“FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE ARE FREE AT LAST!”
Words of this nature inspire people who have been enslaved or oppressed for years. Israel was in slavery, as well as, Richard Allen. It is not always easy to leave what you know and are comfortable with, to travel into unknown territory.
Moses and Richard Allen, both needed human and Devine leadership to break the bondage of slavery, as well as, the bonds of sin.
Richard Allen was born into slavery on February 14, 1760. Four years after buying his own freedom from slavery, Allen was qualified as a Methodist preacher. After years of leading segregated congregations in early morning worship services Allen and Absalom Jones led congregants out of St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to establish a new church.
Allen opened the doors of the Bethel AME Church on July 29, 1794 in a converted blacksmith shop on the east side of Philadelphia. In 1799, he was ordained as the Methodist Church’s first black minister. By the year 1813, the Bethel AME congregation had grown to over one thousand members.
In 1816 Allen united African-American congregations from the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey to form the independent denomination of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Join us this week to celebrate Richard Allen’s life and legacy in Christ.