The Origins of the Schomburg Ctr. for Research in Black Culture
Rev. Richard Allen
African Methodist Episcopal Church

1787: the Walkout

The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) began out of a racial dispute at St. George’s Methodist Episcopal church in November 1787 that led to the Africans walking out in protest. Normally denominations are started because of some theological difference, but the AMEC began because of a racial discrimination. This marked the first incidence of a peaceful protest in African American history.

1794: Mother Bethel

In 1794, Richard Allen purchased a blacksmith shop, which served as what would become the first black church in America, Bethel Church (House of God). The church was located at 6th & Lombard streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the oldest parcel of land owned by blacks in America as the 4th building of mother Bethel AME Church stands as a landmark today in this same location.

1816: General Conference

April 9th, 1816 marked the first General Conference where the African Methodist Episcopal Church was officially formed culminating nearly 29 years of religious oppression.

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