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The Reverend Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan, Sr.

March 19, 1912 May 2, 2012
The Reverend Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan,  Sr.
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Obituary for The Reverend Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan, Sr.

Thomas Wilson Strearly Logan, Sr. was born in Philadelphia on March 19, 1912.  The son of a minister and a teacher, Father Logan was 1 of 8 siblings to graduate from college.  Education and achievement were very important and stressed in the Logan family.  Throughout his life he has been surrounded by accomplished men and women.  His 1st cousins were the celebrated Delaney sisters, and his father-in-law, Dr. Leslie Pinckney Hill, was an author and the 1st President of Cheyney University.  Within this family context, Father Logan was encouraged and inspired to make his own significant contributions to society.

After graduating from Central HS for Boys, he attended Johnson C. Smith University and later graduated from Lincoln University in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. 3 years later, he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from General Theological Seminary (GTS) in New York City, and in 1941 received a Master of Sacred Theology from Philadelphia Divinity School (now Episcopal School).  Father Logan has also received 5 honorary doctorates, including Lincoln University, Hampton University and St. Augustine's College.

In 1938, Father Logan married the love of his life, Hermione Hill Logan at St. Simon of Cyrenian Church in South Philadelphia.  The ceremony was officiated by his father, the Reverend John R. Logan, Sr. and his brother, the Reverend John R. Logan, Jr.  From this cherished union was born 1 son, the Reverend Father Thomas W.S. Logan, Jr. who passed in 2011.  There are many special blessings from these 74 years, especially their 5 grandchildren.

Father Logan has selflessly devoted 73 years of his life to the Episcopal Church.  He was spent this dedicated ministry serving on commissions and community groups as well as in parochial leadership.  He was ordained as a deacon in June 1938 in the Diocese of Pennsylvania at Holy Apostles Church.  The following year he advanced to the priesthood at St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia.  He served as Curate at St. Phillips Church in NYC (1938-1939); Vicar at St. Augustine's Chapel in Yonkers, NY (1938-1939); and Vicar & Rector at St. Michael's and All Angels Church in Philadelphia (1940-1945).  At. St. Michael's, he worked successfully to eliminate the church's debt in his first 12 months there.  As its first Rector, Father Logan helped quadruple the church's membership in less than 5 years.

In 1945, Father Logan helped merge Calvary Monumental Church with St. Michael's Church, creating 1 of Philadelphia's first interracial congregations.  He was elevated to Rector at Calvary Church Northern Liberties in Philadelphia where he served until his retirement in 1984 when be was bestowed to the title of Rector Emeritus at Calvary Church.  Father Logan has also served as interim priest for 5 Philadelphia parishes, associate priest at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, and chaplain of the Presbyterian Medical Center and Mercy of Philadelphia Hospital and the Philadelphia Police Department.  At present, he is the oldest serving African American priest in the Episcopal Church, USA.

Father Logan has also served the Church in a number of other leadership roles, including delegate to the Anglican Conference in Cape Town, South Africa; member of the Restitution Fund Commission; past president of the Homeless Fund; member of Diocesan Council; founder of the National Conference of Black Episcopalians; past president of the National Church Workers Conference USA; member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and life member of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Additionally, Father Logan has been a visionary leader in various fraternal and civic organizations locally and nationally.  He is a past Most Worshipful Grandmaster of the Prince Hall Masonry of Pennsylvania; Imperial Chaplain of the Shrine of North America; former president of Hampton University Ministers' Conference; Exalted Ruler of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks of the World; Frontiers International; and the Restitutional Fund Commission.  He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi (Boule) and is also celebrated as the longest serving and oldest living member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. becoming a member in 1933.

His extraordinary contributions to the City of Philadelphia and the region go far beyond that of a parish rector.  He is a past president of the Tribune and Rafters' Charities, and was 1 of the founders of the African American Museum.  Committed to equity and opportunity and active in the local and national work for social and economic justice, Father Logan is a life member of the NAACP and former board member of branches in Philadelphia and Darby, Pennsylvania.  In the early 1960's, he was active with the National Baptist Convention and collaborated with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in organizational and fundraising efforts in Philadelphia to support Civil Rights strategies.

Father Logan's service to humanity and his spiritual and community leadership has been recognized by receipt of numerous awards and citations from church, education, fraternal and community organizations nationwide.  He has served God, church and community with conviction, valor, dignity, unwavering faith and unparalleled commitment.

His memory will forever be cherished by his loving wife of 73 years, Hermione Logan (nee Hill) and a host of other family members and friends.

1st Viewing - Friday, May 11, 2012 5:00 to 7:00 PM at The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas - 6361 Lancaster Avenue.

2nd Viewing - Saturday, May 12, 2012 9:00 AM at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral - 3723 Chestnut Street.  Requiem mass begins at 11:00 AM

Final resting place to conclude at Eden Cemetery - 1434 Springfield Road Collingdale, PA

To send flowers in memory of The Reverend Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan, Sr., visit the Tribute Store.


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