UPPER SOUTH CAROLINA: Bishop Dorsey Henderson to retire

January 11, 2009

Bishop Dorsey F. Henderson Jr. of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, saying he feels he has done "what I know how to do," and that it is time for someone "to take [the diocese] to the next level of discipleship," has announced his retirement.

Henderson, who is 69, has served as the diocese's seventh bishop since 1995.

In a pastoral letter to the diocese, he said his resignation would take effect on the date of the consecration of the next bishop, or on December 31, 2009, whichever occurs first. "Upper South Carolina needs a bishop who can cooperate with you, and provide appropriate episcopal leadership in moving into the next level of Christian discipleship," he wrote.

Henderson said the transition to retirement is a "tiptoe anticipation" time for him, an emotional time that echoes his feelings prior to becoming bishop.

Born in Bainbridge, Georgia and raised in Florida, Henderson served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Corps After practicing law for seven years in Florida, Henderson entered Virginia Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1977. After ordination later that year, he served parishes in the dioceses of Southeast Florida and Fond du Lac. Prior to his consecration as bishop, Henderson was dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Since accepting Henderson's announcement of retirement, the diocesan standing committee has created a Planning Task Team to determine initial steps in the search process for the next bishop.

The Diocese of Upper South Carolina serves 22 counties in the northwestern and midlands part of the state, and consists of 64 congregations and 28,000 parishioners.

--The Rev. Lisa B. Hamilton is correspondent for Provinces I, II, III and IV. She is based in Venice, Florida and Sandisfield, Massachusetts.

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