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Mother Bethel, Est. 1700's Cemetery Unearthed !

  • Broadcast in Culture
Gist of Freedom

Gist of Freedom


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First Black Church, Mother Bethel 1700's Won Reverse Affirmative Action Supreme Court Decision, 
In 1816, after a 20 year legal battle,  the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that, the defendant, Mother Bethel and The Free African Mutual Aid Society was legally independent, and free to self govern and control its own affairs.  
Richard Allen established  Mother Bethel AME, an Underground Railroad Sanctuary, as an autonomous black church under which led to a 20-year struggle with white Methodists who attempted to control the congregation's doctrines and property. Now African Americans could develop their own version of Christianity while employing the resources of a united, autonomous church to develop their own community, including schools and mutual aid societies, and to work in the emerging Black Abolitionist Movement.
Join the Gist of Freedom and Historian Terry Buckalew discuss his most fascinating discovery, Mother Bethel's Cemetery! 
The untold story of how the Black Church formed Mutual Aid Societies to establish self-help institutions and how they fought the government to remain separate from the Church and State.  Ironically in 1954 African Americans won the battle to integrate, consequently abandoning the institutions founded and established by and for blacks via the Black Church and their Mutual Aid Socities.