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Friday, February 11, 2011

St. Andrew's celebrates first black Episcopal priest

Absalom Jones, the first black priest in the Episcopal Church, will be celebrated in a Eucharist at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 262 Shelton Ave., New Haven.

Jones was born into slavery in 1746, purchased his own freedom and became a lay reader in what is now the United Methodist Church.

Disagreement over segregation in the church led Jones to leave the Methodist Church for the Episcopal Church, where he was ordained a priest. He died Feb. 13, 1818. The church recognizes Feb. 13 as Jones’ feast day.

The service is sponsored by the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Diocese of Connecticut.

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