Born March 19, 1912 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reverned Canon, Civil Rights Activist
Interviewed by Ashley Henderson
2005 VHFP Fellow – West Chester University
Reverend Canon Thomas W. S. Logan, Jr. has led a long and distinguished career as one of Philadelphia’s most prominent Episcopal ministers, most notably as longtime Rector of the historic Calvary Northern Liberties Church.
Born the son of a minister and a teacher in 1912, Thomas Logan was one of eight siblings to finish college. Education and accomplishment were a priority in the Logan family, and throughout his life he has been surrounded by achievers. His first cousins were the celebrated Delaney sisters, and his father –in-law, Leslie Pinckney Hill, was an author and the first president of Cheney State University.
Logan graduated from Lincoln University in 1935 and was ordained in 1938. He began his ministry at St. Michael’s and All Angel’s Church in 1940, and worked in his first year there to eliminate the church’s debt. He later led the chapel’s successful petition for parish status, and as it’s first Rector, quadrupled the church’s membership in less than five years.
In 1945, Reverend Logan was called upon to lead a newly merged parish. Nearby Calvary Monumental Church had experienced a drop in membership during World War II and voted to invite St. Michaels to merge with them, creating one of Philadelphia’s first interracial congregations. Reverend Logan remained Rector of the church for 44 years until his mandatory retirement at age 72 in 1984. He has since served as Rector Emeritus.
During his tenure, Reverend Logan was committed to the civil rights movement and active in the Philadelphia NAACP. In the early 1960’s he also headed the National Baptist Convention, where he re-connected with a fellow attendee of Crozer Theological Seminary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Logan set up venues for Dr. King to speak in Philadelphia, raised money alongside C. Delores Tucker and others, trained in non-violent tactics and participated in marches and demonstrations with Dr. King.
Reverend Logan has received honorary degrees from, among many others, Lincoln, Hampton University and St. Augustine’s College. He is a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He and his wife of 68 years, Hermione, are the parents of one son, Thomas W. S. Logan, Jr., and grandparents to five grandchildren.
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/loganthomas