Brown, Hallie Q.
|SARA ALLEN -- 1764--1849|
The subject of this sketch was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. At an early age she was taken to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she remained until her death, July 16, 1849, which occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Anna Adams.
When quite a young woman, Sara was united in marriage to Reverend Richard Allen. This young man rose to great and distinctive honors. From the works (1816) of Lorenzo Dow, who was connected with early Methodism in America, we learn the following facts: Richard Allen and a number of other colored people were members of the white Methodist Society. But they were placed around the walls and in corners, compelled to commune after their white brethren had partaken of the sacrament. Richard Allen led the colored members from the Meeting House. Being a blacksmith, he hammered at the forge through the week and on Sundays worshipped in this shop until they were able to build an "African Meeting House"--the first ever built in the Middle or Northern States. After this Richard Allen built a Meeting House with his own money, upon his own ground, and called the name of it, "Bethel."
The first General Conference of this infant child of God was held in the City of Philadelphia in 1816, at which meeting on April 11th, Richard Allen was elected Bishop--the first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, his son, Richard Allen, Jr., was elected Secretary of the Conference.
One writer says: "Richard Allen belongs to the constellation of moral and religious reformers, he is to the
He filled the office of Bishop for fourteen years with uncommon zeal, fidelity, perseverance and sound judgment. He was an affectionate husband, a tender father and a sincere Christian.
The life of Sara, his devoted wife, is indissolubly linked with that of her husband. She grieved with him in sorrow and rejoiced with him in the day of his victory and success. Sara Allen was sweet in disposition, pious in her life and serene of character.
The name of "Mother Allen" is a household word in homes of African Methodism.