Father Raphael of Jamaica

His background and early career.

Jamaican In Unique Position.
from Jamaica Times April 26 1913


Jamaica Times Special.
The African Times and Orient Review, February and March, contains an interesting biographical note on the Rev. Father Raphael of the Russo-Greek Church, and of the Order of the Cross of Golgotha.
In the world the Father was known as Robert Morgan and what is very interesting to us is that he was born in Jamaica. He is the only representative of the Negro Race who is a Priest in the Greek Church.
He was born in this Island more than 40 years ago. Six months after his birth his father died. He received his early training from his mother and was brought up among Church of England folk. In his teens he left Jamaica and was educated at a Grammar School in Sierra Leone and then at the famous Church of England College at Fourah Bay. As a poor boy he had to work to help himself through and he was also assisted by friends. He travelled a great deal visiting Africa, Syria, Asia Minor, the United States, England and almost every country in Europe.
He spent some years in Liberia as a missionary and then went to tour in the Southern States of the United States. Desiring to take Orders, he went to St. Aidens College, Birkenhead and to Kings College, London. He was ordained and went to the United States where he worked under the American Episcopal Church.
Later on, changing his views he entered the Greek Church and about six years ago was ordained a priest of Constantinople. He was detailed as a missionary to his fellow co-religionists among the coloured people of the United States and has worked there ever since. His headquarters are at Philadelphia where he wishes to build a chapel for this purpose. He recently visited Europe, to collect funds.
It is interesting to note that he has some intention of extending his work to the West Indies.
The African Times and Orient Review  was a periodical published in London by Duse Mohamed Ali from 1912 to 1928 as a 'Pan-Oriental Pan-African journal'.
The article is essentially identical with the first reports in the Daily Gleaner.


I later received information from the Archives of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.on the career of Robert Josias Morgan in the church there.

He was ordained deacon by Bishop Coleman in the Diocese of Delaware on June 20 1895; they have no record of his ordination to the priesthood of that church.

In 1898 he was transferred to the Missionary Jurisdiction of Ashville (now in the Diocese of Western North Carolina). In 1899 he was serving as assistant minister at St. Stephen's Chapel, Morganton and St. Cyprian's Church, Lincolnton.

 Between 1900 and 1905 he seems to have moved between Philadelphia, Richmond, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. There is no further information on him in the Episcopal records, although he was still listed, until 1908, when he was suspended from his ministry for abandonment of the same.

The only other institution I have so far been able to check on is St. Aidan's Theological College, whose records contain no reference to him in the relevant period before he was ordained in the U.S.A.

 Site authored by Joy Lumsden, MA (Cantab), PhD (UWI).

email me: jamaican_sites(at)care2(dot)com