Absalom Jones and Religious Freedom

Color image of a detail from a painting of Absalom Jones.  Jones, a black man, wears a white clerical collar and black jacket.
Detail, Absalom Jones by Raphaelle Peale, 1810

Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Absalom Jones School, 1971


Born into slavery, Absalom Jones acquired his freedom in Philadelphia. First a lay Methodist preacher, Jones studied for the ministry and was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church by Bishop William White in 1802. Some of the founding meetings for Jones' church, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas were hosted by free black James Dexter whose home is commemorated today as an archeological site in Independence Park. St. Thomas is still a flourishing church.


Last updated: September 3, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106



Contact Us