Harold Jones, first American Indian bishop, dies at 92

November 14, 2002

The Rt. Rev. Harold Jones, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, died November 12 at a hospital in Chandler, Arizona. He was 92.

Jones was the first American Indian to be elevated to the office of bishop by any Christian denomination.

'He lived the Native American concept of generosity,' said the Rev. Ron Hennies of Rapid City, an Episcopal priest and longtime friend of Jones. 'He'd give you literally the shirt off his back, and he'd never check to see if he had a spare,' Hennies said. 'He brought many of the characteristics of the best of Native American culture with him to this Christian expression.'

Jones was consecrated as a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Church on January 11, 1972. His consecration marked the highlight of a career that began in 1938 with his ordination.

He served at the Pine Ridge Mission, the Cheyenne River Agency, Gettysburg, Dupree, Pine Ridge, and Wahpeton, North Dakota; Fort Defiance, Arizona; and Rapid City, South Dakota.

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