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St. Paul's Episcopal Church records, 1759-1904, and Journal of the meetings that led to the formation of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, 1784-1790


Held at: The Archives of the Episcopal Church [Contact Us]107 Denson Drive, Austin, TX 78752

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the The Archives of the Episcopal Church. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

St. Paul's Episcopal Church:

In 1760 a group of congregants from Christ Church, supporters of the Rev. William Macclanachan, an Anglican minister of evangelical leanings, formed a new church, seceded from Christ Church. They drafted articles of agreement for a new church St. Paul’s and promptly set about raising funds to construct it. Built on Third Street, below Walnut, St. Paul’s opened for services in 1762 and remained an active congregation throughout the nineteenth century. The Church’s building still stands, now home to Episcopal Community Services.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania:

After the American Revolution, Anglicans became Episcopalians. Led by the Reverend William White, they organized the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1784. White became its first bishop three years later. Initially, the Diocese spanned a vast area, extending from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, encompassing the whole of Pennsylvania. By 1910 there were five Episcopal dioceses in Pennsylvania, and the Diocese of Pennsylvania consisted of Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania's Archives are home to a vast array of material relating to the people and parishes comprising the Diocese as well as the Diocese itself. Within its stacks are material relating to parishes that have closed, the registers, the vestry minutes as well as documents making up the life of these churches which are no longer with us. It also holds a large volume of histories, both at the parish level comprising both active and closed parishes, as well as histories of the diocese and its various organizations.

The Archives also holds a large volume of material related to those committed to running the Diocese. There are records from the various Bishops, Standing Committee and General Conventions, to better understand the direction we have come from. There are also various print runs of the publications the Diocese has put out as well including a long run of the Church News.

St. Paul’s records are housed at the Episcopal Diocesan Archives, and include: vestry minutes; baptismal, marriage, and burial records; Sunday School records; and miscellaneous financial records.

Also included in this project is a journal of the meetings that led to the formation of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, dating from 1784 to 1790.

Selected materials from this collection were digitized from 2018-2021 as part of the Philadelphia Congregations Early Records project. The Philadelphia Congregations Early Records project was made possible by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from CLIR, the Council on Library and Information Resources, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Digtized materials are viewable on the website. Some items have been transcribed, and users are invited to contribute to the transcription effort. In addition, all of the digitized records are available in the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Digital Library, and archival copies of the scanned images are preserved on the OPenn website at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Links to Digital Resources for this Collection:

The Archives of the Episcopal Church
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by project staff.
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The digitization of materials was made possible by a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Materials may be viewed by appointment.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from this collection.

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