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Black History Month: Who is Lemuel Haynes?

Learn more about Lemuel Haynes, (July 18, 1753- September 28th, 1833) in the following article that appears in The Christian History Magazine.

“Black Bishop in a White World.”

“He was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, to a reportedly Caucasian mother of some status and a man named Haynes, who was said to be ‘of some form of African extraction’… At the age of five months, Lemuel Haynes was given over to indentured servitude in Granville, Massachusetts. Although serving as an agricultural worker, part of the agreement required educating him. Through accompanying his masters to church, he became exposed to Calvinistic thought. At about twenty years of age, he saw the Aurora Borealis, and, fearing the approach of the Day of Judgment as a result, he soon accepted Christianity… in 1774 when his indenture expired, Haynes joined the minutemen of Granville. In 1775, he marched with his militia company to Roxbury, Massachusetts, following the news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In 1776, he accompanied them in the garrisoning of the recently captured Fort Ticonderoga. He returned to his previous labors in Granville after the northern campaign of the American War of Independence… By the 1780s, Haynes became a leading Calvinist minister in Vermont… As the first black person in America to serve as pastor of a white congregation, Haynes ministered first to Hemlock Church (now 1st Congregational Church) of Torrington, Connecticut in 1785 and then Rutland’s West Parish for thirty years starting in 1793. Middlebury College granted Haynes an honorary master of arts in 1804, the first advanced degree ever bestowed upon an African American.”

The image above is of Lemuel Haynes and is drawn on one of his sermons.


Sources: Christian History Magazine & Lemuel Haynes