A new plaque outside the Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven includes a straightforward question from the baptismal covenant of the Book of Common Prayer: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?”

The plaque was unveiled Sunday afternoon as Grace Church became the 28th site on the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard.

The church was designated to honor the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first African American Episcopal priest, the Rt. Rev. John Melville Burgess, the first African American diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church and a Vineyard resident, and artist and muralist Allan Rohan Crite, whose mural adorns a wall in the church’s youth room.

"It's just an exciting day for Grace Church." — Mark Alan Lovewell

The parish house was filled with guests to celebrate the designation.

“It’s an exciting day for Grace Church,” said Leigh Ann Yuen, who chairs the church’s Burgess Committee. The committee seeks to promote diversity and education about racial justice within the church community and beyond.

Reverend Burgess and his wife Esther joined Grace Church in 1989. Mrs. Burgess was instrumental in founding what would later become the Burgess Committee.

Dean and professor emerita of Simmons College, Betty Rawlins, spoke in their honor. “Here we are today in what I consider the next step in Grace Church’s recognition of the diversity of God’s people and the history of this particular church in that regard,” Ms. Rawlins said. “I’d say that Esther Burgess is the reason that we are here.”

Elaine Weintraub, who helped found the trail, said a theme seems to have emerged: dreams.

“Absalom Jones was born into enslavement,” she said. “But this was a dreamer of dreams too.”

Absalom Jones eventually gained freedom and founded the first black church in Philadelphia. He also founded the Free African Society to support people who recently escaped from slavery.

Ms. Weintraub said the African American Heritage Trail aims to help restore the Island’s true historical narrative. “We are tellers of stories,” she said.

Though Reverend Jones preached primarily in Philadelphia, his legacy lives on throughout the church. He and Reverend Burgess are honored in Grace Church with stained glass windows in their likenesses.

Dr. Reginald Jackson, artist and professor emeritus of Simmons College, spoke in honor of Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite. The two had been close friends and worked together with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The remembrance of the great work that he did... is greatly appreciated,” he said. “Allan was committed, and he was a very dear friend.”

Mr. Crite died in 2007. Much of his work focuses on religion. He also sought to document daily life for black people. His work appears in multiple churches as well as in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

During the unveiling ceremony outside the church, Julia Burgess, daughter of Esther and Reverend Burgess, read the new plaque aloud. She reminded the crowd to act for justice.

“We should all be making a commitment to improving people’s lives,” she said.

And the people responded: “Amen.”