The church pays tribute to this legacy by supporting and fostering the growth of black congregations through partnerships that reach across ethnic and racial boundaries, from the Episcopal provinces, dioceses, and deaneries to local parishes. Through the Recruitment, Training, and Development Program, black postulants and candidates for ministry are empowered and encouraged to seek vocations in lay and ordained ministries. This program offers an annual conference to provide historical perspectives of black Episcopalians in the church, leadership training, opportunities for networking, and mentoring for ongoing education and spiritual growth.
Black Bishops in the Episcopal Church 1874-Present
Over the past 130 years there have been 38 Black Bishops consecrated in the Episcopal Church. These Bishops hail from the African Diaspora, as well as Africa. The African Diaspora includes those people of African descent living throughout the world in the United States, the Caribbean, Central America and other countries.
All Bishops are assigned a number by the Secretary of the House of Bishops according to their date of consecration. Bishop James Theodore Holly was the first Black Episcopal Bishop consecrated November 8, 1874, first Bishop of Haiti, number 106a. The most recently consecrated Black Bishop is number 1010 in the American Succession, Nathan D. Baxter, Bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania consecrated October 21, 2006.
People of African descent have a long proud heritage in the Episcopal Church. The following biographical sketches of the Black Episcopal Bishops provide a framework for the role that Black Bishops have played in the community in general and the Episcopal Church in particular.
Using the form below, subscribe to receive the Black Ministries electronic newsletter.