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Raphael Morgan

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add info; tighten up; include references from Mather (Who's Who) source.
[[Image:Raphael_Morgan.jpg|right|frame|Source: ''The Daily Gleaner'' (Kingston, Jamaica). [[July 22]], 1913.]]
Very Rev. '''Raphael Morgan''' (born '''Robert Josias Morgan''', 186x/187x - 19xx) was a Jamaican-American [[priest]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]], designated as ''"Priest-Apostolic"'' to America and the West Indies,<ref group="note">According to Fr. Raphael's biography in the ''Who's Who of the Colored Race'', 1915, after he was ordained to the priesthood:<br>:" a special service he was duly commissioned Priest-Apostolic from the Ecumenical and Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople to America and the West Indies."<br>(Mather, Frank Lincoln. ''[ Who's Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent].'' University of Michigan. Gale Research Co., 1915. p.226.)</ref><ref>Robert A. Hill, Marcus Garvey, Universal Negro Improvement Association. ''Letter Denouncing Marcus Garvey.'' In: '''[ The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919].''' University of California Press, 1983. pg.197.</ref> later the founder and superior of the ''Order of the Cross of Golgotha'',<ref group="note" name="Order">The ''"Order of...",'' could be a number of things; it could be 1) an honorarium bestowed upon him for service done in the Church; or 2) an entitling which lets others know of his special mission in the Patriarchate/Diocese etc.; it could also 3) refer to a Society of monastics which transcends, because of rare circumstances, physical location; in addition, it is also possible that this was 4) a monastic brotherhood formed for Black Orthodox Christians, since Morgan was referred to as the ''“founder and superior”'' of that religious fraternity, although the formation of formal monastic orders is not traditionally practiced in the Orthodox tradition. The Orthodox Church does not have separate Orders (Franciscan, Carmelite etc.) each with an entirely independent rule/ethos of life. Despite being mentioned on many occasions in association with Morgan, no other material has ever been found on the ''Order of the Cross of Golgotha''.</ref> and thought to be the first black Orthodox clergyman in America.
He spoke broken Greek, and therefore served mostly in English. Having recently been discovered, his life has garnered great interest, but much of his life still remains shrouded in mystery.  Fr . Raphael is said to have resided all over the world, including : "in Palestine, Syria, Joppa, Greece, Cyprus, MiyleneMytilene, Chios, Sicily, Crete, Egypt, Russia, Ottoman Turkey, Austria, Germany, England, France, Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Bermuda, and the United States."<ref name=MATHER>Mather, Frank Lincoln. ''[ Who's Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent].'' University of Michigan. Gale Research Co., 1915. pp.226-227.</ref>
==Early Life==
Robert Josias Morgan was born in Chapelton, Clarence Parish, Jamaica either in the late 1860s or early 1870s to Robert Josias and Mary Ann (née Johnson) Morgan. He was born six months after his father's death, and named in his honour. Robert was raised in the Anglican tradition and was received elementary schooling locally. <ref name="MATHER"/>
In his teenage years he travelled to Colón, Panama, then to British Honduras, back to Jamaica, and then to the United States. He became a minister in the [[w:African Methodist Episcopal Church|African Methodist Episcopal Church]] (AME) and left as a [[missionary]] to Germany. <ref name="MATHER"/>
===Period in the Church of England===
He then came to England, where he joined the [[w:Church of England|Church of England]] and was sent to Sierra Leona to the [[w:Church Mission Society|Church Missionary Society]] Grammar School at Freetown. He studied Greek, Latin, and other higher-level subjects. Being poor, Robert had to work to support himself, and worked as second master of a public schoolin Freetown. He took course in the Church Missionary Society [[w:Fourah Bay College|College at Fourah Bay]]in Freetown, and was soon appointed a missionary teacher and [[w:Lay reader|lay-reader]] by the Episcopalian [[Bishop]] of Liberia, the Right Reverend [[w:Samuel David Ferguson|Samuel David Ferguson]].<ref name=Oliver>Fr. Oliver Herbel. ''Morgan, Raphael.'' '''[ The African American National Biography]''' at ''''''. 1-Jan-2008.<"MATHER"/ref> Robert later said during a trip to Jamaica in 1901 that he served five years in West Africa, of which he spent three years in missionary work.<refname="West Africa">''The Daily Gleaner''. ''[ West Africa]''. October 9, 1901. p.7.</ref>
After this Robert again visited England for private study, and then travelled to America to work amongst the African-American community as a lay-reader. He was accepted as a Postulant and as candidate for the Episcopalian [[deacon]]ate. During the canonical period of waiting periodbefore ordination, Robert again returned to England to study at Saint Aidan's Theological College in [[w:Birkenhead|Birkenhead]], but and finally prosecuted his studies at [[w:King's College London|King's College]] of the University of London. <ref name="MATHER"/> The colleges however do not contain records of his attendance.<ref group="note">It is possible that he academically audited the courses, attending the classes without receiving a formal grade.</ref>
===Period in the Episcopal Church===
He returned to America, and on [[June 20]], 1895 was [[ordination|ordained]] as [[deacon]]<ref group="note">Fr. Raphael's name is given on a list of Black Episcopal ordinations as follows: ''"1895: Robert Josias Morgan, d. June 20, Coleman; deposed; went abroad and was made a priest in Greek Church."'' (Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Chapter XXXVI: Negro Ordinations from 1866 to the Present''. In: '''[ History of the Afro-American group of the Episcopal church (1922)].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate Press, 1922. p.273.)</ref> by the Rt. Rev. [[w:Leighton Coleman|Leighton Coleman]],<ref>The ''New York Times''. ''[ Bishop Coleman of Delaware Dies].'' Sunday December 15, 1907. Page 13. (Obituary)</ref> Bishop of the [[w:Episcopal Diocese of Delaware|Episcopalian Diocese of Delaware]], and a well-known opponent of racism. Robert was appointed honorary curate in St Matthews' Church in Wilminton, and procured a job as a teacher for a few public schoolsin Delaware.
In 1898, the deacon Robert (Rev. R.J. Morgan) was transferred to the Missionary Jurisdiction of Ashville (now in the [[w:Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina|Diocese of Western North Carolina]]). By 1899 he was listed as being assistant minister at [ St. Stephen's Chapel] in Morganton and [ St. Cyprian's Church] in Lincolnton.<ref>Lumsden, Joy, MA (Cantab), PhD (UWI). ''[ Father Raphael: His Background and Career].'' September 29, 2007.</ref><ref group="note">St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church was established in 1886. The church once stood on West Church in Lincolnton. The property consisted of a church, a parsonage, and a building used as a school. The church was torn down during the 1970's. The
Between 1900 and 1905, Robert moved around much of the Eastern seaboard, serving in Delaware, Charleston (South Carolina), Richmond (Virginia), Nashville (Tennessee), until finally ending up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1901-1902 Rev. R. J. Morgan made a visit to his homeland Jamaica. In October 1901 he gave an address to the Jamaica Church Missionary Union, on West Africa and mission work.<ref name="West Africa"/> He also gave a lecture in [[w:Port Maria|Port Maria]], Jamaica in October 1902, entitled ''"Africa - lts people, Tribes, Idolatry, Customs."''<ref>''The Daily Gleaner''. ''[ Port Maria: A Lecture]''. October 7, 1902. p.29.</ref>
At some point during this period he joined an off-shoot of the Episcopalian Church, known as the ''"American Catholic Church"'' (''ACC''), a sect founded by [[w:Joseph René Vilatte|Joseph René Vilatte]].<ref group="note">The ''"American Catholic Church"'' (ACC) included the jurisdictions and groups which had come out of [[w:Joseph René Vilatte|Joseph René Vilatte's]] Episcopal ministry or were under his oversight. Among them were French and English speaking constituencies, and Polish and Italian ordinariates. The ACC began on August 20, 1894, at a synod held in Cleveland, Ohio, where Polish-speaking parishes joined the jurisdiction of Bishop Vilatte, however the ACC was actually incorporated in July 1915.</ref> He is listed in the records of the Episcopal Church of the USA as late as 1908, when he was suspended from ministry on the allegations of abandoning his post.
===Trip to Russia===
By the turn of the 20th century, Robert already seriously began to question his faith, and began to intensive study of Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy over a three year period , to discover what he felt was the true religion. He concluded that the Orthodox Church was "the pillar and ground of truth", resigned from the Episcopalian Church, and embarked on a an extensive trip to Russiaabroad beginning in the [[w:Russian Empire|Russian Empire]] in 1904.<ref name="MATHER"/>
Once there, Robert visited various [[monastery|monasteries]] and churches, including sites in Odessa, St. Petersburg, Moscow and [[Monastery of the Kiev Caves|Kiev]], soon becoming quite the sensation. Sundry periodicals began publishing pictures and articles on him, and soon Robert became the Special Guest of the Tsar. He was allowed to be present for the anniversary celebrations of [[Nicholas II of Russia|Nicholas II's]] coronation, and the [[Memorial Services|memorial service]] said for the repose of the soul of the late Emperor Alexander III.<ref>''The Daily Gleaner.'' ''[ Priest's Visit: Father Raphael of Greek Orthodox Church: His Extensive Travels].'' July 22, 1913.</ref>
Leaving Russia, Robert traveled Turkey, Cyprus, and the [[Holy Land]], returning to America and writing an article to the ''Russian-American Orthodox Messenger'' (''Vestnik'') in 1904 about his experience in Russia. In this open letter, Morgan expressed hope that the Anglican Church could unite with the Orthodox Churches, clearly moved by his experience in Russia. <ref group="note">Upon Morgan's departure from Russia, he wrote a letter, which was reprinted in the October/November 1904 English supplement to the ''Vestnik'' (Russian Orthodox American Messenger), the official publication of the [[Orthodox Church in America|Russian Archdiocese in America]]. Here is the text of that letter:<br><small>:I, Robert Josias Morgan, a legally consecrated cleric of the American Episcopal Church, find it necessary to make it publicly known, that I am not a Bishop, as it was announced in some magazines and daily papers…<br>:… I am not a Bishop, but a legally consecrated deacon. I came to Russia in no way to represent anything, and I was not sent by anybody. I came as a simple tourist, chiefly with the object to see the churches and the monasteries of this country, to enjoy the ritual and the service of the holy Orthodox Church, about which I heard so much abroad. And I am perfectly satisfied with everything I saw and witnessed.<br>:The piety and the fear of God amongst the Russian clergy, both superior and lower, and of the lay people in general are too great to be spoken of. I like Russia, and as to the people I have simply grown to love them for their gentleness, their politeness, their amiability and kindness. It would seem as if the Christian religion penetrated the whole life of the people. This can be observed both in the private home life and the social life. You have but to go to Church in this country, and you immediately see, that there is nothing too valuable for the people to be offered to God. Note how they pray, how patiently they stand through the long Church services…<br>:Now, having spent here about a month, I leave your country with a feeling of profound gratitude and take back to North America all the good impressions I received here. And when there I shall speak boldly and loudly about the brotherly feelings entertained here in the bosom of the holy Orthodox Church towards its [[w:Episcopal Church (United States)|Anglican sister of North America]], and about the prayers which are offered here daily for the union of all the [[Catholic]] Christendom.<br>:My constant humble prayer is for the union of all Churches, and especially the union of the Anglican faith with the Orthodox [[Church of Russia]]. I solicited the Metropolitans and the Bishops to grant me their blessing in regard to this prayer and obtained it. Now I pray daily and eagerly for a better mutual understanding between the character and their union. God grant a blessing to this cause and a hearing to our prayers and supplications. Let us solicit the prayers of the Saints. Let us seek the intercession of the holy [[Theotokos|Mother of God]]. Virgin Mary, pray for us!<br>:In conclusion I must say, that my stay in Russia did me personally much good: I feel now firmer and stronger spiritually than I did before I came.<br>:God bless the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of this country! God bless the Emperor and all the reigning family! God grant them a long life, peace and prosperity!<br>:I am sincerely yours in God and in the name of Mary,<br>:Robert Josias Morgan.<br></small>(Matthew Namee. ''"[ Robert Josias Morgan visits Russia, 1904]."'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Chrisitan History in the Americas). September 15, 2009.)</ref> People of African descent were generally well-received within the Russian Empire, Morgan believed. [[w:Abram Petrovich Gannibal|Abram Hannibal]] had served under Emperor Peter the Great, and rose to lieutenant general in the Russian Army. Visiting artists, foreign service officials, and athletes, such as famous horse jockey [[w:James Winkfield|Jimmy Winkfield]], were likewise welcomed. With his experience of Russia and Russian Orthodoxy fresh in his mind, Morgan returned to the United States and continued his spiritual quest.<ref name=Oliver>Fr. Oliver Herbel. ''Morgan, Raphael.'' '''[ The African American National Biography]''' at ''''''. 1-Jan-2008.</ref>
===Study and Trip to Ecumenical Patriarchate===
For another three years, Robert studied under Greek priests for his [[baptism]], <ref name="MATHER"/> eventually deciding to seek entry and ordination in the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America|Greek Orthodox Church]]. In January of 1906, he is documentedas ''assisting'' in the Christmas [[Divine Liturgy|liturgy]].<ref group="note">The ''Philadelphia Inquirer'' reported on [[January 8]], 1906, that ''“Rev. R.J. Morgan of the American Catholic Church, an off-shoot of the Protestant Episcopal Church, assisted.”''</ref> as ''assisting'' in the Christmas [[Divine Liturgy|liturgy]]. In 1907 the Philadephia Greek community referred Robert to the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] in Constantinople armed with two letters of support. One was a recommendation from Fr. Demetrios Petrides, the Greek priest then serving the Philadelphia community, dated [[June 18|18 June]] 1907, who described Morgan as a man sincerely coming into Orthodoxy after long and diligent study, and recommending his baptism and [[ordination]] into the priesthood. The second letter of support was from the "Ecclesiastical Committee" of the Philadelphia Greek Orthodox Church, stating he could serve as an assistant priest if he failed to form a separate Orthodox parish among his fellow Black Americans.<ref group="note">Summaries of the two letters are given in the Synodal Minutes of [[July 19|19 July]], 1907, presided over by Patriarch [[Joachim III of Constantinople|Joachim III]], who introduced the subject of Morgan's baptism and ordination. As is stated in the second letter, Morgan's goal was to establish an Orthodox community of Blacks (''' ''"...να πηξη ιδιαν ορθοδοξον κοινοτητα μεταξυ των εν Αμερικη ομοφυλων αυτου Νιγρητων..."'' ''').</ref>
In Constantinople, Robert was interviewed by [[Metropolitan]] [[Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia]], one of the few bishops of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] that could speak English and among the most learned of the Constantinopolitan hierarchs of that time. Metropolitan Joachim examined Robert, noting that he had a ''"deep knowledge of the teachings of the Orthodox Church",'' and that he also had a certificate from the President of the Methodist Community, duly notarized, stating that he was a man ''"of high calling and of a religious life".''<ref name=MANOLIS>Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.464-480.</ref> Citing the Biblical exhortation ''"...the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out"'' (John 6:37), the [[metropolitan]] concluded that Robert should be [[Baptism|baptised]], [[Chrismation|chrismated]], [[Ordination|ordained]], and sent back to America in order to ''"carry the light of the Orthodox faith among his racial brothers".''
===Baptism and Ordination===
On Friday [[August 2]], 1907 the [[Holy Synod]] approved that the [[Baptism]] take place the following Sunday in the ''Church of the Lifegiving Source'' at the Patriarchal Monastery at Valoukli, in Constantinople.<ref group="note">The Patriarchal Monastery at Valoukli is where the cemetery with the graves of the [[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarchs]] is found.</ref> Metropolitan [[Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia|Joachim]] was to officiate at the sacrament, and the [[Godparent|sponsor]] was to be Bishop Leontios (Liverios) of Theodoroupolis, Abbott of the Monastery at Valoukli. On Sunday August 4, 1907, Robert was baptised "Raphael" before 3000 people; <ref name="MATHER"/> subsequently he was ordained a [[deacon]] on [[August 12]], 1907 by Metropolitan Joachim; and finally ordained a [[Presbyter|priest]] on the feast of the [[Dormition]] of the [[Theotokos]], [[August 15]], 1907.<ref group="note">In a letter from the Chief Archivist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dated [[April 4]], 1973, it was confirmed that the records of the Patriarchate show that Morgan was baptized and renamed "Raphael". (Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.467.)</ref> According to the contemporary [[Eastern Catholic Churches|Uniate]] periodical ''L'Echo d' Orient'', which sarcastically described Morgan's Baptism of triple immerson, the Metropolitan conducted the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination in the English language, following which Fr. Raphael chanted the [[Divine Liturgy]] in English.<ref>''Une Conquete du Patriarcat Oecumenique.'' ''' ''Echos d'Orient'' '''. Vol. XI. No.68, 1908, pp.55-56.</ref> Fr. Raphael Morgan's conversion to the Greek Orthodox Church made him the first African American Orthodox priest.
Fr. Raphael was sent back to America with vestments, a [[cross]], and 20 pounds sterling for his traveling expenses. He was allowed to hear [[Confession|confessions]], but denied [[Chrism|Holy Chrism]] and an [[antimension]], presumably to attach his missionary ministry to the Philadelphia church. The minutes of the Holy Synod from [[October 2]], 1907, made it clear in fact that Fr. Raphael was to be under the jurisdiction of Rev. Petrides of Philadelphia, until such time as he had been trained in liturgics and was able to establish a separate Orthodox parish.<ref name="MANOLIS>Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.464-480.<"/ref>
===Return to America===
Ellis Island records indicate the arrival in New York from Naples, Italy, of the priest, Raffaele Morgan, in December 1907.<ref>Lumsden, Joy. ''[ Robert Josias Morgan, aka Father Raphael].'' '''Jamaican History Month 2007.''' February 16, 2007.</ref> Once home, Fr. Raphael baptized his wife and children in the Orthodox Church. This is noted in the minutes of the Holy Synod of [[February 9]], 1908, which acknowledges receipt of a communication from Fr. Raphael.
The last mention of Fr. Raphael in Patriarchal records is in the minutes of the Holy Synod of [[November 4]], 1908, which cite a letter from Fr. Raphael recommending an Anglican priest of Philadelphia, named "A.C.V. Cartier",<ref group="note">|A.C.V. Cartier is listed on a list of Afro-American Priests as followswas ordained to the Episcopal deaconate by Bishop [[w: ''"Charles Quintard|Charles Quintard]] in 1895: Rev. A.C.V. Cartier, Denver Coland ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in the same year by Bishop Quintard."'' (Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Afro-American Clergy List. PriestsChapter XXXVI: Negro Ordinations from 1866 to the Present''. In: '''[ historyofafroame00brag History of the Afro-American Church Work and Workersgroup of the Episcopal church (1922)].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate PrintPress, 19041922. p.32273.)</ref> as a candidate for conversion to Orthodoxy and ordination as a priest. Cartier was rector of the [ African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas], in Philadelphia, from 1906-12.<ref group="note">[[George Alexander McGuire]] was rector of The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia from 1902-05. He was succeeded as rector by A.C.V. Cartier (1906-12), the man whom Morgan recommended to the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] for Orthodox ordination.</ref> Saint Thomas' served the African American elite of Philadelphia and was one of the most prestigious congregations in African American Christianity, having been started in 1794 by [[w:Absalom Jones|Absalom Jones]], one of the founders, together with [[w:Richard Allen (bishop)|Richard Allen]], of the [[w:w:African Methodist Episcopal Church|African Methodist Episcopal Church]]. <ref name=Martin>Tony Martin. ''[ McGuire, George Alexander].'' '''Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance'''. Volume 2. Cary D. Wintz, Paul Finkelman (Eds.). Taylor & Francis, 2004. p.776.</ref> According to the letter, Cartier desired as an Orthodox priest to undertake missionary work among his fellow blacks. Due to the fact that the jurisdiction over the Greek Church of the [[diaspora]] had been ceded by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the [[Church of Greece]] in 1908, the request was forwarded there. However according to Greek-American historian Paul G. Manolis, a search of the Archives of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece did not turn up any correspondence with Fr. Raphael. His letter about A.C.V. Cartier is the only indication we have from Church records of his missionary efforts among his people.<ref name="MANOLIS"/>
In 1909, his wife filed for divorce, on the alleged charges of cruelty and failure to support their children. She left with their son Cyril to Delaware County, where she remarried.
Near the end of 1913, Fr. Raphael visited his homeland of Jamaica, staying for several months until sometime the next year. While there, he met a group of Syrians, who were complaining of a lack of Orthodox churches on the island. Fr. Raphael did his best to contact the Syrian-American diocese of the Russian church, writing to St [[Raphael of Brooklyn]], but as most of their descendants are now communicants in the Episcopal Church, this presumably came to no avail. In December, a Russian warship came to port, and he concelebrated the [[Divine Liturgy]] with the sailors, their chaplain, and his new-found Syrians.
The main work of his visit, however, was a lecture circuit that he ran throughout Jamaica. Citing a lack of Orthodox churches, Fr. Raphael would speak at churches of various denomination. The topics would usually cover his travels, the Holy Land, and Holy Orthodoxy. At some point, he even made it to his hometown of Chapelton, to whom he remarked of his name change, ''"I will always be Robert to you".''<ref>''The Daily Gleaner.'' ''[ Gives Lecture. Fr. Raphael Talks of His Travels Abroad.]'' August 15, 1913.</ref>
According to the ''Daily Gleaner'' edition of [[November 2]], 1914, Fr. Raphael had just set sail back for America to start mission work under his Faith.<ref group="note">''"Father Raphael, Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, who has been in the island for some time, sailed for America last week. It is understood that he will return shortly to his native land and start mission work under his Faith. As is well known, the seat of the Greek Church to which father Raphael belongs is not far from the theatre of war, so there is no hope of the Father returning to his Mother Church in a hurry. Father Raphael is a native of Clarendon."'' (''The Daily Gleaner.'' November 2, 1914. p.13.)</ref>
==="Indirect Conversion of Thousands" Theory===
During the ''16th Annual Ancient Christianity and African-American Conference''in 2009, Matthew Namee presented a 23-minute lecture on the heretofore recently discovered life of Fr. Raphael Morgan. He postulates that even if Fr. Raphael's missionary efforts failed outside of his immediate family, he may be indirectly responsible for the conversion of thousands, via contact with Episcopal priest [[George Alexander McGuire]] (1866-1934).
Records for [ St. Paul's Episcopal Church] in Richmond, Virgina indicate that for a short while in 1901 Robert J. Morgan was listed as the Rector. However, being only a [[deacon]], this would mean that Robert's position was only temporary, during an interregnum of sorts. The previous [[rector]] was one [[George Alexander McGuire]] (1866-1934), an Episcopal priest.<br>
In 1920, '''African Orthodox Church'''George McGuire became an associate of [[Marcus Garvey ]] and his Black Nationalist [[Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League|UNIA]] movement, being appointed the first Chaplain-General of the organization at its inaugural international convention in New York in August 1920. In On September 28, 1921, he was made a bishop of the American Catholic Church by [[w:Joseph René Vilatte|Joseph René Vilatte]], and soon after founded the [[w:African Orthodox Church|African Orthodox Church]], a [[non-canonical]] Black Nationalist church, in the Anglican tradition. Today, it is best known for its canonisation of Jazz legend John Coltrane.
Bishop George McGuire soon spread his African Orthodox Church throughout the United States, and soon even made a presence on the African continent in such countries as [[Archdiocese of Kampala and All Uganda|Uganda]], [[Archdiocese of Kenya|Kenya]], and [[Archdiocese of Irinopolis|Tanzania]]. Between 1924-1934 McGuire built the AOC into a thriving international church. Branches were eventually established in Canada, Barbados, Cuba, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Miami, Chicago, Harlem, Boston, Cambridge (Massachusetts), and elsewhere. The official organ of AOC, ''The Negro Churchman,'' became an effective link for the far-flung organization.<ref name="Martin"/> However, around the time of the Second World War, the African churches were cut off from the American and in the post-war period had drifted far enough way to request and come under the [[omophorion]] of the [[Church of Alexandria]].
'''Fr. Raphael and George McGuire'''<br>Namee questions whence the idea came for McGuire to form namely an ''Orthodox'' church. Fr. Raphael Morgan and George McGuire have a few some striking similarities, including the facts that both: both were Black Caribbeans, * served concurrently or consecutively at [ St Philip's Episcopal Church] in Virginia,<ref group="note">[ St. Philip’s Episcopal Church ] of Richmond, Virginia lists Morgan as having been the rector of their parish for a short time in 1901. He is listed as the rector from “1901-April 1901.” Morgan’s predecessor at St. Philip’s was a certain “Reverend [[George Alexander McGuire|George Alexander McQuire]],” who served the parish from April 1898 to November 1900.</ref> * were ordained in the Episcopal Church around the same time,<ref group="note">Rev. Morgan was ordained to the Episcopal deaconate on June 20, 1895, by Bishop Leighton Coleman. George McGuire was ordained to the Episcopal deaconate on June 29, 1896 by Bishop Boyd Vincent, and to the Episcopal priesthood in 1897 by the same. (Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Chapter XXXVI: Negro Ordinations from 1866 to the Present''. In: '''[ History of the Afro-American group of the Episcopal church (1922)].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate Press, 1922. p.273.)</ref> and * both later served in Philadelphia, each having had some contact with Rev. A.C.V. Cartier of the [ African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas]. Namee concludes that with so many coincidences, it is impossible for these two men to not have known one another; and therefore it must be from some influence - either in conversation with Fr. Raphael or through evangelism, - that McGuire received his inspiration and came to know the Orthodox Church. An additional point is that Garvey already knew of Fr. Raphael when McGuire joined his organization in 1920 (since Fr. Raphael had written the letter in 1916 protesting Garvey's lectures), which makes it likely that McGuire and Garvey had discussed Morgan at some point, especially as they were interested in forming an independent African-American Church.
However, one One deterrent from this theory comes in the familiarity he had with the Orthodox Church by McGuire's ''consecrator'', Joseph René Vilatte. <ref group="note">In his quest to obtain valid [[w:Apostolic succession|Apostolic Orders]], Fr. McGuire had himself re-ordained Bishop in the ''American Catholic Church'', being consecrated on September 28, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, by Archbishop [[Joseph René Vilatte]], assisted by bishop Carl A. Nybladh who had been consecrated by Vilatte. However the [[Orthodox Church]] considers Villate to be an [[Episcopi vagantes]].</ref> At various points, Vilatte come into contact with both the [[Russian_Orthodox_Church|Russian]] and [[Syriac_Orthodox_Church|Syriac]] Orthodox Churches in a move for Catholic-Orthodox reconciliation, having even been accepted for a while by Bishop [[Vladimir (Sokolovsky-Avtonomov) of the Aleutians|Vladimir]] of [[Alaska]] in May of 1891.
* Lumsden, Joy. ''[ Robert Josias Morgan, aka Father Raphael].'' '''Jamaican History Month 2007.''' February 16, 2007.
* Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.464-480. ISSN: 1105-154X
* Martin, Tony. ''[ McGuire, George Alexander].'' '''Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance'''. Volume 2. Cary D. Wintz, Paul Finkelman (Eds.). Taylor & Francis, 2004.
* Namee, Matthew. ''[ The First Black Orthodox Priest in America].'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas). July 15, 2009.
* Namee, Matthew. ''[ Fr. Raphael Morgan: America's First Black Orthodox Priest.]'' '''16th Annual Ancient Christianity & African-American Conference'''. June 03, 2009.
* Namee, Matthew. ''"[ Robert Josias Morgan visits Russia, 1904]."'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Chrisitan History in the Americas). September 15, 2009.

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