The delegates to the 2023 diocesan convention unanimously voted to name Deaconess Alexander as the Patron Saint of the Diocese. Deaconess Anna Ellison Butler Alexander (1865-1947) has been recognized as a saint by the Diocese of Georgia since 1998 and by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church since 2018, with her feast day celebrated on September 24.
She served the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia despite the persecution and hardships she faced during the Jim Crow era, founding Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Pennick in 1894 and Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Pennick in 1902. She was set aside by Bishop C. K. Nelson as the first and only Black Deaconess in the history of The Episcopal Church in 1907. She tirelessly and devotedly taught, led services, cared for the poor and elderly, and inspired young people with hope for six decades.
This gives every congregation in the Diocese the express permission to observe the Feast of St. Anna Alexander, with its assigned collect and scripture readings every year on the Sunday closest to September 24 if they choose to do so. The resolution also urged congregations to take up a special offering on that Sunday to benefit the St. Anna Alexander Center for Reconciliation & Healing and the preservation of the historic Good Shepherd Episcopal Schoolhouse. You can find out more about her life and legacy and the schoolhouse restoration here: GoodShepherdSchoolhouse.org