An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bliss, William Dwight Porter

(Aug. 20, 1856-Oct. 8, 1926). Priest and social reformer. He was born in Constantinople, the son of missionaries. He received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1878 and his B.D. from the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1882. After several years as a Congregationalist minister, he became an Episcopalian. He was ordained deacon on June 16, 1886, and priest on June 8, 1887. Bliss was rector of Grace Church, Boston, 1887-1890. During this period he became very interested in the Christian Socialism of Charles Kingsley and F. D. Maurice. In 1889 he helped to organize the Christian Socialist Society. In 1890 he founded the Church of the Carpenter, Boston, an inner-city experimental center, of which he was rector for four years. He lectured widely in the United States, Canada, and England, on the responsibility of the church for social reform and its obligations to help the poor. He served churches in New York, New Jersey, and California. He was a pastor and YMCA worker in Switzerland, 1914-1921. Among his numerous publications was the Encyclopedia of Social Reform, first published in 1898. Bliss died in New York City.

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.