Birthday of Allen

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Allen (Richard), Birthday of

February 14
The son of two slaves, Richard Allen (1760-1831) was born in Philadelphia on this day. By the time he was 26 years old, he had saved enough money to buy his way out of slavery, and soon after that he established an African-American congregation that met on Sunday afternoons in St. George's Methodist Church. Because he didn't want his church to exist solely as an arm of a European-American church, Allen bought some land and set up America's first African-American church in an old blacksmith shop. His followers were known as Allenites.
A new church building, completed in 1794, was dedicated by Francis Asbury, America's first Methodist bishop. Allen's work among African Americans expanded at such a rapid rate that in 1816 he had to expand the organization of his church nationwide. Members of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church commemorate the birth of their founder and first bishop on this day.
CONTACTS:
First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
3801 Market St., Ste. 300
First District Plaza
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-662-0506; fax: 215-662-0199
www.1stdistrict-ame.org
African Methodist Episcopal Church
500 8th Ave. S
Nashville, TN 37203
615-254-0911; fax: 615-254-0912
www.ame-church.com
SOURCES:
EncyRel-1987, v. 1, pp. 97, 211