Richard Allen



 A Start of Steps for Freedom and Progress Under God
Richard_Allen_founder (1)Where was Richard Allen, the honorable founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, when the American Colonies that were to become the United States of America were a breeze with suggestions of freedom by the way of a split from England, leading to the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776.
Born a slave in 1760, in Philadelphia, Richard Allen grew up in Delaware close enough to his master to be converted by Allen’s boyhood preaching. Obviously, this freedom did not include blacks even though a freedman was who Richard Allen became by buying his freedom for $2,000.
This attitude of the majority of the populace was long demonstrated before it was so stated by the Supreme Court in 1857, in the Dread Scott Case, which stated that a black man could not bring a case to court because a black man could not be a citizen of the United States and as property of a slave owner, the owner could carry his property to any state or territory and retain ownership.
This thinking was also evident before the Freedman Fugitive Act of 1859, which made it a crime to help a slave escape, and States imposed acts like the one in Maryland in 1853, which stated that a freedman better not be caught in Maryland.  It was against this background that Richard Allen and others, in ยท1788, walked out of S1. George Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after being pulled off their knees while in prayer. With the quote, “Let us finish our prayers and we will bother you no more,” the walk out began.
The group assembled for some seasons in a blacksmith shop. Further, in spite of the white churchmen’s desire to treat black freedmen to the degradedness prevalent in the day, they did not freely let the black men leave and build up their own facilities. The hardships along those lines are told under “Historical Statement” in the 1992 and 1988 Disciples of the AME Church.
Among problems other than the Africans being distained, the Africans had trouble getting the white ministers to come to their place of assemble to preach for them, particularly since they could not pay the ministers the stipulated high fees. Richard Allen was not a full fledged minister at the time.
In 1816, Richard Allen and some other Africans were ordained elders by Bishop Asbury and Richard Allen became the first Bishop of what had begun to become The African Methodist Episcopal Connection. Worthy of note, considering the life span of earth, estimated to be approximately 2.5 to 3 million years old, the American black man, brought from the Continent of Africa was not the first nor only slaves. Slavery had been around for centuries. Slavery, as of the current day, generally in name, if not in practice, is outlawed but vigilance and prayer are forever required.
According to World Book Encyclopedia, life is believed to have started in The Great Rift Valley in Eastern Africa. Africans were known throughout centuries as traders, scholars, developers, kings and queens, but forces of good and evil have been ever present among people of all kind.
The works of promoting freedom and progress by some of the followers of Allen are recorded in the Journal of Christian Education of the AME Church for September, 1993. Richard Allen’s followers, including us here at Mitcham A.M.E. Church, support education through Wilberforce University, Morris Brown, Allen University, Paul Quinn College, Edwards Waters College, Payne Theological Seminary, Turner Theological Seminary, Shorter Jr. College and tributes to others.
~Priscilla W. White