The TRAIL OF SOULS is a continuing journey, toward the truth of our Church’s racial history and its struggle for racial reconciliation.
The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church called on each diocese to continue gathering information about the history of slavery, segregation and discrimination. In 2012 Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton invited all of the parishes of the Diocese of Maryland to engage in a study of their history of slavery and its legacies. A Research and Pilgrimage Working Group of the Diocesan Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to work with the current predominantly African American parishes and with parishes founded before 1864 (the year the State of Maryland adopted a new constitution in which chattel slavery was abolished.
As parishes responded, the Working Group’s vision of a pilgrimage that would complement and enlarge the diocese’s racial history already discovered by Mary Klein, archivist, and the Rev. Kingsley Smith, historiographer, find it here.
Twenty-six parishes, listed below, committed to this work, a journey that would take them deep into their history and discoveries that illuminate their present and are leading them into a future with new truths and renewed commitments.
This is a journey, a pilgrimage, that can be taken by individuals and groups both in-person and “virtually” via this website. A snippet of each parish’s history is included in this guide, with more information posted on parish websites accessible through a link at the bottom of each church’s page.
Parishes can and likely will make additions as more information is discovered in their ongoing journey. Additional parishes are encouraged to join the Trail of Souls.
The Trail of Souls will be an ever-expanding pilgrimage toward truth and reconciliation, to tell the story of the Diocese of Maryland’s racial history and its struggle for truth and reconciliation.