The following is the only resolution received by the September 7 deadline.

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 ChurchSeptember 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 193rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia recommends and encourages a resolution be presented to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 2015 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 (or Lesser Feasts and Fasts if Holy Women, Holy Men is not approved for use) with the following proposed text and propers:

Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander
Suggested Date of Commemoration: September 24

The only Black deaconess in the Episcopal Church, teacher and minister in southern Georgia. Anna Ellison Butler Alexander (1865-1947) was born to recently emancipated slaves on Butler Plantation in MacIntosh County, Georgia. She was the first African- American set aside as a deaconess in the Episcopal Church in 1907. She founded Good Shepherd Church in rural Glynn County’s Pennick community where she taught children to read—by tradition, from the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible—in a one-room schoolhouse. The school was later expanded to two rooms with a loft where Anna lived. She ministered in Pennick for 53 years, leaving a legacy of love and devotion still felt in Glynn County. Deaconess Alexander served in difficult times, however. The diocese segregated her congregations in 1907 and African-American congregations were not invited to another diocesan convention until 1947. Similarly, it was only in the 1950s that a woman set aside as a deaconess was recognized as being in deacon’s orders. However, her witness— wearing the distinctive dress of a deaconess, traveling by foot from Brunswick through Darien to Pennick, showing care and love for all whom she met—represents the best in Christian witness.

A Collect for Deaconess Alexander
O God, you called Anna Alexander as a deaconess in your Church, and sent her as teacher and evangelist to the people of Georgia: Grant us the humility to go wherever you send, and the wisdom to teach the word of Christ to whomever we meet, that all may come to the enlightenment which you intend for your people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.

Psalm 78:1-7
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Matthew 11:25-30


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 offers appropriate materials online to assist the General Convention in considering this resolution.

Respectfully submitted: The Rev. Deacons Sandy Tuner and Marty Meuschke

Note the materials are online at: