Black History 365 #8 – The first Black people to… found an African Methodist Episcopal Church


Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

Today is Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church:

1793:  First African Methodist Episcopal Church established: Richard Allen founded Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1794 by Richard Allen, an African-American Methodist minister. The church has been located at the corner of Sixth and Lombard Streets in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, since that time, making it the oldest church property continuously owned by African Americans. The church was organized by African-American members of St. George’s Methodist Church who walked out due to racial segregation in the worship services.

It was one of the first African-American churches in the United States, dedicated July 29, 1794, by Bishop Francis Asbury. On October 12, 1794, Reverend Robert Blackwell announced that the congregation was received in full fellowship in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The current church, constructed in 1888-1890, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

In 1816 Allen brought together black congregations from the region to organize the new African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination. He was elected bishop of this church.

Allen and his wife, Sarah Allen are both buried at the Church.


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