Frank Tracy Griswold III

The 25th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Frank Griswold was elected to a nine-year term as 25th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church at the 1997 General Convention and invested in January 1998. He served as Primate and chief pastor of the Episcopal Church, president of the House of Bishops, president and chief executive officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and president or chair of numerous Episcopal Church boards and agencies.

Griswold co-chaired the Roman Catholic-Anglican Commission from 1998 to 2003 and made significant contributions to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and to its practical use in the liturgical life of the church. Griswold’s private spiritual practice was deeply informed by the early mothers and fathers of the church, and he championed Eastern traditions of the open-hearted and healing power of God’s love. 

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Griswold earned a Bachelor of Arts at Harvard College and a Master of Arts from Oriel College at the University of Oxford. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1963, and he married his wife, Phoebe Wetzel, in 1965. They raised two daughters in Philadelphia and Chicago, where Griswold was elected as Episcopal bishop in 1987. Griswold practiced a wide ministry of teaching, writing, lecturing, and leading retreats, nationally and internationally. After completing his term as presiding bishop, he served as a visiting professor at seminaries and universities in South Korea, Cuba, and Japan, as well as at the Episcopal Divinity School, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Virginia Theological Seminary and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Griswold also served as bishop visitor to the Society of St. John the Evangelist.

His books include “Going Home” (Cowley Publications Cloister Book), “Praying our Days: A guide and companion” (Church Publishing Group), “Tracking Down the Holy Ghost: reflections on love and longing” (Church Publishing Group), and, co-authored with the Rev. Mark McIntosh, “Seeds and Faith” and “Harvest of Hope” (Eerdmans).

See also: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s statement on the death of the Rt. Rev. Frank Tracy Griswold III