Very Rev. Charles Edward Jackson

Page 629-631 - Very Rev. Charles Edward Jackson, the dean of St. Mark’s pro-cathedral of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, is giving loyal and devoted service in the parish of this pioneer mother church of western Michigan, the history of which has been replete in large and consecrated work for the community welfare and for the advancing of the cause of the Divine Master, with foremost place in the upbuilding of the Protestant Episcopal church in the diocese of western Michigan. The dean of St. Mark’s was born in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 1878, and is a son of Henry and Annie Jackson, the former of whom is deceased and the latter of whom still resides in Boston. The early educational advantages of Dean Jackson included those of the Boston Latin School. In 1902 he was graduated in Harvard University from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He thereafter completed his course in the Episcopal Theological School at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1904, which year was marked also by his ordination to the diaconate. A year later he was ordained to the priesthood. His first call was to the position of curate of the Church of the Epiphany in New York City, thereafter he served as vicar of Christ church in Newark, New Jersey, and he next became rector of the parish of St. John’s church in East Boston, Massachusetts. Thereafter he was rector of the Church of the Ascension in the city of Fall River, that state, and since February, 1922, he has been the dean of St. Mark’s pro-cathedral in Grand Rapids, this being the See church of the diocese of western Michigan. In this field Dean Jackson is well upholding the noble traditions and splendid constructive precedence of this old and important parish. While still a resident of his native state, Den Jackson served as president of the Massachusetts Sunday School Association and as president of the Fall River Ministers Association. In Grand Rapids likewise he has given effective service as president of the Ministerial Association of the city. Here he has been also an active worker in the Family Service Association, president of the Rotary Club and president of Central High Parent-Teachers Association. The parish of St. Mark’s church in Grand Rapids dates its inception from the year 1836, when Michigan’s second city of the present day was but a pioneer hamlet in the midst of the surrounding forests. The work of this mother parish of western Michigan thus began in the year prior to that in which Michigan was admitted to statehood, and its service has continued during the long intervening years as a potential force in spiritual, ethical and cultural growth. The first church edifice, on the site of the present pro-cathedral, was consecrated in October, 1848, by Right Rev. Samuel McCoskry, the first Episcopal bishop of Michigan. St. Mark’s represented pioneer influence in higher education in western Michigan. Here it founded the first college and the first hospital, the original St. Mark’s hospital having been the nucleus around which was evolved the present modern Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids, and the hospital having been conducted under the direct auspices of St. Mark’s church for fully a quarter of a century. St. Mark’s likewise established the first manual training school and the first social center in Grand Rapids, founded the Mothers League, and organized St. Mark’s Cadets, a command that was well equipped and drilled and that functioned largely as do now the National Guard and the Boy Scouts. Major James G. McBride, who was at the head of this military organization, was long an honored and influential citizen of Grand Rapids. With St. Mark’s Cadets many young men received their early military discipline who later served with the American Expeditionary Forces in the World war. The church and the parish house of St. Mark’s are open daily. St. Mark’s pro-cathedral, like historic old Trinity church in New York city, stands now in the center of a section given over largely to business and in the hurry and rush of modern commercialism it represents a calm and generous influence for spirituality and higher things. At little Bostwick lake St. Mark’s maintains Camp Roger for the entertaining and training of boys in the summer vacation period, this splendid camp having been given by William H. Anderson as a permanent and fitting memorial to his son Roger, who died in boyhood. Of this camp the admirable boy choir of St. Mark’s avails itself each successive season. All phases of the spiritual and community service emanate from St. Mark’s as a center. Dean Jackson was married in 1909 to Mary Roberta Sparklin, of Maryland. They have three children, Nancy, Mary Louise and Frances.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 30 December 2002