Highlights from the 2024 Celebration of the Rev. Absalom Jones Day

Acolyte swinging thurible during the elevation of the Eucharist

The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and the Black Clergy Caucus presented the 2024 celebration of the Reverend Absalom Jones Day, on Saturday, February 3, at St. Philip's Church in Brooklyn. The Rev. Absalom Jones was the first person of African descent ordained a priest in the United States. The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of the Diocese of Long Island, presided. The Reverend Devon Jerome Crawford, National Executive Director of the Multifaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration, preached the sermon. 


Event Recap Video

View the Service Recording

View the Sermon Recording

Photos from the Event

Photos by Jennifer Uihlein (Girl in a Camera Productions)

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About Reverend Devon Jerome Crawford

Jerome Crawford

Reverend Devon Jerome Crawford is the National Executive Director of the Multifaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration. Founded by Sen. Raphael Warnock, the Multifaith Initiative leverages the power of U.S. faith leaders and communities to demand and promote an end to mass incarceration at the local and national levels through training, advocacy, and direct action. Rev. Crawford also serves as the campus minister in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.

Prior to leading EMI, Rev. Crawford was the inaugural Staff Director of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice in the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Under his leadership, the Trotter Collaborative supported several statewide and national campaigns led by social justice organizations that have, among other things, advanced voting rights, transformed criminal legal systems, and spearheaded reparations research and advocacy for Black Americans. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the Trotter Collaborative partnered with eight cities across the United States and the United Kingdom to transform public safety policies and practices. The Trotter Collaborative also strategized with two governors to produce race equitable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rev. Crawford has held named fellowships with Humanity in Action, the NAACP, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership. A son of the south, Rev. Crawford was baptized in New Pilgrim Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL and was licensed to preach the gospel at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, also in Birmingham. He later became pastor-in-residence at the city’s storied Tabernacle Baptist Church. Rev. Crawford was ordained into Christian ministry at Myrtle Baptist Church in West Newton, MA, where he served as minister for social justice and interim assistant pastor. Rev. Crawford is an honors graduate of Morehouse College, where he was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar and elected president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel Assistants Program. He also earned his masters degree from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, during which time he served as a student minister at Trinity United Church of Christ.

He is the son of Deborah and Jerome Crawford, the brother of Danielle Elizabeth Crawford Banks, and the uncle of Desoleil S. Banks.