Leadership Gallery

The Reverend Solomon Napoleon Jacobs, 1920-2006

Solomon Napoleon Jacobs Circa 2001

The Reverend Solomon Napoleon Jacobs, c. 2001.

Solomon Napoleon Jacobs was a committed activist who represented the Church during the Civil Rights movement. Born in Panama City in 1920, he graduated from Bishop Payne Divinity School in 1948. Jacobs was ordained to the diaconate that same year and to the priesthood in 1949. During his pastoral career, he presided as rector of churches in Panama, Nicaragua, Omaha (1952-1958), Cleveland (1958-1970), and Washington, D.C. (1970-1974). From 1972 until his retirement from active ministry in 1985, he served as chaplain supervisor at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Jacobs spent his retirement as an interim priest of the Diocese of Washington and as part-time associate clergy from 1995 to 1998 at the Washington National Cathedral. As a chaplain, he served at the Cathedral and at the Washington Hospital Center. In 2000, Jacobs received an Honorary Doctorate from Virginia Theological Seminary.

During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Jacobs participated in voter registration and school integration protests in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia. He was also active with church-based activist organizations including the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU) and the Union of Black Episcopalians among others. He is survived by his wife Lynette and three children, one of whom, Gregory, was ordained a priest in 1995. [Sources]