An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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See Gambier Observer.

This journal was published from Aug. 11, 1853, until June 25, 1868. It had various changes in ownership, editorship, name, and frequency of publication. It was succeeded and continued by the Standard of the Cross. Witness, The. Monthly journal published by the Episcopal Church Publishing Company.... Read More »

The 1901 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Kansas and form a Missionary District in the western part of the state. It was named the Missionary District of Salina and includes the following counties: Barber, Barton, Cheyenne, Clark, Cloud, Comanche, Decatur, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth... Read More »

The 1979 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Louisiana and establish a new diocese. The primary convention of the new diocese met at St. James Church, Alexandria, on Oct. 10-11, 1979. It voted to call itself the Western Diocese of Louisiana. It includes the following civil parishes (... Read More »

The 1901 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Massachusetts and create the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. The Diocese of Western Massachusetts includes the four counties of Berkshire, Franklin-Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester. The primary convention of the Diocese met at Christ... Read More »

The General Convention of 1904 established the Missionary District of Mexico. The 1972 General Convention divided the Missionary District of Mexico into the Missionary District of Central and South Mexico, the Missionary District of Western Mexico, and the Missionary District of Northern Mexico. In... Read More »

The 1874 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Michigan and establish a new diocese. The primary convention of the new diocese met at St. Mark's Church, Grand Rapids, on Dec. 2, 1874. It chose the name the Diocese of Western Michigan. It includes the following counties: Allegan, Antrim... Read More »

The 1889 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Nebraska and create the Missionary District of The Platte. The name was changed to the Missionary District of Laramie in 1898 and to the Missionary District of Kearney in 1907. From Oct. 14, 1913, until Sept. 14, 1946, when the General... Read More »

The 1838 General Convention of voted to divide the Diocese of New York. This was the first division of a diocese and the first diocese that did not follow state lines. The primary convention of the Diocese of Western New York met at Trinity Church, Geneva. The 1868 General Convention divided the... Read More »

The diocese was created in Oct. 1895 when the General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of North Carolina. It was first called the Missionary District of Asheville and held its primary convention at Trinity Church, Asheville, Nov. 12-13, 1895. On Apr. 26, 1922, the convention voted to change... Read More »

On Oct. 26, 1874, the General Convention divided Texas into the Diocese of Texas and the Missionary Districts of Northern Texas and Western Texas. The primary convention of the Missionary District of Western Texas met at St. Mark's Church, San Antonio, May 6-8, 1875. The Missionary District... Read More »

See Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.

(Dec. 25, 1695-May 15, 1760). One of the Yale Converts. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut. Wetmore graduated from Yale College in 1714, and was ordained a Congregational minister in Nov. 1718. In Sept. 1722, while pastor of the First Congregational Church in New Haven, Connecticut, he and... Read More »

It was founded in 1858 by the Rev. Charles Gillette (1813-Mar. 6, 1869), and named after his wife, Mary Ann Wharton. The school received its charter on Feb. 11, 1860, and closed in 1865.

(May 25, 1748-July 23, 1833). An organizer of the Episcopal Church. He was born in St. Mary's County, Maryland. Wharton was raised a Roman Catholic, and in 1760 he entered the Jesuit college at Saint-Omer, France. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on Sept. 19, 1772, and then became a... Read More »

(Mar. 7, 1820-Feb. 21, 1889). Lawyer, priest, and government official. He was born in Philadelphia. Wharton graduated from Yale College in 1839 and then studied law. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1843. Wharton became active in the Episcopal Church after the death of his wife in 1854.... Read More »

(Feb. 15, 1822-Sept. 16, 1901). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Adams, Jefferson County, New York. Whipple studied at the Oberlin Collegiate Institute but did not receive a degree. He was raised a Presbyterian, but he decided to study for ordained ministry in the Episcopal... Read More »

(1585-Mar. 1617). The "Apostle of Virginia." He was born in Cambridge, England. Whitaker received his B.A. in 1604/1605 and his M.A. from Cambridge University in 1608. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England. After serving several years in England, he came to the Virginia colony in 1611.... Read More »

(Dec. 27, 1854-July 6, 1925). Priest and noted canon lawyer. He was engaged in law before studying theology. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 18, 1887, and priest on Oct. 31, 1888. He taught canon law at the General Theological Seminary, Bexley Hall, and Western Theological Seminary. White was a... Read More »

(Apr. 12, 1870-Apr. 15, 1935). Member of an Anglican religious order and co-founder of the Society of the Atonement. She was born in New York City. On Oct. 17, 1894, she became a postulant in the Community of the Sisters of the Holy Child. On Sept. 25, 1896, she took the vows of poverty, obedience... Read More »

(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... Read More »

(Dec. 16, 1714-Sept. 30, 1770). Leading figure in the "Great Awakening" in eighteenth-century America. He was born in Gloucester, England. Whitefield attended Pembroke College, Oxford University, 1733 until 1736, where he came under the influence of Charles and John Wesley. He was ordained deacon... Read More »

A traditional English name for the Feast of Pentecost. The term is a corruption of "White Sunday." It is associated with the white robes of baptism which were worn by the newly baptized at the Pentecost service. The liturgical color for the Feast of Pentecost is red.

(Dec. 2, 1805-Oct. 17, 1879). Bishop and influential early catholic. He was born in New York City. Whittingham graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1825 and became its librarian. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 11, 1827, and priest on Dec. 17, 1829. Whittingham began his ordained... Read More »

A woman who has remained unmarried since the death of her husband. In biblical times, women were very much dependent on male relatives for their welfare. A woman could find herself in a vulnerable and defenseless position when her husband died. An untimely and early death of the husband could be... Read More »

(Aug. 24, 1759-July 29, 1833). English philanthropist, reformer, orator, and evangelical layman. He was born in Hull, Yorkshire. Wilberforce studied at St. John's College, Cambridge University, 1776-1779. In 1780 he was elected to the House of Commons representing Hull. It was in the House of... Read More »

(d. Apr. 15, 1729). Second Commissary to Maryland. Bishop of London John Robinson appointed Wilkinson Commissary of the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1716. He served until his death.

(Oct. 12, 1880-Feb. 16, 1968). Renowned composer of church music. He was born in Balham, in Surrey, England. He trained at St. Saviour's, Eastbourne. After advanced study in organ and piano, he served several churches in and near London. In 1913 he came to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as head of... Read More »

First Anglican college in the American colonies. It was founded by James Blair, the first Commissary to Virginia. On Feb. 8, 1693, King William III and Queen Mary II granted a charter. On Dec. 20, 1693, 330 acres were purchased at "Middle Plantation," now Williamsburg, for the school. The... Read More »

William Smith, a nurseryman in Geneva, New York, wanted to establish a college for women in Geneva. Though his family were members of the Episcopal Church, Smith had moved towards spiritualism. President Langdon Cheves Stewardson of Hobart College, Geneva, suggested to Smith a women's college... Read More »

(July 18, 1829-Dec. 2, 1910). Missionary Bishop to China and Japan. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Williams received the M.A. degree from the College of William and Mary in 1852. He graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1855, and was ordained deacon on July 1, 1855. In Nov. 1855... Read More »

(July 30, 1860-Feb. 14, 1923). Bishop, theologian, and social gospel advocate. He was born in Bellevue, Ohio. Williams received his B.A. in 1880 and his M.A. in 1893 from Kenyon College. He studied for the ordained ministry at Bexley Hall. Williams was ordained deacon on June 17, 1883, and priest... Read More »

(1887-1978). American church musician, composer, and teacher. He was born in Carnarvonshire, Wales. Williams began his career in church music as a chorister in the choir of the Cathedral of St. John, Denver. At the age of thirteen he became the organist of St. Peter's Church, Denver. In 1908... Read More »

(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,... Read More »

(c. 1780-Oct. 17, 1840). The second African American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Williams's father, Peter Williams, Sr., was one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New York City. Williams, Jr., became associated... Read More »

( See Vaughan Williams, Ralph.


Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.