Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philada. Founded in 1794 by the Revd. Richard Allen, Bishop of the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. Rebuilt in 1805. Philadelphia: Kennedy & Lucas, 1829.
Lithographed view, 297 x 239 mm, after W.L. Breton, soiling, loss to top edge, two long tears, backed with new sheet.
Perhaps the earliest view of an African-American church, the plate shows strollers and church goers in front of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church at 125 South 6th Street in Philadelphia. The church was founded by Richard Allen (1760-1831), a former slave who had worked to purchase his freedom before becoming an itinerant Methodist preacher serving black and white congregations in rural Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Settling in Philadelphia and finding his efforts to cater to African-American worshipers opposed by the leadership of his then congregation, St. George's Church, Allen founded the Bethel African Methodist Church, converting an old blacksmith shop for the purpose (ANB). Wainwright 26.