History of Episcopal Oversight

From 1838 to 1845 the Episcopal Church existed in the Republic of Texas as a foreign missionary district. Christ Church, Matagorda, was the first Episcopal Church in the Republic and was founded in 1839. Christ Church, Houston, later the Cathedral (and therefore official “see” of the bishop), was the second Episcopal church in the Republic of Texas, founded in 1839.

The district was first administered by Bishop Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana, and Bishop George Washington Freeman, Bishop of Arkansas, until Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845. The Diocese officially organized in 1849 and elected Alexander Gregg its first bishop. He served until 1893 when his coadjutor (elected to succeed), the Rt. Rev. George Herbert Kinsolving, became Bishop of Texas. His coadjutor, the Rt. Rev. Clinton Simon Quin, succeeded Kinsolving 35 years later in 1928.

Bishop John Hines served as coadjutor under Bishop Quin for ten years and became diocesan in 1955. Nine years later, in 1964 Bishop Hines was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church where he served for a decade. Bishop Milton Richardson was consecrated the fifth Bishop of Texas on February 10, 1965, and served as diocesan until his death in 1981. The sixth Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, was elected in 1980.  In June 1993 Bishop Claude E. Payne was elected the fourth bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas and became the seventh Bishop of Texas February 10, 1995. Bishop Don Wimberly became the eighth bishop of Texas in June, 2003, retiring at the mandatory age of 72 on June 6, 2009. Bishop Doyle, elected in May, 2008, was consecrated at St. Martins, Houston on November 22, 2008 and invested and seated on June 7, 2009.

Additionally, Texas has had ten bishops suffragan and six assistant bishops since becoming a diocese:  F. Percy Goddard, James P. Clements, and Roger H. Cilley; Scott Field Bailey; Gordon T. Charlton; William E. Sterling, Sr., and Leopoldo J. Alard, Rayford B. High, Jr. and Dena A. Harrison served as bishops suffragan. Bishops Jeff W. Fisher and Kathryn M. Ryan currently serve as bishop suffragans. Bishops Anselmo Carral, William J. Cox, Bishop John Hines, James B. Brown, Ted Daniels and John Buchanan served as assistants. Bishop Héctor Monterroso currently serves as bishop assistant.

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