Absalom Jones

America's First Black Priest

Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones, Illustrated by Christopher M. Taylor

Nov/2021, 64 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640654723



The story of a former slave and America’s first Black Episcopal priest is an inspiring model for living a full life of service and love.

This book, appropriate for children but engaging enough for adults, begins by describing the reality of slavery during Jones’s life. Absalom Jones purchased his wife’s freedom before his own and dedicated himself to living the Christian faith. Through the difficulties and challenges of his time, he answered the call to serve the church and was ordained a priest and deacon to serve the first Black Episcopal Church in the United States.

The first Black priest in the Anglican Communion continues to be one of the most important historical figures in the Episcopal Church. As the church pays attention to its own sins of racism, this book offers encouragement, guidance, hope, and inspiration. Jones’s life is an example of what it means to follow Jesus through faithful, courageous, and selfless living of the way of love. 

Read an excerpt.

Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones is the priest and director of spiritual formation of Trinity Church Wall Street’s Retreat Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut. He is an avid reader, award-winning author, and popular speaker, and has taught at elementary and university levels. A former Jesuit priest, Dr. Bozuzuti-Jones has missionary experience in Belize, Brazil, and Guyana. He lives in West Cornwall, Connecticut.



CHRISTOPHER M. TAYLOR A.K.A. ALPHACMT is an illustrator currently based in Virginia. With a background in comics, character, and graphic design, he’s pivoted towards commercial, contemporary, and pop-art paintings. His primary themes of inspiration are Afrofuturism, Afrocentric, and multi-cultural iconography, and social activism.

“Absalom Jones’s example of faith, courage, and commitment to holding to the difficult stand is a great beacon of light for anyone engaging their earthly pilgrimage. This new book is a gift which will help all to see his example more clearly.”
—Catherine Meeks, PhD, executive director, Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing

“Bozzuti-Jones and Taylor offer a window into the life of a transcendent saint who truly embodies a model of dedication, self-sacrifice, and Christ-centered living for all ages.”
— The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson, 11th Bishop of Missouri

“This wonderfully illustrated story that unfolds in the middle of the ugliness that was slavery compels adult and child to read it together and say, ‘We’ve come a mighty long way.’”
—The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, editor of Preaching Black Lives (Matter)
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  • African-American
  • race
  • children’s books
  • Revolutionary War
  • American history
  • American saints

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