An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | V | W | Y | Z

Lawrence, William

(May 30, 1850- Nov. 6, 1941). Bishop, educator, fund-raiser, and primary founder of the Church Pension Fund. He articulated a theology of Christian stewardship known as the "Gospel of Wealth." In an article entitled "The Relation of Wealth to Morals" (1901), he argued that God gives wealth only to those who are moral. The wealthy in return bear the responsibility of serving their communities so that their prosperity can help uplift others. Born in Boston, Lawrence graduated from Harvard College in 1871, and received a B.D. from the Episcopal Theological School (ETS.) in 1875. He was ordained deacon on June 20, 1875, and priest on June 11, 1876. He served at Grace Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts, between 1876 and 1883. In Jan. 1884 he returned to ETS as professor of homiletics and pastoral care, and later served as dean of ETS from 1889 to 1893. Lawrence was consecrated Bishop of Massachusetts on Oct. 5, 1893. Although he retired in 1927, he maintained an active presence in educational and social affairs. He died in Milton, Massachusetts.

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.