Richard Allen was born into slavery in 1760. Eventually he bought his freedom and he became active in teaching and preaching at St George Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon Allen and others saw the need to open a separate church for African American worshipers, which resulted in the formation of a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1816. Church members elected Allen bishop, making him the first African American bishop in the United States. In addition to his duties in the church, Allen operated a stop on the Underground Railroad and worked actively for abolition. Read more about Richard Allen’s life and ministry here.