Past Presiding Bishops
Samuel Seabury (1789-1792)
(Nov. 30, 1729-Feb. 25, 1796). First bishop in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Groton, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale College in 1748. He read theology under his father and then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, 1752-1753. Seabury was ordained deacon on Dec. 21, 1753, and priest on Dec. 23, 1753, in England. He was a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1754-1757, and rector at Jamaica, New York, 1757-1766. From 1766 to 1776 he served as rector of St. Peter’s Church, Westchester, New York, and from 1776 to 1783 he was in private medical practice and chaplain to British troops at Staten Island and New York. He wrote forceful pamphlets in defense of loyalty to the British Crown. On Mar. 25, 1783, he was elected Bishop of Connecticut and was consecrated at Aberdeen, Scotland, Nov. 14, 1784, by three nonjuring bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He also served as Bishop of Rhode Island, 1790-1796. Seabury served as Presiding Bishop, Oct. 5, 1789-Sept. 8, 1792. He was a high churchman in the tradition of the Nonjurors and the Caroline Divines. A valid episcopacy and the threefold orders of clergy were central concerns for him. He died in New London, Connecticut. Seabury and the passing of the episcopate to the Episcopal Church are commemorated on Nov. 14 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. See Loyalty Oath to the English Sovereign.
William White (1789) (1795-1836)
(Apr. 4, 1748-July 17, 1836). First Bishop of Pennsylvania and one of the chief architects of the newly independent church. He was born in Philadelphia. White graduated from the College of Philadelphia in 1765 and then studied theology under Richard Peters and Jacob Duche. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 23, 1770, and priest on June 25, 1772. White was assistant minister at the United Parishes of St. Peter’s and Christ Church in Philadelphia, 1772-1779, and rector of the United Parishes from 1779 until his death. He was a chaplain to the Continental and Constitutional Congresses and the United States Senate from 1777 until 1801. On Aug. 6, 1782, White published The Case of the Episcopal Churches Considered, in which he argued for the temporary ordination of deacons and presbyters by presbyters until the episcopate could be obtained. Despite his argument in The Case, the church maintained an episcopal polity. Many of his other ideas in The Case, such as lay representation in the church’s legislative bodies, were adopted in the Constitution of the Episcopal Church. He was consecrated Bishop of Pennsylvania on Feb. 4, 1787, and served in that position until his death. White was Presiding Bishop from July 28, 1789, until Oct. 3, 1789, and from Sept. 8, 1795, until his death. He died in Philadelphia.
Samuel Provoost (1795)
(Feb. 26, 1742-Sept. 6, 1815). First Bishop of New York. He was born in New York City and graduated from King’s College (Columbia) in 1758. Later he studied at St. Peter’s College, Cambridge. He was ordained deacon on Feb. 3, 1766, and priest on Mar. 25, 1766. Provoost became rector of Trinity Church, New York, where he served for 16 years. He was consecrated Bishop of New York on Feb. 4, 1787. In 1801 he sought to resign as Bishop of New York, but the House of Bishops refused to accept his resignation and gave permission for the election of an assistant bishop. Provoost retired in 1801 and left the diocese in charge of Assistant Bishop Benjamin Moore. He died in New York City.
Alexander Viets Griswold (1836-1843)
(Apr. 22, 1766-Feb. 15, 1843). Bishop and evangelist. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. He was educated privately by his uncle, a priest. Although he cultivated a small farm as a young man, he decided in 1794 to study for ordination. He was ordained deacon on June 7, 1795, and priest on Oct. 1, 1795. He served three small churches in Litchfield County. Griswold was chosen rector of St. Michael’s Church, Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1804. Following the organization of the Eastern Diocese, a jurisdiction that included all of New England except Connecticut, he was elected bishop and consecrated on May 31, 1811. He remained in parishes until 1835 when he devoted himself wholly to episcopal duties. He also served as the Episcopal Church’s fifth Presiding Bishop from July 17, 1836, until his death. After being elected bishop, Griswold underwent a conversion experience. His preaching and piety became markedly evangelical. A tremendous spiritual awakening occurred throughout his diocese. Church membership increased approximately tenfold between 1790 and 1840. Griswold died in Boston, and the Eastern Diocese ceased to exist shortly thereafter.
Philander Chase (1843-1852)
(Dec. 14, 1775-Sept. 20, 1852). Presiding Bishop, missionary, and founder of educational institutions. He was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1796. Chase was ordained deacon on June 10, 1798, and priest on Nov. 10, 1799. He began his ministry with missionary work in northern and western New York. In 1805 he went to New Orleans where he organized and was rector of Christ Church. In 1811 he became the rector of Christ Church, Hartford, Connecticut, but before long he moved west of the Alleghenies to do mission work. In 1817 he organized a church in Salem, Ohio. He was elected the first Bishop of Ohio and was consecrated on Feb. 11, 1819. In 1821-1822 he was president of Cincinnati College, and in 1824 he founded Kenyon College and Bexley Theological Seminary at Gambier, Ohio. On Sept. 9, 1831, he resigned as president of Kenyon and as Bishop of Ohio. He moved to Michigan where he did missionary work for several years. On Mar. 9, 1835, he was elected the first Bishop of Illinois. While Bishop of Illinois he established Jubilee College in Peoria County.Chase was the sixth Presiding Bishop of the church, serving from Feb. 15, 1843, until Sept. 20, 1852. He died at Jubilee College. See Bexley Hall; see Jubilee College; see Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.
Thomas Church Brownell (1852-1865)
(Oct. 19, 1779-Jan. 13, 1865). Seventh Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Westport, Massachusetts. Brownell began his education at the College of Rhode Island but transferred to Union College where he graduated in 1804. From 1805 until 1817, he taught at Union College, and during his last years there he studied theology. He was ordained deacon on Apr. 11, 1816, and priest on Aug. 4, 1816. After serving briefly as assistant minister at Trinity Church, New York, he was elected Bishop of Connecticut and was consecrated on Oct. 27, 1819. One of his major accomplishments was the founding of Washington College, Hartford, in 1824. He remained president of Washington College until 1831. While Bishop of Connecticut he made several missionary trips through Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. On Sept. 20, 1852, he became Presiding Bishop and served until his death. Brownell published more than ten books, the most important being Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer (1843). He died in Hartford.
John Henry Hopkins (1865-1868)
(Jan. 30, 1792-Jan. 9, 1868). Eighth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1800. Educated privately, he began work in 1813 as a superintendent of ironworks near Pittsburgh. Although not yet ordained, he was called in 1823 as rector of Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, where he was temporary organist. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 14, 1823, and priest on May 12, 1824. Hopkins became assistant minister at Trinity Church, Boston, in 1831, and was elected the first Bishop of Vermont. He served as bishop from his consecration on Oct. 31, 1832, until his death. He served as Presiding Bishop from Jan. 13, 1865, until he died. Hopkins was a prolific writer and controversialist. In Slavery: Its Religious Sanction (1851) he argued that slavery had a divine warrant. After the Civil War, Hopkins as Presiding Bishop welcomed the return of the southern dioceses and helped to end the division that was caused by the war. The Law of Ritualism (1866) was influential in the eventual acceptance in most Episcopal parishes of such liturgical customs as eucharistic vestments and altar candles. He died in Burlington.
Benjamin Bosworth Smith (1868-1884)
(June 13, 1794-May 31, 1884). Bishop of Kentucky and ninth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island. Smith graduated from Brown University in 1816. He was ordained deacon on Apr. 23, 1817, and priest on June 24, 1818. He began his ordained ministry at St. Michael’s Church, Marblehead, Massachusetts, and then moved to Virginia to be rector of St. George’s Church, Accomack County. About two years later Smith became the rector of Zion Church, Charlestown, Virginia (now West Virginia). In 1823 he became the rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Middlebury, Vermont. In 1828 he took charge of Grace Church Mission, Philadelphia, and on Oct. 8, 1830, he became the rector of Christ Church, Lexington, Kentucky. On Oct. 31, 1832, Smith was consecrated the first Bishop of Kentucky and served in that position until his death. Under his leadership, the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky was established in 1834. It was the fourth seminary to be established in the Episcopal Church.
Alfred Lee (1884-1887)
(Sept. 9, 1807-Apr. 12, 1887). Tenth Presiding Bishop. Lee was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1827 and then studied law. He later studied for ordained ministry and graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1837. Lee was ordained deacon on May 21, 1837, and priest on June 12, 1838. He served as rector of Calvary Church, Rockdale, Pennsylvania, 1838-1841. Lee was consecrated the first Bishop of Delaware on Oct. 12, 1841, and served in that position until his death. He was rector of St. Andrew’s Church, Wilmington, during his episcopate. In 1863 he worked in Haiti and helped to start a mission there under the care of the American Church Missionary Society. In 1875 he performed episcopal duties in Mexico. He served as Presiding Bishop from May 31, 1884, until Apr. 12, 1887. He died in Wilmington.
John Williams (1887-1899)
(Aug. 30, 1817-Feb. 7, 1899). Founder of Berkeley Divinity School and eleventh Presiding Bishop. He was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts. In 1831 he began his studies at Harvard College. He became an Episcopalian, and at the end of his sophomore year, he transferred to Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1835. From 1837 until 1840 he was a tutor at the college. Williams was ordained deacon on Sept. 2, 1838, and priest on Sept. 26, 1841. He was assistant minister at Christ Church, Middletown, Connecticut, 1841-1842, and rector of St. George’s Church, Schenectady, New York, 1842-1848. On Aug. 3, 1848, he was elected the fourth president of Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, which had been Washington College. He served in that position until 1853. Williams was consecrated Assistant Bishop of Connecticut on Oct. 29, 1851, and he became the fourth Bishop of Connecticut on Jan. 13, 1865. He founded the Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown in 1854 and served as its dean and professor of theology and liturgics until his death. From Apr. 12, 1887, until his death he was the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Williams died in Middletown.
Thomas March Clark (1899-1903)
(July 4, 1812-Sept. 7, 1903). Twelfth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College in 1831 and worked for two years as a teacher. Clark was raised a Presbyterian. He studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and was licensed as a preacher after his graduation in 1835. He soon applied for ordination in the Episcopal Church. Clark was ordained deacon on Feb. 3, 1836, and priest on Nov. 6, 1836. He served parishes in Boston, Philadelphia, and Hartford, Connecticut, prior to his election as the fifth Bishop of Rhode Island. He was consecrated in Grace Church, Providence, on Dec. 6, 1854. Clark was rector of Grace Church between 1854 and 1866, but then resigned to devote himself full-time to episcopal duties. He served as Presiding Bishop from Feb. 7, 1899, until his death. Clark was an active supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War, and he was committed to the theological and social liberalism of the broad church party. He died in Newport, Rhode Island.
Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (1903-1923)
Daniel Sylvester Tuttle was born in Windham, Greene County, New York, 26 January 1837. He was graduated at Columbia in 1857, entered the General theological seminary, New York, and completed his course in 1862. He was ordered deacon by Bishop Horatio Potter, 29 January 1862, and ordained a priest in Zion church, Morris, Otsego County, New York, which parish he had organized during his diaconate, by the same bishop, 19 July 1863. He remained rector of this church until his consecration to the episcopate. He received the degree of S. T. D. from Columbia in 1866. Tuttle was consecrated missionary bishop of Montana, Idaho, and Utah, in Trinity Chapel, New York, 1 May 1867. In 1868 he was elected to the bishopric of Missouri but declined. In 1880 Montana was set off as a separate missionary jurisdiction, and Idaho and Utah remained under the charge of Bishop Tuttle. In 1884 Columbia college appointed him as its representative at the tercentenary of the University of Edinburgh. For years Bishop Tuttle was active in the discussion of the Mormon question in Utah. On the death of Bishop Robertson, of Missouri, which occurred 1 May 1886, Bishop Tuttle was again elected to the episcopate and was transferred, becoming the third bishop of Missouri.
Alexander Charles Garrett (1923-1924)
(Nov. 4, 1832-Feb. 19, 1924). Presiding Bishop and missionary. He was born in Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland. Garrett received his B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1855. He was ordained deacon on July 6, 1856, and priest on July 5, 1857. He held the curacy of East Worldham, Hampshire, until Sept. 1859. He went to British Columbia as a missionary to the Indians, chaplain at the naval station at Esquimalt, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Nanaims, and minister to the gold miners at Cariboo. In 1869 he moved to San Francisco, California, where he was rector of St. James’ Church until 1872. From 1872 until 1874, he was dean of Trinity Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska. On Dec. 20, 1874, Garrett was consecrated the first Missionary Bishop of Northern Texas (Dallas). He was an active supporter of a School of Theology at the University of the South. He gave the opening address when St. Luke’s Hall was opened on Mar. 25, 1879, in which he called the School of Theology a “General Theological Seminary for the South.” He was the leader in building St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Dallas. He founded St. Mary’s College for women at Dallas. It opened on Sept. 10, 1889, and operated until 1930. At one time, Bishop Garrett said that he needed clergy who could “ride like a cowboy, pray like a saint, preach like an apostle, and having food and raiment be therewith content.” He was the fourteenth Presiding Bishop from Apr. 17, 1923, until his death. He died in Dallas.
Ethelbert Talbot (1924-1926)
(Oct. 9, 1848-Feb. 27, 1928). Fifteenth Presiding Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in Fayette, Missouri. Talbot graduated from Dartmouth College in 1870 and from the General Theological Seminary in 1873. He was ordained deacon on June 29, 1873, and priest on Nov. 4, 1874. From 1873 until 1887, he was rector of St. James’ Church, Macon, Missouri. Talbot was consecrated the first Missionary Bishop of Wyoming and Idaho on May 27, 1887. He served as Bishop of Central Pennsylvania from Feb. 2, 1898, until his death. When the Presiding Bishop died, Talbot, by seniority of consecration, became the Presiding Bishop on Feb. 18, 1924. He was committed to the ecumenical movement and urged the immediate organic union of American Protestant groups. Talbot died in Tuckahoe, New York.
John Gardner Murray (1926-1929)
(Aug. 31, 1857-Oct. 3, 1929). The first elected Presiding Bishop. He was born in Lonaconing, Maryland, and educated at Wyoming Seminary, near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 1879 he entered Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey, to study for the Methodist ministry, but he had to withdraw to help support his family when his father died. While in Brierfield, Alabama, he joined the Episcopal Church. Murray was ordained deacon on Apr. 3, 1893, and priest on Apr. 16, 1894. He began his ministry as a missionary in Alabama and from 1896 to 1903 was rector of the Church of the Advent, Birmingham. From 1903 to 1909 he was rector of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Baltimore. He was elected Bishop Coadjutor of Maryland and consecrated on Sept. 29, 1909. On Jan. 18, 1911, Murray became the seventh Bishop of Maryland. At the 1925 General Convention, he was elected Presiding Bishop. He served as the sixteenth Presiding Bishop from Jan. 1, 1926, until his death.
Charles Palmerston Anderson (1929-1930)
(Sept. 8, 1865-Jan. 30, 1930). Seventeenth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and advocate for world peace and Christian unity. He was born in Kemptville, Ontario, Canada, and educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 11, 1887, and priest on Dec. 16, 1888. His first church was at Beachburg, Ontario, where he began to serve in 1887. In 1891 he was called to the rectorship of Grace Church, Oak Park, Illinois, remaining there until 1900, when he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of Chicago. He was consecrated on Feb. 24, 1900, and became bishop of the diocese on Feb. 19, 1905. At a special meeting of the House of Bishops, Nov. 13, 1929, Anderson was elected Presiding Bishop. He died in Chicago.
James Dewolf Perry (1930-1937)
(Oct. 3, 1871-Mar. 20, 1947). Eighteenth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Perry received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1891 and then received another B.A. from Harvard University in 1892. He received his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1895. Perry was ordained deacon on June 9, 1895. He began his ministry as an assistant at Christ Church, Springfield, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest on Feb. 18, 1896. From 1897 until 1904 he was rector of Christ Church, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His last parochial ministry was as rector of St. Paul’s Church, New Haven, Connecticut, 1904-1911. Perry was consecrated the seventh Bishop of Rhode Island on Jan. 6, 1911. He was elected Presiding Bishop by the House of Bishops on Mar. 26, 1930. Perry was reelected at the General Convention of 1931. He served until his retirement on Dec. 31, 1937. He was the last Presiding Bishop who retained his diocesan jurisdiction while serving in the national post. Perry was especially interested in foreign missions. In 1932 the Report of the Commission of Appraisal of the Laymen’s Foreign Missions Enquiry was published with the title Rethinking Missions: A Layman’s Enquiry after One Hundred Years. This independent commission was chaired by William Ernest Hocking. It was very critical of the missionary work of the Protestant churches. The National Council of the Episcopal Church asked Presiding Bishop Perry to make an independent study of the Episcopal Church’s foreign missions. He and Mrs. Perry spent five months visiting mission stations in the Philippine Islands, China, Japan, and Hawaii. Upon his return to the United States, Perry announced his disagreement with the conclusions of Rethinking Missions. Perry died in Summerville, South Carolina.
Henry St. George Tucker (1938-1946)
(July 16, 1874-Aug. 8, 1959). Nineteenth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Warsaw, Virginia. Tucker received his M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1895 and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1899. He was ordained deacon on June 23, 1899, and priest on July 30, 1900. Tucker began his ordained ministry as a missionary in Japan, and from 1903 until 1912 he was president of St. Paul’s College, Tokyo. On Mar. 25, 1912, Tucker was consecrated the second Missionary Bishop of Kyoto, Japan. He served in that capacity until he resigned on Nov. 14, 1923. From 1923 until 1926, he was a professor of pastoral theology at the Virginia Theological Seminary. On Sept. 21, 1926, he became Bishop Coadjutor of Virginia, and on June 25, 1927, he became the eighth Bishop of Virginia. He served as Presiding Bishop from Jan. 1, 1938, until Dec. 31, 1946, when he retired. He resigned as Bishop of Virginia on June 1, 1944. He was the first Presiding Bishop to resign his diocesan jurisdiction. From 1942 until 1944 Tucker was president of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States. He died in Richmond, Virginia.
Henry Knox Sherrill (1947-1958)
(Nov. 6, 1890-May 11, 1980). Twentieth Presiding Bishop. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. Sherrill received his B.A. from Yale University in 1911 and his M. Div. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1914. He was ordained deacon on June 7, 1914, and priest on May 9, 1915. He began his ministry as assistant minister at Trinity Church, Boston. He remained there until 1917 when he became the Red Cross chaplain of the Massachusetts General Hospital, later known as Base Hospital Six. In that same year, he and others from the hospital were sent to Europe where they assumed responsibility for a hospital in Talence, France. In 1919 he was discharged from the Army. He became rector of the Church of Our Saviour, Brookline, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1923. In 1923 he became the twelfth rector of Trinity Church, Boston, and stayed there until 1930. While at Trinity Church he taught pastoral care and homiletics at the Episcopal Theological School, and he taught pastoral care in the Boston University School of Theology. On Oct. 14, 1930, Sherrill was consecrated the ninth Bishop of Massachusetts. He served in that position until June 1, 1947, when he resigned to become Presiding Bishop. From Jan. 1, 1947, until Nov. 14, 1958, he was Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. At the General Convention of 1943, a canon was passed which required the Presiding Bishop to tender to the House of Bishops the resignation of his previous jurisdiction to take effect on the date of assuming the office of Presiding Bishop or no later than six months thereafter. Sherrill was the first Presiding Bishop chosen after this canon was passed. While Presiding Bishop he led in the organization of the Episcopal Church Foundation and the establishment of the Seabury Press. Sherrill was one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches from 1954 until 1961. He was the first president of the National Council of Churches from 1950 until 1952. He resigned as Presiding Bishop in 1958 for reasons of health. Sherrill died in Boxford, Massachusetts.
Arthur Lichtenberger (1958-1964)
(Jan. 8, 1900-Sept. 3, 1968). Twenty-first Presiding Bishop. Lichtenberger was a leading ecumenical churchman. He was a member of the General Board of the National Council of Churches and a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. In 1961 he made an unofficial visit to Pope John XXIII. In that same year, he helped to lead the Episcopal Church into the Consultation on Church Union. Under his leadership, the construction of the Episcopal Church Center in New York was completed. He was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lichtenberger received his Ph.B. from Kenyon College in 1923, and his B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School in 1925. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 21, 1925, and priest on Nov. 21, 1926. From 1925 to 1927, he was a professor of NT at St. Paul’s Divinity School, Wuchang, China. Lichtenberger did postgraduate study at Harvard University in 1927-1928. From 1928 until 1933 he was rector of Grace Church, Cincinnati, and from 1933 until 1941 he was rector of St. Paul’s Church, Brookline, Massachusetts. He was also a lecturer in Pastoral Care at the Episcopal Theological School from 1938 until 1941. Lichtenberger was dean of Trinity Cathedral, Newark, 1941-1948. From 1948 to 1950, he was a professor of Pastoral Theology at the General Theological Seminary. On Apr. 5, 1951, he was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of Missouri and was Bishop from Nov. 1, 1952, until May 15, 1959. He was Presiding Bishop from Nov. 15, 1958, until Oct. 12, 1964, when he retired because of ill health. From 1964 until 1968 he was visiting professor of Pastoral Theology at the Episcopal Theological School. Lichtenberger died in Bethel, Vermont.
John Elbridge Hines (1965-1974)
(October 3, 1910-July 19, 1997) John Hines grew up in the small South Carolina town of Seneca, nurtured in his faith in a tiny Episcopal Church. After compiling an exemplary record in academics, athletics, and student leadership at the University of the South, he graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, at the height of the Great Depression. Hines’s first ministry was in St. Louis, Missouri, where he flourished under the guidance of Bishop Will Scarlett, the Episcopal Church’s premier advocate of the “Social Gospel,” which promoted reformation of American society based on Christian imperatives. There he met and married Helen Orwig and began a family that eventually grew to include four sons and a daughter. His legacy remains open to interpretation. Since his retirement, the Episcopal Church at the national and local levels has intensified its interest in social outreach ministries. But Hines also is considered by many as the primary cause of the church’s declining numbers, and loss of confidence in its national structure. When he left office voluntarily before the end of his term in 1974, The Christian Century observed that Hines “remained astride the bucking bronco of a polarized church during one of the most controversial decades in American history. … During his tenure, a lifetime of controversial issues was telescoped in a decade — and the good bishop is to be congratulated for remaining in the saddle that long.” After retiring, Hines lived for nearly 20 years in North Carolina. He remained mostly out of the spotlight, preaching infrequently, serving as a guest lecturer, and participating in the consecration of bishops. In 1993 he and his wife moved to Austin, Texas, where Helen Hines died in 1996.
John Maury Allin (1974-1985)
(Apr. 22, 1921-Mar. 6, 1998). Twenty-third Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was the sixth Bishop of Mississippi from May 31, 1966 to June 1, 1974, and Presiding Bishop from June 1, 1974 to Dec. 31, 1985. He was born in Helena, Arkansas, and received his B.A. (1943) and B.D. (1945) from the University of the South. He was ordained deacon on June 6, 1944, and priest on May 10, 1945. He served churches in Arkansas and Louisiana before becoming rector of All Saints’ Junior College, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1958-1961. He was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi on Oct. 28, 1961. He was a member of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents of the University of the South, and was its seventeenth Chancellor, May 28, 1973-Apr. 27, 1979. While he was Presiding Bishop women were ordained to the priesthood for the first time, the Book of Common Prayer was revised, and the Venture in Mission campaign was conducted. He died in Jackson, Mississippi.
Edmond Lee Browning (1986-1997)
(Mar. 11, 1929-July 11, 2016). Twenty-fourth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Browning received his B.A. in 1952 and his B.D. in 1954 from the University of the South. He was ordained deacon on July 2, 1954, and priest on May 23, 1955. Browning was an assistant at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi, 1954-1956; rector of the Church of the Redeemer, Eagle Pass, Texas, 1956-1959; and priest-in-charge of All Souls Church, Okinawa, 1959-1963. From 1963 to 1965, he and his wife studied at the Language School in Kobe, Japan, before returning to Okinawa to serve St. Matthew’s Church in Oruku until 1968. On Jan. 5, 1968, Browning was consecrated the first Missionary Bishop of Okinawa. He resigned on May 16, 1971, to become the Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. He resigned this position on June l, 1974, to return to the United States and become executive for national and world mission at the Episcopal Church Center. On Aug. 1, 1976, he became the sixth Bishop of Hawaii. At the General Convention of 1985 Browning was elected Presiding Bishop and assumed that office on Jan. 1, 1986. He resigned as Bishop of Hawaii to become Presiding Bishop. His tenure as Presiding Bishop was characterized by a very strong international dimension and by a commitment that the Episcopal Church would have no outcasts. Browning retired as Presiding Bishop on Dec. 31, 1997.
Frank T. Griswold (1997-2006)
(Sept. 18, 1937-Mar. 5, 2023) Frank Griswold was elected to a nine-year term as Presiding Bishop at the 1997 General Convention and invested in January 1998. He serves as Primate and chief pastor of the Episcopal Church, president of the House of Bishops, president and chair of Executive Council and president and chief executive officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Before becoming Presiding Bishop, Bishop Griswold was Bishop of Chicago (1987-1997) and Bishop Coadjutor (1985-1987). He was ordained in 1963 and served three parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania before being elected bishop. Bishop Griswold has served as co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and on diocesan, national and international committees for liturgy, worship and ecumenism. He was on the standing committee for the Lambeth Conference and was elected to the Primates Standing Committee in May, 2003. Frank Griswold has presented at and led conferences and retreats nationally and internationally throughout his ministry, spanning a variety of topics including ecumenism, evangelism, spirituality and theology. His articles, essays and sermons have been published in periodicals and theological journals including Anglican Theological Review, Episcopal Life (monthly column), Cross Currents, Anglican Advance and many others. His daily meditations from the General Convention of 2000 produced a Cowley Publications Cloister Book entitled Going Home.The Presiding Bishop was educated at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. and earned an A.B. in English literature at Harvard College (1959). He attended the General Theological Seminary and earned his B.A. and M.A. in theology at Oriel College, Oxford University (1962, 1966). He has received honorary degrees from the General Theological Seminary, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Nashotah House, Sewanee, Berkeley Divinity School, Virginia Theological Seminary and Episcopal Divinity School. Bishop Griswold and his wife, Phoebe Wetzel Griswold, have two adult daughters.
Katharine Jefferts Schori (2006 – 2015)
Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in June 2006. She was the first woman to be elected Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. She served as chief pastor and primate to the Episcopal Church’s members in 17 countries, 109 dioceses and three regional areas. She joined with other principal bishops of the 38-member Provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, seeking a common cause for global good and reconciliation. Over the course of her 9-year term, Bishop Jefferts Schori was responsible for initiating and developing policy for the Episcopal Church and spoke on behalf of the church regarding the policies, strategies, and programs authorized by General Convention. She was vocal about the Episcopal Church’s mission priorities, including the United Nation Millennium Development Goals, issues of domestic poverty, climate change and care for the earth, as well as the ongoing need to contextualize the gospel. As Presiding Bishop, she was charged to speak God’s word to the church and to the world. Bishop Jefferts Schori’s career as an oceanographer preceded her studies for the priesthood, to which she was ordained in 1994. She holds a B.S. in biology from Stanford University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University, an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and several honorary doctoral degrees. She remains an active, instrument-rated pilot – a skill she applied when traveling between the congregations of the Diocese of Nevada, where she was elected bishop in 2000 and ordained to the episcopate February 24, 2001. At the time of her election as bishop of Nevada, she was a priest, university lecturer, and hospice chaplain in Oregon.