Fr. Raphael Morgan

The Birth of Fr. Raphael Morgan

So I think I found something I’ve been looking for for many, many years — the birthdate of Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. First, the backstory. Until now, the closest I’ve been able to get to nailing down a birthdate for Fr. Raphael is to say, “circa 1864 to 1871.”…

Unsolved mysteries of American Orthodoxy

Yesterday, I published a brief article on Fr. Stephen Andreades, the first resident priest of the first Orthodox parish in the contiguous United States — Holy Trinity in New Orleans. The entire early history of that parish is something of a mystery. We know who the early priests were — Andreades, Fr. Gregory Yiayias, Fr.…

Newly-discovered documents on Fr. Raphael Morgan

We’ve devoted a fair amount of attention here at OrthodoxHistory.org to Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. Very briefly: Morgan was born in Jamaica, traveled widely, and eventually became an Episcopalian deacon in the United States. In 1907, after many years of study, he traveled to Constantinople and was received into…

“The Stormy Petrel of the Cloth”

We’ve spent a lot of time on this website talking about Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. Morgan was attached to the Greek church in Philadelphia. When he went to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be ordained in 1907, he had two letters in his possession. One was from the Greek community…

Fr. Raphael Morgan against Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey was a widely influential black nationalist from Jamaica. He promoted black pride and championed the “back to Africa” movement. In 1916, when he was just 29 years old and at the outset of his public career, he visited¬†the United States and embarked on a 38-state speaking tour. Not all of the black Americans…