Daniel Coker -- Bi-racial / Mixed-Race Historical Figure
"Daniel Coker, born in Maryland was the
bi-racial son of a white, English indentured
servant mother, and a Negro slave
father owned by the same master.
Coker, who had learned to read and
write as a result of taking his master's
young son to school daily, finally
escaped and ran away to New York City .
Under the influence of James Varick
and the Methodist Episcopals, he was
ordained a deacon by Bishop Asbury.
Upon returning to Baltimore , he worked
under an assumed name as a teacher in
the school operated by Bethel Church .
Baltimore 's Bethel had been established
at about the same time as the Philadelphia
church, and there was a degree of
rivalry as to which was the oldest.
Coker's freedom was finally purchased
from his congregation, leading the
delegation of six members to the
historic meeting in Philadelphia .
On April 7, 1816, when the first general
convention of the new denomination was
opened in Philadelphia , the New Yorkers
under Varick had voted not to attend.
Two days later, on April 9, Coker from
Baltimore was elected bishop. Richard
Allen, the host minister, was absent
from the election and cast no ballot.
The following day, Coker either resigned
or declined to accept the office.
Like Coker, Richard Allen was also of
Mixed parentage and he served in the
post until his death on March 26, 1831.
Daniel Coker returned to Baltimore, and
although he attended the 1818 convention,
he no longer played an active role
in the leadership of the church.
In February, 1820, in the employ of
the American Colonization Society,
he went as a missionary with the
first group of emigres to Liberia ."---
(excerpt from: "Black Society" by
Gerri Major Johnson Pub. pages 12-13)