The Rt. Rev. Charles Judson Child Jr.

January 7, 2004

The funeral for the Rt. Rev. Charles Judson Child Jr., seventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 8, at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Philip. The celebrant will be the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, ninth bishop of Atlanta, and the preacher will be the Very Rev. Peter D. Eaton, dean of St. John's Cathedral in Denver. Burial will follow the liturgy.

Bishop Child died Jan. 5 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta following a long illness. He was 80. The body will be received at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m., and the Cathedral will be open for prayer from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and again from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30305, where they will go to support the Anglican Studies program at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University, as designated by Bishop Child.

Surviving are cousins, Floreen Bodnar of New Jersey, Estelle Dunn of Kentucky and Anita Bennett of Florida.

Judson Child was born to the Rev. Charles Judson and Alice Sylvia Child on April 25, 1923, in North Bergen, N.J.. He graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in 1944; and earned a masters in divinity from the School of Theology of the University of the South in 1947. In addition, he did graduate work at St. Augustine's College in Canterbury, England.

The Rt. Rev. Benjamin M. Washburn, bishop of Newark from 1938 to 1958, ordained Judson a deacon on Feb. 2, 1947, and priest on March 1, 1948. For four years after being ordained deacon, Judson served as assistant to the rector of St. Paul's in Paterson, N.J. In 1951 he was called to be rector of St. Bartholomew's Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., where he enjoyed a 16-year tenure. In 1967 the Very Rev. David B. Collins, dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, called Judson as Canon Pastor, a post he held for 11 years. Then he was elected Bishop Suffragan of Atlanta. After five years in this capacity, serving with Bishop Bennett J. Sims, he was elected diocesan in 1983 and led the Diocese of Atlanta until his retirement in 1989.

Bishop Child served as Chancellor of the University of the South from 1985 to 1991. The university awarded him a doctorate of divinity in 1978.

In his first address to diocesan Council as the bishop, on Jan. 26, 1984, Judson Child acknowledged the rich heritage of the Diocese of Atlanta. "There is both historical and spiritual apostolic succession in which we all share. In looking over some of the chronicles of this diocese, both before and after 1907, it becomes more and more evident that through its ministers, lay and ordained, the call of this diocese of serve the living Lord has been heard and a response has been made."

Judson Child, among other things, will be remembered for his humor. In the speech which nominated him for bishop on June 25, 1983, the Rev. Franklin C. Ferguson noted, "I am sure that I speak for many of us when I make the observation that a marvelous charism of Judson Child is that his humor is never alien to the holy, and his sense of the holy is never alien to his sense of humor. I often wish that St. Paul had added humor to the theological virtues of faith, hope and love… Judson Child is known among us as confessor, counselor, comic and comrade in Christ, one who has been companion to us in not a few difficult moments."

In his address to diocesan Council on Jan. 30, 1987, at All Saints' Church in Atlanta, Bishop Child observed, "We are people with a story and that story is the Gospel of Jesus Christ who for us and our salvation came down from heaven and joined us in our pilgrimage." Charles Judson Child Jr. will remain in integral part of this story as a faithful pilgrim, priest, pastor, bishop and friend to many. - from an account by the Rev. William McLemore

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