John Maury Allin, 1921-1998

Black Leadership for the Church

Allin was perceived to be more concerned with enabling leadership within the Church’s black clergy than seeking the advice of outside experts. The last officer in charge of African American affairs at the Episcopal Church Center, the Reverend Tollie Caution, had been summarily pushed aside by the Hines administration as a man out of step with the new order. Under Bishop Allin the Office of Black Ministries was established at the Episcopal Church headquarters. In addition, he insured more secure funding for the three Episcopal black colleges: St. Augustine’s, St. Paul’s, and Voorhees. He restored a black ministries priest on his staff, and initiated affirmative-action hiring. During his term, Dr. Charles Radford Lawrence was elected President of the House of Deputies, the first African American to hold that post. Lawrence used his appointment power to introduce greater numbers of African Americans and other under-represented groups to the Church’s decision making bodies. [Sources]