SOCIETY HILL (CBS) — Mother Bethel AME Church in Society Hill was abuzz Sunday as the African Methodist Episcopal faith celebrates a major milestone with the unveiling of a statue of its founder.
The morning began with a celebratory church service at Mother Bethel marking the 200th anniversary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The milestone also marked the end of a 70 year journey to memorialize church founder Richard Allen.
The statue is six feet tall and made of bronze. It sits atop a granite pedestal with Allen holding a bible next to an anvil at the corner of 6th and Lombard Streets, the place where it all began.
Thousands of AME Pilgrims from all over the world– like Mable King a fifth Generation AME flocked to Philadelphia for this year’s conference and bicentennial celebration.
“It’s a beautiful thing to live to see,” King said.
The unveiling of the Richard Allen Statute is just part of the celebration, which includes the unveiling of a Richard Allen Mural at First District Plaza on Monday.