Homily – Deuteronomy 6.20-25, James Theodore Holly, March 13, 2013

Seeking and Serving

Today we honor James Theodore Holly.  Holly was born a free African-American in Washington, D.C., in 1829.  Though he was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church, he later became an Episcopalian.  Holly was ordained a deacon in 1855 and a priest in 1856.  He served as a rector in Connecticut and founded the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church among Colored People.  He was a friend of Frederick Douglass and worked with him on many projects.  In 1861, he left his job in Connecticut to lead a group of African-Americans to settle in Haiti.  In the first year, his mother, wife and two children died, but Holly stayed on with his two small sons.  In 1874, Holly was ordained the first Bishop of Haiti – making him the first black man to be a bishop in the Episcopal Church.  Bishop Holly served the Diocese…

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