In her earlier life, though, Alexander was a public school teacher. But she found the education that children received was lacking, according to a documentary about her life.
She joined two of her sisters at St. Cyprian’s Church in Darien.
To serve people at St. Cyprian’s in Darien, she would walk 15 miles and row along the Altamaha River.
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Alexander founded the Good Shepherd Church and built a two-room school next door, paving the way to educate generations of the area’s students, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
Image of Deaconess Anna Alexander on a stained glass window at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church on St. Simons Island. Credit: Episcopal Diocese of Georgia
According to the diocese, “her congregations were segregated in 1907 and African-American congregations were not invited to another diocesan convention until 1947. Similarly, it was only in the 1950s that a woman set aside as a deaconess was recognized as being in deacon’s orders. However, her witness — wearing the distinctive dress of a deaconess, traveling by foot from Brunswick through Darien to Pennick, showing care and love for all whom she met — represents the best in Christian witness.”
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But her attention was not just in that area.
In 1923, an earthquake struck the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan, killing more than 200,000 people. Alexander sent money to help the victims. She also made sure Sunday school students contributed their meager fund to help those suffering from hardship and hunger.
In 1998, she was named a “Saint of Georgia” by the Diocese of Georgia with a feast day on Sept. 24. In 2015, the Episcopal Church voted to include Alexander in Holy Women, Holy Men at its General Convention in Salt Lake City.
Alexander served the church in coastal Georgia for more than 60 years before she died in 1947.
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