Allen, Richard 
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Time Period
2/14/1760  - 3/26/1831
Description
Richard Allen (1760-1831) was a former slave who purchased his freedom in 1781 and became a "minister of promise" in 1784.

Despite his respected position at his Philadelphia Methodist congregation, he, along with other black members experienced discrimination from white members. In November 1787, a white trustee tried to pull Allen’s friend Absalom Jones from his knees as Allen and Jones and other blacks knelt in prayer at a pew reserved for whites. They finished praying and then walked out of the congregation with a desire to found a church that catered to the moral, educational, political, and spiritual development of blacks.

It took some time before Allen could establish a religious group with an independent black identity, but eventually he helped found the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, the first black denomination in the United States. He became a bishop two days later.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Events
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Photographs

Richard Allen portrait- Wikimedia Commons

Richard Allen portrait- US History Images

Richard Allen portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-pga-03004
Book/Journal Source(s)
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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