An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Brent, Charles Henry

(Apr. 9, 1862-Mar. 27, 1929). Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Newcastle, Ontario. Brent graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 1884, and then spent two years studying for the ordained ministry. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 21, 1886, and priest on Mar. 6, 1887. Since no vacancy existed in the Diocese of Toronto, he accepted a position as organist and curate at St. Paul's Church, Buffalo, New York, in 1887, and then for about two years he served St. Andrew's Mission, Buffalo. From 1888 until 1891, Brent lived and worked with the Society of St. John the Evangelist, but he never took monastic vows. He served as assistant minister at St. Stephen's Church, Boston, from 1891 until 1901. Brent was consecrated the first Missionary Bishop of the Philippines on Dec. 19, 1901, and served in that position until Feb. 19, 1918. While Bishop of the Philippines, he worked against the illegal use of drugs and was president of the American delegation to the International Opium Commission at Shanghai in 1911. During World War I, Brent served as senior Chaplain of the American Expeditionary Forces. On Oct. 2, 1917, he was elected the fourth Bishop of Western New York, and he assumed that position on Feb. 19, 1918. Brent was deeply committed to the ecumenical movement. He led the Episcopal Church in the movement that resulted in the first World Conference on Faith and Order. He was a popular preacher and a widely published author. A prayer for mission in Morning Prayer, Rite 2 (BCP, p. 101) was written by Brent. He is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Mar. 27.

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.