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Richard Allen Museum Archives [Contact Us]
1816-2016
Creator:
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Extent: 50 linear feet
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 6th and Lombard Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was established as Bethel Church in 1794 by Richard Allen (1760-1830). Allen was a former slave who purchased his freedom in 1783 and preached to African Americans in various Mid-Atlantic states until settling in Philadelphia in 1786, where he became a leader of the city's African American community. Bethel and other black Methodist congregations united in 1816 to organize the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Allen was appointed its first bishop and Bethel Church became Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the mother church of the denomination. As of 2016, Mother Bethel remains a prominent and progressive congregation. Its current church building, dedicated in 1890, still sits on the land purchased by Allen in the 1790s, making it the oldest parcel of real estate in the United States continuously owned by African-Americans. The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church records, 1816-2016, consist of administrative and financial records; church records, such as baptism and marriage certificates; records and papers from organizations and people associated with Mother Bethel and its activities; publications; African Methodist Episcopal Church conference records; funeral programs; photographs, audio, and audiovisual materials; scrapbooks and memorabilia; materials related to anniversary celebrations; and other materials. (View full finding aid.)
title
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church records
creator
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
id
RAMA.01
repository
extent
50 linear feet
inclusive date
1816-2016
bulk date
abstract/scope/contents
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 6th and Lombard Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was established as Bethel Church in 1794 by Richard Allen (1760-1830). Allen was a former slave who purchased his freedom in 1783 and preached to African Americans in various Mid-Atlantic states until settling in Philadelphia in 1786, where he became a leader of the city's African American community. Bethel and other black Methodist congregations united in 1816 to organize the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Allen was appointed its first bishop and Bethel Church became Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the mother church of the denomination. As of 2016, Mother Bethel remains a prominent and progressive congregation. Its current church building, dedicated in 1890, still sits on the land purchased by Allen in the 1790s, making it the oldest parcel of real estate in the United States continuously owned by African-Americans. The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church records, 1816-2016, consist of administrative and financial records; church records, such as baptism and marriage certificates; records and papers from organizations and people associated with Mother Bethel and its activities; publications; African Methodist Episcopal Church conference records; funeral programs; photographs, audio, and audiovisual materials; scrapbooks and memorabilia; materials related to anniversary celebrations; and other materials.
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