ABSALOM JONES, 1ST BLACK PRIEST
On this day September 5, 1804 former slave and abolitionist Absalom Jones became the 1st Black priest.
Born a slave in 1746 in Sussex county, Delaware Jones married and bought his wifes freedom before his own in 1778, his was granted in 1784.
Jones took part in one of the first group of African Americans to petition the U.S. Congress criticizing the Fugitive slave act of 1793.
After a successful petition the African Episcopal Church of St Thomas, The first Black Church of Philadelphia opened its doors in 1794. Jones wanted to establish a Black congregation independent of white control while remaining part of the Episcopal church.
Jones was ordained a deacon in 1795 and a priest 1804 becoming the 1st African American priest in the Episcopal church and the United States.
Jones died February 13th 1818.