Monday, October 23, 2006

Great African American

Richard Allen (14 February 1760 - 26 March 1831) was an African American pastor and the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born as a slave of colonial jurist Benjamin Chew at Germantown, Pennsylvania (now a part of Philadelphia) in 1760, his family was soon sold to a Stockley Sturgis, whose plantation was near Dover, Delaware.

Converted early, he joined the Methodist Society at an early age, and began evangelizing and attending services so regularly that he attracted criticism from local slave owners. In response to this opposition Richard and his brothers redoubled their efforts for Stokely, whom Richard described as "unconverted...but... what the world called a good master". This hard and pious work lead Stokley to encourage preaching amongst his slaves, and soon he was convinced that slavery was wrong, and therefore offered his slaves an opportunity to buy their freedom.