Black Churches in America
Courtesy of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Absalom Jones also left St. George's Parish after being literally pulled from his knees by white parishioners while in the midst of prayer, going on to found St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1794. Unlike his colleague Richard Allen, who remained a Methodist despite the discrimination he endured within the church, Jones became an Episcopalian and in 1804 was ordained as the first black priest in the Episcopal Church. From 1795 until his death in 1818, he baptized 268 black adults and 927 black infants. Thanks to his tireless ministry to the African American community, Jones became known as the "Black Bishop of the Episcopal Church." He appears here in his ministerial robe, holding a Bible, in an oil portrait by Raphaelle Peale from 1810.