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Timelines: The Episcopal Church and U.S. Society


  • 1624

    First Baptism of African Slaves in American Colonial (Anglican) Church

  • 1695

    Episcopal Ministry to African Americans is Organized at Goose Creek, South Carolina

  • 1702-1780

    Society of the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG)

  • 1776-1781

    The American Revolution

  • 1784

    Samuel Seabury Consecrated First American Bishop by Scottish Bishops

  • 1789

    Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America Established

  • 1789

    William White (Pennsylvania), Presiding Bishop

  • 1789

    Samuel Seabury (Connecticut), Presiding Bishop

  • 1792

    Samuel Provoost (New York), Presiding Bishop

  • 1794

    St. Thomas African Episcopal Church Established and Accepted into Union with the Diocese of Pennsylvania

  • 1795

    William White, Presiding Bishop

  • 1804

    First African American Episcopal Priest Ordained

  • 1818

    The Cardinal Black Parish of St. Philip’s Church in Harlem, New York is Established

  • 1821

    Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (PECUSA) Formed, the Church’s Corporate Form and Missionary

  • 1824

    The Cardinal Black Parish of St. Philip’s Church in of St. James Lafayette Square in Baltimore, Maryland is Established

  • 1835

    General Convention Votes to Send Bishops as Missionaries

  • 1836

    Alexander Viets Griswold (Massachusetts), Presiding Bishop

  • 1843

    Philander Chase (Illinois), Presiding Bishop

  • 1845

    The Cardinal Black Parish of St. Matthew’s in Detroit, Michigan is Established

  • 1849

    The Cardinal Black Parish of Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina is Established

  • 1852

    Thomas Church Brownwell (Connecticut), Presiding Bishop

  • 1853

    Alexander Crummell Becomes a Missionary and Teacher in Liberia

  • 1854

    The Cardinal Black Parish of the Good Shepherd in Mobile, Alabama is Established

  • 1863

    Birth of The Reverend George Freeman Bragg

  • 1865

    The Protestant Episcopal Freedmen’s Commission Formed

  • 1865

    John Henry Hopkins (Vermont), Presiding Bishop

  • 1867

    St. Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute Founded in Raleigh, North Carolina

  • 1867

    The First Meeting of Anglican Bishops is held in London at Lambeth Palace

  • 1868

    Benjamin Bosworth Smith (Kentucky), Presiding Bishop

  • 1871

    Women’s Auxiliary Formed

  • 1874

    James Holly Consecrated Missionary Bishop of Haiti

  • 1874

    First Ordination of a Black Churchman in Mississippi

  • 1878

    Bishop Payne Divinity School Founded

  • 1883

    Brotherhood of St. Andrew Founded in Chicago

  • 1883

    "Sewanee Conference" of Southern Bishops

  • 1884

    First African American Congregation, St. Augustine’s, Galveston, Established in Texas

  • 1884

    First African American Delegates Sent to General Convention

  • 1884

    Alfred Lee (Delaware), Presiding Bishop

  • 1885

    Church Commission for Work Among Colored People (CCWACP)

  • 1887

    John Williams (Connecticut), Presiding Bishop

  • 1888

    St. Paul Normal and Industrial School Founded in Lawrenceville, Virginia

  • 1889

    United Thank Offering Established by the Women’s Auxiliary

  • 1891

    Phillips Brooks Elected Bishop of Massachusetts

  • 1897

    Voorhees College Founded in Denmark, South Carolina

  • 1899

    Thomas March Clark (Rhode Island), Presiding Bishop

  • 1903

    Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (Missouri), Presiding Bishop

  • 1904

    Discussion of Suffragan Bishops Commences

  • 1906

    American Church Institute for Negroes Established

  • 1910

    Amendment of Canon Law

  • 1918

    Bishops Demby and Delany Consecrated Suffragan Bishops for Colored Work

  • 1919

    Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South Becomes Center for Mission Program and Administration of the New National Council.

  • 1919

    General Convention Adopts the First Churchwide Anti-lynching Resolution

  • 1923

    Alexander Charles Garrett (Dallas), Presiding Bishop

  • 1924

    Ethelbert Talbot (Bethlehem), Presiding Bishop

  • 1926

    John Gardner Murray (Maryland), Presiding Bishop

  • 1929

    Charles Palmerston Anderson (Chicago), Presiding Bishop

  • 1930

    James Dewolf Perry (Rhode Island), Presiding Bishop

  • 1930

    6,304 Clergy and 1,939,453 Baptized Members

  • 1931

    Black Churchmen in Virginia Granted Voting Rights

  • 1935

    Diocese of Southern Virginia Gives Vote to Black Clergy

  • 1938

    Henry St. George Tucker (Virginia), Presiding Bishop

  • 1940

    6,335 Clergy and 2,171,562 Baptized Members

  • 1943

    Bi-racial Joint Committee on Minorities Formed in National Council

  • 1946

    Federal Council of Churches’ Condemns Discrimination

  • 1946

    Black Churchmen in Southern Virginia Granted Voting Rights

  • 1947

    Black Churchmen in South Carolina, Georgia, and Arkansas Granted Voting Rights

  • 1947

    Henry Knox Sherrill (Massachusetts), Presiding Bishop

  • 1949

    Bishop Payne Divinity School Closes

  • 1949

    Pro-Civil Rights Clergy Begin Ministry in Inner City

  • 1950

    6,654 Clergy and 2,540,548 Baptized Members

  • 1951

    John Walker is Admitted as the First African American Student to Attend Virginia Theological Seminary

  • 1952

    General Convention Adopts Resolution on Racial Discrimination

  • 1952

    Dr. Caution Presents Report on Post-war Negro Work

  • 1952

    Seminary Upholds Exclusion on Grounds of Race

  • 1953

    Seminary Reverses Decision under Protest

  • 1953

    Diocese of South Carolina Allows Blacks to Participate

  • 1955

    General Convention Changes Meeting Site from Houston to Honolulu

  • 1956

    National Council Aims for Total Desegregation

  • 1956

    National Council Creates the "Southern Project"

  • 1957

    The Era of the Racial Episcopate Ends

  • 1958

    General Convention Supports Equal Opportunity and House of Bishops Releases Pastoral Letter

  • 1958

    Arthur Lichtenberger (Missiouri), Presiding Bishop

  • 1959

    Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU) Forms

  • 1960

    ESCRU Supports Church Demonstrations

  • 1960

    9,079 Clergy and 3,444,265 Baptized Members

  • 1961

    ESCRU Addresses Intermarriage and Alienates Much of Southern Church

  • 1961

    15 Clergy Arrested on Prayer Pilgrimage

  • 1961

    Church Declares Prejudice to Be Inconsistent with the Gospel

  • 1961

    Episcopal Hospital Targeted for Protests

  • 1962

    Episcopal Day School Denies Entrance to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Son

  • 1962

    African-American Elected Suffragan Bishop

  • 1963

    Presiding Bishop Commits Church to Action

  • 1963

    Religious Groups Join March on Washington

  • 1963

    National Council Staff Members Arrested at Protest

  • 1964

    National Council of Churches Establishes Delta Ministry

  • 1964

    General Convention Adopts Policy Prohibiting Racial Discrimination in Churches

  • 1964

    King Speaks to ESCRU

  • 1965

    Seminary Students Work in Selma

  • 1965

    Jonathan Daniels Killed

  • 1965

    John Elbridge Hines (Texas), Presiding Bishop

  • 1966

    ‘Negro Churchmen’ Support Black Power

  • 1966

    ESCRU Brings Attention to Global Racism

  • 1966

    ESCRU Charges the Church with Heresy for Continued Racism

  • 1968

    Union of Black Clergy and Laity (UBCL) Forms

  • 1969

    ESCRU Leads Ash Wednesday Protest

  • 1969

    Special Convention Addresses Racism

  • 1970

    ESCRU Disbands

  • 1970

    First African American Bishop of the Episcopal Church Consecrated

  • 1970

    Charles Willie Elected as Vice President of the House of Deputies

  • 1970

    11,772 Clergy and 3,475,164 Baptized Members

  • 1970

    Ordination of Women to the Diaconate Approved

  • 1970

    Women Allowed to Serve as Delegates to General Convention

  • 1974

    John Maury Allin (Mississippi), Presiding Bishop

  • 1974

    Eleven Women Ordained Priest in Philadelphia

  • 1976

    General Convention Approves Ordination of Women in All Three Orders

  • 1976

    Dr. Charles Radford Lawrence, II Elected as President of the House of Deputies

  • 1977

    Bishop Paul Moore Ordains Homosexual to the Priesthood

  • 1979

    New Book of Common Prayer Book Approved

  • 1980

    13,089 Clergy and 3,037,420 Baptized Members

  • 1986

    Edmond Lee Browning (Hawaii), Presiding Bishop

  • 1989

    Barbara Harris is Consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Massachusetts

  • 1990

    14,878 Clergy and 2,446,050 Baptized Members

  • 1991

    Pamela Chinnis Elected First Woman President of House of Deputies

  • 1998

    Frank Tracy Griswold III (Chicago), Presiding Bishop

  • 2003

    Gene Robinson Consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire

  • 2006

    Episcopal Church Elects First Woman Presiding Bishop

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  • 1619

    Arrival of First Africans in Bondage, in Jamestown, Virginia

  • 1652

    First Law Against Slavery in North America Enacted in Rhode Island

  • 1671

    Maryland Enacts Conversion Law

  • 1739

    Stono Rebellion Organized by Carolinian Slaves

  • 1775-1783

    American Revolutionary War

  • 1817

    The American Colonization Society Established

  • 1818

    Birth of Frederick Douglass

  • 1821

    Birth of Underground Railroad Conductor, Harriet Tubman

  • 1831

    Nat Turner Leads Slave Revolt

  • 1831-1862

    Underground Railroad

  • 1838-1839

    Trail of Tears

  • 1846-1848

    U.S.-Mexico War

  • 1847

    Frederick Douglass Begins Publishing North Star, an Antislavery Newspaper

  • 1848-1859

    California Gold Rush

  • 1850

    Sojourner Truth Travels the Midwest Speaking on Behalf of the Abolitionist Movement

  • 1852

    Uncle Tom’s Cabin is Published

  • 1857

    Dred Scott Decision

  • 1861-1865

    American Civil War

  • 1863

    Emancipation Proclamation Signed

  • 1864

    Birth of George Washington Carver

  • 1865

    13th Amendment Abolishes Slavery

  • 1865

    Congress Establishes U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Land

  • 1865

    Ku Klux Klan Forms

  • 1866

    Buffalo Soldiers Established

  • 1868

    14th Amendment Ratified

  • 1870

    15th Amendment Ratified

  • 1870

    First African American Elected to the Senate

  • 1881

    Jim Crow Laws Established

  • 1895

    Atlanta Compromise Address Given

  • 1896

    Plessy vs. Ferguson Case

  • 1905

    Niagara Movement Founded

  • 1908

    Lynching in Springfield, Illinois

  • 1909

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Formed

  • 1910

    The Crisis Magazine is Founded

  • 1910

    The "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James Jeffries

  • 1910

    National Urban League Founded

  • 1910-1930

    The Great Migration

  • 1913

    Alien Land Law Enacted

  • 1914-1918

    World War I

  • 1920

    19th Amendment is Ratified Giving Women the Right to Vote

  • 1920

    Negro National League Founded

  • 1923

    Charles Clinton Spaulding Becomes President of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

  • 1925

    Ku Klux Klan Parade Held in Washington, D.C.

  • 1927

    Harlem Globetrotters Established

  • 1929

    Great Depression Begins - Stock Market Crash

  • 1931

    Walter White Leads NAACP

  • 1932-1972

    The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

  • 1936

    Jesse Owens Wins Four Gold Medals at Olympics

  • 1937

    Zora Neale Hurston Publishes Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • 1939

    Marian Anderson Sings at the Lincoln Memorial

  • 1939-1945

    World War II

  • 1941

    U.S. Army Forms the Tuskegee Airmen, an African American Air Combat Unit

  • 1941

    A. Philip Randolph Calls for March on Washington

  • 1942

    Internment of Japanese Americans

  • 1942

    Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Founded by James Farmer

  • 1944

    United Negro College Fund is Incorporated

  • 1945

    Ebony Magazine Founded by John H. Johnson

  • 1945

    Harry Truman, 33rd President

  • 1947

    Jackie Robinson Enters the Major Leagues

  • 1947

    Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Tests the Supreme Court Ban on Segregation

  • 1948

    Integration of American Armed Forces

  • 1950

    Gwendolyn Brooks Receives Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

  • 1950-1953

    Korean War

  • 1952

    Ralph Ellison Publishes Invisible Man

  • 1953

    Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President

  • 1954

    Supreme Court Enforces Desegregation

  • 1955

    Murder of Emmett Louis Till

  • 1955

    Rosa Parks Triggers a Mass Movement

  • 1957

    Little Rock Central High School Integregation

  • 1957

    Southern Christian Leadership Conference Formed

  • 1957–1975

    Vietnam War

  • 1960

    Sit-in Movement Spreads Through the South

  • 1960

    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Created

  • 1961

    John F. Kennedy, 35th President

  • 1961

    Freedom Riders Challenge Segregation

  • 1962

    University of Mississippi Admits James Meredith, its First African American Student

  • 1962

    Cesar Chavez Begins the Struggle for Unionization of Migrant Farm Workers

  • 1962

    Cuban Missile Crisis

  • 1963

    Birmingham, Alabama - Center of the Civil Rights Movement

  • 1963

    Medgar Evers Assassinated

  • 1963

    16th Street Baptist Church Bombings

  • 1963

    President Kennedy Assassinated

  • 1963

    Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President

  • 1964

    Freedom Summer

  • 1964

    Mississippi Civil Rights Workers are Murdered

  • 1964

    Congress Passes Civil Rights Bill

  • 1964

    Martin Luther King, Jr., is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

  • 1965

    Malcolm X Assassinated

  • 1965

    King Leads March to Montgomery

  • 1965

    Voting Rights Act Passed

  • 1965

    34 Killed in Watts Riots

  • 1965

    Hurricane Betsy Hits

  • 1965

    The Vietnam War

  • 1966

    Black Power Movement Gains Momentum

  • 1967

    Che Guevara Murdered

  • 1967

    Muhammad Ali Refuses Induction into Armed Services

  • 1967

    Thurgood Marshall Becomes the First African American Supreme Court Justice

  • 1967

    Loving vs. Virginia

  • 1968

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated

  • 1968

    Shirley Chisolm Becomes the First Black Woman Elected to the U.S. Congress

  • 1969

    Richard Nixon, 37th President

  • 1969

    Man on the Moon

  • 1970

    Kent State Shootings

  • 1970

    La Raza Unida Party Formed

  • 1971

    Cointelpro Exposed

  • 1972

    Equal Employment Opportunity Act

  • 1972

    Watergate Scandal Breaks

  • 1974

    Gerald Ford, 38th President

  • 1975

    Arthur Ashe Wins Singles Title at Wimbledon

  • 1977

    Alex Haley’s Roots: the Saga of an American Family Debuts

  • 1977

    Jimmy Carter, 39th President

  • 1979

    U.S. Hostage Crisis in Iran

  • 1981

    Ronald Reagan, 40th President

  • 1983

    Alice Walker Receives Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple

  • 1984

    The Cosby Show Becomes One of the Most Popular Comedies in Television History

  • 1986

    Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes

  • 1986

    Chernobyl Disaster

  • 1988

    Civil Liberties Act Passed

  • 1989

    Tiananmen Square Demonstration

  • 1989

    Fall of Berlin Wall

  • 1989

    George H. W. Bush, 41st President

  • 1990

    End of Apartheid in South Africa

  • 1990-1991

    The Persian Gulf War

  • 1992

    Los Angeles Race Riots

  • 1993

    Toni Morrison Receives the Nobel Prize for Literature

  • 1993

    Bill Clinton, 42nd President

  • 1993

    Joycelyn Elders Becomes First African American Woman U.S. Surgeon General

  • 1995

    Million Man March in Washington, D.C. Led by Louis Farrakan

  • 2001

    George W. Bush, 43rd President

  • 2001

    The September 11th World Trade Center Attack

  • 2001

    U.S.A. Patriot Act and War on Terrorism

  • 2003

    U.S.- Led Forces Invade and Occupy Iraq and Capture Saddam Hussein

  • 2004

    Barack Obama is Elected to the U.S. Senate

  • 2005

    Hurricane Katrina Hits the Atlantic Coast

  • 2006

    Coretta Scott King Dies

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