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The Reverend Austin Cooper Sr.

Churches Related to This Person

• St. Philip’s Church, Harlem   

The Rev. Austin Rellins Cooper was born in Miami, the son of Bahamian immigrants, and graduated from St. Augustine’s College and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1960 and priest in 1961 and served churches in Opa-Locka, Hollywood, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach and Hallandale, FL, and was curate at St. Simon’s, Rochester, NY, in 1962. He was vicar of St. Augustine’s, Dallas, TX, and headmaster of its day school from 1962 to 1965. He was rector of St. Philip’s, Jacksonville, FL, 1966-69, urban minister for the Metropolitan District of the Diocese of Central New York, 1969-70, then he moved to St. Andrew’s, Cleveland, OH, serving as rector from 1970 until he retired in 1998. He was a nominee for three Episcopal elections, and was a co-founder of the Union of Black Episcopalians. Fr. Cooper was President of the Cleveland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has had his life threatened in a letter signed “the Ku Klux Klan” and windows in his home broken by slugs from an undetermined weapon. Both incidents were under federal and local investigation and Fr. Cooper’s home was under police protection.


The Rev. Austin Rellins Cooper