On Sunday, February 17 we will commemorate Absalom Jones, the first African American to take Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. Born a house slave in 1746, he taught himself to read using the New Testament. At 16, he was sold to a store owner in Philadelphia, and in 1784 at age 38, he bought his own freedom. In 1795, sponsored by St. Thomas African Episcopal Church, Jones was ordained deacon and, in 1802, priest in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Famed for his oratory, Jones was an earnest preacher and active abolitionist. What made him beloved by his flock and wider community, however, was his active evangelism, constant visiting, and mild manner. His Christian discipleship was not limited to grand statements on Sunday mornings; it subsisted in his faithful service to his fellow men and women, working both personally and through the institutions of which he was a part, every day of the week.
Join us in remembering his legacy on Sunday, February 17: 8, 9:15, 11am and 5pm.