An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Schereschewsky, Samuel Isaac Joseph

(May 6, 1831-Oct. 15, 1906). Missionary bishop and translator. He was born in Tauroggen, Russian Lithuania, to Jewish parents. He became convinced that he should become a Christian and in 1854 came to the United States. He decided to enter the Presbyterian ministry and studied at Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, 1855-1858. He then joined the Episcopal Church and studied at the General Theological Seminary, Oct. 1858-May 1859. At General Seminary he decided to devote his whole life to the China mission. He was ordained deacon on July 7, 1859, sailed for China on July 13, and was ordained priest on Oct. 28, 1860. His greatest work was translating Christian writings for the Chinese and the founding of St. John's College, which opened on Sept. 1, 1879. The House of Bishops elected him “Missionary Bishop of Shanghai, having Episcopal jurisdiction in China” on Oct. 13, 1876, and he was consecrated at Grace Church, New York, by Bishop Benjamin B. Smith on Oct. 31, 1877. In 1881 he became ill and almost died. He resigned as bishop on Sept. 30, 1883. He spent the rest of his life translating, even though he could write only by pressing the keys of the typewriter with one finger of one hand. He died in Tokyo. His life and ministry are commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Oct. 14.

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.