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Absalom Jones
      Absalom Jones, together with Richard Allen, were among the earliest ordained black ministers in the United States. Jones was born in Delaware and sold to a Philadelphia storeowner at age 16. He later purchased freedom for both his wife and himself.
      Both Jones and Allen were educated by Quakers in Philadelphia, where they were students at antislavery activist Anthony Benezet's school. See Henry Cadbury, "Negro Membership in the Society of Friends.". Following the segregation of blacks in an Episcopal church in Philadelphia in 1786, Jones and Allen founded a black congregation, St. Thomas African Episcopal Church. This was the 'mother church' for what became, beginning in 1816, the African Methodist Episcopal Church movement. Jones functioned as a minister in the Philadelphia community until his death, becoming one of the major African American figures to emerge from the eighteenth century.

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SermonA Thanksgiving Sermon
       A Thanksgiving Sermon preached January 1, 1808, in St. Thomas's, or the African Episcopal, Church, Philadelphia: On Account of the Abolition of the African slave trade, on that day, by the Congress of the United States. By Absalom Jones, rector of the said church. Philadelphia: Fry and Kammerer, 1808. At a meeting of the Vestry of St

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