Plaque memorializing James Hervey Otey


Legacies Classification
Memorial Object
Memorial Type
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
Plaque memorializing James Hervey Otey
Background and Context
A parish church for the community of Sewanee was founded in 1875 at the present-day site of the Sewanee Elementary School. Although located on the campus of the University of the South, the church has no formal affiliation with the University.

The site served as a place for Black and white parishioners. The white parishioners at the time called their congregation St. Paul’s-on-the-Mountain, and the Black parishioners called their congregation St. Mark's. Following the construction of a stone parish church nearby, the white congregation consecrated the new church as Otey Memorial Parish in 1891. This was to honor the first Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee James Hervey Otey (1800-1863). Otey was one of the three founding bishops of the University of the South, first Chancellor of the institution, and lifelong defender and participant in the institution of slavery.

In December 2020, the vestry of Otey Memorial Parish petitioned the Diocese of Tennessee to confer upon the parish congregation a new name that did not memorialize a slave-owner. The new name combined the names of the two original congregations: the Episcopal Parish of St. Mark and St. Paul on the Mountain. In addition to the name change, a plaque was placed on the church that recognizes the building was dedicated to Bishop Otey.
Physical Description
Rectangular sandstone plaque embedded in exterior wall of the church.
Memorial Inscription
Completed in 1891 & Dedicated in Memory of
James Hervey Otey
First Bishop of Tennessee
Date created, installed or dedicated
2 May 2021
Location: Institution, City, State
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