Graves Chapel A.M.E. Church will celebrate Founder's Day at 11:30 a.m. today.
In 1787, Richard Allen, born a slave in Delaware, founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia after he and other blacks were denied the freedom to worship in St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church.
Under Allen's leadership, the congregation bought an old blacksmith shop and moved it to a central location in Philadelphia where they organized Bethel A.M.E. Church, which still stands today.
Allen was elected to serve as the church's first active bishop.
He and his wife Sarah had six children. She was the first woman missionary in the A.M.E. church and died at the age of 85.
Allen died in 1831 at the age of 71.
The Graves Chapel celebration is open to all who would like to attend and will feature speaker Andre Clanton and Oxford College's Gospel Choir, Voices of Praise, and soloist Christopher Jackson.