Erasmus LaFayette Baskervill was born in the town of Clarksville, Mecklenburg County, VA on October 3, 1870. He graduated from Boydton Institute in 1894, served in the U.S. Army for nine years, and was discharged in 1903 with the rank of 1st Sergeant.
Baskervill received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bishop Payne Divinity School, Petersburg, VA in 1908, a graduate certificate from Columbia University, New York City, and an honorary doctorate from Morgan College (now Morgan State University) in Baltimore, MD.
In 1914, Baskervill was named Archdeacon for work among African-Americans in the Diocese of South Carolina. He coordinated the work of numerous churches and missions, parochial and industrial schools, and health programs. The Archdeacon was a great voice for education as a means to raise the status of Negro people. He served on many local, state and federal government commissions addressing that need and presided over region-wide ministerial and inter-denominational conferences promoting education.
In the 1930s, the Archdeacon was named to Boydton Institute’s Corporate and Esteemed Alumni Boards, which attempted to save the struggling school, once referred to as “The Mecca of the South,” from financial demise.
The Archdeacon died in June 1937 at age sixty-six in Charleston, SC.
The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia published an article about Archdeacon Baskervill that may be found here.
Adapted from a 2010 thesis project, a biography of Archdeacon E. L. Baskervill by Charles Farrar.