Galveston Episcopal Churches Raise Funds For Headstone for The Rev. Thomas Cain

The Episcopal churches on Galveston Island are raising money for a grave marker for the Rev. Thomas Cain. The Rev. Cain was called to serve as the second vicar of Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church on Galveston Island, the first historically black Episcopal church in Texas.

Born into slavery in 1843, the Rev. Cain was in the first graduating class of the Bishop Payne Divinity School in Petersburg, Virginia. In 1888, Bishop Gregg, first Bishop of Texas, called the Rev. Cain to serve the people of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Known for his social advocacy and community work, the Rev. Cain was elected to represent the Diocese of Texas as a delegate to General Convention in 1889.

On September 8, 1900, the Great Storm devastated Galveston Island. This hurricane is the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. The Rev. Cain, along with his wife, Bettie, died in the storm. The day after the storm, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston found the Rev. Cain's body on the beach. He was hastily buried in a temporary grave. Later that year, Bishop Kinsolving, second Bishop of Texas, reinterred the Rev. Cain in historic Lakeview Cemetery on Galveston Island. The location of the last remains of his wife, Bettie, are unknown.

Currently, the Rev. Cain's grave is unmarked. The people of all three historic churches in Galveston, Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, Grace Episcopal Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church are raising funds to install a grave marker. This effort is a sign of their shared ministry on Galveston Island.

To make a gift, visit and select "Rev. Cain Memorial Fd." from the dropdown menu. A dedication ceremony of the grave marker will be held following its installation.