- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - A Petersburg school that prepared black men for the ministry is being recognized with a Virginia historical marker.

The marker honoring the Bishop Payne Divinity School will be dedicated on March 29. The school was established in 1878 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Normal and Industrial School.

The divinity school was started by the Rev. John Payne, the first bishop of Liberia. Its graduates included James Solomon Russell, who founded St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville.

Bishop Payne Divinity School merged in 1949 with the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. The sign was approved this month by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The sign will be dedicated at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Petersburg.

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