5:32 PM / Monday August 3, 2020

3 Jul 2016

Mother Bethel AME chosen as host for the 50th Session of General Conference of the AME Church–July 5-13

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July 3, 2016 Category: Oasis Posted by:
Schedule of events are shown below
Mother Bethel is proud to be the host Episcopal District of the 2016 General Conference and Bicentennial Celebration commemorating our 200 year history as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This historic event will take place in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the story of our Church began.
The Episcopal Leadership team of the First Episcopal District led by our Presiding Prelate, The Rt. Reverend Gregory G.M. Ingram and our Episcopal Supervisor, The Reverend Dr. Jessica Kendall Ingram extends a warm welcome to all who will attend the various Bicentennial Celebration events planned as well as the Pre-Conference Activities and General Conference Special Events.
Pre-General Conference activities will kickoff July 3, 2016 with The Bicentennial Torch Run (from Dover, Delaware to Mother Bethel) followed by a Dedication of the Richard Allen Memorial Courtyard on the grounds of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 419 S. 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.
The AME Church’s Bicentennial activities switch into high gear this weekend. More than 30,000 members of the AME Church are already arriving in Philadelphia for the General Conference which takes place from July 3-13th. Pilgrims are traveling form as far away as India, France, and South Africa. The tour requests at Mother Bethel AME, the birthplace of the church’s denomination, are off the chart. Free tours of the church and museum will have extended hours during the conference in order to accommodate all of the requests. 
An Extraordinary History, An Incredible Future: 200 Years of  Service (special exhibit at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts)
(Visit for Admission Fees and Hours)
Location: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St., Phila., PA
AME First District, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, will present the art exhibition, “An Extraordinary History, An Incredible Future: 200 Years of Service,” celebrating the spirit of African Methodism. Sculptures, prints, artifacts, photography, and a multimedia video will chronicle the storied history of the denomination and evoke inspiration within a new generation of visionaries.
 July 2-3, Time  Bicentennial Torch Run
80-mile relay from Dover, DE, to Mother Bethel AME Church, Phila., PA 
In partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the first faith-based collaboration of its kind for ACS, four runners from each of the 20 Episcopal Districts of the AME Church will run one mile over an 80-mile course from Dover, DE, where Richard Allen spent much of his childhood, to Philadelphia, PA, where he was born, and later established the first AME Church – Mother Bethel – in a converted blacksmith shop. The Richard Allen statue unveiling and dedication will follow upon completion of the Torch Run. 
July 3, Time – Unveiling and Dedication: Bishop Richard Allen Statue and 
3:00 p.m Memorial Courtyard
(Open to the Public)
Location: Mother Bethel AME Church, 6th & Lombard Sts., Phila., PA 
When the Bicentennial Torch Run culminates at Mother Bethel AME Church, the wrapping will be removed from a six-foot, six-inch bronze statue of Richard Allen that will grace an intimate 20-foot by 30-foot courtyard along the Lombard St. side of the building. The unveiling and dedication of this cherished sacred space will bring to closure a seventy year journey that began in 1946 to erect a fitting monument to Bishop Allen. 
The statue and courtyard were designed by David Allen Perrin III of Zendesign Group, Berkley, Michigan. The courtyard architect is Samuel E. Olshin, (AiA), a principal of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects of Philadelphia, PA. The statue sculptor, Fern Cunningham-Terry, is a distinguished African American artist who sculpts the story of her people and teaches history through her work. Cunningham-Terry is a member of Grant AME Church in Boston, MA.
July 4, 10a.m. Dedication: Bishop Richard Allen Mural
(Open to the Public)
In conjunction with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Location: First District Plaza Headquarters, 3801 Market St., Phila., PA
A masterfully intricate, vividly colorful painting of Bishop Richard Allen will wrap around the world headquarters of the AME Church located at 3801 Market Street transforming the building into an exceptional work of contemporary art. Members of the AME Church have collaborated with Willis “Nomo” Humphrey, lead muralist for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, to design the mural, which is intended to stimulate dialogue about, and expand understanding of, Richard and Sarah Allen’s importance in American history. 
July 5, 5:30p.m. First District Bicentennial Celebration VIP Reception
Gold Sponsors, Invitation Only
Location: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St., Phila., PA
 July 5, 7:30p.m.An Extraordinary History, An Incredible Future: First District 
Bicentennial Celebration Banquet
(Ticketed Event/ Open to the Public)
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom 
The First District will host a delightful evening of exceptional music, liturgical dance, and innovative cuisine as they kick off the 2016 General Conference of the AME Church. Journey along the extraordinary timeline as the denomination celebrates its rich legacy, and the evolutionary promise of an incredible future. Keynote speaker: Dr. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., activist, Harvard law professor, and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice. Musical performances by gospel recording artists Kathy Taylor, Jonathan Nelson, and the First District Bicentennial Choir.
Tickets are $150. Purchase online at 
For more information go to
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