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ok richardallen was born a slave and the family have been to meet youwho was trying to become a supreme court justicein the outcome of the pennsylvania he was sold long way and his brotherto gain stokely sturgis who had a plantation just outsideof dover delaware any age of how about sixteenhe came under the influence of our methods preaching hegot permission from his master to hear preaching and our wasconverted the preacher was a notable methodist by the name offree born gerritsen which is an interesting name in fact is inscribed all stgeorge church which he passed to be a bed at one pointor gels conversion was typical love of the day hewent through a period of mourning and grieving about his sinful nature andthen to this glorious awareness of the mercy of god through
jesus christ in fact his wording for hisexperience was that it is denton show and his chains whooften and in his words and glory to god i cried i ateit is this sense of release an end and the sense offreedom that comes when one has a spiritualexperience and and and this was the same experience which richard allen sought tohelp others to to come to realize and their own lives theperson with the aggressive thanit is the truthstill hope ahuge win less time but it what i'lltake them all so that if i do move them they'll make as much noise
or isthere you know just being a burdenand i'm really interested in theconditions are somewhat thin astheir cash well actually thefeeling of despair and wretched nurse is something that is common to the human conditionand it is interesting when you read the conversion accountslove bob persons were not slaves and and those whowere you have the same sense of richnessdisparity that had nothing to do with the outer condition of life ah as much asindeed we have how one was morally and spiritually interacting with one'soutward condition i'm so that even john
wesley talks about wretchedness though by most of our standards heat he was a pretty cleanliving guy but town on you wasusing the death and i think that it is in importanttoo take note of how individualswere reflective about their inner nature in their inner condition somethingwhich we often are ignorant today in our own and busyness we don't take thetime to really reflect on on who we are buffered generally andfor richard allen there was this deep sense of their moralcondition which was i'm notimportant enough to them to focus upon as a while longer daily lifei'm wondering what the room achristian in the mind of someone who lives in this songfor someone who is in this situation he's
been a moral situationthe moral life becomes theresponse to one's life of faith timto be merely a moral person i does not necessarily indicate that onehas religious commitment it all hence we have humanisti'm but two the moral as afruit of one's really fit with god is i'm at a differentapproach and and that's the approach of the richard allen and and others effectabolitionists cause as it was routed among people of faith is thefact that their faith to lead them to be more oil but there are some peoplewho did not have much of a relationship with god yet who advocateda more alive despite that because i thought it was the right thing to dobecause according to their humanistic values
okafter canals conversion it becomesclear that he bought an item wasmore serious about in that industry being industrious himselfbut also he is like begins to take on meaning and purposeand gas for christianity idea for richard allen and an end and asfor for an item those who are genuinely convertedthey have a sense of meaning he says a purpose andas a result their lives take on often new definition and that's truewhether you're talking about charles colson when you talk about richard our dream a leader jeffrey week
it's it's the young ones like its own definition asresult of the young relationship that one has with godwhich is mediated through iv jesus christ i had this senseof release from sin does that are inthe for forte for richard allen hadthis this newfound freedom which wasextensive because it was spiritual first and i then itbecame translated into aa and an experience ofthe physical freedom through his spirit of massinfluence the young his slave owner who was not a believeri was mad it's the subject to hearing preachingand while hearing preaching on his plantation rich
jones slave owner stokely sturgis was himself convertand they'd be the famous text that was preached was one of i've been weighed in thebalance and found wanting and hearing their store was hers wasso impressed that stokely sturges and then i was offered richard allenthe opportunity to purchase his freedom end et was an opportunitybecause he allowed him to work beyond the normal day out for wages forother islands for other slave owners in the areais essentially read richard helms account there was this there wasthis effort that one had a show that religion made a personbetter religion did not make a person lazy or you're a person an excuse not to dothings they ought to do so allen as he's thinking back on how it was that helived on a plantation he still serves plantation was always alittle ahead of everyone else is in terms of his work because there is a sense of commitment
people solve their lives as being tied up to their faith anddown and in any governed every day kinds of thingswhat about that the roads here and everyday life whichhe's feeling frightened families from sandy relief funds and three hewrote that you've learnedah the release from sandy's is is freeingbe because it allows one's mind to end an mone spirit to be dedicated otherthings to be open to other thingsso many innocent are so preoccupied when imean what we aren't and what we are and down weekwe carry you around these burdens of of guilt in
terms of wrongdoing where we know that we've done wrong end and wedon't have meaning we don't have a purpose in our lives we don't see any directionand these days there's no five minute plan let alone a five year plan for alliesdid it we don't see an end for conversion oneoversight and cizik there's a purposeful life from the cradle to the grave onehas direction one has focused and so with that marketnow one is open to experience other things one is open toauburn due to the inspiration and sometimes as an artistichigh in some ways the music or or art oror or in literature one becomes one becomes open because one does not have to be ofthe blockages of of the finitudeconversion opens at infinity either one is connected to an infinitegod and anyone is connected to get to is if we got any positive way
where it is not one of them of dread but it is one of of love andsurethey're really some sense that isimportant in the experience of richard allen because it put him in touchwith and yourself that he was free from that this senseof guilt for things that he was personally responsible fornba is interesting because slaves who in other ways wereour were project is people who always dependent for everything on themaster a massive provided the food mass revive the shelter master by the close and youprovide belabor it but there was this sense that that humanityis more than just food and shelter and labor
humanity is about this inner self and that the slave is a live human beingwith emotions and with a spiritual self just like everyone else and so as aresult the slave takes on this responsibility for his or her moral selfand as being responsible for this moral self what we see isin indy and richard alan arkin at the conversion experiencereleased him out to do greater thingsahyesso all the sudden had itfor richard allen crew is life iswrapped up and i'm at a meaningless experience of ofof bondage of servitude he has this new hopi has this
new direction and this comes about because he now has a relationshipwith this eternal god i'm it has personal meaning forhim endowment business person meaning is thathe is released a responsibility first personal sense because of arelationship with god that christ died for him not justfor the oppressors before him and enters this message of liberationthat pike is is going to determine the rest were jails lifehis mission in life becomes to share this experience oflove of lease weird we were the world end and especiallywith people of color are core in both physical as as well asspiritual bondage but what but what this experience doesis it eight it puts one in contact with the eternal with the
infinite so this finite person all of a sudden has anopening to the flawed creative powers has this this thisenergy to apply oneself because one has purpose one sees thatdirection and our end it becomes anopportunity for a four four person whose life has nomeaning i am and there's nothing but despair and they don't see any option excepti may as well die today is to die tomorrow and now there isthis purpose are created where i mean i can go on i havesomething to do her as the more current gospel loving song thatsays i feel like going on an end and that's the experience for eightrichard allen and others who have this religious experience i feel likegoing on i feel like not only going on with work but i feellike going on with my marriage i feel i got my kids are acting crazy
i feel like i just feel it moving forward because i can do thatis the true religion of theshow yes so genuine religion is not the opiate ofpeople i think that our theme to religionis the open to people because a false religion issomethinga way toknow okcalm from the beginning or the middle here okthe being in touch with you being in touch with the infinitebeing in touch with ah the eternal thatall the sudden does one purpose endowment it
energizes him they're that religion is not the opiate of thepeople if israel religion because to be and an opiatemeans that one that has something that is keepingputting won in a fantasy world and keeping one from dealing with reality andreligion for richard allen did just the opposite religion ofrichard allen did not make him i mean i'moblivious to reality but it actually opened up a brand new reality for himbecause it was now the reality of the external world but there is a reality theinternal world and in in terms of what religion was doing for fourrichard allen and an end for others is this bringingabout a life in a new world which was so natural waywhich is so african i ain't in in terms of the religion of thereligion religious experience on a couple of africa where one sees davies
had this this is dual nature an end and of courseit was only the oppressor who thought thatoklet's playthis is okannie richard allen was bornin philadelphia to
paythe conversion of richard allen iscentral to the way the rest of his life unfolds indeed being bornagain for richard allen it was a literal as well asspiritual because like really begins for him with his conversion hedescribes it airs in in very classical terms as as it relates towhat other christians would've been experiencing at the data eithergrieving over his sinfulness feeling a sense of of the wretchednessfeeling as though he deserved eternal damnation andthen he comes to this experience of thegospel here's as good news that jesus died forsins and because he believes this and because he's able tointernalize this sense of jesus died for my sins he
experiences what we call conversion com this this releasehe did he is description of it is interesting because itthough he was a slave at the time his is imagery was against classicalmy dungeon shook my chains flew off and glory togod i cry out while many people focus in on the dungeon shaking inthe chain's flying off the the really significant point is thataa is the glory to god i cry part because what that says about theconversion experience is not only is it in an and burdening in terms ofguilt and in terms of sin but it is a matterof coming into relationship with god so they all of a sudden the glory of thelord is is is central to one's life and whatthat did for allen is a put his entire life into a brand
new perspective he suddenly has purpose for living he sees meaning inhis daily existence he sees life in terms of the long run as wellas the short run and four forty four allenthen everything else that he is doing is connectedi am to this conversion experienceof the problem when you are peopledown there that i did not knowyes sir hefound christianity puts in theindiana an individual him i encountered a cosmicperspective that one does not see oneself as just a slavejust a labour hire someone who's dependent on the slave master for
our clothing food and one who does gets aslave master labor but christianity opens up thisodd sense of a whole person i am aspiritual person as well as a physical person i am a person who has emotionsi am i am a person who has a chase old and i am a person who can relate togod that despite what the world around you may be saying in terms ofmy humanity or my being less than human the fact of the matter is i am verymuch human and and hide do have the ability to relate tothe divine i n and for richard allen and four and forchristians in in every uses this sense of being able to relate to the divineabsent jonesand the other americans took their seats where they thought they belong and the elder saidlet's pray and so absent owns naturally
melton and was in prayer when one of the trustees of st george church came up andsaid you have to get up and i have somejones is wondering why any says you're in the wrong place you must get up and allison jonessays well if you just wait until the prayer is over i'll get up in trouble you know moreand he said no us get out now and as a result some jones got outand the others around him including richard alan decided they wouldwalk out and about forty to walk down to st george church that day and that's the beginning of theindependent african church in philadelphiafor richard allen religion was anythingbut an opiate for richard allen and envy and forchristians influenced by the spirit which males preachingreligion became in fact the stimulant for her life to be anopiate means that one seeks shelter in a false world so that
one does not have to face reality and forty down to was just the opposite hebegan to see now in the real world that he saw a larger worldthere was a world of exteriors basin there's also the world of interior space and thetwo are related it was something that that ah itis is very african in terms of its origin whereafrican people basically recognized this this thissense of calm different layers of different worldsso that they're a spirit in the treaty an end and that they're aspirit in nature as as well as in me and this is what opens up four ofwhich are now and he sees a world that is larger than the small world andas a result because the worlds bigger it means that the personcan be bigger and what we find is that when when people
accepted the faith he did not make them content to be slaves what it did was it opened up tothem the possibilities that are available to those who see themselvesas children of this eternal an almighty godsochristianity's boysso christianity'sboyschristianity help slavesrecognize that slavery is wrong and it also providedthem it's really a very interesting and gang and
complex mechanisms for dealing with slavery on the onehand it help the slave to relate to their daily experienceso they continue to have hope in terms of facing the challenges of everydaythey did not necessarily make them docile and and that's where many critics ofchristianity i think have missed the point because the slave wasconverted does not become more docile instead the slave or was convertedsees a certain fullness of life which day then rr r r challenge to to address not elisa which becomesa whole realm of morality not only how doi treat others but how my being treated and and there is there's asense of a lot of judgment how will nasa deal withgod on judgment day and jess as the master has a deal gone on to be acivilized as an individual
msbhutto thankyou richardallen clearly was so deeply committedand soon that knowledge you are looking at his conversion butalso he says a coal to preach and that that becomes important pointbecause every christian has this cold to witness with richard allen clearlyi had his call to actually preach the gospelendowment we did when we see that being connected tothe conversion experience for him in a many years is which is not uncommonfarm so when he comes to philadelphia he's preaching in
effect preaching brings him basically to two philadelphiai'm he preaches on etfs farms he eatpreaches in an open air situations where he gets an opportunityand is preaching to a mixed audience at which is a significant pointbecause he was not preaching just to get to the africansan end even though he was a he was preaching to a mixed audience still we seean odd his autobiography is that this was his calling hehad a calling to preach specifically it the good news the gospel topeople of african descent i'm so he was not forced into thatbut that was something that you that he chose palm and in terms of the interest beinginspired to be there so goodphiladelphia was that that the center of the nation i filled up you
was not only with the place where the government was information andif things were hustling and bustling because continental congress was in sessionand the constitution was soon to be completed butah ee had notable person's george washington popping in and out oftown ii and it was also a place of great commerce it was aplace where immigrants were coming and selling saws a place of manycultures many languagesthe same thingto start instantly ninety threeokayokay we are a nation in
seventy nine the three fold up it was a bustlingburdens situation you you had a lot of commerce you have peoplewho are emigrating from around the world is a place of manylanguages and as as was cultures and because ofthat it was a place that was open tohire some of the new ideas whether it's a balloon ride oror or whatever might be we're talking about a levee being the center of the nation inmany respects science and i'mother things out of a progressive nature were all coming throughphiladelphia soabsolutely and the reason region at one reason forchallenges such a prominent figures because he was in philadelphia high endpizzas the eyes of the nation were on philadelphia and the eyes of the nation were on a ridge
down there were other black preachers and other cities and downthey do not rise a similar promise in large measure because he just wasn'tphiladelphia pa calm in the end theyburied there it is this isn't nominations that can be back for example peter spencerin wilmington delaware got spencer was a tremendous leaderbut he was in wilmington and he wasn't in philadelphia and so you youhave this focus in terms of our fold up to being at aig a major place ofcommerce and and as such buildup wasalso at a place along the underground railroad so that the messageof liberation and what richard allen and what rick and what motherbethel actually met in the spirit of african americans wasbeing carried along with slaves they pass through they had a good word to sayabout philadelphia a good word to say about the lead in to the
way they were escorted through filled up on the way to freeme in thatwayno rally in thewoods away at benjamin rush describes is theballoon as being a fulfillment of of of scripture and it'sinteresting how aa even for someone with a reasonableliberal outlook there is this sense of where scriptures allies and vigilsand they'd look at the progress of humanity as being an unfolding scriptureso that for rush out to point out a text from our eyegenesis where god gave me man dominion over all of thecreation so ok matt is already i've donated seewith ships and and the land is a litter would traverse it now amanda's able to
conquer air and down good eats isindicative of the kind of excitement that was a tampon like philadelphiaseventy nine dayseccentricbenjamin rush was at a biteccentric some descriptions of himhave him walking briskly to town hehe associated itself with a number of different denominationsi'm always kind of research or is it guardswho are in religious matters but i clearly aperson who is devoted to to humanityand
that right end of the african churchwealthy east is an interestingepisode where you have bothwhite and and and and africans african americans whoare in any situation of fellowship and appreciation itshowed how independent and interdependent they day they wereand dumb an early point that there was that there was thisthis reaching out in terms of fellowship it was not a matter ofarm in there was no condescension it really was a matter of hospitality wasa matter of joy is a matter of lifting some of the more more commonaspects of life which are common as rush describes iti think he was pleasantly surprised at the factthat there could be fellowship come across class barriers
as well as racial barrierswell i think i think richardallen would have shared america at that occasion like mine but keep in mind thatrichard allen was on friendly terms with bishop asbury and andand others he was a person who was well known in the city ofphiladelphia by quite as well as by blacks so forth for richardallen that would then appropriate that their time there should be some mutualsharing unusual celebration this is just about the timewhen the map of the nominationsand women and old e fourth grade andi just think that we're talking aboutwhat
the wealthy have what it showsis the fact that prejudice is something thatis a matter of individual heart is not anything that has to be a partof the system or saying i'll do yet the russian otherprominent white says the thought of him sitting at a table i'm being servedby african americans and then serving african americans and eating at thesame place but at the same time in terms of lives to shoot you haven't riffsincarnations arm across land where people don't want topartake of the sacrament from the yeah the same shouts andso there is this senseah there's a sense of this fellowship that ispossible for people have the right spirit and write my two thousand andthere ain't no one in the building and
how is it now because they cut because thatis our godsurethe yellow fever epidemic of seventy nine the three prison aninteresting time and in philadelphia philadelphia being this hustlingbustling metropolis suddenly became like a ghost townthe streets were we're basically i'mempty because p were free to leave their homes on folks wouldtake the corpse of those who had died and just leave them lying in the streetwhich is creating a health hazard something or dying inside the house andno one knew they were really did or they fear that they might be dead and so no one would be wouldgo in our mind that the city was in better term while
i'm hot alone would have coffee town that had beentainted was as running at the dock which down they suspect whatthey suspected was the cause of the yellow fever or not having any idea that maybe thisship actually broaden am mosquito bearing the air the diseasethose who braved theelements so to speak or soaking handkerchiefs and vinegar and breathing throughthis handkerchief with the niggers add vinegar soaked handkerchief or their faceand hoping not to catch this germ that just mysteriously thought was wasin the air i am in the midst of the panic though there are those who witha more calm of approach realized that something had to be done in order tosafeguard the city and we see an interesting alliance betweenpeople psilocybin and russia and our people had at aig civicresponsibility about them like richard allen and absalom jones course for some
there was a the myth that i'm african americans could not contract the disease they weresomehow knew the fact of the matter is that many african americans didn't didiindeed die from the disease the they were not immuneand it was even thought that as a result of thisepidemic are soaring some other ritchie valens first wife lauradied but at the issue was not so much to riskthe issue was what do we have to do to save our community what we have to do to keep thedisease are ravaging the community end and the response wasi'll do well will will will go into whatever's necessarybenjamin rush use richard allen and housen jones and others they recruited tobleed patients are which was the ya propose cure the dayone of them anyway and they also i went into
homes took out baby piglet the corpseand woodberry them armed and in all this was was donei am i have a spirit of wanting to help a lady was there's no profitmotive it was a matter of civic responsibility and downnico theworldyou know i don't i'd i don't think that the issueis a worthiness as much as if we're going to be citizens then it isour responsibility they say they saw themselves as as fullcitizens and because they were citizens they saw that they had a responsibilityan hour that they were also a christian it's now so they've they're christiansand their citizens and they saw le says as civic as was a religiousresponsibility matt
welcome it's certainlyhurt them because youknow i don't know that the fact that they're being anacquisition by matthew carried it then there wasimpropriety their album only thevolunteers for the most part some receive some compensation but very very little in a strictaccounting i was provided in terms of an exchange of finesand the reason that i think they did it hurt rich allison jones and we get alittle bit of fear rich in response to the accusation a public writtenresponse is the fact that they were living likeat a citizen who is involved and who's responsible and insteadthey're being treated like a criminal i'm in and we
we see this all over again with richard allen and have some jonesmore or more of their lives they are trying to claim the americanexperience and the american dream and because of the reactions ofothers they are finding that these efforts to be rebuffedyes to a certain extent i think thathe was a solution in that armat paris's were not receivedeven as well as some others perhaps om all immigrants ingeneral not well received in philadelphia and the french for example were notwell received endowment i am you you you haveprominent french citizens who became involved in an
effort to show a civic and community spirit but ithink that we found was more realistic because he recognized that inaddition to civic responsibility with yellow fever seven to ninety three andi am i'm a willingness to defend the city in eighteen twelveagainst me i'm against the attacks of the british army he alsorecognize that what would make the difference is money and so at thearm being a good business person and being industriousi'm i'm being one who employs and and anyonewho is productive that was going to make a difference and richard allen recognizethat early on so that business matters i'm it take ona much greater says a promise problems with originalsure after the crisis in philadelphia a pasture
basically because of the four came the mosquitoes died iithen kulik a more reflective on the the experience andrichard allen and asked jones came under attack basicallybecause it was thought that the african americans had actedinappropriately they were charged with robbing the dead eyethey were charged withnot providing accurate count a number people who wereburied in there for over charging him in terms ofthe small fee that that was that was given hour herbtrimpe her body i'm exorbitant wagebeing charged for people to act as a nurse for example andamber challenge and asked jones promptly responded to the charge which
it later became clear that the charge is undeserved butit he was such an indignity was unnecessaryand and had to have been disappointing to regard nasa just after they and othersliken that basically put themselves their lives on the linefor the sake of the public goodandwhybut i think richardallen was wise enough to know that even thoughone i'm liz in american society with someof the benefits of american society that basically prejudice is
something which we just the hearts of individuals and whenprejudice takes over reasoned quits as a result ithink that in terms of rigid on dealing with whites whether be thethe indian in the church or civic way he canexpect and act rationally because he really recognizes thatthe don't look upon him as the man which he indeed indeed waswhat happened herethe hour they did the details are pretty sketchy we know thatmother bethel church arm was up on the auction blockis suspected that some technicality was found andbasically be the yeah i'm a methodist church was trying toget that building beyond the reach of richard allen so that he ended up
paying exorbitant amount in order to buy back the landor redeem the land basically whichever personseventy nine he won ah ah it was a itwas a matter of a love of trickery and i got was againit was a reminder that even though they were in the norththey were in the promise land they thought still lived in theravages of a prejudice were are being being feltrichard hours of proud man was a man ofprinciple the very purchase of the property always my duffel nowstands out was a matter of principle he knew he made a deal for theland and even though i had the society and not want to buildoriginally on the slant he already made commitments so there is a matter of one's
words matter of pride and so here after having gone through somuch to have the land taken away land is important even for acity dweller land is important richard allen and as it as it isfor people of color and i mean we wesee the after merkin heritage we have to see the importance ofland is not just africa is a plot of ground in philadelphia and other placesacross the country where i african americans have been severe their hearttheir soul they're bled and that's what makes america specialplace african americans and outed as white colonization was sounpopular with richard allen because the feeling is this is something that we haven't worked foris something we fought for and has something willdo you think it happened that all of this information
and thinking and thinking he had to really separatewhen we hear the agreement the nominationwell one of the best theories that i've heardso far is it that were just waiting for as buried byrichard allen asbury had a varied good relationshipand asbury was thrilled to death that richard allen end and the mother beth lightswere devout meth addicts become a part of the fellowship and so whatwe what we see isthe thought of separation was around early in and infact when we knew you look at the afghan soul supplementeighteen know seven i mean what wefind is that there was this fear that there might beseparation armed but when as barry died and i think it does
where they eat these points to commit harm i'm interested asbarry he did not necessarily trust or methodists or all whiteshe had a relationship with asbury with asbury offered the seat iam i think that he was little he leaves littleuneasy about where the future might be in order for that for the church to growand thrive separation was the only viable alternativebecausewhether it's i i therewere constant threats that the the the threat of the sheriff'ssale was unnecessary the navy's theseattempts to take control over i'm a bethel churchwhere were were seen as as being something that one had always protect
oneself from an individualistic to a declaration the supreme courtof the state of the current venue to declare mother bethel are anindependent institution arm in armbut the but the issue here is whole isthe one person to be who called division rightsand so the heart of the bethel experience is wewill not printed the exclusive hands of whites the ability tocontrol our lives especially as it relates to our religion and as aresult independence meant we now have a black bishop week wenow have blacks were making these decisions for black peoplewho would think about going to the region and ithink they were in fact the burden that the nomination were the boardof the puerto rican
it is a diverse group is diverse group ityou had people obviously who economically had someresources although baffling eighteen sixteen was primarily made up of folksof odd very meager income one figurehead duffelwith as many as three thousand members but at eighteen or soarmed and then compared to fifteen hundred which morris brownhead in charleston around the same periodso you're you're you're you're talking about perhaps a large fellowship clearly thebuilding did the comedy three thousand in in terms of worship but tom be thereason that people wanted to be a member and wannabe part was becauseit was again this issue ownership this was achurch which the people of color oh and they didn't owe anyonefor it because it was there is that they didn't have to answer to
anyone else for it was there as it was he was told within their controland that's the legacy of the independentblack church movement and an embattled church and in particularbecause it was this sense of this is something that the oppressor can where theoppressor cannot reaches this is truly refugeesbecauseof the painher mother the church is a is a specialplace in all the world becausehe disappeared richard allen and what richard allen hasrepresented to people of color throughout the world on ehit kind of resonates from this place when you look at
the chair on which he sat or a pulpit which he built with his ownhands you get a sense of his very presencein the eu when there's the ballot box it was used to like trusteeswhich which was in of itself something tremendous if you can imagine thesedisenfranchised black folks who comeand they are able to voteit has beenmother better bethel churchis a special place for people throughout the world because you canfeel the spirit of richard allen as well as the movementwhich richard allen was certainly a prominent feature of an end andend of which he was the leader whether it'sthe chair which he sat or the pulpit which was
made with his own hands and from which he preached it you can feel richernow mary you have a sense of his presence and the symbolsof army of a freedom and in fact the pulpit iscalled the liberty pulpit because it represents freedom ofpeople something with which people could identify something that was their own and an end atthat symbol itself is a victimized in the ballot boxof people who were disenfranchised in terms ofthe their civic responsibilities many of them not being able to vote couldcome to church and their voters there were selective trustees wouldrepresent them they were able to choose leadershipfor themselves and that when you look at the ballot box and youimagine these people many of whom could not rita wright i'mlooking at images in a slot on the ballot box and being able to decide
one or against another and dropping a marble in the box it eat it itmakes it may make the difference it it does something when youthink about sea around about who owned very little was said but who wasclearly a prominent figure and a very important part of our ritchie valensour success in terms of her red book here's a womanwho makes a mark yet she was awesomefixing tattered clothes for preachers she was giving money to slaves corps ontheir way north out to finalize a freedom and she was able to manage businessaffairs and i'm thinking keep track ofour finance in an open a way that was efficient an endto see it you know it becomes an inspiration because it let's do it let'syou know that out we as a people have not come a long way and i do have a
long way yet to go but it lets us know that the spirit isstill alive and end and his motivations still present thepolicewell i think richard allan itcertainly would short end by the time of his deathyou'd you can see a person who has odd in many years saysmore reflective read an impulsive island itnatural kind physician yet richard allen iseven more comedic apart and a big part of
the habitat richard allen is the fact that he courageously foughtin a long period of illness i'm before he finally succumbed andendowments i thought i think what we see isthat the courage of this man in life became the courage inwhich he entered into a new life and it had to keep in mind this is not afearful thing for economic pie because the death was a part of this planthis life plan that was set into motion with conversion death was somethingi had to do to be i mean icherish because he was intrigued to the other worldyes i mean i thinknow with all of the black boxes in philadelphia to change because theyrealize that they were not going to be accepted by the majority
culture with ease are biting thirty don't forget we havethe bomb first national convention which richard allenconvened hear it at at bethelendowment as as a result what we see is folks beginning to digin and become entrenched for this long struggle that they saw on thehorizon so we have this how live for today and alsohow we live for tomorrow what is it that will make things better for our children and our grandchildrenand this plan and strategizing it was beginning to form in earnestas well wedon't have a lot in terms of the sermons with richard allen preachedbut one one sermon that is mentioned
by an observer is a sermon was preached in baltimore in eighteen seventeeni am resound trees twice that day the first sermon didn't go over wellendowed one of richard alleni will say a detractor but an adult i've been a coke or the pastor of bethelchurch in baltimore i was trying to make an excuse for how an after thatour first sermon but in the act in the evening sir richard allenpriest on this text from revelation the twentieth chapter twelve verseand i saw the date small and great standbefore god and the books were in another book was open whichis the book of life and the dead were just out of those things but written in the booksaccording to their works and the observerssay ow notation i'm a bit about this episode is that when richard ourfish preaching on this text you could feel the
transition of power from baltimore and even from coker whowas a prominent person in his own right i to ours so that he firmlyhead the entire pod fellowship in his great people nowsaw him as this genuine bishop as is genuine father figureor he was he was in place and the text issignificant i think because it's it pulls out so many of the themes theological as well asour moral and social that would have been awesomethe foundation of originals preaching on the whole the suggestion that even inthe conversion of g really we wish she talks about how richard out open the door thechurch he is very traditional sentence if you're willing to fleethe wrath of god and end on that particular occasion to really reallywent forward because she wanted to flee the wrath of god and so here in this
text week we had those of judgment will say this element ofif i am going to if i'm going to go to heaven then i mustlive i'm right in this life i was walkaccording to the way that the bible teaches me to walk and it i can imagine forsomeone as sincere as richard allen was in terms of his preaching i ami going marvel's places with the tech surge is thatchefbut they the conversion of vibe to reallycarry the conversion injuryreally once again is in many as is typical ofconversion experiences which we have record from the time onthe what is a little bit different badge a real
leader in termsyou're rightcocainethe conversion spirit experience and reallywas very much like the conversion experience of others of the dayon the columns are the same and there's a typical patternhowever what is a little bit different about julia lee is thisdepth of spirituality that you don'tsee even as allen talks about his own conversion armsit's brought on end in some measure because of this encounter with aclass leader who talks to her and invites her to look at some deeperthings of god is a release your own spirituality then she goes farbeyond that her class leader to get to the point where
we see now is a matter of conversion but also this woman has thisincredible gift of connectedness of connection with theeternal so there she is in in an ongoingcommunication beyond this world and an end then is and then isable to i have one foot in this world andspiritually one foot in another world seemingly i am drinking againand and and helping others and inspiring others with her own preaching sestheir bridging the gap her clinic hasbeen a hitright righthe'sbigthat's been the
case it really was an incredible woman and a pioneerin the real sense of the word because she was traversingground which was absolutely i am brandnew at their may have always been a number of women in the church butnot in a leadership position opposite end leadership notnecessarily in terms of being a pastor a form to be a spokesperson forwoman to speak and to declare to claim a position of authority as during aleading and the preacher kind of power that we can imagine she i would which hepreached arm the eightis it is just it is almost beyond measures comparisonshe had no role models there were there were no caucasianpreachers female preachers after whom she might patter sell their
sophistication and then the social ritual not only did she had to withstand a ritual ofbeing an african american but she also had to withstand a ritual of being apreacher which was a way to be a woman preacher we'rein the end what was still very much a man's worldhad to have been difficult and what it shows i think isthe depth of her commitment in the fact that being obedient to god was moreimportant than all the perks whichside you might offerher party came from on high end shouldsee their teeth she has this sense ofawe bishop allen didn't call me to preachno one call made to preach god called me to preach and i have to respondbecause god called to preach it's its lack of the prophets old with jeremiah
talk about pot if i don't preach it's like fire shut up in my bones and forjerry lee i am sure that there is a same sense of if i don'tpreach it's like fire showed my bones and so less i think let mepreachand this is like a common thing inmy denmark vesey and often at this idea inamerica being like open theshow yesfor the the parallels betweenafrican americans and the children of israel in the biblei am are our consistent you have it at everystage i'm richard allen uses a phrase for example that tomdiaz question is there not enough corn in egypt
i'm endowment is he was describing the american experience in and whyamericans or why after americans should remain an american and not immigrate auburnso what i and there is this isn't the keykinds of billy as deliverance and i'm of course a different fordifferent ones and the times it meant everything for example if you're in the south the north became thepromise land however many in the north the promised land was notthere was no longer a place but it was an experience it was a time of acceptance was a time ofbeing able to it colder the american dream of light liberty andand the pursuit of happiness so what we will we see isin terms of an exit this is something that is physical going fromslavery to a place where freedom is at least possible but i saw something that isspiritual it's something where i think by people even today are grappling with this
whole does is out of an exodus they're feeling this sense wanting toreach and wanted to claim this promise land and end and anderson thatspiritual social sense that town we we see richard allen othersare costly for england and enforce the yearthat reallynecessary nowbut ithe interesting thing about nat turner end itgot game or be easy and in the end the insurrection says they admit to placesthat they had religious fervor about them thatthe issue here is god made us to be free god isempowering us to claim his freedom which god has promised
to us and end so what we eat what we see is thatwe went with nat turner ah for some that'sa sociological phenomenon but in fact it was really a religiousphenomena it would not have been possible one historian and ascommon in that arm in order to get people too goat a warning dosomething significant like that one has to make important enoughto them to the level of religion in pasture you don't just checkfreedom itself is not going to carry the weight there that wethink it might carry unless you raise it a level of religionhe mentioned thevideoit is typical whether
zimmerman easier benjamin rush the bible is the divefor what people are believing thinking and how they want to live i n and itwas no accident that in charleston the churches were shut downbecause they believe that the churches were fomenting i'm insurrectionis thinking in a sense they were right because the church was opening thishorizon p were experiencing this conversion so they all of a sudden ahthey see themselves as a part of this larger world is larger goddesscosmos where they have rights that the slave master haddeniedthankyou absolutely the old tesla has the stories in the old testament is where wesee got acting as a liberating the new testament comes in many respectsmore abstract but for for the old testament
that it is very clear the exodus is is very much i ami'm physical in the old testament in in in the newtestament this sense of liberation is it is more abstractat his spiritual but in the old testament you had every daylife and you have these odd you have these personalitieswho threw the spirituals are are really brought to light end and youhave an experience of oppression which is easy communicate so thatfor that for the african americans they can relate to shatter any second let me go iam a baker later daniel and outlines than they can really to mosesand an end this are crossing the river into a promised landbecause and in their own experience of life on that they are in awilderness and in his bonnet and end and life libertyjoy are within reach is not a pass when asked why they have hope
because this life is just beyond the river is right here we can get there ispossible and end as long as they have that hope ii then then their lives take onfuller meaning an ending and everytime significance inincluding this revolutionary spirit because of god is the god who hashelped joshua and the battle of jericho got is also the one who will help me if ihave to take my freedom by force it'sbeen in the presswiththat st george's church methodist episcopalchurch was home to a number of african americansin including richard allen when richard allen finally settled inphiladelphia he became a preacher at st george's oftengiven the responsibility of preaching the five o'clock service and no doubt because it was a service
that was attended in large part by lee i'm african american membersst george's gets a renovatingand they had a progressive policy of segregation and afirst down black members were allowed to sit intermingled in the in thecongregation ii then as time went on the eu were forced to sitalong the sides and it's interesting in the pattern of st george because thatmeans that in the middle you would have white males i had to do itthe league did next section out would have white females and thenthe outer sections would have black males and an end and femalesare among the young thethe process of segregation that reached a point it at pinnacle and i have seventeen atseven november it and it was at that point when the average american members came and worshipthey fought and they heard the new policy the new paulson was you should go to the gallery
i'm we're not sure whether gallery was about the mayor what it was but it was an area whichrichard allen members is being called the gallery and when they got thereand the elders said let's pray and so they know in prayerfarm the yom frayer hasthe fray air arm iwas interrupted though for apps and dolls because he was so much to see that you get up on hisknees and had to move a mistake he made was he was sitting at the front of the gallery is set in therear of the gallery and so for i asked the jonesesfosse was if you just wait till prayer is over then i will get up and leave introuble you know more but the trust he was insistent that he should get immediately and as aresult after jones richard allen and about forty two of the aftermarket memberswalked out of st george sc is a group and i that was the beginning of theindependent african church in philadelphia
This record is featured in “Africans in America Interviews.”
Africans in America
Episode Number
Brotherly Love
Raw Footage
Interview with Jeffrey Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Jeffrey Leath is interviewed about Richard Allen and his conversion to Christianity and the conversion of his owner, the role of spirituality in everyday life, Richard Allen's mission to share his religious experience, the beginning of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Christianity as a means to deal with slavery, Philadelphia during the Yellow Fever outbreak of 1793 and accusations of African Americans for impropriety, Philadelphia during the Federalist period, Richard Allen's loss of his land and repurchase, Mother Bethel Church and the Liberty Pulpit, Richard Allen's sermons, the conversion of Jarena Lee, longing for The Promised Land.
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, slavery, abolition, Civil War
(c) 1998-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Duration: 1:18:05
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Chicago: “Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Jeffrey Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia ,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 20, 2019,
MLA: “Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Jeffrey Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia .” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 20, 2019. <>.
APA: Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Jeffrey Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Philadelphia . Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from