Painting of Dr. Adam Empie.
Dr. Adam Empie (1785-1860) was known for his erudite, eloquent, and impassioned sermons. He started at St. James Episcopal Church, which was established by the NC General Assembly in 1729, in 1810. He successfully increased membership through efforts to improve and beautify the church. He left St. James in 1814 to become the first Chaplain of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In After he completed his term in 1817, Empie returned to St. James for his second time as the rector. He focused on social welfare during his time at the church, and also worked hard towards organizing a diocese in the state. He added Sunday and bible classes. He was generally well-liked, but made some members of his congregation unhappy with his open dislike of slavery. In 1827 he moved to Williamsburg, VA, where he was rector of Bruton Parish and, for nine years, president of William and Mary College. In 1830 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill). He ended his career in Richmond, helping to organize St. James Parish in 1837.
St. James Church (Wilmington, N.C.); Empie, Adam, 1785-1860
Cape Fearians Vertical Files, "St. James Church"
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