Rev. Anthony Toomer Porter

McClennan Banks Hospital
Rev. Anthony Toomer Porter, circa 1895

On October 25th, 1867, The Rev. Anthony Toomer Porter, an Episcopal clergyman and former planter, visited the grave of his 11-year old son, John Toomer Porter, who died of yellow fever in 1864. This visit inspired Porter to begin his life’s work: the education of boys orphaned or left destitute by the Civil War. Porter opened the Holy Communion Church Institute in March of 1868.

“Suddenly I heard a voice saying to me, in distinct articulate tones, ‘Stop grieving for the dead, and do something for the living.’”
The Rev. Anthony Toomer Porter from his autobiography, Led On! Step by Step, 1899.