Richard Allen and Religious Freedom

Color image of a detail of a painting of Richard Allen, a black man with close cropped hair.
Detail, Richard Allen, by an unidentified artist, c. 1795

Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University


Richard Allen purchased his freedom from slavery as a young man. He founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, a worldwide denomination today. Allen's church, Mother Bethel, is still a vibrant congregation. With his good friend, Absalom Jones, Bishop Allen founded the Free African Society to protect and support free blacks. He also worked to abolish slavery.


Last updated: September 3, 2016

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