On February 14 from 5 to 6 p.m., the Bishop Holly Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians will host an online celebration of the Absalom Jones Feast Day.
The Rev. Dominique C. Atchison, MDiv, an ordained reverend in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and director of faith engagement for the First Lady of the City of New York, will preach. Atchison is the creator and curator of the Anti-Racist Devotional.
The Episcopal Church’s annual Feast of Absalom Jones commemorates a man who was born into slavery in 1746 in Delaware and worked for eight years to buy his wife’s freedom so that their children would be free. His master refused to allow him to purchase his own freedom, but in 1784 granted him a manumission. A gifted lay preacher, Jones led the founding of the Free African Society, a mutual aid benevolent organization in Philadelphia that became the first black Episcopal church in the United States. He was also a lay leader at a white-led church in Philadelphia until the church’s leaders forced segregation during worship. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1804.
Find an updated biography of Absalom Jones in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, available online.