James Solomon Russell UBE
The Union of Black Episcopalians stands in the continuing tradition of more than 200 years of Black leadership in the Episcopal Church. Beginning with the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first priest of African descent and the establishment of St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1794, leadership of Blacks in the Episcopal Church has continued through UBE chapters across the United States. Organized in 1968 as the Union of Black Clergy and Laity, the Union is the proud inheritor of the work of many people like Quintin Primo, Johnny Walker, Tollie Caution and Debra Harmon Hines. UBE also grew out of the work and spirit of earlier organizations. The Convocation of Colored Clergy and the Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People was dedicated to justice and the ministry of Blacks in the Episcopal Church. The JSR DIOSOVA Chapter was established in 1968 with the first UBE National President, Father Joseph N. Green of Grace Episcopal Church, Norfolk. The chapter continues to be dedicatied to serve as an instrument to eradicate racism and social injustice and to help the Episcopal Church become one body for all.