Black Presence in the Episcopal Diocese of New York

A Shared Public Spiritual Space for Truth and Truth-Telling

Welcome to the Black Presence in the Episcopal Diocese of New York (BPP) website, a repository of stories and narratives of the rich and complex experiences of people of African descent in the Episcopal Diocese of New York from the colonial era through to the present.

As we have proceeded with another year of discussions,  conversation and work,  we continue to be grateful to The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche, XVI Bishop of New York, The Absalom Jones Planning Committee and the Communications and Archives Department for their unwavering and inspiring support.

The BPP website launched in February 2019 with previously published material. It continues to grow and  now includes sermons from the Absalom Jones Celebration services at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine as well as reference to the association of the Harlem African Burial Ground with churches from EDNY and historical information on the first orphanage for children of African descent in the U.S.  BPP’s  goal is to expand the website with additional previously  published material as well as newly created  submissions and original research.

Information is organized and cross-referenced by church, individual, era or record type. This growing repository contains written records, original research, oral histories, visual, sound and video records.

BPP establishes a diocesan-wide invitation for sharing four centuries of stories of black presence experiences, narratives and stories. This dynamic repository is a public witness to truth and truth-telling.

Images associated with St. Philip’s Church, Harlem the first independent black church in the New York Diocese.

(February, 2020)


Recent Additions

Holy Cross Church – Story of the Congregants of African Ancestry from 1909 to the present in Yonkers

Type: History and Index Related Parish(es): Holy Cross Church, Yonkers, The Church of St. Simon the Cyrenian, New Rochelle, and St. John's Church, Getty Square, Yonkers

St. Martin’s Church: A Parish History

Type: Article and Website Related Parish(es): St. Martin’s and St. Luke’s Church, Manhattan

The Commemoration of Absalom Jones at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

Type: Video and Other Related Parish(es): The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Manhattan

The History of the Rector’s Cross of St. Philip’s Church, Harlem

Type: History Related Parish(es): St. Philip's Church, Harlem

Kwanzaa 2021 Union of Black Episcopalians New York Chapter Celebration

Type: Performance, Video, and History Related Parish(es): Christ Church Riverdale, Bronx, St. Philip's Church, Harlem, and St. Martin’s and St. Luke’s Church, Manhattan