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Anglicans and Episcopalians in America

Summary and Keywords

Episcopalians have built, reimagined, and rebuilt their church at least three different times over the course of 400 years in America. From scattered colonial beginnings, where laity both took major roles in running Church of England parishes and practiced a faith that was focused on worship, pastoral care, and good works, Anglicans created a church that blended hierarchy, democracy, and autonomy. It took time after the disruptions of the American Revolution for Episcopalians to find their place among the many competing denominations of the new nation. In the process women found new roles for themselves. Episcopalians continued to have a large impact on American society even as other denominations outpaced them in membership. As individuals they shaped American culture and became prominent advocates for the social gospel. Distracted at times as they tried to balance catholic and Protestant in their thought and worship, they built a church that included both religious orders and revival gatherings. Although perceived as a church of the elite, its members included African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and union members. Episcopalians struggled with issues of race, class, and gender throughout their history. After World War II, their understandings of the teachings of Jesus pulled a majority of Episcopalians toward more liberal social positions and created a traditionalist revolt eventually resulting in a schism that required new rebuilding efforts in parts of America.

Keywords: Episcopalian, Oxford Movement, social gospel, deaconess, African American, American Indian, women

Anglicans Arrive

Members of the Church of England have been in America from the earliest voyages by English fishermen and explorers to the continent. Some of the fishermen who dried their catches near the Grand Banks would have been members of the state church in England, but there is no record of worship by them. Documentation of Anglican worship begins with the explorers. When Sir Francis Drake landed on the California coast near San Francisco in June 1579, the Reverend Francis Fletcher led worship from the Book of Common Prayer for the crew while natives observed. The first recorded Church of England baptisms in North America occurred in August 1587 at the ill-fated colony of Roanoke. On August 13, Manteo, a member of the Croatan tribe who had travelled to England twice and translated for the colonists, was baptized. Eleven days later, six-day-old Virginia Dare became the first European baptized in North America according to the rites of the English church. Her fate, like that of the rest of the lost colony, remains a subject for scholarly speculation.1

Scattered Beginnings

The continuing presence of the Church of England in North America begins with the 1607 expedition to Jamestown, Virginia. Although in the early years the colony struggled to survive, Church of England worship was quickly established by chaplain Robert Hunt. Hunt died in 1608, but the Anglican tradition continued. The Reverend Alexander Whiteaker arrived in 1611. His most famous act was the baptism of Matoaka (Pocahontas) in 1613. She took the name Rebecca at her baptism. By the time Rebecca married John Rolfe in 1614, Whiteaker had been replaced by the Reverend Richard Buck. Although Buck served in Virginia for a decade, most members of the Church of England in that colony, or elsewhere in the scattered settlements begun by the British by that time, did not have access to clergy on a regular basis. When there were clergy present, the Virginia colony in its earliest years had daily Morning and Evening Prayer. However, many clergy ministries were cut short by death or an early return to England.2 Not only was England itself increasingly distracted by the political and religious divisions that would lead to open Civil War by the 1640s, but the Church simply was not structured to allow it easily to incorporate a geographically distant new region into its system of dioceses. Eventually the king gave the Bishop of London some rights to oversee the clergy and churches in the British colonies, but until the mid-18th century, Anglicanism depended more on the faith of its followers than on the settled pastoral and sacramental presence of clergy.

Religion was a part of the rhythm of everyday life. People marked time by referring to saints’ days and other religious holidays, which they celebrated with church services, special observances, prayers, and foods. The Church emphasized worship and action rather than doctrine or theology. Its precepts were expressed in its Book of Common Prayer, which was among the most frequently owned books in British America. The book contained services for not only morning and evening and the Eucharist, but also baptism, marriage, and burial. There were general prayers, psalms, and a catechism. It made the basics of faith accessible to anyone who could read, and because the prayers and creed were repeated each time a service was offered, those who could not read had an opportunity to memorize what they heard. What people hungered for from clergy were pastoral offices. While the Church taught that salvation was offered to all by Christ and received in faith, that faith required action. They were to respond to God’s gift by striving to live good lives and, as the post communion prayer put it, to “do all such good works as thou [God] hast prepared for us to walk in.”3

Virginia’s laws reinforced the church teachings by requiring church attendance and regulating bad behavior such as drunkenness, fornication, Sabbath breaking, and slander. In 1631 and 1632, Virginia’s burgesses began requiring each parish to appoint two church wardens who would be responsible for presenting to the courts those who violated these behavioral standards. The creation of eight counties in 1634 and appointment of county justices of the peace made enforcement a reasonably local endeavor. Punishment, especially in the early years, included fines and public penance. Rather than spend time looking for heretics, officials looked for those who behaved badly.4

Anglicans in Every Colony

Church of England adherents were present in all of the colonies. Only three colonies, Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina, developed a mature, if bishopless, church structure, and in both Maryland and South Carolina, the establishment of the Church of England was in part a reaction to civil unrest or competition among various religious groups. The established church acted as a buffer between more extreme Protestants and Roman Catholics in Maryland, and various Protestant groups in South Carolina. Both Georgia and North Carolina eventually passed laws establishing the Church of England, but most Church of England members seldom saw clergy or had access to a parish church in those two colonies. In the middle colonies (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware), the Church of England was one of many groups in pluralistic societies. In the urban port cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Newport, members ranged from elites to the working-class poor. In New England, despite the support of Crown officials, members of the Church of England faced religious disabilities as dissenters from established Puritan/Congregational churches.

When the Reverend Thomas Bray joined with a handful of other Anglicans in 1701 to seek a royal charter as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, he provided the missing link needed to recruit, support, and oversee missionary clergy sent to those colonies lacking a Church of England establishment. Because the Bishop of London was a member of the SPG, it eased potential conflicts between his claim over colonial churches and clergy and the active role taken by the SPG in placing missionaries there.5

Church of England membership in New England got a major boost in what came to be known as the “Yale Apostacy.” In September 1722 clergy on the faculty of Yale College (including college president, Timothy Cutler) informed the college trustees that they had grave doubts about Congregational ordination. Three (Cutler, Samuel Johnson, and Daniel Brown) soon left for England to be ordained by bishops there. Daniel Browne died in England, but Cutler and Johnson returned as Anglican clergy. Cutler spent more than forty years as the priest at Christ Church (Old North Church) in Boston, dying in 1765. Johnson took up a parish in Stratford, Connecticut, where he remained until 1754, when he became president of the newly chartered Kings College (Columbia) in New York. In 1762 he retired to Stratford but continued to be active in the church until his death in 1772.6

Great Awakening Impact

The series of revivals that swept through the American colonies in the decades after 1730 also had a tremendous impact. Anglican response to what is called the “Great Awakening” was complicated, including both adherents and opponents of the revival. George Whitefield and the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, were all ordained Anglican clergy. The crowds Whitefield drew on his travels through the colonies were interdenominational. He was at times welcomed and other times opposed by the clergy settled in the colonies, but his message reinvigorated many colonial Anglicans. The Wesleys, after a contentious time in Georgia, returned to England and became the center of a revival within Anglicanism known as Methodism. Their missionaries in the colonies set up midweek classes but encouraged attendance at Anglican Churches on Sunday. Within the settled clergy were some, such as Virginians Devereux Jarratt and Archibald McRoberts, who ran their own regional revivals while continuing parish ministry. Some Anglican laity who attended sessions held by itinerant Presbyterians or Baptists left the Church to form new groups. Others stayed within the Church but became more critical of clergy. The Church in New England and the middle colonies attracted those who were looking for order and stability and a haven from the enthusiasms of the revivals. Some clergy and laity reacted vehemently to the disorder that they felt was caused by itinerant clergy and to preaching that denounced non-revivalist local clergy. They used their authority to arrest and physically harass Baptist and Presbyterian preachers for preaching without a license or causing civil disorder.

The Awakening caused an 18th-century version of culture wars, with those touched by the Awakening denouncing what many Anglicans saw as innocent amusements (if pursued in moderation): music, dancing, card playing, horse racing, and alcoholic beverages. Those touched by the Awakening denounced clergy as immoral if they attended gatherings with these activities. Meanwhile, Anglicans actually added embellishments to their services that heightened the contrast. Organs began to appear in larger churches in Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and Boston. New church buildings were built of brick and came with reserved or purchased pews for the elites, and special balconies to separate the races and social classes. For the more prosperous in society, the Church of England became a place where one could be both fashionable and faithful. Rather than focus on the threat of damnation, the Church of England offered a mildly hopeful outlook and an emphasis on praise, prayer, and good works.

Lay Influence

In all colonies, the religious life of members of the Church was largely in the hands of laity. The long-distance oversight of the Bishop of London left a gap filled by local authorities. Moral offenses and issues around marriage that were handled in church courts in England now devolved on local government. The governing body of the parish (vestry) was an elected local group of laymen. They recruited, hired, and paid ministers, although when the SPG was involved, the clergy received most of their pay from that society, and the missionary society designated where clergy were sent. Over time in some colonies, clergy gained secure tenure, but this tenure could be contested if a minister truly irritated powerful members of the congregation.7 By the revolution in Virginia, there were more Anglican clergy than parishes. In other colonies there was often a shortage of clergy. Some wealthy families, such as the Byrds of Virginia, exercised patronage rights to appoint clergy. In fact, the Westover vestry requested that Maria Taylor Byrd find a supply minister for the parish when the rector and Byrd’s son both accompanied troops to the frontier in 1760.8

Vestries raised the money to build and repair churches take care of local poor, hired clerks to read Morning Prayer and a published sermon in the absence of clergy. In rural areas where the clergy often had responsibility for more than one worship location, and supplied neighboring vacant parishes as well, clerks were a necessity. The vestry also hired a man or woman to serve as sexton and clean and care for church property. The officers of the vestry were the church wardens. Wardens had extra responsibilities to arrange care for the poor, sick, or elderly and to report immorality to the local officials for prosecution.

The home played as important a role in religion as the parish church did. Clergy newly arrived in the colonies often found it hard to adjust to the extent of lay participation. Clergy conducted catechism classes, but most religious education was done at home as parents taught children, and sometimes their servants and/or slaves. Families with a literate member often conducted morning and evening prayers. Women took an active role in family devotion and teaching. Women pressed clergy to allow baptisms, marriages, and funerals to take place at home, not the church. Over time, clergy were able to bring baptism into the church building, but were less successful with funerals and marriages. One rite that was always done in the home was the “Churching of Women.” On a pastoral visit, usually about a month after childbirth, the minister would read the required prayers and psalms with the mother. The service offered thanks for her safe delivery and marked her return to the world after lying in. Although this ceremony was done much less frequently than baptism, clergy records show that it was a part of religious life, at least for the upper classes. Women might loan a family punch bowl for use as a baptismal font, or pieces of their own silver to serve on the communion table. By preparing special foods, women made church seasons a part of the rhythm of home life.9

Colonial Anglicans Outreach

In the earliest years of the English settlement in North America, Anglicans attempted to convert the indigenous peoples, including proposing schools. In reality, Anglican efforts were derailed by periodic conflicts between Europeans and native peoples, and by widely held views that the indigenous peoples were uncivilized savages. Virginia’s most successful outreach was the Christian mission at Fort Christanna on the Merherrin River in Virginia. The Reverend Charles Griffin ran a successful school that reached over 100 students between 1715 and 1718. Students lived with their families and were part of a native community. The Reverend James Blair secured an endowment from scientist Robert Boyle for efforts at the College of William and Mary to educate and convert local indigenous people. Local tribes, however, were suspicious of the school and hesitated to send students. When the Fort Christanna mission’s funding source dried up in 1718, Lieutenant Governor Spottswood invited Griffin to become the master at the college’s Indian School, thus launching its most successful period. In 1723 the college built the Brafferton for the “Indian School” at the college. It soon also served as the college library. Up until 1777, when Boyle funds were cut off during the Revolution, the Indian School continued to educate a few native boys, often war captives from distant tribes whom the college ransomed from local natives.10

The most successful Anglican mission among native peoples was the Mohawk Mission. The SPG funded a missionary, off and on, throughout the 18th century. By 1719 the mission had baptized 100 Mohawk, who also adopted some European customs. For the next fifty years, the mission relied on services of the SPG missionaries in Albany. By 1742 about 500 Mohawk were at least nominal Christians. Among the converts were Margaret Brant and her children Joseph and Mary (Molly). Molly became the consort of Sir William Johnson, the British Indian agent, and she and her brother Joseph became influential leaders of the Mohawk. In 1770 The Reverend John Stuart arrived as a resident missionary. The Mohawk, who sided with the British during the War for Independence, faced harsh retaliatory raids during the war that sent most to Canada as refugees.11 Stuart, Mary, and Joseph Brant all went to Canada as exiles. The Brants are buried in local Anglican cemeteries there. 12

Anglican missionary outreach in other locations before the American Revolution was scattered, mostly the independent enterprise of a particular missionary. Thus there were scattered reports of SPG missionaries working with indigenous people on Long Island and in South Carolina. British traders who lived among the native peoples often took native wives. Some traders had the children of these unions educated by Anglican clergy. One, Mary Musgrove Bosomworth, whose third husband was an Anglican clergyman, became a major force in early Georgia history, acting as a translator and negotiator between Georgia officials and the Creek in the 1730s and 1740s.13

Anglicans had an equally complicated relationship with blacks in the colonial period. The church officially considered blacks as souls to be saved. Blacks were baptized in Virginia in the years before slavery took its full form. However, the masters and mistresses of those enslaved often resisted baptism because some enslaved blacks successfully claimed that baptism had made them free. A 1662 law explicitly denied that baptism would result in emancipation, but both blacks and whites continued to believe that it was a possibility. As late as 1727, rumors that baptism would free slaves surfaced as part of the reason for a suspected Virginia slave revolt. Even if baptism did not confer freedom, blacks understood that there were advantages in being baptized. In 1731 Lieutenant Governor William Gooch reported to England on the case of Mary Aggie, a baptized slave, who had claimed benefit of clergy when convicted of theft (a capital offense for slaves). The next year the legislature passed a law permitting the benefit but barring all court testimony of blacks and Indians except when a slave was being tried for a capital offense. The Virginia Council resolved Mary Aggie’s case by granting a pardon and transporting her from the colony.14

In the 18th century, as the supply of Anglican clergy increased, the number of slave baptisms rose. The Bishops of London encouraged clergy to include outreach to the blacks in their parishes, but clergy met with mixed responses. Some met total resistance from the masters and mistresses. Others met resistance when blacks and whites were baptized at the same time. Some scholars credit the Great Awakening with increasing the interest in baptism of blacks, but the parishes recording large numbers of black baptisms began doing so before the Awakening, and included parishes opposed to the revival. Both the SPG and the Associates of Thomas Bray in England sponsored outreach to blacks, which included schools. In 1705 the SPG appointed Elias Neau as a catechist for blacks in New York, work he pursued successfully until his death in 1722. The work was then carried on by others paid by the SPG. There were schools for black children sponsored by the SPG and Brays Associates in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. The longest surviving of these was the Bray’s Associates school in Williamsburg, Virginia. Opening in 1760, the school’s agents from Bruton Parish hired an experienced teacher, the widow Ann Wager, to run the school. She taught black boys and girls basic literacy and Christianity until her death in 1774. Students tended to be young, and most only attended for a couple of years, but it created a core of literate baptized blacks who attended church.15

Episcopacy Controversy

The incomplete Church of England structure (the absence of bishops) in the colonies created several disadvantages. First, clergy candidates from the colonies had to make a costly round trip to England for ordination by a bishop. Second, the church presumed that all baptized would be confirmed by a bishop, and according to the rubrics of the communion service, only those confirmed or “desirous” of being confirmed were to be admitted to communion. Adults were expected to take communion, but most lacked the prerequisite for communion. Third, while the Bishop of London had appointed commissaries to represent him in several colonies, the commissaries had been challenged when they tried to hold hearings to remove grossly negligent or immoral clergy. Thus while the quality as well as the supply of clergy improved over time, the few bad clergy became public scandals. Proponents of the Awakening pointed to these scandals to smear the whole Church. At various times clergy requested appointment of a bishop for the colonies. Because British bishops had secular and governmental roles, this became a politically charged question in the colonies. Those most adamant about getting a colonial bishop included the Yale converts, The Reverends Timothy Cutler and Samuel Johnson, and those who had studied under them or worked with them. They were joined by some clergy from other colonies, most of whom had come to the colonies from England.16

When these clergy held meetings and produced petitions requesting a bishop in the 1760s, they unleashed a major political storm. Many opponents came from Protestant denominations that had eliminated the office of bishop and were suspicious that this was an attempt to introduce the English system in the colonies. Anglicans other than the ardent supporters had mixed reactions. Some saw the need for the spiritual duties of a bishop while being suspicious of secular powers, some thought that the timing was wrong given the heightened political fears of British imperial authority over local self-governance, and a few were not sure that a bishop was needed at all. The petitions had little chance of success, however, because British bishops could not gain the support needed in parliament to implement any plan. However, they added to general suspicion of British intentions in the decade of protest leading to the American Revolution.17

From Anglicans to Episcopalians

The Impact of War

In 1775 a decade of protests against British efforts to tighten administrative and legislative control over the colonies led to the War for Independence. The impact of the war on Anglicans depended greatly on where individuals lived, their ethnicity, and their politics. In general, the majority of lay and ordained members of the Church of England who lived in southern colonies supported independence, but in places where they were a minority (such as New England), they supported the British. Enslaved church members responded to offers of emancipation by escaping to British lines when they could. The British occupied a number of port cities for long stretches of time during the war. Anglicans supporting independence became refugees, while supporters of the British flocked to the occupied areas. The flow of refugees created major challenges for parishes. Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, for example, petitioned the legislature for financial help as they cared for large numbers of displaced people. Numerous church properties were damaged during the war. Some came under bombardment; others were commandeered for hospitals or other facilities by the armies.18

As the war progressed, parishes struggled to find clergy and continue services. Political tension from 1774 onward led some clergy to leave for Britain, and other clergy sat out the war as neutrals, supportive of independence but feeling bound by their ordination oath to the crown. Relations between clergy and laity could be strained or broken by the war. The Reverend Jonathan Boucher, who opposed independence, gave his last service at his Maryland parish with loaded pistols beside him. Clergy were absent while serving as chaplains. Others took up arms. The Reverend J. Peter Muhlenberg, served as an American general. British bishops no longer ordained candidates for America after 1776, and during the seven years of war, other clergy died or retired due to age. In Maryland in 1780, for example, only fifteen clergy remained out of the fifty-four who had been there at the beginning of the war. As a result many parishes had to rely on lay readers and leadership.19

Independence also brought widespread social change. Every time members went to church in an area under American control, they heard an altered liturgy that omitted prayers for the king and possible added prayers for Congress. Congress also declared special fast days that were to be observed by churches. Where the church was established, dissenting groups pushed to have legal support ended. Each state followed a different course, but by 1790 the Church of England was disestablished everywhere. While the New England states granted some form of tax exemption to those who did not wish to attend Congregational services, it was irregularly applied. In Virginia, the movement to disestablish the church was drawn out and became increasing bitter. Collection of tithes was suspended in 1776, and the passage of a statute on freedom of religion in 1786 cut most of the ties between the state and the Episcopal Church, but battles over church property continued until a state supreme court opinion in 1803 stripped the church of much of its property. With independence won, the SPG withdrew support from any clergy in America. Everywhere vestries had to find other ways to raise money to provide for clergy and maintain buildings. Many clergy found themselves with little financial support.20

Forming an Episcopal Identity

The severing of ties with England and disestablishment left Church members struggling locally with little connection or ties. To complicate matters further, the revival wing of the church, Methodism, frustrated by the disarray of the church, began ordaining its own clergy in 1784. Parishes suffered as some of their most active members withdrew to form Methodist churches. Anglicans began calling themselves Episcopalians and calling conventions, usually of laity and clergy. Lay participation was necessary because many parishes had no clergy and laity had largely controlled parish government. It also fit with the spirit of the times in America. Maryland led the way in 1780 with a convention. Two years later, the Reverend William White of Philadelphia published The Case of the Episcopal Church in the United States Considered, which outlined a way to move forward with a structure blending leadership from male laity and clergy while working to secure a bishop for America. The clergy also stepped forward, meeting without the laity in Maryland and Connecticut in 1783 to choose men to seek orders as bishops. While William Smith of Maryland delayed leaving in order to secure support of Maryland laity, Samuel Seabury of Connecticut left promptly for England. Seabury found that English bishops questioned his election by clergy alone and the lack of endorsement of a larger organization beyond a single state. English bishops also needed parliamentary permission to waive the required oath of allegiance to the crown. Seabury was unable to secure English consecration.21

Meanwhile, White called together a group in Pennsylvania that issued a call for a meeting in New York in October 1784 to discuss how a church could be organized. That meeting issued a call for a general convention of laity and clergy to be held in September 1785. One month after the preliminary meeting in New York, Samuel Seabury was consecrated by Scottish bishops. The Episcopal Church in Scotland could ordain Seabury without legislative clearance because it was not an established church. Seabury’s consecration was controversial. He had been an open supporter of the British and had been elected without input from laity. The bishops who consecrated him were part of a church considered politically suspect in Britain. On his return he ordained men from a number of states, thus seeming to act as if he had jurisdiction over all the states.22

The American Revolution was shaped, in part, by Enlightenment philosophy, which, while it brought an interest in reason and science and an appreciation for government based on the people while stressing humanitarianism, was also known for religious skepticism, including a denial of miracles and the divinity of Jesus. The Church of England had been a relatively comfortable home for those who embraced the Enlightenment. The church’s emphasis on good works, and on orderly worship, an educated clergy, and its relative openness to individuals with a variety of religious views, were attractive to those who believed that the main benefit of a church was to be a moral force in society. In the fluidity of the American Revolution, some of the community saw a chance to refashion the Episcopal Church in ways that reflected the Enlightenment. They advocated for the removal of the Nicene and Athanasius Creeds and alteration of the Apostles’ Creed questioned the need for bishops, limited episcopal authority, and liturgical changes that downplayed the divinity of Jesus.23

General Convention Creates a Church

Deputies from seven states attended the 1785 General Convention: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina. The first General Convention drafted a constitution, proposed a revision of the Book of Common Prayer, called on the state conventions to elect men to serve as bishops, and appointed a committee to correspond with the English bishops and arrange for consecration. They also agreed to meet the following year and then every three years after that. Enlightenment advocates had an effect on both the structure of the church and its draft Book of Common Prayer.24

In 1786 Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York elected bishops. The 1786 General Convention made changes in the proposed liturgy to satisfy objections from England and approved the three men elected in 1786, but not Smith elected earlier. Two of those elected, William White (Pennsylvania) and Samuel Provoost (New York), set sail for England, and in February 1787 White and Provost were consecrated as bishops. When General Convention met in the summer of 1789 and approved a constitution and canons and a prayer book for Episcopalians, Connecticut was still absent. The convention recessed, negotiated with Seabury, and in a fall session attended by Seabury and deputies from Connecticut: the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America was officially organized.25

If Episcopalians had secured the requisite number of bishops necessary to consecrate new bishops (three) and created a church structure, what it meant to grow into that framework was not clear. Episcopalians had to give up an old identity as colonial members of a state church with distant bishops. They had to figure out what it meant to have bishops living among them and how they fit into a competitive voluntary religious environment. The original three bishops were joined by James Madison of Virginia, who was consecrated in England in 1791. The next year the four bishops consecrated another, Thomas Claggett for Maryland, and by 1800 two more were added to care for South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. What a bishop did beyond ordaining clergy and presiding at their state’s church conventions was not clear. Most continued to serve a parish. Bishop Madison in Virginia continued as president of the College of William and Mary. Seabury was the only bishop doing parish visitations regularly. The rite of confirmation was new for most Episcopalians, but it began to be accepted as bishops made visits to parishes. It was nearly thirty years before bishops were required to report on their activities at annual conventions. Bishops were expected to have some role in disciplining clergy, but the early bishops trod lightly as they developed local processes for hearings. In Pennsylvania it took nearly five years of cautious steps before White removed one misbehaving clergyman.26

No longer officially responsible for the poor, vestries and wardens struggled to raise money to pay clergy and keep buildings from falling apart. Episcopalians managed to hang on to the College of William and Mary despite legislative restructuring of the professorships, but otherwise had to start from scratch forming colleges. Three decades passed before the Church began forming seminaries to train clergy. Episcopalians formed missionary and tract societies, and sent their first missionaries abroad long before they had solved the shortage of clergy at home or on the frontier. When Virginia, for example, sent the Reverend Joseph Andrus to Africa in 1821, the state had only thirty-one clergy, less than a third the number they had in 1775. Bishop Moore reported to that convention that he had visited many places in the state without clergy, citing as an example a 100-mile stretch of the Northern Neck that had no clergy at all.27

Separate Pews

Race continued to be an issue that worried Episcopalians. A number of those who attended St. George’s Church in Philadelphia were black. The congregation had gone with the Methodists in 1784. Two of its black members, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, had been licensed as Methodist preachers in 1784, but in 1792 the two men withdrew with most of the other black members following an unannounced decision of the vestry to segregate blacks in a balcony of the church. The Free African Society, a benevolent society, formed by Allen and Jones in 1791, became the core of the First African Church. Jones and Allen disagreed on what to do next. Jones and the majority of the society voted to form the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas and requested admission to the Episcopal diocese. Bishop White licensed Jones as a lay reader and in 1795 ordained him deacon. In 1804 Jones became the first African American Episcopal priest. In what had been expected to be a short-term measure, the parish agreed not to ask for representation at diocesan conventions in exchange for having full control over their own parish life and finances. Sixty years later St. Thomas was finally admitted to the convention. In 1818 a second black congregation was formed in the Episcopal Church, this one a spin-off from Trinity Church in New York. Allen and his supporters formed Bethel Methodist and later transformed that into the Mother Church of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.28

Meanwhile other Episcopalians formed half of the core group that founded the American Colonization Society. The society’s goal was to encourage freed slaves to create a colony in Africa. Many hoped slaves would be freed specifically so they could go to Africa. While the founders thought that African Americans were doomed in America to second-class status, they also hoped that the black colonists would be missionaries and create an outpost of “civilization” in Africa. While today it is easy to see the racist assumptions that permeated the effort, it was then seen as a group trying to find a “solution” to slavery. Virginian Episcopal women embraced the colonization society in the 1820s, freeing slaves and forming their own groups in support of the ACS. They definitely saw it both as a religious endeavor and as a means to ameliorate slavery.29

Southern Episcopalians in the Antebellum period made a strong push to evangelize blacks, although making sure that congregations were under white control. Some congregations served both blacks and whites, as they had in the colonial period, with blacks assigned to segregated seating. At St. Paul’s in Albany, Georgia, three-quarters of the communicants were black. In 1824 one Maryland parish reported a single white baptism, but twenty-six blacks. In other cases African Americans worshipped in separate congregations, often on a plantation. In 1860 the Diocese of South Carolina reported 150 black congregations. Almost half of its communicants were blacks. The situation in the northern states was different. Few in number, the northern black congregations had black clergy and often attracted financial and educated elite from within the black community.30

Organizing for Good Works

Episcopalians understood that their faith needed to be demonstrated in good works. And in the new republic, there was great need with economic depression, epidemics, the Quasi War with France, real war on the frontier, and war with Britain in 1812–1814. Furthermore, there was a sense that the new nation needed responsible moral citizens. Even as they struggled to rebuild their church, Episcopalians became leaders in humanitarian efforts, founding hospitals, havens for impoverished women and children, and schools for orphans. Bishop White, for example was the first president of the Magdalen Society of Philadelphia. The society, founded in 1800, aimed to provide a place where prostitutes could reform.31 By the 1820s church leaders were encouraging Episcopalians to form specifically Episcopal organizations rather than work in ecumenical groups often dominated by other Protestant denominations.32

Women Create Their Own Space in the Church

Much to the surprise of male church leaders, women began to step forward to support missionary, parish, and humanitarian efforts. Episcopal women formed their own “auxiliaries” to tract and missionary societies. When evangelical Episcopalians in Virginia started Virginia Theological Seminary, women formed Female Auxiliary Education Societies to raise money. They bought their rectors lifetime membership in the fund and raised enough to cover the costs for two professors and all the student scholarships. They also organized their own societies to provide needed aid to the poor, and through parish guilds raised much of the money needed to care for buildings, pay salaries, and organize Sunday Schools. Typical were the Female Association of Philadelphia, for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances (founded 1800), and the Fredericksburg Female Charity School in Virginia (founded 1801). Both had prominent Episcopal women serving as officers. The Philadelphia organization was interdenominational; the Fredericksburg one was church sponsored. Such organizations tended to focus on helping women and children, were supported by subscribers and special events, and were staffed by women.33

By the Civil War, women’s everyday life in the church included a variety of activities that raised money for and sponsored numerous good works, supported parish ministry, and built and furnished many of the church buildings. They pursued their faith in parish guilds, social circles, and societies and through specially created boards that ran philanthropic institutions. In the process, women created a lively parish life. Picnics, concerts, plays, bazaars and sales, teas, and church suppers created a social life that knit a worshipping community together and served in many small towns as the major social events of the year. Women had to step forward because throughout the 19th century they were a majority of members in the church.34

During the Civil War women took those skills to a new level in the North, where Episcopalians were prominent in activities of the Sanitary Commissions, which provided much of the medical supplies and support for the Union armies. For example, Dr. Felix Brunot, his wife Mary Ann Brunot, and John and Margaret Schoenberger took on key roles in organizing the large Sanitary Fair held in Pittsburgh in 1864. Thus it is not surprising that after the war, a group of women led by sisters Julia and Mary Emery convinced the 1868 General Convention to approve formation of the Woman’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions. Mary Emery was appointed its first executive secretary, and when she stepped down four years later to marry the Reverend Alvi T. Twing (secretary of the Church Missionary Society), her sister Julia replaced her. Julia Emery spent the next forty years developing the Women’s Auxiliary into a network of parish and diocesan branches that paralleled the structure of the Episcopal Church, even holding their Triennial Meeting on the same schedule as Convention. The Woman’s Auxiliary became an indispensable source of funds for the Mission Board. The Woman’s Auxiliary was not the only women’s organization to form. The Daughters of the King was a prayer-based organization also found at both parish and diocesan levels across the country. Mary Ann Drake Fargo organized the Church Periodical Club, which gathered printed materials for missions and schools. Fargo, wife of one of the founders of Wells Fargo, used her husband’s company as a source of free distribution for the materials that women funded.35

Episcopalians were early supporters of the Sunday school movement. Both men and women were involved, but for women it was a rare chance to be active in a formal ministry. They wrote materials to use in Sunday schools, taught in the parish Sunday schools, and organized their own schools on plantations. Initially, most Sunday schools were interdenominational, but by the end of the 1820s Episcopalians had their own organizations. The 1820s journal kept by Virginian Judith Lomax records her both teaching in the local interdenominational Sunday school and conducting worship services at her home with her free black servants. Sunday schools were often the main source of literacy education for the poor, and it is no surprise that when officials in Norfolk prosecuted Margaret Douglass for running a school for free black children in 1853, her defense was that she was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Norfolk, and had taught in its Sunday school, that her pupils all attended that same Sunday school, and that her texts were from that school. Douglas was nonetheless convicted. The Sunday schools run by Christ Church were not unusual, and the annual reports required of parishes included statistics on Sunday schools for each race.36

Adapting to a Changing America

Wounded Lives

The Civil War challenged Episcopalians in new ways. While the Church never recognized secession or the formation of a separate Episcopal organization in the seceded states, Episcopalians felt divisions of the war in their everyday lives. Two Episcopalians from Richmond, Virginia, illustrate the different responses to the war. Sally Tompkins turned a home loaned to her into a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers with the support of the women from St. James Episcopal Church. The hospital had a model survival rate, and Tompkins was awarded a commission as a Confederate officer for her work. While Tompkins was being lauded as a heroine of the South, Elizabeth Van Lew organized a very effective spy ring using a number of slaves and free blacks to feed information from Richmond to the Union.37

In the North and South, soldiers turned to the comforts of faith to calm fears, face horrific wounds, and die a good death.38 Clergy served as chaplains, and some, like Bishop Polk, took combat roles. While worship services continued, in some parishes almost all the able-bodied men were absent, and women kept the parishes functioning. Episcopalians were divided by views on slavery, but neither that nor the war created permanent divisions. In October 1865 at the General Convention, the House of Bishops welcomed and seated two bishops from the South who attended the meeting.

Rebuilding was a bigger challenge. Wherever armies marched and fought, there were church buildings and homes to rebuild or repair, lands torn up, and wounded and the dead to care for. Casualties were very high during the war. Families tried to locate the bodies of their loved ones and bring them back “home” for reburial. Episcopal women were among the leaders in trying to create war cemeteries for those not repatriated. Southerners helped to create a holiday to honor the dead and to build the myth of the “Lost Cause.” Northern women worked to create a series of national cemeteries for Union soldiers. The massive reburial efforts resulted in the moving of nearly 400,000 bodies.39

Reconstruction and Race

After the Civil War, white Episcopalians were surprised when large numbers of black members left the Church for congregations totally under the control of blacks. Where 8,500 baptized blacks attended Episcopal Churches in Virginia in 1860, a decade later parochial reports showed only 144 confirmed members.40 Even as blacks chose to worship elsewhere, they continued to attend Episcopal Sunday schools in substantial numbers. In the decade after the war, the Episcopal Church sponsored its own Freedman’s Commission with substantial support from women both as fundraisers and as teachers. The women had gained additional confidence and skill as leaders in the Sanitary Commission during the war. The Freedman’s commission of the church recruited both northern women and local women, black and white, to run schools in buildings provided by the federal Freedman’s Bureau. For example, Episcopalian Maria Stewart, an African American who had given public lectures on religion and women’s rights in the 1830s, ran a large Sunday school for those recently freed from slavery in Washington, D.C., after the Civil War.41

The women gathered Episcopal congregations around their schools. Other local women opened sewing schools in their homes for freedmen. In southside Virginia, Pattie Buford was so successful in establishing schools and doing parish visiting that the several thousand members of a local African American denomination, Zion Union Church, petitioned to unite with the Episcopal Church. From that group came James Solomon Russell, who was ordained a deacon in 1882 and later priest and founded St. Paul Normal and Industrial School in Lawrenceville, Virginia.42

Unwilling to admit African Americans to the main seminary in Alexandria, Virginia founded a black annex to Virginia Seminary in Petersburg in order to provide training to Russell and other blacks seeking ordination. Located at St. Stephen’s School, the annex became Bishop Payne Seminary, the only black seminary for Episcopalians. In North Carolina the freedman’s commission efforts led to the founding of St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh. The patronizing attitudes of most white Episcopalians and their reluctance to grant black parishes equal status kept black membership small. Black Episcopalians resisted efforts throughout the last three decades of the 19th century to create a separate church, jurisdiction, or missionary district with a black bishop. Eventually, in 1918, the all-white House of Bishops elected two African American suffragan bishops with responsibility for black congregations. Henry Delany served in North Carolina. Edward T. Demby served not only Arkansas, but also a cluster of other dioceses in the Southwest. Other southern dioceses created separate deaneries or districts for black parishes.43

Despite the discouragement of the organized church, black Episcopalians did not go away. They opened parish schools, enjoyed a lively church community life, elected their own leadership, and organized chapters of the Women’s Auxiliary. They often were among the most educated in their communities. For example, Episcopalian Anna Julia Cooper, the author of A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, taught at M Street Colored High School in Washington, D.C. In 1925 she completed her PhD at the Sorbonne. In the north, West Indian immigrants, used to Anglican services in the islands, built their own parishes, which often had a different flavor than those developed by American-born African Americans.44

A Missionary Church

While Episcopalians tried to rebuild their church in the original states of the union in the early 19th century, settlers moved west. The Episcopal Church most often arrived in a frontier community in the form of a lay Episcopalian with a Book of Common Prayer in his or her baggage. That book then served as a resource for the community when settlers wanted to bury a family member. Families gathered in homes to read services, and then they built small churches, appointed lay readers to hold services, and tried to recruit clergy. In western Pennsylvania they found three of their first four candidates among Methodist preachers, sending them to Philadelphia to be ordained by Bishop White. The fourth had studied with Presbyterians. The formation of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in 1820 as a separate, dues-paying body was a start, but not until the General Convention declared in 1835 that the DFMS was a body to which all Episcopalians belonged, and made it the incorporated arm of the church, did the church really begin catching up with its members on the frontier and reaching out to others. From the beginning women offered enthusiastic support for mission activities, forming seven of the first eleven local branches (“auxiliaries”) of the new missionary society. Meanwhile western Episcopalians had begun several training programs aimed at providing clergy in the underserved west. The same convention authorized the House of Bishops to elect Missionary Bishops who were given responsibility for large swaths of the frontier.45

Jackson Kemper, one of the first missionary bishops, began frontier work as a deacon and young priest serving as a missionary in Pennsylvania, taking several trips to visit the scattered congregations in central and western Pennsylvania. As missionary bishop he worked in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. Kemper encouraged isolated Episcopalians and parishes until Episcopalians in a state had reached a critical mass to form a regular diocese. Among Kemper’s earliest recruits to the Episcopal ministry was James Lloyd Breck, who with Kemper founded Nashotah House Seminary. Breck moved in the 1850s to Minnesota, where he started another seminary and school that evolved into Seabury Seminary and Shattuck School. Kemper considered indigenous peoples to be a part of his charge. In fact, Kemper’s first official act in the territory of Wisconsin was to lay the cornerstone for a church the Oneida were building at Duck Creek near Green Bay. It was the first consecrated non–Roman Catholic structure in Wisconsin. Breck baptized Enmegahbowh an Ojibway in 1851. Kemper ordained him as a deacon in 1859, the first Native American person ordained in the Episcopal Church. Minnesota Bishop Henry Whipple ordained him as a priest in 1867.

During the Sioux War of 1862 in Minnesota, Enmegahbowh and other Christian natives warned or shielded white settlers from attacks by angry natives who had been cheated out of land and denied the promised rations needed for their families to survive. When the outbreak ended with a mass surrender of Dakota in December, more than 1,600 Dakota were in custody. Summary military trials sentenced 303 men to death, but Bishop Whipple and a handful of others argued for clemency. Whipple made an appeal in person to Lincoln, and the president commuted the sentences of most of the men. The hanging of thirty-eight Dakota men remains the largest mass execution in American history. Whipple continued to advocate for the Dakota (many of whom died from disease during captivity), and Episcopal missionaries went with them to the Dakota Territory, to where they were banished. After the war, Whipple and several other prominent Episcopalians became advocates for reform of Indian policy and settlement. As a result, native peoples make up a sizeable portion of Episcopalians today in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.46

Kemper’s southern counterpart was Leonidas Polk, a graduate of West Point, who resigned his commission to study at the Virginia seminary. He soon moved west and in 1838 became missionary bishop of the area that eventually included Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma Indian Territory. In 1841 he became Bishop of Louisiana. He was the moving force behind the formation of the University of South. Polk was the second missionary bishop in the old southwest. The first, James Hervey Otey, had helped to form the churches in Tennessee and was elected that state’s first bishop in 1833. When General Convention approved the idea of missionary bishops, he had the southwest added to his charge, but after three years, Polk was appointed to focus on the missionary duties. Polk continued until 1844, when he relinquished missionary duties to a new bishop and became Bishop of Louisiana. A strong supporter of secession and the Confederacy, Polk served as a general in the Confederate army and was killed in action outside Atlanta in 1864.

Missionary bishops and clergy and frontier congregations often turned for support of individuals in the east, making trips to tell their stories and raise funds for their endeavors. The experience in Minnesota can illustrate the process. Bishop Henry Whipple was elected Minnesota’s first bishop in 1858. The New York native made a number of trips through New York and New England speaking to groups and raising money for the cluster of church schools that he sponsored in Faribault, Minnesota, and for church missions to native peoples and frontier parishes. Meanwhile, laypeople tapped their own connections. The Episcopal women in Northfield bought land, organized local contributions of $1100, and then tapped into their own outside connections in 1863–1866, raising in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee another nearly $400 of the $3,000 total cost for construction and furnishing of their Minnesota church. The latter two sources are especially noteworthy given the disruptions in of the Civil War in those states.47

Shaping American Culture

By the 1840s Episcopalians had become comfortable with episcopal structure and the religiously competitive environment of the new republic. Episcopalians were acting on their faith through myriad private organizations striving to make the new republic a more humane and civilized place. And they were beginning a remarkable period of influence on American life. While Moravians displayed the first Christmas trees and nativity scenes in America, Episcopalians promoted the holiday, especially after Queen Victoria popularized it in England. Much of that popularization was brought to Americans through the pages of Godey’s Lady Book, the preeminent magazine for women in the mid-19th century, edited by Episcopalian Sarah Josepha Hale. Clement Moore, son of the second Bishop of New York, and professor of biblical languages at General Theology Seminary, contributed the iconic “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” which blended Dutch and German customs in a uniquely New World way. Episcopal hymnists penned some of the most familiar Christmas carols, including “We Three Kings” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and Episcopalians also popularized many of the Christmas hymns written and translated by members of the Church of England.48

Episcopalians also left their mark on the architecture of the nation by popularizing gothic architecture as the preferred church style. Richard Upjohn made his first impact with work on Trinity Church, Wall Street, but he took many other projects and each year donated a design for a mission church. In 1852 he published Upjohn’s Rural Architecture, which included carpenter’s building plans for a church, a chapel, a rectory, and a school. Literally hundreds of churches around the country built structures based on the plans published by Richard Upjohn. In New York alone, at least forty-four churches were built from Upjohn plans by 1861. Bishop Whipple supplied Upjohn plans to his Minnesota frontier parishes.49 Those who could build on a grander scale adopted first the pointed gothic style often seen in building by James Renwick and then later the elaborate gothic structures of Ralph Cram and his associates. Episcopal donors and buildings provided the inspiration, and the style spread to other denominations. In the late 19th century, some of America’s wealthiest industrialists were Episcopalians. J. P. Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, Henry Ford, and William Proctor provided major contributions to the church and to the building of Episcopal architectural landmarks including St. John the Divine in New York City and the Washington National Cathedral.50

Theological Divides

The Oxford Movement

The 1840s ushered in increased competition among Episcopalians that would eventually revolutionize not only how Episcopalians worshipped, but what they saw and what they did when they came to church. It also opened new venues for living out one’s faith. When Episcopalians began picking up the pieces after the American Revolution, they had to find a way to blend a “high” church tradition (emphasizing the power of bishops, ritual, and the remaining catholic elements in Anglicanism) with a “low” church tradition that was more evangelical and Protestant in emphasis. Over the course of the first several decades of the 19th century, these divisions engendered competition and suspicion. One symbol was the founding of evangelical Virginia Theological Seminary as a counter to the “high” church tradition of General Theological Seminary. The lines were not strictly regional; North Carolina and Tennessee had high church bishops, while parts of New England were low (evangelical). Compromises meant that the parties divided responsibility for mission, with the low-church proponents taking a greater role in foreign missions, and the high-church group focusing on domestic mission.51

The uneasy truce between theological positions was upset by a series of tracts published in England between 1833 and 1841 called Tracts for the Times. This Oxford (or Tractarian) Movement soon spread among high-church clergy in America, much to the alarm of evangelicals. The movement’s emphasis on baptism as the source of spiritual regeneration, on the real presence at communion, and on apostolic succession were too Catholic for low-church sensibilities. Virginia’s bishop, William Meade, went on the offensive against high-church bishops, targeting four. Meade found ways to suspend two, a third was hounded through three unsuccessful trials, and the fourth took a leave, traveled in Europe, and while there found peace in the Roman Catholic Church. Clergy found themselves targeted as both high- and low-church bishops sought to impose uniformity on their dioceses.52

Over time, however, high-church practices crept into most of parishes, changing the very experience of going to church and opening a variety of new ministries especially for women. It was the high-church tradition that spread interest in gothic architecture for churches. Low-church parishes had “communion tables”; high churches had “altars” that could be embellished with ornate crosses, flowers, elaborate linens, and coverings. Even low-church dioceses found some of these practices picking up support. Bishop Whittle of Virginia had to threaten to resign before five parishes backed down from using altar flowers in 1878. Both high and low churches might have organs and choirs, but by the end of the century, the “vested” choir was becoming common. In high-church dioceses, clergy began changing their garb from surplice and stole to cassocks, albs, chasubles, and other traditional Catholic vestments. Women were important allies in the introduction of these changes, because someone had to arrange the flowers, trim the candles, polish the brass and silver, and make the vestments and linens and keep them clean. By the end of the century, the altar guild had emerged as a parish women’s organization dedicated to the care of vestments and ritual items.53

By the 1870s, low-church clergy were realizing that they were a minority among American Episcopalians. The bargain struck in the 1830s turned low-church and evangelical energies toward foreign mission while leaving the domestic field to the high church. As a result, as new dioceses emerged, most had at least a modestly high-church flavor. Evangelicals who objected to the liturgical emphasis on baptism as the means of salvation and membership in the church and emphasized regeneration as needing a change of heart made a stand in the 1870s over the issue. The most adamant evangelicals withdrew to form the Reformed Episcopal Church, thus leaving those who were low church even more of a minority.54

A Dedicated Life

The revival in interest in the medieval church and the growing assertiveness of laywomen’s ministries resulted in new opportunities for Episcopalians to express their faith. There had been no religious orders for men or women in Protestant churches since the Reformation except for priest and deacon. An increased interest in roles for women within the church and the Oxford Movement converged in America in the 1840s and 1850s. Heavily influenced by the Lutheran school for nurse deaconesses at Kaiserwerth, Germany, Episcopalians in America were also responding to the desire of women to have a more formal religious life and ministry. Anne Ayers became the first professed sister in the Episcopal Church in 1844, although she and her minister, the Reverend William Muhlenberg, did not publicize the fact. Religious orders were considered “too catholic” for many Episcopalians, and Muhlenberg did not want to provoke a controversy.55 Ayres became Muhlenberg’s partner in a variety of social-outreach programs sponsored by Muhlenberg’s parish, the Church of Holy Communion in New York City, most notably St. Luke’s Hospital. In 1853 a second sister professed vows in the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion. In 1863 three members of that sisterhood broke off to form the Community of St. Mary. Other communities developed, but not until four members of the St. Mary’s community lost their lives in 1878 caring for yellow fever victims in Memphis, Tennessee, did the general church begin to be more accepting of religious communities. By 1900, twenty-three different orders were running eighty-eight schools, hospitals, and other forms of social-service centers in fifteen states and Canada. Men’s orders formed slightly later than women’s, but with the arrival of the Cowley Fathers (Society of St. John the Evangelist) in 1870 from England, Episcopal men also had options for a community life.56

Deaconesses in the Church

The religious orders found their home in high-church dioceses. In other dioceses, bishops began appointing or “setting apart” women as deaconesses. A number of Protestant denominations embraced the use of deaconesses. Episcopalian women serving as “deaconess” began appearing in different dioceses in 1855, mostly doing work among the poor. Three years later Bishop Whittingham of Maryland set apart seven women as deaconesses. In the early years, the lines between the order of deaconesses and sisters was blurred, and while both became sources of administrators and staffs for church hospitals, orphanages, schools, and other institutions, those in a sisterhood lived in a community and took life-long vows. Deaconesses received training for a period of time and then worked independently. The church assumed women might leave that order, although for many women it was a lifetime commitment.57

After debating at General Conventions for nearly two decades, the Episcopal Church finally passed canons describing the ministry of deaconesses in 1889. Mary Anne Emery Twing, who doggedly pursued passage of these canons, had finally succeeded by removing any mention of sisterhoods, thus muting the opposition of low-church dioceses. In 1890 a training school for deaconesses opened in New York, and the following year another was created in Philadelphia. Eventually there would be training programs in Virginia, Minnesota, Chicago, and California as well.58 Deaconess training schools also provided education for women who chose not to take orders but became church workers.

Sisterhoods and Deaconesses were on the cutting edge of social change in the 1800s and 1890s. It provided professional work for faithful women. The institutions they created served the poor and marginalized. Deaconesses often were sent to isolated communities in Appalachia, Indian reservations, and to urban missions where they worked among immigrants. Their programs included basic healthcare, education, and employment as well as Christian education and worship services other than communion. They served as program providers as urban Episcopal churches became centers offering an array of services such as lunch cafeterias for working women, visiting nurses, recreation centers for urban youth, and classes in sewing, nutrition, and infant care. These program centers brought together wealthy and middle-class Episcopalians with the urban poor, some of whom worshipped in mission congregations sponsored by wealthy parishes.59

An International Church

The Episcopal Church also had international connections. Its historic ties to the Church of England and Scottish Episcopal Church became the model for an expanded network of churches around the world. Everywhere the British Empire spread, so did the Anglican Church. The Episcopal Church sent missionaries into Asia, the Pacific Islands, Central and South America, and other places where American colonialism had taken root. These churches of the two empires formed a loose association in 1868 based on nonbinding meetings of bishops, and their common liturgical traditions and use of a local version of the Book of Common Prayer. The Anglican Communion developed on a model based on relationships between the Church of England and the first of its colonies to be totally independent—the United States.

Living the Social Gospel

As industrialization transformed America, and immigrants flooded into both the frontier and cities, Episcopalians became an ever more diverse group. Immigrants from the British Isles seeking work in the mines and factories included many Anglicans. Working-class parishes resulted both in the cities and in isolated mining towns. Sometimes, company owners provided the church building, but in other cases the workers themselves built their Episcopal Churches.60 In the far west, missions among the Chinese and Japanese resulted in a new diversity. Thus while the public image of the Episcopal Church as a church for the rich and powerful continued, with people such as J. P. Morgan attending General Convention as a deputy, the actual profile of Episcopalians by 1910 was more complex, including coal-mining families in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania; Ojibway and Lakota in Minnesota and South Dakota; Japanese farmers in California; and tenant farmers in South Carolina.61 A number of Episcopalians found that the biblical command to “feed the hungry” and the Book of Common Prayer statement that they “do all such good works” needed to be practiced on a level beyond individual benevolence. Episcopalians William Graham Sumner, Richard Ely, William Bliss, Vida Scudder, and others began articulating a philosophy that came to be known as the Social Gospel. It led to a number of initiatives that merged into the progressive era of reform.62 In 1894 Episcopalian Ellen Starr Gates joined the Companions of the Holy Cross, a prayer order of Episcopal women formed by Emily Malbone Morgan in 1884 with an express purpose of social reconciliation. Its summer conferences became gathering places for women active in social reform throughout the United States, where they reconnected spiritually and professionally with one another while participating in challenging programs of social issues. Vida Scudder joined in 1888. She would serve as the companion in charge of formation from 1909 to 1942. Scudder helped form the College Settlements Association and was directly involved in setting up Rivington House (NYC) and Dennison House (Boston), the Women’s Trade Union League, the Society of Christian Socialists, and many other social-cause organizations. Other progressive and radical reformers found their way to the Episcopal Church in the early 20th century, including social worker Mary Simkhovitch, and labor advocates the Reverend James Huntington and Frances Perkins.63

By 1920 Episcopalians were on various sides of a cluster of perspectives: they were high, low, and broad church. Broad church was the most open to ecumenism and least attached to tradition. They were rich, poor, and middle class; white and people of color; immigrants and native-born citizens, social reformers, and bedrock conservatives. They were held together by their use of the Book of Common Prayer, although the ritual surrounding it might differ, and the interpretations definitely did. The focus on the Book of Common Prayer helped the Episcopal Church avoid the controversies created by the rise of fundamentalism in a number of Protestant churches. Over the course of the 19th century, Episcopalians adopted a wider variety of hymns for use during worship, but omitted many sung in more evangelical churches. There had been several attempts to revise the 1789 Book of Common Prayer, but advocates from the high- and low-church factions checkmated each other. A revised book in 1892 made few changes. In 1928, Episcopalians were faced with a more thorough revision that incorporated some things long sought by high church advocates. Originally controversial, Episcopalians adapted and finally embraced the book. In 1940 a new hymnal came out and received widespread acceptance.

De-feminizing the Church

The increasing involvement of women in church activities and their contributions to Sunday school materials, hymns, and other church tracts led to a reaction by the 1890s. Episcopalian men began to talk about the need to create a more masculine Christianity. In pursuit of this, reformers in the East founded schools, such as St. Paul’s in New Hampshire, for elite young men intended to train them in leadership. Many church boarding schools for boys in the Midwest initiated military academy programs. The Church Army, using a military organizing scheme and male leadership (although open to both men and women), worked among people in the worst slums in England. Founded in 1882 in England, its Episcopal Church affiliate began in 1927, just in time to respond to the hardships of the Depression. Formed in 1883, the Brotherhood of St. Andrews chartered chapters at parishes and gave men an equivalent for the women’s societies. The movement against feminization also meant that as dioceses slowly began granting women the vote at parish meetings, and then at diocesan conventions, councils, or synods, women were barred from holding office as a vestry member, in the elective offices of the dioceses, or as deputy to General Convention. With the only positions open to women appointive, women were a minority in all the formal structures of the church. Women now worked on two fronts, participating in the male-led structures and continuing their own parallel activities.64

Efforts to keep the official structure male were most evident at the level of the general church. The capstone of that disappointment was a 1919 General Convention decision to not include women chosen by the Woman’s Auxiliary on the newly structured National Council or in any of the major committees in the restructuring of the church passed at that General Convention, despite quiet assurances that inclusive proposals would pass. Efforts at the international level of the Anglican Communion to recognize the order of deaconesses as an ordained order resulted in recognition in 1920 at the Lambeth Conference of Bishops (a meeting held every ten years of bishops from all the national churches in the Anglican Communion), but was rescinded by the conference in 1930.65

Episcopalians in the Modern Age

New Media and Industrialization

The industrial age brought a continuing revolution in communications. As the telephone replaced the telegraph, and radio and motion pictures challenged print media, Episcopalians tried to find ways to use the new technologies. A major innovation came from Pittsburgh when Calvary Episcopal became the first church of any kind to do a radio broadcast of a religious service in 1921. Calvary soon began a weekly series and in 1926 started broadcasting choral evensong. Episcopal clergy were among the many from a variety of faiths who found followings for regular religious broadcasting. When Pittsburgh sought a bishop in the 1940s, they were attracted, in part, to candidate the Reverend Austin Pardue because he already had a radio presence in New York. Pardue continued a weekly series while bishop in Pittsburgh.66 Episcopalians could also identify with a number of Episcopalian movie stars including Lillian Gish, Olivia de Haviland, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Shirley Temple.67

With the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president, Episcopalians once again had a president and first lady who were active members of their faith. FDR’s cabinets included several other Episcopalians, notably Frances Perkins, Cordell Hull, and Henry Wallace. Perkins had become involved in reform in New York following the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire. She was not only the first woman to serve in a cabinet, but she served through all four FDR administrations as Secretary of Labor. A close collaborator with Eleanor Roosevelt, Perkins put her faith to work every day in making policy. Cordell Hull served Roosevelt for eleven years as Secretary of State and received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in creating the United Nations. Henry Wallace took on a variety of roles under FDR including Secretary of Agriculture and of Commerce, and as vice president during Roosevelt’s third term. Eleanor Roosevelt created a new image of an activist first lady, often serving as the access point for black leaders to the president, and encouraging a number of women working in New Deal agencies, including black activist Pauli Murray.68

Social Change in Tumultuous Times

Like the rest of the nation, Episcopalians were hard hit by the Great Depression. Episcopal clergy who responded to a survey of clergy sent out by FDR in 1935 documented severe hardship and hunger among their charges. Middle-class families made numerous economies, and clergy, like other professionals, often went long periods of time without pay. Women’s groups that had provided essential funds to parishes found that in lean times their usual fundraisers bought in less than half of what they had in pre-Depression years. Not only were many people without the funds to buy items at a bazaar or pay for a church supper, but government work projects for women resulted in competition for customers of craft items. Hurting both was the growing consumer culture that valued brand-name items and “store-bought” goods over the homemade goods that women sold. Nonetheless, in times of hardship, people turned to their churches. The number of Episcopalians grew steadily throughout the depression and 1940s, despite a declining birth rate. During World War II, many Episcopalians, like other Americans, left small towns for cities where war industries provided jobs. After World War I, over two-thirds of black Episcopalians lived in the north. Black membership in the South continued to decline through the 1940s as war-time jobs drew even more blacks north. The initial response of General Convention was to approve hiring a black person to coordinate outreach to blacks.69

The war meant that women preparing church suppers had to deal with rationing. When rationing cut off the supply of candles, the altar guild at All Saints in Northfield, Minnesota, began making their own. Churches struggled to find clergy, as many served in the military. College-town parishes had to make adjustments as young college men were called into service and replaced by short-term officer-training programs that meant less parish participation. Many pastors dealt with couples rushing to marry before one of them left on assignment, and there was additional pastoral work dealing with grieving families. Church members volunteered at canteens, or went into war work. At the Great Lakes Naval Base, one Episcopal priest regularly stood at the base gate to flag down cars to cadge rides for sailors heading into Chicago or Milwaukee.70

Interned Episcopalians

For one group of Episcopalians, life changed drastically when the Episcopalian heading the country signed executive orders requiring all those of Japanese birth or ancestry relocate from the West Coast and be interned in hastily constructed camps in the interior. In the camps, Episcopalians held their own services and Sunday schools separate from the interdenominational services provided for other Christian internees. The church issued no formal protests as the members of eight congregations were interned, including priests, the Reverend John Yamazaki from St. Mary’s in Los Angeles and the Reverend Daisuke Kitagawa of St. Peter’s in Seattle. Deaconess Margaret Peppers petitioned authorities to accompany the St. Peter’s congregation and another congregation in Kent to their camps. Required to live outside the camp, Margaret made a forty-mile round trip every day to the Minidoka camp to provide a variety of nursing and educational services.71

Episcopalians did work to salvage property for the interned Episcopalians and to mitigate conditions in the camps. The presiding bishop appointed Bishop Charles Reifsnider, who had been bishop in Japan until 1942, to have special oversight of the nine congregations of Japanese Americans (one congregation was outside the internment order region), and he spent much of the war traveling from one internment camp to another providing religious services. Beginning in 1943, internees began slowly to leave the camps. Episcopalians helped them find places to live, work, or study. Peppers and Kitigawa were the last two people of any church organization to leave camp Minidoka as it closed down.72

Postwar Anxieties

Desegregation of the Church

Another group of Episcopalians struggled during the war. African American Episcopalians were becoming increasingly vocal about separate and unequal facilities and practices everywhere, including in the church. As Episcopalian Thurgood Marshall led the NAACP legal team in attacks on unequal education, segregation on interstate transportation, restrictive covenants, and all-white primaries, white Episcopalians in southern dioceses reluctantly began to admit black clergy to diocesan conventions, one at a time, on the same terms as white clergy, as well as grant black parishes rights to elect representatives to diocesan conventions, integrate diocesan meetings for the Woman’s Auxiliary, and merge Bishop Payne Seminary with Virginia Theological Seminary.73

Suburban Growth

The war’s end brought veterans home, pushed many women out of war-time jobs, and led to a major growth of suburbs. As Episcopalians moved to the suburbs, they built new parishes, and women’s traditional roles as church community builders, fundraisers, and Sunday school teachers all were essential as the Episcopal Church experienced a major growth spurt. Some dioceses, like Pittsburgh, became leaders in worker relations and supporters of unions. At the same time, churches in urban cores were experiencing a loss of white members to suburban churches, while black congregations dealt with a new wave of migrants to the cities.74

Church work, which had been increasingly professionalized, also was being clericalized. As Episcopal seminaries opened tracks that laywomen could use, the long-standing schools for deaconesses and women workers closed one after another. Lay employees, many of them women, found fewer options by the 1960s. The number of women missionaries abroad precipitously declined. Church groups running orphanages, hospitals, and other care facilities faced greater challenges in achieving or keeping licensing. Many institutions closed, turned over management to professionals or nonprofit boards, or merged with other institutions.75

In a world dealing with atomic power, cold war, and social change on a large scale, Episcopalians responded in a number of positive ways. the Reverend Samuel Shoemaker was deeply involved in the formation and spread of Alcoholics Anonymous, which led to twelve-step groups for a variety of other addictions. His wife Helen Shoemaker was the founder of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer, an organization that spread internationally and sought through prayer to respond to the issues dividing the church and world. The Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship, founded in 1939, changed its name to the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and offered Episcopalians a way to witness for peace, disarmament, and nonviolence in a world on the brink of destruction.

Episcopalians and Rights for All

Episcopalians were deeply involved in the first stages of the Civil Rights movement that emerged after World War II. Responding to a religious obligation to care for others, do justice, and see all people as children of God, a group of black and white Episcopalians took action against segregation. Episcopalians made large contributions to landmark litigation challenging segregation. Pauli Murray, who had led a sit-in at a Washington, D.C., lunch counter in 1943 while a law student at Howard University, published States’ Laws on Race and Color in 1951, a book that Thurgood Marshall called the “Bible” for litigators. Marshall’s assistant in preparing the Brown v. Board of Education case was Episcopalian Constance Baker Motley (chief litigator in later NAACP cases), and they turned to psychologist Kenneth Clark (also Episcopalian) for crucial evidence on the impact of segregation. Episcopalian J. Waties Waring was the white federal judge who agreed with Marshall’s argument in 1947 and ruled that the all-white primary used by South Carolina Democrats was unconstitutional. Waring later urged Marshall to refile his brief in one of the four cases later heard by the Supreme Court as the Brown case. Waring, Murray, and Buchanan all urged Marshall to challenge segregation directly as unconstitutional.76

However, by 1956 Episcopalians looking for racial justice were finding increasing push-back from their own congregations, and from southern bishops unwilling to support full desegregation. White Episcopalians Carl and Ann Braden, Sarah Patton Boyle, Juliette Morgan, Elizabeth and Edmund Campbell, and Carter Hodding all faced threats and isolation. Some had their homes bombed. The Bradens faced charges of sedition. Blacks and their white allies formed groups to push the church to complete desegregation of its meetings, institutions, and schools, but when parishes included the very school-board members, city-council members, and owners of businesses resisting desegregation and voting rights, change was slow. Many white southern Episcopalians were enraged when the presiding bishop heeded arguments that the Episcopal Church’s 1955 General Convention should not be held in Houston because of the city’s segregation laws and moved the convention to Honolulu. The multicultural setting of that convention helped convince many Episcopalians that the church needed to take a broader approach to race, recognizing that race in America was more than black and white.77

As the Civil Rights movement changed tone and focus in the 1960s and other rights movements articulated goals and organized, Episcopalians entered a period of debate, division, and controversy. This was, after all, the church of both Thurgood Marshall and Barry Goldwater. In Atlanta, Episcopalians picketed an Episcopal school that refused to admit qualified African American applicants. In 1963 Bishop Carpenter of Alabama and six other clergy criticized publically Martin Luther King Jr. for continuing protests in Birmingham that they thought hindered their efforts to broker a compromise. King responded with his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The presiding bishop responded with a pastoral letter urging Episcopalians to join hands across a racial divide and work for justice. Many Episcopalians attended the March on Washington in 1963 as part of official church or diocesan deputations. In April 1964 three women, wives of Episcopal bishops (and one also the mother of the Governor of Massachusetts), were refused service in St. Augustine, Florida, because one of the three was black, and later in the day were arrested for participating in a protest. It was front-page news around the country. Holdout congregations remained, and in 1964 and 1965 mixed-race groups of Episcopalians held pray-ins outside Episcopal Churches that refused to let them in to worship. The next year over 500 Episcopalians were among the Civil Rights workers who gathered in Selma, and seminarian Jonathan Daniels became an Episcopal martyr by taking a shotgun blast in the chest intended for a young black woman.78

Black Power and Episcopalians

In an atmosphere of continued civil rights action in the South, the rise of black power, and a series of riots by blacks in impoverished areas of American cities, black Episcopalians moved away from coalition with sympathetic, but often paternalistic, whites and formed the Union of Black Clergy and Laity (now Union of Black Episcopalians) in 1968. Black clergy and congregations were especially concerned that the church seemed to make decisions about race without consulting them. This included a major denominational commitment of funds for work to improve conditions for blacks in urban areas. When a special General Convention was held in South Bend, Indiana, in 1969 to handle unfinished business from the 1967 General Convention, its focus soon turned to issues of race. At one point a black member of the convention wrested the microphone from Presiding Bishop John Hines. When black deputies could not convince the convention to let them turn their attention to a black power manifesto, they walked out of convention. The special convention of 1969 also saw protests by antiwar demonstrators. Many Episcopalians were alarmed by the disorderly convention and the attention paid to groups with seemingly radical agendas.79

Women’s Ministry Redefined

Another area of contention came to a head at the same time as the racial issues. Questions about women’s roles in governance and ministry resulted in renewed agitation for full inclusion of women in all levels of the church. Missouri had elected Elizabeth Dyer as a deputy to General Convention in 1946. Over opposition she was seated using an interpretation of “man” as generic. But the House of Deputies then passed a resolution specifying that women were not included in male language, and in 1949, four women chosen as deputies by their dioceses were refused seats. General Convention voted on and defeated measures to seat women as deputies for the next eighteen years. In 1958 the Woman’s Auxiliary renamed itself Episcopal Church Women and restructured its organization. Finally the 1967 General Convention voted to allow women to be members beginning with the 1970 convention. Native American groups, Hispanics, and Asians all formed church networks, and in 1974 Louie Crew gave LGBTQ Episcopalians a voice by founding Integrity.

Pressure to recognize deaconesses as part of the diaconate and ordain women to the priesthood mounted. Bishop Pike created an uproar by formally investing Deaconess Phillis Edwards as a deacon in late 1965. A year earlier the church had revised the deaconess canons to recognize it as an order and end requirements that deaconesses be single. Although frontier bishops had licensed some women to read services in the 19th century, church canons made no provision for this until 1961. Finally the special General Convention in 1969 opened lay reading and administering the cup at communion to both men and women.80 By then, many were pressing for admission of women to the ordained diaconate. The General Convention of 1970 made the canonical changes necessary to admit women as deacons and to recognize deaconesses fully as part of the historic diaconate. In 1971 women deacons and seminarians, lay leaders, and male clergy and supporters formed the Episcopal Women’s Caucus to build a network of support for women’s ordination. The Coalition of Concerned Churchmen coordinated the opposition to women’s ordination. At the 1973 General Convention, a majority of laity and clergy supported women’s ordination, but the measure failed because of a complicated voting procedure that required more than a simple majority. Women who supported the measure were crushed.81

Unwilling to wait decades (as had happened in the deputies battle and recognition of deaconesses as deacons), a group of women deacons explored with supportive clergy and bishops the possibility of going ahead with an ordination. When the men counseled waiting, the women walked out. A month later at a December 1973 ordination to the priesthood scheduled for male deacons in New York, five of the women presented themselves for ordination as well. Bishop Moore offered them only a blessing, and they walked out followed by nearly a third of those present. Similar demonstrations in other dioceses followed. Seeking to force the church to come to terms with women’s ordination to the priesthood, a group of women deacons worked quietly with a group of retired and resigned bishops, and at a black, inner-city parish in Philadelphia on July 29, 1974, eleven women deacons were ordained priest by three of the planning-group bishops witnessed by a congregation of 2000.82

The action touched off a firestorm. Four more women were ordained in September 1975 while the bishops continued to argue among themselves about taking disciplinary action against the bishops who participated in the ordinations. An emergency meeting of the House of Bishops convened at O’Hare airport in Chicago on August 14 and announced that “the ladies are not priests.” The regularly scheduled meeting of bishops in October 1974 declared the ordinations invalid because it had been done outside the rules and regulations of the Episcopal Church. Some of the male clergy who invited the ordained women to their parishes were punished, but at General Convention in Minneapolis in 1976, the rules were changed to make women eligible for ordination to the priesthood and to officially recognize and “regularize” the fifteen women already ordained.83 Bishops, however, had the authority to refuse to ordain in their diocese or to allow women to act as priests within a diocese.

Nonetheless, a number of dioceses began ordaining women in January 1977. Pauli Murray, civil rights advocate and feminist, was among the earliest—the first African American woman to be ordained priest. It would be thirty-two years before every diocese allowed women to enter and serve as priests. In 1989, Barbara Harris, who had served as crucifer at the ordination of the Philadelphia 11, was consecrated suffragan bishop of Massachusetts, the first woman to hold that office anywhere in the Anglican Communion. Harris was a known liberal, an African American, and former editor of the Episcopal magazine, the Witness. More women bishops followed, and in 2006 Bishop of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori, was elected presiding bishop of the church, the first woman to hold that office and the only female head of an Anglican Communion church.84

The opening of ordained ministry to women was accompanied by the rise of another form of gender politics—those who had sexual orientations and identities other than heterosexual. LGBTQ Episcopalians not only struggled to be affirmed as individuals in society, but also, if open about their sexuality, to be admitted to the sacraments and ministries of the church. Initially a majority of Episcopalians saw LGBTQ lifestyles and identities as sinful, but slowly as society’s attitudes began to shift, the focus of controversy for Episcopalians became LGBTQ admission to ordained ministry, especially for those in committed relationships. During the 1980s and early 1990s when AIDs was an epidemic with few treatment options, some Episcopalians stepped forward to create special ministries providing support for those dealing with the disease.

Liturgical and Theological Renewal

If racial turmoil and women’s and gay rights were not enough to leave many Episcopalians in the pews reeling, another strand of reform was coming to fruition. From 1967 to 1979, the Episcopal Church went through a major liturgical reform. Liturgy is what held together the varieties of Episcopalianism and served as the repository for belief in a denomination that did not have a confessional statement. Episcopalians were asked to try out and respond to a variety of drafts of a new Book of Common Prayer. The 1967 convention that made the first major commitment of funds to rebuilding black communities also approved the first trial liturgy for the new prayer book. The 1976 convention that finally approved women’s ordination to the priesthood also passed the first approval of two necessary to accept a new Book of Common Prayer. The same convention passed a resolution accepting LGBTQ people as children of God. It was the start of another thirty-year struggle for rights within the church.

Falling Numbers and Renewal

Further complicating matters for Episcopalians were widespread social changes that affected them and the church. The baby boom had been followed by 1974 by a plunge in birth rates. The U.S. birth rate had begun declining in 1965, but plunged between 1972 and 1974 and then remained low. Slightly higher rates from 1980 to 1992 were labelled a mini–baby boom but in fact remained lower than rates in the depth of the Depression. The birth rate among the college-educated middle class was even lower. Episcopalians were simply not having many children, a factor that had long-term effects on church membership.85 Even more discouraging, many of those who came of age in the 1960s and after rejected the institutional church.

Numbers might stagnate, but there were other kinds of growth. In 1960 a small number of Episcopalians became involved in the charismatic movement. They would form the Episcopal Charismatic Fellowship (later called the Episcopal Renewal Ministries) in 1973. From this movement came the Community of Celebration, which through its concerts and workshops introduced a new kind of music to Episcopal worship. Cursillo was a renewal movement that began in Spain, arrived in the United States in 1957, and had its first Episcopal weekend in 1970. The movement deepened faith for the many Episcopalians who have participated, and its members also were introduced to praise music. In 1975, Education for Ministry (EFM), offered by the University of the South at Sewanee, began spreading across the church. The four-year study program offered a deep look at theology in small groups and by 2016 had been taken by more than 80,000 Episcopalians. In 1990, the Alpha Course, a British import arrived in American churches, giving a decidedly evangelical emphasis to study. The result was a variety of new pressures on the liturgical worship and breadth of theology among Episcopalians.86

Church membership, however, continued to slide downward as it did for all of the older so-called mainline denominations. Immigration came largely from groups that had little connection to the Episcopal Church, and a resurgence of conservatism in the 1980s brought with it growth in theologically conservative evangelical churches. The entrance of women into the workforce and the integration of women into what had been male church governance structures undermined many traditional women’s ministries. Women’s traditional ministries simply looked like church housework to younger members and many feminists. In some dioceses the bishops ordered the Episcopal Church Women to disband. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer gave laity new roles in worship, but focused worship on the Eucharist, which required ordained clergy. The continued struggle for acceptance of women priests and LGBTQ clergy kept the church focused on ordained ministry, despite a catechism that now listed the laity as one of four orders of ministry.87

Conservative Revolt

Initial resistance

The convergence of liturgical reform using contemporary language and women’s ordination greatly troubled some traditional Episcopalians. They were further upset by radical theological positions espoused by a handful of prominent church leaders, notably Bishop James Pike and later Bishop John Shelby Spong. Conservatives first coalesced in 1971 as the Society for the Preservation of the Book of Common Prayer, and they were joined in 1976 by the Evangelical and Catholic Mission (later the Episcopal Synod and still later Forward in Faith–North America), and in 1987 by Episcopalians United. Each of these represented a different strand within those opposed to the direction the Episcopal Church was taking: liturgical conservatives, Anglo-Catholics, and Evangelicals, but all claimed to be loyal oppositions within the church. They agreed in their opposition to women’s ordination and full inclusion of LGBTQ people.88

Some decided to practice their faith outside the Episcopal Church. While a few congregations left in the 1960 in order to continue segregation practices, it was liturgical reform and the recognition of women’s orders that resulted in a number of congregations leaving to form the Anglican Church of North America in 1972. The group soon splintered into a variety of small denominations continuing to use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Many soon learned, to their chagrin, that leaving the Episcopal Church also meant leaving their beloved church property behind as the Episcopal Church won lawsuits recovering the property.

The Episcopal Church affirmed its traditional understanding of church property as a trust for the denomination by writing it into church canons in response the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision Jones v. Wolf. For much of the next thirty years, Episcopalians who were uncomfortable with the church were largely restrained by the fact they would have to leave their property behind. The urgency increased as diocese after diocese adopted ordination of women, women became bishops, and the Episcopal Church moved ever closer to acceptance of LGBTQ clergy. Conservatives looked to consolidate control over the most Anglo-Catholic of the church seminaries, Nashotah House; Evangelicals meanwhile were sending a stream of clergy into parishes from the deliberately conservative, evangelical seminary (Trinity School for Episcopal Ministry) they founded outside of Pittsburgh in 1976.89

Road toward Schism

By 1996 conservatives were moving on several fronts. A group of bishops filed charges against Bishop Walter Righter, who while acting as an assistant for Bishop Spong in New Jersey ordained an out, partnered gay man to the priesthood. The resulting church trial cleared Righter by declaring that no core doctrine of the Church had been violated, thus enraging conservatives more. Meanwhile a group of clergy formed First Promise, which became the leading edge of a new organization, the American Anglican Council (AAC), which initially received housing, technical support, and funding from the ultraconservative think tank the Institute on Religion and Democracy. In 1997 it became public that one of the most conservative Anglo-Catholic bishops, William Wantland, had incorporated in forty-five states under the Episcopal Church’s official name, the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, Inc. He claimed it was to ensure that there would always be a theologically orthodox body capable of holding the church assets. Two dioceses sued to get back the church’s name, and the matter was settled in 1999 in favor of the Episcopal Church.90

In 2003, Episcopalians once again met in General Convention in Minneapolis, and as in 1976, the convention was tumultuous. New Hampshire had elected a new bishop and needed confirmation by the General Convention before his consecration. The man elected was popular and well known in New Hampshire. He also was a divorced, out gay man living in a committed same-sex relationship. In Minneapolis, conservatives boycotted the worship planned by the convention and opted for their own services. When it became clear that V. Gene Robinson had the votes to be confirmed as Bishop of New Hampshire, conservatives floated rumors about his morality that delayed the vote, and then after he was approved, some walked out. A group of bishops stood as Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh read a protest and announced an October meeting of all concerned in Plano, Texas. Shortly after the session ended, the protesting bishops began calling special diocesan convention meetings to respond.91 The Archbishop of Canterbury called an October meeting of the heads of each of the churches in the Anglican Communion to respond to the controversy.92

Over the next decade, as the more liberal member churches of the Anglican Communion moved not only to affirm LGBTQ people in ministry, but to discuss or draft liturgies for same-sex unions or marriage, conservatives executed a revolt, allying with mostly African parts of the communion against the western churches, dividing dioceses, challenging canons, and eventually splitting five dioceses with votes to leave the Episcopal Church. Clusters of parishes in other dioceses also left, including several of the largest evangelical parishes in the church. While those who left were less than 5 percent of the Episcopal Church, the hurt and scars were widespread. Episcopalians found friends and families on the other side of the issue; people changed parish memberships to find a more compatible setting. In 2009 the groups that left the Episcopal Church joined with some of the bodies from earlier departures, including the Reformed Episcopal Church, to form the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). ACNA sought recognition from individual provinces in the Anglican Communion, but was denied recognition by the formal “Instruments of Union” of the Anglican Communion.93

In all but the smallest diocese involved in the split, groups of mainstream Episcopalians formed organizations in 2003 to resist the move toward schism, and in March 2004 groups from ten dioceses formed a loose coalition called Via Media USA. In the dioceses where the split became reality, the groups joined with other Episcopalians who wished to remain in The Episcopal Church, and reorganized each diocese following votes by the diocesan convention to leave the church. Without access to any of the diocesan infrastructure or equipment, Episcopalians scrambled to create mailing lists, set up bank accounts, find office equipment, find clergy for remnant congregations, and establish administrative procedures. Volunteers stepped forward, providing time and services. Church property was contested in lawsuits. In four of the dioceses facing open schism (San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Quincy, and South Carolina), many of those remaining in the Episcopal Church did not have access to the church buildings while lawsuits wound their way slowly through various levels of the courts. They met in libraries, chapels, restaurants, and buildings belonging to other denominations.94

Thanks to a 2005 settlement following a 2003 lawsuit by Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, loyal Episcopalians there regained control of diocesan property and name in early 2010. The court decision left many ACNA congregations in buildings owned by the Episcopal diocese. Over time, five congregations returned to the Pittsburgh Episcopal diocese. Several ACNA congregations turned their buildings over to TEC and found other quarters, but eight years after the split, there were still ACNA congregations in Episcopal buildings.

San Joaquin finally closed its legal battles in 2016, but issues remain unresolved in Fort Worth and South Carolina. The smallest diocese, Quincy, eventually became a part of the Diocese of Chicago. Lawsuits in Virginia over parish properties were only settled after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of court decisions favoring the Episcopalians.95

Liberal Ascendancy

The withdrawal of the most adamant conservatives, both high church and evangelical, meant Episcopalians moved with greater confidence to affirm liberal social causes. In 2015 they approved measures allowing parishes to celebrate marriages between same-sex couples, and elected a new presiding bishop, Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina.96 The first African American presiding bishop thus followed on the heels of the first woman to serve in that office. Episcopalians responded to the changing times by speaking out more on issues of social concern. In 2016, members of St. James Church in Canonball, North Dakota, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, were at the center of efforts to halt construction of an oil pipeline that threatened the reservation’s water supply (and that of many other communities downstream on the Missouri River). Not only did Curry and many clergy participate in the protest, but dioceses and Episcopalians around the country sent contributions. Other Episcopalians took active leadership roles in the women’s marches held in January 2016, declared themselves immigration sanctuaries, and organized interfaith demonstrations to support Muslims threatened by executive orders signed by the new president. Episcopalians were still a diverse group, including conservatives, but the liberals in the church held the balance of power.97

Discussion of the Literature

Literature on Anglicans and Episcopalians in America falls into three general categories: Institutional histories, biographies of famous clergy and laity, and books on specific ethnic or gendered groups of Episcopalians. In general scholars and popular works have treated Episcopal history as a study of elites and, because of its combination of catholic and Protestant traditions, have often excluded it from studies of Protestantism.

19th-century churchmen began gathering the documents and writing institutional histories and biographies. Current scholarship is still struggling to break free of the initial interpretative frameworks set by the original scholars. For the colonial period, no work was more influential than that by Bishop William Meade, whose evangelical biases led him to be highly critical of clergy and a church he found immoral and lacking in proper evangelical fervor. Francis Hawks was the pioneer in institutional history, but S. D. McConnell produced the first “standard” history of the church, which passed through eleven editions between 1890 and 1934.98 McConnell set the initial historical interpretation of the struggle between high and low church. The current standard institutional history is by Robert Prichard, but the work that comes the closest to breaking out of the institutional framework and telling the story of the members of the church is a short book by David Hein and Gardner Shattuck Jr.99

In 1932 the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church began publishing a quarterly journal, the Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which has been the major source of modern scholarly articles under its original and its current title, Anglican and Episcopal History. Unfortunately secular scholars have often ignored its articles and continued to rely on the 19th-century studies. The result is two widely differing tracks of interpretation, one reflecting 19th-century evangelical mindsets, and another taking the Episcopal Church on its own terms.100

Revived interest in colonial Anglicanism in the 1960s led to a major reassessment of Episcopalians and their church, which is still underway. Scholars used approaches from social history to reassess colonial clergy without applying an evangelical litmus test, explore the theology and actual practice of piety in colonial families, take fresh looks at the episcopacy controversy and disestablishment, and create a more complex understanding of the impact of the Great Awakening on Episcopalians.101 These studies have showed Episcopalians to be flawed in the ways typical of their own times, but also dedicated practitioners of a religion that gave them comfort and support, and was served by a clergy that was relatively hard working, faithful, and respectable. Episcopalians were part of a vibrant and growing church, which, while controlled by elites, had a membership that cut across all classes.

Social historians have also been busy rewriting the history of Episcopalians. Many of the histories celebrating milestone anniversaries for parishes, dioceses, and organizations related to the church have linked their subjects to the communities around them or to larger social movements. Newer studies have placed Episcopalians in the context of material culture, class conflict, and social reform. Some of the most interesting work has documented how a relatively small church that struggled to rebuild after the American Revolution continued to have a major impact on popular culture, art, music, and politics.102

The Civil Rights and women’s movements brought renewed interest in the history of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in all aspects of American history. Scholars began by looking at the struggles for inclusion by various groups within the institutional church. Only recently has work expanded to look at lay ministries and consider aspects of Episcopal history not tied to structures of church governance. Within this literature is a vibrant strain of autobiography.103

The traditionalist movement and the eventual schism it led to have already attracted scholarly attention. Both scholars and journalists have weighed in, working with a variety of sources; however, because of the freshness of events, these studies all have access to only a portion of the documentary record and some authors are participants in the events.104 There is a fascinating social, political, and theological story yet to be fully fleshed out from these events.

Primary Sources

Primary sources for studying Episcopalians are found scattered throughout the country in diocesan and parish archives, in the collections of the Archives of the Episcopal Church and in state and local historical societies and libraries. The Archives of the Episcopal Church includes a number of special collections including records gathered by the Episcopal Women’s History Project. The Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, is the home for a new special collection of materials on African Americans in the Episcopal Church. The originals of many records from the colonial period are in England, but beginning in the 19th century, scholars began copying and transcribing key collections and publishing them in the United States. In the 20th century, the Virginia Colonial Records Project resulted in thousands of records being microfilmed and made available to researchers through Colonial Williamsburg and the Virginia State Library. These include much of the correspondence among clergy, colonial officials, and the Bishops of London. Diocesan convention journals from the earliest years to the early 20th century are available online through the University of Pennsylvania and the Hathi Trust, and many out-of-print works are in a collection maintained by the Society of Justus. Episcopalians have produced a number of published memoirs ranging from the memoirs of the centenarian Delany Sisters to those of the 19th-century Bishop Henry Whipple.

Further Reading

Anderson, Owanah. 400 Years: Anglican/Episcopal Mission Among American Indians. Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement, 1997.Find this resource:

    Bond, Edward L. Damned Souls in a Tobacco Colony: Religion in Seventeenth-Century Virginia. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2000.Find this resource:

      Bond, Edward L., and Joan R. Gundersen. The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 1607–2007. Richmond, VA: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, 2007.Find this resource:

        Contosta, David R., ed. This Far by Faith: Tradition and Change in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.Find this resource:

          Darling, Pamela. New Wine: The Story of Women Transforming Leadership and Power in the Episcopal Church. Boston: Cowley, 1994.Find this resource:

            Donovan, Mary Sudman. A Different Call: Women’s Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850–1920. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow, 1986.Find this resource:

              Hein, David, and Gardner Shattuck Jr. The Episcopalians. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.Find this resource:

                Lewis, Harold. Yet With a Steady Beat: The African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996.Find this resource:

                  Mills, Frederick V., Sr. Bishops by Ballot: An Eighteenth Century Ecclesiastical Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.Find this resource:

                    Prelinger, Catherine M., ed. Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.Find this resource:

                      Prichard, Robert W. A History of the Episcopal Church: Third Revised Edition—Complete through the 78th General Convention. New York: Morehouse, 2014.Find this resource:

                        Shattuck, Gardiner, Jr. Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2000.Find this resource:

                          Thompsett, Fredrica Harris, and Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, eds. Deeper Joy: Lay Women and Vocation in the 20th Century Episcopal Church. New York: Church Publishing, 2005.Find this resource:

                            Winner, Lauren F. A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.Find this resource:


                              (1.) The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake Being His Next Voyage to To That to Nombre de Dios: Collated with an Unpublished Manuscript of Francis Fletcher, Chaplain to the Expedition (London: Hakluyt Society, 1854), 222; and James Horn, A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke (New York: Basic Books), 158–160.

                              (2.) Edward L. Bond, Damned Souls in a Tobacco Colony: Religion in Seventeenth-Century Virginia (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2000), 119–122, 128.

                              (3.) 1662 Book of Common Prayer; and Bond, Damned Souls, 263–268.

                              (4.) Bond, Damned Souls, 124–126, 131–140.

                              (5.) David Hein and Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr., The Episcopalians (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004), 17.

                              (6.) Peter Carroll, The Other Samuel Johnson: A Psychohistory of Early New England (Rutherford: NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1978), 41–47, 127–129, 132–154, 200–211; and Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 191–192.

                              (7.) Joan R. Gundersen, “The Myth of the Independent Virginia Vestry,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 44 (June 1975): 133–141.

                              (8.) Joan R. Gundersen, “The Non-Institutional Church: The Religious Role of Women in Eighteenth-Century Virginia,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 51 (December 1982): 353.

                              (9.) Gundersen, “Non-Institutional,” 349–351; Lauren F. Winner, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practices in the Elite Households of Eighteenth Century Virginia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), 27–38, 49–50, 119–140.

                              (10.) Edward L. Bond, ed. Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia: Preaching Religion and Community with Selected Sermons and other Primary Documents (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005), 45–47.

                              (11.) Gerald J. Goodwin, “Christianity, Civilization, and the Savage: The Anglican Mission to the American Indian,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 42 (1973): 102–104.

                              (12.) Gundersen, To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740–1790 (New York: Twayne, 1996), 11–14, 45–46, 155.

                              (13.) Michelle Gillespie, “The Sexual Politics of Race and Gender: Mary Musgrove and the Georgia Trustees,” in The Devil’s Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South, eds. Catheringe Clinton and Michelle Gillespie (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1997), 187–201.

                              (14.) Bond, Spreading the Gospel, 50; and Gundersen, The Anglican Ministry in Virginia, 1723–1776: A Study of a Social Class (New York: Garland, 1989), 107.

                              (15.) Thad W. Tate, The Negro in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1965), 139–150.

                              (16.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 35–38.

                              (17.) Frederick V. Mills, Bishops by Ballot: An Eighteenth Century Ecclesiastical Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 41–53.

                              (18.) Joan R. Gundersen, “‘We Bear the Yoke with a Reluctant Impatience’: The War for Independence and Virginia’s Displaced Women,” in War and Society in the American Revolution, eds. John Resch and Walter Sargent (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2007), 262–288.

                              (19.) Gundersen, Anglican Ministry in Virginia, 148–156; Arthur Middleton, Tercentenary Essays Commemorating Anglican Maryland, 1692–1792 (Virginia Beach, VA: Donning, 1992), 45–46.

                              (20.) Nancy Rhoden, Revolutionary Anglicanism: The Colonial Church of England Clergy during the American Revolution (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 103–115; and Thomas Buckley, Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977), passim.

                              (21.) Middleton, Anglican Maryland, 50–51; Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 1607–2007 (Richmond, VA: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, 2007), 47–52; and Peter Doll, Revolution, Religion and National Identity: Imperial Anglicanism in British North America, 1745–1795 (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 2000), 217–226.

                              (22.) Mills, Bishops by Ballot, 233–263.

                              (23.) Mills, Bishops by Ballot, 237–242; Richard Rankin, Ambivalent Churchmen and Evangelical Churchwomen: The Religion of the Episcopal Elite in North Carolina, 1800–1860 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993), 1–22; and William Pencak, “From Anglicans to Episcopalians: The Revolutionary Years, 1775–1790,” in This Far by Faith: Tradition and Change in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, ed. David R. Constosta (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), 59–70.

                              (24.) Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the States of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina Held in Christ-Church in the City of Philadelphia, from September 27th to October 7th, 1785 (Philadelphia: Printed by Hall and Sellers, 1785); and Middleton, Anglican Maryland, 51.

                              (25.) Mills, Bishops by Ballot, 264–287.

                              (26.) Emma Jones Lapansky-Werner, “Identity, Spirituality, and Organization: The Episcopal Church in Early Pennsylvania, 1790–1820,” in This Far by Faith, 87–110.

                              (27.) Journal of the Proceedings of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia, Which Assembled at Norfolk, on Thursday the Seventeenth of May 1871 (Richmond: Printed by John Warrock, 1821), 22, 24.

                              (28.) Harold Lewis, Yet With a Steady Beat: The African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996), 27–31.

                              (29.) Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 67–68; and Elizabeth Varon, We Mean to Be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 43–47.

                              (30.) Lewis, Yet With a Steady Beat, 32–37.

                              (31.) “Fondly, Pennsylvania: Notes from the Archives and Conservation” (Historical Society of Pennsylvania, July 20, 2011).

                              (32.) Rankin, Ambivalent Churchmen, 89–93.

                              (33.) The Constitution of the Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances (Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, Bookseller and Stationer, 1803), 18–21; and Elizabeth Varon, We Mean to Be Counted, 11.

                              (34.) Charles Cashdollar, “New Growth and New Challenges, 1820–1840,” in This Far by Faith, 130–131; Joan Gundersen, “The Local Parish as a Female Institution: The Experience of All Saints Episcopal Church in Frontier Minnesota,” Church History 55 (1989): 307–322; Joan R. Gundersen, “Breaching the Walls of the Enclosed Garden,” Presentation for the Library of Virginia Symposium, March 19, 2005; and Rankin, Ambivalent Churchmen, 53.

                              (35.) Donovan, A Different Call, 66–87; Pamela Darling, New Wine: The Story of Women Transforming Leadership and Power in the Episcopal Church (Boston: Cowley, 1994), 18–28; Joan R. Gundersen, “Parallel Churches? Women and the Episcopal Church, 1850–1980,” Mid-America: An Historical Review 69 (1987): 87–94; and Joan R. Gundersen, “Women and the Parallel Church: A View from Congregations,” in Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality, and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination, ed. Catherine Prelinger (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), 111–120.

                              (36.) Margaret Douglass, Educational Laws of Virginia: The Personal Narrative of Mrs. Margaret Douglass, A Southern Woman, Who Was Imprisoned for One Month in the Common Jail of Norfolk Under the Laws of Virginia for the Crime of Teaching Free Colored Children to Read (Boston: John P. Jewett, 1854); Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 67–68; Lapansky-Werner, “Identity, Spirituality, and Organization,” 104–105; Cashdollar, “New Growth and New Challenges,” in This Far by Faith, 116–117; Anne M. Boylan, Sunday School: The Formation of an American Institution (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988), 14–21; and Rankin, Ambivalent Churchmen, 89.

                              (37.) E. Susan Barber, “Sally Louisa Tompkins: Confederate Healer,” and Elizabeth R. Varon, “Elizabeth Van Lew: Southern Lady, Union Spy,” both in Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times, vol. 1, eds. Cynthia A. Kierner and Sandra Gioia Treadway (London: University of Georgia Press, 2015), 344–362 and 305–322.

                              (38.) T. Felder Dorn, Challenges on the Emmaus Road: Episcopal Bishops Confront Slavery, Civil War, and Emancipation (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2013).

                              (39.) Caroline E. Janney., “Ladies’ Memorial Associations,” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, March 8, 2012.

                              (40.) Note that these statistics are not parallel. The church would have had many more baptized members than it did confirmed members. Since the Episcopal Church practices infant baptism, one was expected to grow in the faith after baptism. Confirmation was reserved for those old enough to make an independent commitment of faith and was usually done after extensive preparation. Many white adult members were not confirmed. Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 123; and Harold T. Lewis. Yet with a Steady Beat: The African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996), 39–46.

                              (41.) Meditations from the Pen of Mrs. Maria W. Stewart, (Widow of the Late James W. Stewart.) Now Matron of the Freedman’s Hospital, and Presented to the First African Baptist Church and Society of Boston, Mass. First Published by W. Lloyd Garrison and Knap. Now Most Respectfully Dedicated to the Church Militant of Washington, D.C. (Washington, DC: Enterprise Publishing, 1879).

                              (42.) Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 125–126.

                              (43.) Mary Sudman Donovan, A Different Call: Women’s Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850–1920 (Wilton, CT: Morehouse Barlow, 1986), 53–59; Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 123–127; and Lewis, Yet with a Steady Beat, 65–81.

                              (44.) Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, A Voice from the South (Xenia, OH: Aldine, 1892); and Frances Richardson Keller, “Cooper, Anna Julia Haywood,” American National Biography Online, February 2000; and Lewis, Yet with a Steady Beat, 86–108.

                              (45.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 68–70; and Julia Emery, A Century of Endeavor, 1821–1921: A Record of the First Hundred Years of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, New York: Department of Missions, 1921, 36.

                              (46.) Gustav Niebuhr, Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, A Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors (New York: Harper One, 2014), 13–14, 22–50, 73–116, 122–124, 135–170.

                              (47.) Joan R. Gundersen, “Before the World Confessed”: All Saints Parish, Northfield, and the Community, 1858–1985 (Northfield, MN: Northfield Historical Society, 1987), 20–25; and Joan Gundersen, “Rural Gothic: Episcopal Churches on the Minnesota Frontier,” Minnesota History 50 (Fall 1987): 263–265.

                              (48.) Penne Restad, “Christmas in Nineteenth-Century America,” History Today 45 (December, 1995); Harold B. Gill Jr., “Christmas Trees, the Confederacy, and Colonial Williamsburg”; David DeSimone, “Another Look at Christmas in the Eighteenth Century,” The Colonial Williamsburg Interpreter 16 (Winter 1995–1996); and Alfred H. Marks, “Moore, Clement Clarke,” American National Biography Online (February 2000).

                              (49.) Gundersen, “Rural Gothic,” 259–268.

                              (50.) Peter W. Williams, Religion, Art, and Money: Episcopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016), 175–214; and Marie Conn, “The Church and the City, 1840–1865,” in This Far by Faith, 161–165.

                              (51.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 64–75; Williams, Religion, Art and Money, 3–8.

                              (52.) Cashdollar, “The Church and the City,” in This Far by Faith, 134–137; Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 70–72; and Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 85–96.

                              (53.) Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 119.

                              (54.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 90–94.

                              (55.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 72–75.

                              (56.) Donovan, A Different Call, 29–51.

                              (57.) Donovan, A Different Call, 41–51.

                              (58.) Donovan, A Different Call, 102–107.

                              (59.) Donovan, A Different Call, 88–105, 120–122; Williams, Religion, Art and Money, 116–150.

                              (60.) The first two bishops of Pittsburgh (John Kerfoot 1865–1881 and Cortland Whitehead 1882–1922) often noted finding clusters of working-class immigrants in the small towns of western Pennsylvania who were used to the English Book of Common Prayer. In Barnesboro, the owners of the coal mine built St. Thomas Church in the 1890s while the workers themselves built St. Thomas Church in Canonsburg after renting space for a number of years. “St. Thomas, Barnesboro” and “St. Thomas Canonsburg,” manuscript histories, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Archives.

                              (61.) Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, That they May Have Life: The Episcopal Church in South Dakota, 1859–1976 (New York: Seabury Press, 1977), 17–62;A Japanese American Church Turns 100”; “History,” St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; and Andrew Otani, A History of Japanese American Episcopal Churches (Minneapolis, MN: Andrew Otani, 1980).

                              (62.) Williams, Religion, Art and Money, 117–147, 175–204.

                              (63.) Joanna B. Gillespie, “The Companions of the Holy Cross: A Vocation to Prayer Companionship,” in Deeper Joy: Lay Women and Vocation in the 20th Century Episcopal Church, eds. Fredrica Harris Thompsett and Sheryl Kujawa Holbrook (New York: Church Publishing, 2005), 55–68; Mary Donovan, “Creating a Neighborhood: The Social Service Networks of Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch,” in Deeper Joy, 165–179; and Jacqueline Schmitt, “‘Sacrifical Adventure’: Episcopal Women of the Progressive Era,” in Deeper Joy, 180–192.

                              (64.) Darling, New Wine, 56–59.

                              (65.) Darling, New Wine, 41–64, 109; Donovan, A Different Call, 171–173.

                              (67.) Olivia DeHaviland is currently a member of the Episcopal congregation in Paris, France, and serves as a lector (reader of the Bible passages) there. The Right Reverend Pierre Whalon, “Reading the Bible as an Act of Faith.”

                              (68.) Kirsten Downey, The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience (New York: Nan A. Talese, 2009); and Pauli Murray, Song in a Wearly Throat: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987), 189–197, 283–293.

                              (69.) Monroe Billington and Cal Clark, “The Episcopal Clergy and the New Deal: Clerical Responses to Franklin D. Roosevelt's Letter of Inquiry, September 1935,” Historical Magazine of the Episcopal Church 52 (September, 1983): 293–305; Gundersen, Before the World Confessed, 114–120; Gardiner Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2000), 27–32; and Lewis, Yet with a Steady Beat, 135–142.

                              (70.) Gundersen, Before the World Confessed, 128–129; C. Charles Vaché, A History of Trinity Church, Portsmouth Parish, Portsmouth, Virginia, 1761–62 to 1961–62 (Portsmouth, VA: Trinity Church, 1962), 136–137; and Charles Rezner, Interviews, CD-Rom, personal property of the author, copy also available at Arlington Heights, IL, Historical Society.

                              (71.) Linda Popp Di Biase, “Neither Harmony nor Eden: Margaret Peppers and the Exile of the Japanese Americans,” Anglican and Episcopal History 70 (March 2001): 101–117.

                              (73.) Bond and Gundersen, The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 148–154; and Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race, 37–42.

                              (74.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 119–123; William W. Cutler III, “A Church on Wheels, 1945–1963,” in This Far by Faith, 262–280; Joseph D. Cushman Jr., The Sound of Bells: The Episcopal Church in South Florida, 1892–1969 (Gainsville: University Presses of Florida, 1976), 278–291; and Rima Lunin Schultz, “Woman’s Work and Woman’s Calling in the Episcopal Church: Chicago, 1880–1989,” in Episcopal Women, 45–52.

                              (75.) Pamela Darling, New Wine: the Story of Women Transforming Leadership and Power in the Episcopal Church (Boston: Cowley, 1994), 83–89, 108–109; Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 123–126; Ian T. Douglas, “Thankful for Their Offerings? Episcopal Women in Foreign Mission Work,” in Deeper Joy, 135–150; and Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, “Catalysts for the Gospel: Adelaide Teague Case and Episcopal Women in Education, 1940–70,” in Deeper Joy, 89–103.

                              (76.) Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race, 60–79.

                              (77.) Lewis, Yet With a Steady Beat, 137–144; Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race, 79–88; Gardiner H. Shattuck, “Desegregated Hearts: Four Southern Women and the Struggle for Racial Equality,” Deeper Joy, 193–206; and Mary Stanton, Journey toward Justice: Juliette Hampton Morgan and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (London: University of Georgia Press, 2006), 123–196.

                              (78.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 135–136; Lewis, Yet With a Steady Beat, 147–160; Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race, 135–160.

                              (79.) Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race, 163–206.

                              (80.) Gundersen, “Women and the Parallel Church,” 117–118; Darling, New Wine, 102–104.

                              (81.) Heather Huyck, “Indelible Change: Woman Priests in the Episcopal Church,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 51 (December 1982): 385–398.

                              (82.) Darling, New Wine, 122–129; Sandra Boyd, “A Woman’s Journey Towards Priesthood: An Autobiographical Study from the 1950s through the 1960s,” in Episcopal Women, 272–274.

                              (83.) Darling, New Wine, 132–150; Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 139–143; Mary S. Donovan, Women Priests in the Episcopal Church: the Experience of the First Decade (Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement Publications), 1–28.

                              (84.) Murray, Autobiography, 432; Darling, New Wine, 194–195; Diane Butler Bass, “Reflecting on Outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s Tenure as Episcopal Church Brings in New Leader,” Washington Post, June 27, 2015.

                              (86.) Betty Pulkingham, This Is My Story, This Is My Song: A Life Journey (Grand Rapids, MI: WestBow Press, 2011); Julia Duin, Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community (Ashland, OH: Crossland Press, 2009); and Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 136–139.

                              (87.) Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 147–150; Patricia N. Page, “‘Looking Backward—to Look Forward’: Grace Lindley, Margaret Sherman, and Frances Young,” in Deeper Joy, 234–250; Mary Sudman Donovan, “Beyond the Parallel Church: Strategies of Separatism and Integration in the Governing Councils of the Episcopal Church,” Episcopal Women, 133–163.

                              (88.) Darling, New Wine, 138–169; Hein and Shattuck, The Episcopalians, 147–150.

                              (89.) Nancy Carol James, The Developing Schism within the Episcopal Church 1960–2010: Social Justice, Ordination of Women, Charismatics, Homosexuality, Extra-Territorial Bishops, etc. (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2010).

                              (91.) Stephen Bates, A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005).

                              (92.) Harold T. Lewis, The Recent Unpleasantness: Calvary Church’s Role in the Preservation of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock: 2015), 6–32, 37–51; Elizabeth Adams, Going to Heaven: The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2006); and Stephen Levin, “Episcopal Bishop, Others Propose Resolutions to Disengage from National Church,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 28, 2003.

                              (93.) Lewis, Recent Unpleasantness, 42–62, 81–97; “Anglican Church in North America: Our Genesis”; Christopher Craig Brittain, A Plague on Both Their Houses: Liberal vs. Conservative Christians and the Divorce of the Episcopal Church USA (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015); and Frank G. Kirkpatrick, The Episcopal Church in Crisis: How Sex, the Bible, and Authority are Dividing the Faithful (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008).

                              (94.) Deborah Zacher, “Via Media Groups Appeal to the Center”; G. Jeffrey MacDonald, “San Joaquin: Case Closed,” The Living Church, July 14, 2016;Legal Setback for the Diocese of Fort Worth,” March 2, 2015; Mary Frances Schjonberg, “Reorganized Diocese of Fort Worth Is ‘Participating in Resurrection’: Episcopalians Are Learning How To ‘Be Church,’ Not Just ‘Go To Church’.” The information on Pittsburgh is from personal knowledge of the author, who serves as archivist for the diocese and was property administrator from 2010 to 2014.

                              (98.) William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, in Two Volumes (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1861); Francis Hawks, Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of the United States of America, 2 vols. (New York: Harper, 1836–1839); and S. D. McConnell, History of the American Episcopal Church, 1600–1915, 11th ed. (Milwaukee: Morehouse Publishing, 1934).

                              (99.) Robert Prichard, A History of the Episcopal Church: Complete through the 78th General Convention, 3d ed. (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2014); and David Hein and Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr., The Episcopalians (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004).

                              (100.) Dell Upton, Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia (New York: MIT Press, 1986); and George MacLaren Brydon, Virginia’s Mother Church and the Political Conditions Under Which It Grew, 2 vols. (Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1947–1952).

                              (101.) Lauren F. Winner, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of the Eighteenth-Century Virginia (London: Yale University Press, 2010); S. Charles Bolton, Southern Anglicanism: the Church of England in Colonial South Carolina (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982); Edward L. Bond, Damned Souls in a Tobacco Colony: Religion in Seventeenth-Century Virginia (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2000); Nancy L. Rhoden, Revolutionary Anglicanism: the Colonial Church of England Clergy during the American Revolution (New York: New York University Press, 1999); and Frederick V. Mills, Sr., Bishops by Ballot: An Eighteent-Century Ecclesiastical Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978).

                              (102.) Peter Williams, Religion, Art, and Money: Episcopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016); Anne M. Boylan, Sunday School: the Formation of an American Institution, 1790–1880 (London: Yale University Press, 1988); and Richard Rankin, Ambivalent Churchmen and Evangelical Churchwomen: The Religion of the Episcopal Elite in North Carolina, 1800–1860 (Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1993).

                              (103.) Harold, J. Lewis, Yet with a Steady Beat: the African American Struggle for Recognition in the Episcopal Church (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996); Gardiner Shattuck, Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2000); A Different Call: Women’s Ministries in the Episcopal Church, 1850–1920 (Wilton, CT: Morehouse Barlow, 1986); New Wine: The Story of Women Transforming Leadership and Power in the Episcopal Church (Boston: Cowley, 1994); Heather Huyck, “To Celebrate a Whole Priesthood: The History of Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church (PhD diss., University of Minnesota, 1981); Fredrica Harris Thompsett and Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, eds., Deeper Joy: Lay Women and Vocation in the 20th Century Episcopal Church (New York: Church Publishing, 2005); Catherine M. Prelinger, Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992); and Pauli Murray, Song in a Weary Throat: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987).

                              (104.) Harold Lewis, The Recent Unpleasantness: Calvary Church’s Role in the Preservation of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2015); Christopher Craig Brittain, A Plague on Both Their Houses: Liberal vs. Conservative Christians and the Divorce of the Episcopal Church USA (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015); Jane Onstad Lamb, ed. Hurt, Joy, and the Grace of God: A Resurrection Story of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, California (New York: Applecart Books, 2012); and Stephen Bates, A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality (London: I. B. Tauris, 2004).