A Saint of South Georgia

The above video shares some living memories of the Deaconess, who labored long and hard for the education of poor blacks in Georgia’s Glynn and McIntosh Counties. She helped establish Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and its parochial school in Pennick, which is west of Brunswick, Georgia. She also established and helped run the St. Cyprian’s School at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Darien.

In 1907 at a service at Good Shepherd Thomasville as a part of the Convention for Colored Episcopalians, Bishop C.K. Nelson set Anna aside as a deaconess. He wrote in his diary for May 3 of that year, “Admitted as Deaconess Anna E. B. Alexander, a devout, godly and respected colored woman, to serve as teacher and helper in the Mission of the Good Shepherd, Pennick, Ga.” She would be the only African American to serve as a deaconess.

In the Episcopal Church those recognized as saints will typically exhibit the following traits: heroic faith, love, goodness of life, joyousness, service to others for Christ’s sake, and devotion. In his 1930 convention address, Bishop F.F. Reese, the longest serving Bishop of Georgia, told the convention of the work of Deaconess Alexander. He told the convention delegates of “the faith and courage and persistency of this good woman.” Bishop Reese added, “I think that it is proper and just that I should make this notice, because this woman is entitled to it, and because her example is a good and encouraging one to all of us.” Through her holiness of life, constant example and teaching, many children received a quality education and went on to technical school and college.

A 3-minute version of the above video is online here: 3-Minute Deaconess Alexander Video


Deaconess Anna E.B. Alexander is shown above with a group of her students in front of the Good Shepherd School which she founded in Pennick, Georgia.