The Colored Congregations
May 23, 1866
Blacks are finding a home in the Episcopal Church, but lack of racial separation leads to the question of how these churches will now be represented.
THE COLORED CONGREGATIONS. It is known that from about 1860 until the collapse of the Confederacy, the Episcopal Church was very energetic in the endeavor to establish African churches. The fact of emancipation so changed the relations of the races that many of those who were willing to give and to work for the slaves appeared to lose all interest in the "freedmen." Still, many of the emancipated clung to the Episcopal Church, and were anxious to share all its advantages. According to the theory of this church, there would hardly be separate organizations for whites and blacks as in other churches, and so the question must be in course of time- how shall the colored churches be represented? At present the question is not a practical one, nor will it be for a long time, as years will probably pass by ere the colored churches can comply with all the requirements of the canons of Virginia. Still, in order to encourage the colored churches, it has felt that some special provision ought to be made for them in the way of representation. To meet this necessity, the Council appointed a standing committee of clergy and laity, who shall be charged with the duty of attending to the interests of these congregations and of representing them in the Council.
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“The Colored Congregations,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/171.