Saint Days: Absalom Jones, Priest
Absalom Jones (1746-1818) was born in Sussex County, Delaware as a slave. At age 16, he was sold to a neighbor farmer. In 1762, that farmer sold his mother and family but kept Absalom and moved to Philadelphia. He ended up getting married and bought his wife's freedom and was freed himself in 1784. He became an abolitionist and after experiencing segregation in a Methodist church, he founded a black congregation called the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in 1794. He was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1804 and preached an anti-slavery sermon every New Years Day.
In the founding documents of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, he wrote that the church's purpose was, "To arise out of the dust and shake ourselves, and throw off that servile fear, that the habit of oppression and bondage trained us up in."
Let us remember Absalom Jones in our prayers today:
O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Absalom Jones, to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock: Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit, that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.