Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander (1865-1947) was born to recently emancipated slaves on Butler Plantation in MacIntosh County, Georgia. She became the first black deaconess in The Episcopal Church.

In 1998, she was named a Saint of Georgia by the Diocese of Georgia with a feast day of September 24.

In 2011, the Diocese of Georgia first passed a resolution calling on the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church to recognize her feast day through inclusion in its Holy Women, Holy Men. Following three years of study, the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music recommended the addition and in 2015, the Episcopal Church voted to include her in Holy Women, Holy Men at its General Convention in Salt Lake City, adding national recognition for this Saint of 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 MacIntosh Counties. She helped establish Good Shepherd Episcopal Church 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. 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: