An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Wendt, William Andrew

(b. Jan. 18, 1920). Leading advocate for the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Mitchell, South Dakota. Wendt received his B.A. from George Washington University in 1948 and his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1951. Wendt was ordained deacon on June 16, 1951, and priest on Dec. 21, 1951. From 1951 until 1954 he was an assistant at Trinity Church, New York, and from 1954 until 1960 he was priest-in-charge of St. Stephen's Church, New York. He was rector of St. Stephen and the Incarnation, Washington, 1960-1978. In 1978 Wendt founded the St. Francis Center in Washington and was its director until 1990. He served as an assistant at St. Thomas' Church, 1978-1987, and at St. Margaret's Church, 1988-1990, both in Washington. Wendt retired in 1990. While he was rector of St. Stephen's and the Incarnation, Wendt permitted some of the women irregularly ordained on June 29, 1974, to preside at the eucharist. At a ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington, D.C., Wendt stood before his bishop, the Rt. Rev. William Creighton, and was formally admonished for his disobedience. Twenty-four years later, on June 7, 1999, a ceremony in the Washington Cathedral celebrated his life and praised him for his influence for justice. See “Philadelphia Eleven, The.”

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.