An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Crummell, Alexander

(1819-Sept. 12, 1898). African American priest, missionary, and educator. He was born in New York City. Crummell completed a course of study at the Oneida Institute, Whitesboro, New York, in 1839. However, he was denied entrance to the General Theological Seminary because of his color. He then studied for the ordained ministry on his own and was ordained deacon on Mar. 30, 1842. He worked first among African Americans in Providence, Rhode Island. He then moved to Philadelphia, where he was ordained priest in Nov. 1844. From 1848 until 1853, Crummell lived in England. In 1853 he received his B.A. from Queen's College, Cambridge University. From 1853 until 1873, he was a missionary for the Episcopal Church in Liberia. He was professor of intellectual and moral science in the College of Liberia, 1853-1866. In 1873 Crummell settled in Washington, D.C. He later founded St. Luke's Church, Washington, D.C., and served as rector of St. Luke's until 1894. In 1883 he organized the Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People, an Episcopal organization. In 1897 he founded the American Negro Academy, a group limited to forty members which encouraged intellectual excellence among African Americans. Crummell worked for the education of African Americans and supported their full participation in the cultural life of the United States. He died in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Crummell is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Sept. 10. See Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People (CCWACP).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.