An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Lay, Henry Champlin

(Dec. 6, 1823-Sept. 17, 1885). Bishop of the Southwest, Arkansas, and Easton. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Lay graduated from the University of Virginia in 1842, and from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1846. He was ordained deacon on July 10, 1846, and began his ministry at Lynnhaven Parish in Virginia. Lay was ordained priest on July 12, 1848, and served as rector of the Church of the Nativity, Huntsville, Alabama, until 1859. On Oct. 23, 1859, he was consecrated Missionary Bishop of the Southwest, sometimes called Arkansas and the Indian Territory. At the primary convention of the Diocese of Arkansas in Nov. 1862 he was elected the third Bishop of Arkansas. Lay was one of the first southern bishops to advocate reunion with the Episcopal Church at the end of the Civil War. He and Bishop Thomas Atkinson of North Carolina were the only two southern bishops to attend the 1865 General Convention at which Presiding Bishop John Henry Hopkins offered them a “cordial welcome.” On Apr. 1, 1869, he became the first Bishop of Easton. Lay died in Baltimore.

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.