Allen, Richard b. February 14, 1760 d. March 26, 1831 African American Religious Leader. He was the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1816, which was the first independent black religious denomination in the US. He opened his first AME church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794 and was elected its first bishop in 1816. He was born into slavery to Benjamin Chew, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, and was sold as a child along with his family to a farmer in Delaware. His parents and three siblings were later sold by his...[Read More] (Bio by: William Bjornstad) Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA Plot: Tomb Located on the Church's Lower Level.