Christ Church Cathedral will host the annual Service of Morning Prayer to commemorate the Feast of Absalom Jones. The service will be broadcast on the YouTube-Live Channel ,the Cathedral Facebook page and website. Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows will preside, and Bishop Deon Johnson of the Diocese of Missouri will preach.
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.