TITLE: Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander
SUBJECT: To secure recognition by The Episcopal Church of Deaconess Alexander as a saint of the Church, with a designated feast day.
WHEREAS, Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander is recognized as a saint of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia; and
WHEREAS, Deaconess Alexander has a feast day set aside in the calendar of the Diocese of Georgia; and
WHEREAS, Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, along with Hattie Forester Stafford and Pierce Butler Alexander founded Good Shepherd Episcopal Church September 9, 1894 at Penton’s Hill for former enslaved Africans; and
WHEREAS, Deaconess Alexander founded the Good Shepherd Parochial School in 1902, and she proclaimed in her treaties on education that “knowledge is the watchword” and encouraged many of her students to further their educations at St. Paul College in Virginia, St. Augustine College in North Carolina, Voorhees College in South Carolina and Fort Valley State University in Georgia; and
WHEREAS, Deaconess Alexander directed the St. Cyprians School in Darien, Georgia and promoted collaborative academic relationships between Good Shepherd, Pennick, Georgia, St. Cyprians, Darien, Georgia and St. Athanasius, Brunswick, Georgia; and
WHEREAS, she was consecrated deaconess in 1907; and
WHEREAS, the diocese segregated Deaconess Alexander’s congregation in 1907, not inviting African-American congregations to diocesan conventions until 1947; and
WHEREAS, it was not until the 1950’s that a woman set aside as a deaconess was recognized as being in deacon’s orders; and
WHEREAS, Deaconess Alexander ministered to Pennick and other Glynn and McIntosh County communities for 53 years;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED this 190th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia recommends and encourages a resolution be presented to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 2012 to recognize Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander as a Saint of The Episcopal Church through adding her to the calendar in Holy Women, Holy Men; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED this convention of the Diocese of Georgia affirms and endorses the creation of a feast day for Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander to bear witness to the role of women and African-Americans in the history of the Church and calls on the Diocese to assemble appropriate materials online to assist the General Convention in considering this resolution.
The Rev. Deacon Marty Meuschke
26 Oct 2010