Phillips, Henry Laird

Henry Laird Phillips (1847-1935)

Religious leader and philanthropist

Current Church Address: 620 S. 8th Street



The Reverend Henry Phillips, a native of the West Indies, became the first African-American rector of the Church of the Crucifixion in 1877   Under his leadership, the Church of the Crucifixion sponsored several funds for the poor, including the Progressive Workingmen's Club, the parish's first charitable organization, which was established in 1878 with Phillips as president. His other philanthropic work included the establishment of a home for crippled children, support of mission work in the African-American community and work in prisons.

(From: Blockson, Charles L. Philadelphia's Guide: African-American State Historical Markers. Philadelphia: Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection / William Penn Foundation, 1992.)