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The first black bishop to serve in the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit was Bishop Moses B. Anderson.  Anderson passed away last week from cardiac arrest.

Bishop Anderson was ordained in 1958. He is a native of Selma, Alabama and attended Xavier University in New Orleans. In 1983, Bishop Anderson was given his position by Pope John Paul II. This anointment made him the first African-American of that position in Detroit and the seventh black Bishop in the United States. He was over 63 churches in the archdiocese.

Bishop Anderson took his ministry to Ghana after learning of his lineage and African ancestry. His great-great-great grandmother was an African woman from Ghana who was brought to the United States during slavery. During his many pilgrimages to Ghana, Anderson was honored with the title of Tribal Chief of the Ashanti Tribe in 1990.

Despite his chosen life in the Catholic Church, the Archbishop was exposed to Jim Crow laws of the south and racism. It was said that he continued to have a kind spirit regardless of his surroundings. His first speech as an archbishop was on race in 1953. He “warned that the United States was going backwards on race relations after years of improvement,” according to an article by the Catholic News Service.

Services for the 84-year-old Archbishop were held yesterday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
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3 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Archbishop Moses Anderson

  1. Ralph Cyrus on said:

    Ralph Seth and I just wanted to make a correction about Bishop Moses Anderson. He was an “Axillary” Bishop or helping bishop for the Archidioceses Detriot. He did not reach the rank of Archbishop. The only men of African American descent to make that rank were Eugene Marino, James Lyke and Winton Gregory, all of Atlanta. Archbishop Gregory is still active in Atlanta. the other two gentlemen are decreased. We are praying that the Holy Father will elevated Archbishop Gregory to Cardinal, the highest rank for any clergy in the United States of any color.

  2. Michael Allen on said:


    My Name is Michael Allen and I just wanted to extend my heart felt sorrow to the family of Bishop Anderson. In 1965 or I and my family had the pleasure of meeting this man of God and he was indeed a great sholar of the holy catholic church, He was the priest at St Cathrine School in Elizabeth City NC when attended the school doing this time. My family and I had many dinner and support from this great man of God and he will be truly miss by all. Bishop Anderson or as I knew him Father Anderson Rest In Peace for work here on this earth is done but thou is in a better home now. May God richly except him into his loving arms with love, peace and happiness. God’s Blessing to the family of late Bishop Anderson may he always live in your hearts as he does in those he touched for so many, many years. God Bless.

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