March 26, 1831, Richard Allen died. Born of slave parents in Philadelphia, he was sold with his family to a plantation in Dover, Del. With the permission of his master, he began attending the Methodist meetings and learned to read and write. Richard Allen was converted at age 16 and is said to have worked hard to prove that Christianity did not make slaves worse servants. When Richard Allen's master converted to Methodism, he arranged for Richard, who was now 26, to purchase his freedom. Richard Allen then founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which grew to 10,000 members during his lifetime.