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The Birth Of The AME Church
www.countypressonline.com ^ | 02/27/03 | Ron Pritsch

Posted on 02/27/2003 8:17:18 PM PST by Tribune7

When it comes to Black History Month and this region, one person stands out--the Rev. Richard Allen.

Born in Philadelphia to slave parents on Feb. 14, 1760, Allen spent part of his childhood on an estate in Germantown belonging to Benjamin Chew. At various times in his career, Chew served as Pennsylvania's attorney general and chief justice.

(Excerpt) Read more at zwire.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: ame; richardallen
Interesting Article
1 posted on 02/27/2003 8:17:18 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: mhking
For the Black conservatives.
2 posted on 02/27/2003 8:18:53 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Temple Owl
ping
3 posted on 02/27/2003 8:19:37 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
Black history bump.
4 posted on 02/27/2003 8:24:28 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Tribune7
Could you print out the entire article for us?
5 posted on 02/27/2003 8:38:09 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Tribune7
The little suburban Philly town where I grew up had a Methodist Episcopal (white) Church and a small African Methodist Episcopal (black) Church - one Sunday each year members of the AME Church would worship at the Methodist Episcopal, and another Sunday, a group from the Methodist Episcopal would attend the AME Church (which was not large enough to accomodate many vistors) - not much in the way of formal interaction maybe, but way back in the supposedly insensitive and indifferent 1950's, a giant step toward acknowledging a need for and fostering improved black/white relations - and we didn't even have Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton to sermonize to us and show us the way.......
6 posted on 02/27/2003 9:15:59 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Ciexyz
You're wish is my command.

The Birth Of The AME Church

By Ron Pritsch 02/27/2003

When it comes to Black History Month and this region, one person stands out--the Rev. Richard Allen.

Born in Philadelphia to slave parents on Feb. 14, 1760, Allen spent part of his childhood on an estate in Germantown belonging to Benjamin Chew. At various times in his career, Chew served as Pennsylvania's attorney general and chief justice.

As a child, Allen may very well have seen John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and George Washington, as well as other patriots, all stopped by the estate to pay Chew a visit. Though his time in Germantown may have exposed Allen to greatness, he didn't stay there long. While still young, Chew sold Allen, his parents, and three other children to a man named Stockley, who owned a farm near Dover. Some years later, Stockley sold Allen's mother and several of his brothers and sisters, but retained Allen for his farm. It was at this farm where Allen became increasingly interested in religion.

In 1777, during the second year of the Revolution, Allen, then 17, converted to Methodism, a comparatively new Protestant denomination that had sprung up around 1729. The faith, which stressed personal religious experience rather than formal membership in an institution, fit Allen's tastes perfectly.

Allen, possessing a winning personality, converted Stockley to Methodism. Stockley, possibly motivated by conscience, religion, and financial difficulties, made Allen and his brother an offer they couldn't refuse-freedom-- if they could earn a large sum of money. Freedom didn't come cheap. Working long and hard, Allen ultimately acquired his freedom in 1786.

At age 22, Allen was permitted to preach. In 1784, at the first general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Baltimore, Allen was viewed as a serious and talented candidate for the new religion's ministry.

Allen developed quite a reputation as an itinerant preacher, and for six years of his life he traveled through Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, preaching to fellow African Americans and sometimes to racially mixed gatherings.

When, at the age of 26, he came to Philadelphia, his eloquent sermons drew many African Americans to St. George Methodist Episcopal Church. On occasion, Allen was asked to preach to its congregation, which he gladly did, and would often conduct prayer meetings.

It was an incident that took place in November 1787 at St. George that brought to Allen's mind the need to establish an African American Church. Allen, along with two other African Americans, William White and Absalom Jones, went to services when another minister was preaching.

The pews on the main floor where they generally sat were occupied, and a sexton pointed the three to the gallery where they arrived just as the elder announced, "Let us pray." Naturally, they knelt to pray. A church trustee began shouting at them, "You must get up... You must not kneel here."

When the elder had called for prayer, the three African Americans immediately stopped in their tracks, and momentarily took seats in the central pews that were reserved for whites. They had intended to make their way to the pews reserved for them along the walls as soon as the prayer was over. The trustee's harsh command had, understandably, startled Allen as well as Jones. "Wait until prayer is over," Allen pleaded, but the trustee, calling for assistance, proceeded to haul Jones up. The incident grew uglier still, and when the prayer ended, Allen and other African Americans, whose hard labor and money had helped provide the church's new gallery and furnishings, walked out of the church determined to establish one of their own.

Allen's next step was to organize the Free African Society. During the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, Allen and Jones volunteered the services of society members to nurse the sick and bury the dead. Rush and Philadelphia Mayor Matthew Clarkson lauded the Society for its invaluable charitable work.

Allen's crowning achievement was the establishment of the African Methodist Church, which was popularly called "Bethel," in accordance with the prayer offered at the dedication by the Methodist Elder John Dickens, who proclaimed that the church "might be a bethel to the gathering in of souls."

he church, which came to be called Mother Bethel, is still at 419 S. Sixth St. in Philadelphia. The church provided schools in Philadelphia for African American children and adults and also offered sanctuary for runaway slaves.

These were only a few of many services aimed at assisting African Americans in both Philadelphia and the ever-expanding nation.

In 1816, 16 African American congregations organized the African Methodist Episcopal Church as the first national denomination of its kind and chose Allen as its first bishop. Allen died in Philadelphia on March 26, 1831.

It should also be noted that Allen was an ardent American patriot. As a slave, he had transported salt for Washington's army during the Revolution. Later, during the War of 1812, he helped recruit 2,500 African Americans who assisted in preparing the city's defenses at Gray's Ferry.

©CountyPressOnline.com 2003

7 posted on 02/27/2003 9:23:43 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Intolerant in NJ
It wasn't Thornbury was it?
8 posted on 02/27/2003 9:24:37 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
Cool article. Thanx.
9 posted on 02/27/2003 9:26:49 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Tribune7
I've heard that story before, about Allen being denied the right to pray in the white church. Commendable that Allen preached to both blacks and whites during his ministry.
10 posted on 02/27/2003 9:33:19 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz
Commendable that Allen preached to both blacks and whites during his ministry.

People guided by God do that. People not guided by God push people out of their churches.

11 posted on 02/27/2003 9:38:42 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
Benjamin Chew is best known for owning the large stone farmhouse that loused up Washington's plan for the Battle of Germantown, turning what should have been a decisive American victory into a defeat. Ogden's New York artillery spent valuable hours trying to demolish the house because of a British squad that was hiding in it.

But that's a story for another time.

Check out the church on 6th St. I did the last time I was back visiting family in Philly. The church's organ is one fine musical instrument.

12 posted on 02/27/2003 9:42:54 PM PST by Publius
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

13 posted on 02/28/2003 4:25:14 AM PST by mhking (Baghdad Weather thru Wed 3/5: Ptly Cloudy Highs 60's-70's / Lows 30's-40's)
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To: mhking; Tribune7
Good article....... intolerance in church is just astounding....... this story, in a way, reminds me of my "oh so religious" Mother in Law who got upset that her church was bussing in some homeless folks......

You see, she didn't want to have to look at them or sit near them - it interrupted her quality social time......

14 posted on 02/28/2003 5:55:19 AM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Did you sit with them?
15 posted on 02/28/2003 5:56:16 AM PST by AppyPappy (Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.)
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To: AppyPappy
My in laws are Baptist and we're Presbyterian......I only visited their church one time - that was when I witnessed how she acted toward the group that was brought in........

I'm sure the intentions were good in bringing some people to church who might not otherwise have had a ride, but it almost appeared to be a "show" of "look how kind we are to bring in these dirty people"......... obviously my MIL wasn't even decent enough to recognize the reason they were there......

16 posted on 02/28/2003 6:06:40 AM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
This preacher Allen reminds me of the circuit riders in Western PA in the 1770's and 80's that established the Presbyterian congregations in Western PA.
17 posted on 02/28/2003 9:00:06 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Tribune7
It wasn't Thornbury was it?...nope...
18 posted on 02/28/2003 10:14:12 AM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Temple Owl
Ping
19 posted on 03/02/2003 1:03:14 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Intolerant in NJ
But we did have Rev. Leon Sullivan who does not get enough credit for the wonderful work he did.
20 posted on 03/02/2003 1:14:54 PM PST by Temple Owl
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To: Temple Owl
But we did have Rev. Leon Sullivan who does not get enough credit for the wonderful work he did...true, although it seemed that Rev. Sullivan's message was primarily one of responsibility for their own destiny and self-reliance for blacks. I don't remember that he spent a lot of time lecturing whites about how nasty and racist they were and blacks about how badly they had been victimized the way the Jacksons and Sharptons do....
21 posted on 03/02/2003 10:17:56 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Tribune7
bump for reference
22 posted on 03/02/2003 10:22:45 PM PST by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch
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To: Intolerant in NJ
.true, although it seemed that Rev. Sullivan's message was primarily one of responsibility for their own destiny and self-reliance for blacks.

That's the point I was trying to make. I was not comparing Rev. Sullivan with Jesse or Al. Far from it. Leon Sullivan was a decent and wonderful human being.

23 posted on 03/03/2003 7:40:31 AM PST by Temple Owl
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To: Temple Owl
Amen...
24 posted on 03/03/2003 10:23:29 AM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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