Rev. Richard Allen
Born into slavery in 1760, Richard Allen later bought his freedom and went on to found the first national black church in the United States, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1816.
Minister, educator and writer Richard Allen was born into slavery on February 14, 1760. He later converted to Methodism and bought his freedom. Fed up with the treatment of African-American parishioners at the St. George Episcopal congregation, he eventually founded the first national black church in the United States, the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was also an activist and abolitionist whose ardent writings would inspire future visionaries. Allen died in 1831 in Philadelphia.