Today the church remembers Alexander Crummell, 1898.Alexander Crummell, born in 1819, struggled against American racism all his life. When he applied for candidacy for holy orders in New York he was rejected and he was denied admittance to the General Theological Seminary because of his race. Eventually he was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Massachusetts but was refused a seat at the diocesan convention. He went to England and earned a degree from Cambridge University and then set out as a missionary to Liberia. He was an ardent and tireless evangelist and exerted enormous energy in the building up of the Episcopal Church there. When he returned to the United States after the Civil War, he went to work organizing black Episcopal congregations to provide worship, education, and social services to their people. He became the rector of St. Luke's Church in Washington, D.C., but his influence was felt throughout our land. Southern Episcopal bishops proposed the organization of a black missionary district; a separate, non-geographical jurisdiction. Crummell organized opposition to this idea and won the day. He was a founder of the Union of Black Episcopalians. His faith in God and his love for his people was inexhaustible and his loyalty to the Episcopal Church was unconditional. Almighty God, open our eyes to see your image reflected in all the peoples of the earth, and give us grace and courage to respect the dignity of every person. Amen.
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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Alexander Crummell, whom you called to preach the Gospel to those who were far off and to those who were near. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.