Kirton, Edwin W. Edit


SC MS 042
Finding Aid Author
Lana Donaldson Taylor
Finding Aid Date
1994 May 2
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1927-1986 (Creation)


  • 11.00 boxes (Whole)
    Contains 5 document boxes, 4 bankers boxes, and 2 oversized boxes.
  • 11.00 Linear Feet (Whole)

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  • Scope and Contents

    This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, church programs and scrapbooks as well as a large collection of sheet music that belonged to Mrs. Kirton. The scrapbooks in this collection highlight Father Kirton's career and other family events and the social column written by Mrs. Kirton for the Afro American newspaper.

  • Biographical or Historical Information

    The Rev. Edwin Eggleston Kirton, STD was born December 13, 1907 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He was a clergyman, theologian and community leader. Father Kirton obtained a degree in biology and chemistry from City College of New York in 1932. In 1938 he attended New York Law School. A dream that took 18 years to realize was finally achieved in 1950 when he became an Episcopal priest. In order to support his family and still pursue his dream of the priesthood during the Depression, Kirton worked as a postal clerk in New York. The Kirtons arrived in Wilmington in 1951 when he became the rector of historic St. Marks Episcopal Church.

    Father Kirton dedicated his life to serving his fellow man and improving the communities in which he lived. He was very active in local, state and national organizations. Father Kirton was an original member of the Good Neighbor Council, a forerunner of the New Hanover County Human Relations Commission. During Wilmington's and New Hanover County's years of racial tension and desegregation, his was one of the voices of reason and prudence. Some of the hights and achievements of his life and career can be found in the following timeline.

    December 13, 1907: Born Port of Spain, Trinidad

    1932: Received a degree in biology and chemistry from City College of New York

    May 1933: Married Eunice Odessa Braithwaite

    1938: Attended New York Law School

    1948-1949: Attended General Theological Seminary in New York

    1949: Ordained to sacred order of deacons at Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, Long Island New York

    1950: Advanced to priesthood; Vicar of St. Michael’s and All Angels, Medford, New York

    1950-1976: Rector, St. Marks Episcopal Church, Wilmington NC

    1953-1975: Director, Oceancide Episcopal Camp, Topsail Island, NC; Builder and priests-in-charge of Wade H. Chestnut Memorial Chapel, Topsail Island, NC

    1954: Elected to 4th Province-Provincial Synod

    1955: Elected to 4th Province-Provincial Synod

    1955-1960: Faculty member of St. Augustine’s Summer School of Religious  Education

    1958: Outstanding citizen, Omega Psi Phi fraternity (Wilmington, NC)

    1961: Board Member, Family Services (New Hanover County); Member Community Council (Wilmington,  NC); Member mental health Advisory Board (New Hanover County); Charter member and director of New Hanover County Blood Assurance Plan; Member men’s Advisory Board Phyllis Wheatly Branch YWCA

    1961: Clerical deputy, General Convention protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1962-1975: Black member of Governor’s (NC) Committee on Juvenile Delinquency & Youth Crime

    1962-1976; Elected to 4th Province-Provincial Synod Diocese, East Carolina, Chairman Department of Missions

    1963-1965: Member of Executive Council Diocese of East Carolina

    1963-1972: Chair of biracial committee for Wilmington and New Hanover County

    1964: Clerical deputy, General Convention Protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1965: Elected to 4th Province-Provincial Synod

    1966: First black President of New Hanover County Ministerial Association

    1967-19??: Chairman, Governor’s (NC) Council, Employment of Handicapped Com.

    1967: Nominated Bishop Coadjutor

    1969-1970: Clerical deputy, General Convention Protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1969-1974: Member, Standing Committee Protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1970: Member, Committee Christian Social Relations, House of Deputies, Protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1970-1975: Member, Wilmington Youth Council Advisory Board

    1972-1978: Charter member and director of Opportunities Inc.; Chairman Welfare Committee, PTA; Member and secretary, Advisory Recreation Commission (Wilmington, NC)

    1973: Clerical deputy, General Convention Protestant Episcopal Church USA

    1973-1974: Member, Standing Committee on Program, Budget & Finance Episcopal Church USA

    1973-1979: Chairman Region “O” Family Resources

    1974: Honored as “Father to Hundreds” by campers of Oceanside Episcopal Camp, Topsail Island, NC

    1980: Governor’s (NC) distinguished award

    1981: Received Distinguished Service Award from President Reagan

    October 9, 1986: Died at Porter’s Neck, NC

    Note written by Lana Donaldson Taylor

  • Acquisition Information

    This collection was donated by Father Edwin Kirton on July 11, 1985.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research use. Scrapbooks in this collections are very fragile and access must be requested prior to visiting Special Collections.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Literary rights to manuscript material remains the property of the donor.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], MS# 042 Edwin E. Kirton Family Private Papers, William M. Randall Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

  • Processing Information

    Originally processed by Lana Donaldson Taylor in 1994. In 2014, this manuscript collection was re-foldered and re-housed with current archival standard materials by Kate Edwards.