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Authority record

Allin, John Maury

  • Person
  • 1921-1998

John Maury Allin was born April 22, 1921 in Helena, Arkansas. He attended college and seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1943 and a Master of Divinity in 1945. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1944 and to the priesthood in 1945.

Allin began his career at St. Peter’s Episcopal Mission in Conway, Arkansas, eventually moving to Louisiana where he spent 8 years serving in various pastoral roles, beginning with a curacy at St. Andrew’s Church in New Orleans. In 1952, he was called to serve as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, Louisiana and then, in 1958, agreed to serve as president and headmaster of All Saints College in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In 1961, Allin was elected as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Mississippi, which began his progression within the leadership of The Episcopal Church. On the retirement of Bishop Duncan Gray in 1966, he became the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Mississippi, a position in which he served until 1974. During this time he helped found the Committee of Concern, an ecumenical and civic alliance organized to raise funds for the rebuilding of over 100 African American churches that had been burned by white racist groups.

In 1973, at the 64th General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the House of Bishops elected Allin the 23rd Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. He was installed on June 11, 1974. Allin’s tenure commenced at a time of considerable turbulence and change in The Episcopal Church, which he approached with a talent for compromise and a resolve to promote reconciliation. During this time, the Church approved the ordination of women (1976), an issue to which Allin was firmly opposed; began the Venture in Mission (VIM) campaign, a major fundraising effort for special mission and ministry (1976); adopted a new Book of Common Prayer (1979); and established the Office of Black Ministries.

Allin retired as Presiding Bishop in 1985, but remained active in the Church until his death in Jackson, Mississippi on March 6, 1998.

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