Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History
Dedication of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection
The formal dedication and opening of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection at Virginia Theological Seminary will take place on Thursday, 24 February 2005. This project to document the history and contributions of African Americans to the life and ministry of the Episcopal Church in the United States, is a partnership of Virginia Seminary, through the Bishop Payne Library, and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. The dedicatory events spotlight the unique contributions of African Americans to our church and celebrate the establishment of this distinctive collection of archival material that documents the past to inform the present and the future.
The events of the day begin at 2:00 PM with a ribbon cuttting and tours of the archives at 2:30 PM. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the Bishop Payne Library, the Seminary Archives, and the location of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection, as well as the VTS Archives and Manuscript Collections. A tour highlight will be "Faces and Places: Images of the Bishop Payne Divinity School," a photographic exhibit of the African American seminary in Petersburg, Virginia, which merged with VTS in 1953 and for which the Bishop Payne Library was named.
The Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson, Jr., Bishop of Southern Ohio, will present the keynote address in the Lettie Pate Evans Auditorium at 3:30 PM. Focusing on the African American past in the Episcopal Church as a foundation for the future, his remarks will draw upon his personal experience as an African American Christian leader whose life encompasses his country's transition from a society in which de jure and de facto segregation were sanctioned, to a society committed to integration and respect for diversity. A panel of four distinguished scholars will respond with reflections upon Bishop Thompson's address from their own perspectives: Dr. Thaddeus W. Tate, Jr., President of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and Professor Emeritus of American History at the College of William and Mary; the Rev. Canon J. Robert Wright, Historiographer of the Episcopal Church and St. Mark's Professor of Ecclesiastical History at General Theological Seminary; the Rev. …