An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Williams, Peter, Jr.

(c. 1780-Oct. 17, 1840). The second African American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Williams's father, Peter Williams, Sr., was one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New York City. Williams, Jr., became associated with a congregation of African American Episcopalians who worshiped at Trinity Church, New York, on Sunday afternoons. Under Williams's leadership this group organized itself in 1818 as a separate congregation and erected a church building. On July 3, 1819, the church for this Episcopal congregation was consecrated as St. Philip's African Church. Williams was ordained deacon on Oct. 20, 1820, and priest on July 10, 1826. He was a leader in the abolition movement and committed to the education of African Americans. Williams died in New York City.

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.