Samuel David Ferguson

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Samuel David Ferguson (January 1, 1842 – August 2, 1916) was the first Black person to be elected a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. He was born at Charleston, South Carolina and died in Cape Palmas, Liberia.

Ferguson moved with his family to Liberia at age six. He was ordained a deacon on December 28, 1865 and a priest on March 15, 1868. He was consecrated as bishop on June 24, 1885 (Saint John the Baptist's Feast Day), at Grace Church, New York, becoming the first black member of the House of Bishops.[1] He married Mary Leonora Montgomery.

As Missionary Bishop of Liberia, he founded what is now Cuttington University College.[2] Rev. Ferguson also established the Bromley Mission School. One of his proteges, Raphael Morgan became an Episcopal priest in the United States, but ultimately converted to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Rev. Ferguson remained in Liberia until his death, in Monrovia in 1916.

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  • Profile, Encyclopædia Britannica, Guide to Black History