also an abolitionist, writer and educator.

Mother Bethel Philly cropped

Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia. (2014)