An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bell, Wilbur Cosby

(Apr. 1, 1881-Apr. 6, 1933). Theologian and Seminary Professor. He was born in Augusta County, Virginia. Bell received his B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College in 1900 and his M.Div. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1905. He was ordained deacon on June 16, 1905, and priest on Feb. 4, 1906. Bell began his ministry at Trinity Church, Onancock, Virginia. From 1906 until 1911, he was rector of Robert E. Lee Memorial Church, Lexington, Virginia. In 1911-1912, he was rector of St. Andrew's Church, Louisville, Virginia. In 1912 Bell became Professor of Systematic Divinity and Apologetics at the Virginia Theological Seminary, where he remained until his death. His major publications were Sharing in Creation: Studies in the Christian View of the World (1925), The Making of Man (1931), If a Man Die (1934), and The Reasonableness of Faith in God (1937). He stressed the theory of evolution and believed that creation is a process in which God is always involved. He was an optimistic, hopeful, forward-looking theologian of the 1920s. Bell died in Alexandria.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.