Originally located on Perry Street, St. Stephens Episcopal Church was organized in 1868 with a black vestry and a black rector, Reverend J. S. Atwell. It was an outgrowth of Major Giles B. Cooke's Sunday School for Blacks in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in 1867. A church member, George F. Bragg, Jr., published the city's first black secular newspaper, The Lancet, in the 1880's. He later entered the Episcopal ministry. Cooke, who was rector of St. Stephen's, founded the Bishop Payne Divinity School (1884-1949), Virginia's first Episcopal seminary for blacks.
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Geographical and Contact Information
228 Halifax Street