“Mrs. Sarah J. Fosque, aged seventy-five years, died suddenly at the Virginia Home for Incurables Sunday morning about 5 o’clock. She was subject to heart attacks and this disease as the cause of her demise. A few moments before she died she rang the bell for a nurse and told her when she came that she wanted the doctor at once. Before he could get down the steps she was dead.
The remains were shipped yesterday to Philadelphia, where she was born and had a number of relatives. She married Captain William F. Fosque, of Accomac County, and survived him several years. She possessed considerable property at the time of her death and was by no means a charity patient at home. She was a staunch but very liberal minded Episcopalian, frequently, when in better health, attending Methodist camp-meetings and taking great interest in the work of all denominations. She thought Easter the choicest day on the calendar and this was the day of her death.”
Source: “Obituary.” Richmond Times 14 April 1903: 2. Print.
John Craig Roak served as Gloria Dei’s rector from 1933 to 1972. Reverend Roak guided his congregation through the end of the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and all but the very end of the United States’ involvement in Viet Nam. Social changes during his tenure at Gloria Dei included the Great Migration of African Americans from the South, the Civil Rights Movement, the rekindled Women’s Movement that began in the 1960’s, President Lyndon Johnson’s experiment with the Great Society, and increasing immigration from “new” parts of the world, especially Southeastern Asia and Latin America.
Jehu Curtis Clay served twice as an assistant to Nils Collin, and succeeded him in 1831. Clay was Gloria Dei’s pastor during some of the most difficult times in the history of the United States: the sectional controversy of the 1850’s, and the first years of the Civil War. He also guided the congregation through an era of impressive growth and fundamental change. The sexton’s house and the present rectory were both constructed in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s, the annex churches at Kingsessing and Upper Merion separated from Gloria Dei, and all three joined the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Gloria Dei was renovated extensively, a necessity for a congregation that outgrew its church building.
Andreas Rudman supervised the construction of the new church at Wicaco, beginning in 1698. The church was dedicated on July 2, 1700. Rudman’s deteriorating health led to his replacement as pastor by Anders Sandel in 1702. That same year, Rudman accepted a call to pastor at a Dutch Lutheran congregation in New York City, and later served two Church of England congregations near Philadelphia.
The 1730’s through the 1780’s was an era dominated by controversy and efforts to maintain the Gloria Dei congregation in the face of strong competition from other denominations. The pastorship was vacant from 1733 to 1737, and the beloved John Dylander had to rebuild the congregation. He was largely successful in this before his untimely death in 1741. Like Rudman, he is buried in the church. Dylander was succeeded by Gabriel Nasman, whose time at Gloria Dei was marked by competition from Moravian missionaties that reduced the size of the congregation, and a debate within the congregation about cooperating with the newly powerful and numerous German Lutherans, who were led by the energetic and capable Reverend Henry Melchior Muhlenberg.
Snyder Binns Simes was Gloria Dei’s pastor longer than any other, serving from 1868 to 1915. Tremendous changes came to the church and its congregation through the effects of the great industrial and economic development of the United States and the Philadelphia region, massive immigration to the United states from southern and eastern Europe, and a long economic depression at the end of the 19th century.
William Irvine (1741-1804) graduated from Dublin University, became a physician, and served as a surgeon in the British Navy before immigrating to Pennsylvania in 1763. He resumed practicing medicine and was a Delegate to Pennsylvania’s anti-Stamp Act conventions in 1764 and 1766. Irvine also took part in Pennsylvania’s conventions held to consider independence in 1774 and 1775.
By Michael Schreiber
Slightly over 200 years ago, Philadelphia was devastated by recurring waves of yellow fever. The epidemic of 1793 wiped out a tenth of the population of the city and adjacent areas, and thousands more died from outbreaks of the disease throughout the next decade.