An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Western New York, Diocese of

The 1838 General Convention of voted to divide the Diocese of New York. This was the first division of a diocese and the first diocese that did not follow state […]

Western North Carolina, Diocese of

The diocese was created in Oct. 1895 when the General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of North Carolina. It was first called the Missionary District of Asheville and held […]

Western Texas, Missionary District of

On Oct. 26, 1874, the General Convention divided Texas into the Diocese of Texas and the Missionary Districts of Northern Texas and Western Texas. The primary convention of the Missionary […]

Western Theological Seminary, Chicago

See Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.

Wetmore, James

(Dec. 25, 1695-May 15, 1760). One of the Yale Converts. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut. Wetmore graduated from Yale College in 1714, and was ordained a Congregational minister in […]

Wharton College, Austin, Texas

It was founded in 1858 by the Rev. Charles Gillette (1813-Mar. 6, 1869), and named after his wife, Mary Ann Wharton. The school received its charter on Feb. 11, 1860, […]

Wharton, Charles Henry

(May 25, 1748-July 23, 1833). An organizer of the Episcopal Church. He was born in St. Mary's County, Maryland. Wharton was raised a Roman Catholic, and in 1760 he entered […]

Wharton, Francis

(Mar. 7, 1820-Feb. 21, 1889). Lawyer, priest, and government official. He was born in Philadelphia. Wharton graduated from Yale College in 1839 and then studied law. He was admitted to […]

Whipple, Henry Benjamin

(Feb. 15, 1822-Sept. 16, 1901). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Adams, Jefferson County, New York. Whipple studied at the Oberlin Collegiate Institute but did not […]

Whitaker, Alexander

(1585-Mar. 1617). The “Apostle of Virginia.” He was born in Cambridge, England. Whitaker received his B.A. in 1604/1605 and his M.A. from Cambridge University in 1608. He was ordained a […]

White, Edwin Augustine

(Dec. 27, 1854-July 6, 1925). Priest and noted canon lawyer. He was engaged in law before studying theology. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 18, 1887, and priest on Oct. […]

White, Lurana Mary

(Apr. 12, 1870-Apr. 15, 1935). Member of an Anglican religious order and co-founder of the Society of the Atonement. She was born in New York City. On Oct. 17, 1894, […]

White, William

(Apr. 4, 1748-July 17, 1836). First Bishop of Pennsylvania and one of the chief architects of the newly independent church. He was born in Philadelphia. White graduated from the College […]

Whitefield, George

(Dec. 16, 1714-Sept. 30, 1770). Leading figure in the “Great Awakening” in eighteenth-century America. He was born in Gloucester, England. Whitefield attended Pembroke College, Oxford University, 1733 until 1736, where […]


A traditional English name for the Feast of Pentecost. The term is a corruption of “White Sunday.” It is associated with the white robes of baptism which were worn by […]

Whittingham, William Rollinson

(Dec. 2, 1805-Oct. 17, 1879). Bishop and influential early catholic. He was born in New York City. Whittingham graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1825 and became its librarian. […]


A woman who has remained unmarried since the death of her husband. In biblical times, women were very much dependent on male relatives for their welfare. A woman could find […]

Wilberforce, William

(Aug. 24, 1759-July 29, 1833). English philanthropist, reformer, orator, and evangelical layman. He was born in Hull, Yorkshire. Wilberforce studied at St. John's College, Cambridge University, 1776-1779. In 1780 he […]

Wilkinson, Christopher

(d. Apr. 15, 1729). Second Commissary to Maryland. Bishop of London John Robinson appointed Wilkinson Commissary of the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1716. He served until his death.

Willan, Healey

(Oct. 12, 1880-Feb. 16, 1968). Renowned composer of church music. He was born in Balham, in Surrey, England. He trained at St. Saviour's, Eastbourne. After advanced study in organ and […]

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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.