Richard Allen - Historic African Americans in Philadelphia, brought to you by Keystone Mercy Health Plan
Richard Allen was a minister, educator and writer, and the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first independent black denomination in the United States in 1816. He opened his first church in 1794 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was elected the first bishop of the AME Church. Allen had started as a Methodist preacher, but wanted to establish a black congregation independent of white control. The AME church is the oldest denomination among independent African-American churches.