Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church

Address: 419 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Neighborhood: Society Hill


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Description: Founded in 1794 in a converted black smith shop located on the corner of 6th & Lombard Streets, Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the mother church of its denomination. It was founded by former slave Richard Allen, who left Saint George’s Methodist Church in protest against its segregated worship practices. The church Allen founded attempted not only to answer religious needs, but to deal with the political, social, and economic affairs of its members. The present church, fourth structure on the site, is a monumental granite-faced building dating from 1889. Richard Allen is buried in a tomb located in the churches museum.

Resources for Researchers

Information for Visitors

  • Hours
  • 10am - 3pm Tuesday - Saturday for tours
  • 11am - 1pm Tuesday and Wednesday for Archives


  • First in the nation – Philadelphia’s “firsts”
  • Celebrating diversity – African American, women, and minority stories
  • Faith and ideals – religion, philosophy,  political ideology

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