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Mother Bethel AME Church Bicentennial Celebration Series

The grand celebration of the church’s 200th anniversary

Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church

Founded by the Reverend Richard Allen in 1787, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination. The current church building was constructed in 1889 and stands on the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans. Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia



Dates – Part 1: April 7-10, 2016
Dates – Part 2: July 1-5, 2016

Mother Bethel AME Church is hosting a bicentennial celebration this year via a two-part series of festivities in Philadelphia, the city where the church was founded. Events include a major gospel concert, a social justice forum, a tribute to Sarah Allen (the church’s founding mother) and an ecumenical worship service, all of which will occur during a three-day window in April.

Events will continue in early July as congregants head to Philly for the AME general conference, complete with an unveiling of the Bishop Richard Allen Memorial Courtyard and a new mural dedication. The ticketed general conference holds a lively evening of music, dance and innovative cuisine, along with discussions led by several keynote speakers who will take attendees on a journey through the AME Church’s rich historical timeline and into an inspiring overview of what’s in store for the future.

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