An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Pettigrew, Charles

(Mar. 20, 1744-Apr. 8, 1807). First priest elected to serve as Bishop of North Carolina and a leading eighteenth-century evangelical. He was born near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Pettigrew moved to Virginia and then in 1760 to North Carolina. Around 1773 he joined the Church of England. He became a lay reader at St. Paul's Church, Edenton, North Carolina. In 1775 he went to England, where he was ordained deacon and priest. He was licensed by the Bishop of London as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel . He returned to North Carolina as the rector of St. Paul's Church, Edenton. Bishop William White of Pennsylvania suggested that Pettigrew call a meeting of the six Episcopal clergy in the state to organize the diocese. Two clergy and two laymen met at Tarboro on June 5, 1790, and elected deputies to the 1792 General Convention. At a convention held in Tarboro on May 31, 1794, Pettigrew was elected bishop. He was never consecrated for reasons of health. He was instrumental in founding the University of North Carolina in 1789. Pettigrew was one of the few Church of England clergy to participate in the Great Awakening and was an eighteenth-century evangelical and revivalist. Pettigrew died at his family estate, “Bonarva” in Tyrrell County, North Carolina.

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.