Richard Allen_headshot

Richard Allen

Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Freed from slavery to serve God alone

Born into slavery in the US before the Revolutionary War, young Richard Allen believes he faces a hopeless future. But after becoming a Christian as a young man and then seeing his master also come to faith, Allen buys his freedom. As a free man, he serves God first as circuit riding preacher and then as a pastor in Philadelphia. Even so, Allen cannot completely leave the injustice of his past behind. When the White senior pastor tells Allen and other Black congregants to “know their place,” —which is in the balcony, away from White parishioners—Reverend Allen must make a decision. How will he stand up for his people? When an epidemic strikes Philadelphia, will he risk his own life to help those who treated him as a second-class citizen? In this episode of Torchlighters, meet the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and learn how he faithfully served God in the face of discrimination and plague.


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Richard Allen

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