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St. Mark’s, Episcopal Landmark in Wilmington

Image from NCSU Libraries.

On June 18, 1875, the Right Reverend Thomas Atkinson, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, consecrated St. Mark’s Church in Wilmington. The congregation was the first Episcopal Church for African Americans in North Carolina.

The church can trace its roots to late 1869, when the Reverend Charles Otis Brady was called to lead a new Episcopal Church for an exclusively black congregation. The worshipers initially selected the name St. Paul’s, but soon after adopted St. Mark’s. The new congregation purchased a lot at the corner of Sixth and Mulberry Streets and began raising money for the land and the future church building.

People from around the nation contributed to the campaign, and construction on the church began in March 1871. Although the structure was not fully finished, the first church service was held in the new building in December of that year.

St. Mark’s became part of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as a mission in 1872. The original church building, at 220 North Sixth Street, has been extensively renovated and is still in use.

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