Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church

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Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Mother Bethel Philly a.JPG
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is located in Philadelphia
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is located in Pennsylvania
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is located in the US
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
Location 419 S. 6th St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°56′35″N 75°9′9″W / 39.94306°N 75.15250°W / 39.94306; -75.15250Coordinates: 39°56′35″N 75°9′9″W / 39.94306°N 75.15250°W / 39.94306; -75.15250
Built 1890
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 72001166[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 16, 1972
Designated PHMC March 19, 1991[2]

The Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1794 by Richard Allen, an African-American Methodist minister. The congregation has been located at the corner of Sixth and Lombard Streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since that time, making this the oldest church property in the United States to be continuously owned by African Americans.[3] The church was organized by African-American members of St. George's Methodist Church who walked out due to racial segregation in the worship services. The current church replaced the first one on the property.

Mother Bethel was one of the first African-American churches in the United States, dedicated July 29, 1794, by Bishop Francis Asbury. On October 12, 1794, Reverend Robert Blackwell announced that the congregation was received in full fellowship in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1816 Allen brought together other black Methodist congregations from the region to organize the new African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination. He was elected bishop of this denomination. After the American Civil War, its missionaries went to the South to help freedmen and planted many new churches in the region.

Allen and his wife, Sarah Allen are both buried at the Church.[4] The current church building was constructed in 1888-1890, and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

External video
Mother Bethel Philly b.JPG
Mother Bethel AME Church - Philadelphia, PA, Wanda Kaluza, 2:54

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
  4. ^ "Sarah Allen". World Biography. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 

External links[edit]