Lee Little, a member of All Saints, Indianapolis, has been the diocese’s historiographer since 2018.
A law librarian at the Indiana University School of Law, he has developed a map, embedded below, that traces the development of the Episcopal Church in Indiana from “pre-diocesan mission spots” that existed primarily in the southern part of the state, through the present day. The map depicts the establishment and movement of Episcopal churches and church-related institutions. It also identifies areas that were racially segregated through redlining and jurisdictions known as Sundown Towns. Make sure to consult the legend when exploring the map.
One of Little’s other responsibilities is the collection of parish and congregational histories, and he is asking for help.
“If your congregation does not have a written history, I encourage you to prepare one; the work is worthwhile and serves as a prayerful reminder of our faithful forebears,” he says.
Little is compiling a list of resource for people who want to know more about the history of the Episcopal Church in their region or community, and that will be posted here soon. He hopes his research will ultimately make it possible to prepare an updated history of the diocese, which was founded as part of the Missionary Diocese of the Northwest in 1837.
Please send congregational histories–some parishes may have more than one–to Little via email.
Maps are a great medium for exploring the interaction of human institutions with physical geography. A map may help show travelers the way to their destination; this map does the opposite: it shows path of the Episcopal Church in the Hoosier state. There is a lot of information contained in the map, so the following legend should clear up potential confusion.
1. “Pre-diocesan mission spots” indicates where and when Episcopal clergy are recorded as having worked prior to 1837. This may have been a short stop or more permanent residence. These are mostly in the southern portion of the state between Louisville, Kentucky and Vincennes. These are indicated by green “M”s
2. The various stages of church development document where congregations have existed. The colors and shapes of the pins indicate the following:
- Blue pins: currently existing in the Diocese of Indianapolis
- Green pins: currently existing in the Diocese of Northern Indiana
- Gold: currently the cathedral of the respective diocese
- Red: no longer extant
- Brown: land owned by the diocese
- Pins: parishes or cathedrals
- Encircled “M”s: missions
- Blue tent: Waycross camp
- Red graduation cap: former site of Canterbury College
- Green circles: location of the diocesan headquarters
- Purple houses: site of the episcopal residence until Bishop Edward W. Jones (1977-97)
3. Each county is outlined in a particular color. Red is the Northern Diocese of Indiana, Purple is the Diocese of Indianapolis, and Green is the Diocese of Indianapolis but indicates a proposed missionary district from the 1880s.
4. All available red-lining maps have been included for the Diocese of Indianapolis; these appear in the relevant cities in colors that were present in the original map.
5. Documented “sundown towns” are noted with a black moon.
6. Gold lines indicate the movement of the cathedrals in both diocese
7. Green lines indicate the movement of the diocesan offices
8. Purple lines indicate congregational movement or movement of the bishop’s house