James Kemp (bishop)
James Kemp was born on May 20, 1764 in Keith Hall parish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He graduated from Marischal College in 1786. He emigrated to Maryland in 1787, and lived with a family in Dorchester County.
Brought up a Presbyterian, Kemp joined the Episcopal Church and studied theology under the direction of the Rev. Dr. John Bowie, rector of Great Choptank parish, MD. He received deacon's orders in Christ Church, Philadelphia on December 26, 1789 and He was ordained priest the very next day on December 27, 1789. Kemp was ordained to both orders by the Rt. Rev. William White. In August 1790, Kemp succeeded his theological instructor, Dr. Bowie and became rector of Great Choptank Parish, in Cambridge, Maryland, the county seat of Dorchester County. Rev. Kemp also served at Green Hill Church likewise on the Eastern Shore until 1813, when he was elected associate rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baltimore. Columbia College conferred on him a Doctor of Divinity Degree in 1802.
- The Most Reverend William White, fourth presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church
- The Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, third bishop of New York
- The Right Reverend Richard Channing Moore, second bishop of Virginia
James Kemp thus became the fifteenth bishop consecrated in the Episcopal Church. He succeeded bishop Claggett on the latter's death in 1816. As bishop, Kemp invited Deacon William Levington to his diocese in 1824, and helped him establish St. James First African Episcopal Church, the third African American Episcopal church in the new country.
Death and legacy
Kemp died of injuries received in a stage coach accident near New Castle, Delaware, while returning from the consecration of Assistant Bishop Henry Onderdonk in Philadelphia. He was buried in the cemetery of Old St. Paul's Church in Baltimore.
- George Freeman Bragg, The First Negro Priest on Southern Soil (Baltimore: Church Advocate Press, 1909) p. 13, available at google books
- http://www.preservationmaryland.org/uploads/file/Rectory%20sheet.pdf p.1 of 5
3.William Stevens Perry, The Episcopate in America, The Christian Literature Co. November 25, 1895 pages 34 and 35.
- Virtual American Biographies: James Kemp
|Episcopal Church (USA) titles|
Thomas John Claggett
| Bishop of Maryland
1816 – 1827
William Murray Stone
- The Episcopal Church Annual. Morehouse Publishing: New York, NY (2005).
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