Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites Episcopalians to deepen their participation in Christ’s ministry of reconciliation by dedicating offerings at observances of the Feast of Absalom Jones to support the two remaining Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs): St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina.
St. Augustine’s and Voorhees provide an excellent liberal arts education to thousands of students, the vast majority of whom come from low-income households, and over 40% of whom are the first in their families to attend a four-year college. These schools also provide robust campus ministries which both evangelize and form young adults as followers of Jesus and his way of love.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are essential institutions that help prepare people from diverse backgrounds for success in an array of vital professions,” Presiding Bishop Curry said. “As we approach the celebration of Blessed Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in The Episcopal Church, it is fitting that we honor his memory by lending our support to two schools that continue to form new African-American leaders. The Episcopal Church is delighted to designate Saint Augustine’s University and Voorhees College as the beneficiaries of the 2020 Feast of Absalom Jones offerings.”
The two institutions of higher education were founded in the later 19th century to provide educational opportunities to formerly enslaved persons. “These schools bring educational, economic, and social opportunity to often resource-poor communities, and they offer many blessings into the life of The Episcopal Church,” Curry said.
Donations to the HBCUs will help support scholarships and financial aid for students in need as well as funding for quality facilities, faculty recruitment and retention, and the development of religious life on campus.
“The Episcopal Church established and made a life-long covenant with these schools, and they are an essential part of the fabric of our shared life,” the Presiding Bishop noted.