Showing 228 results

Authority record

Torok, John

  • Person
  • 1890-1955

John Torok, born in Hungary in 1890 to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, arrived in the United States in 1920 and received into the Episcopal priesthood by Diocese of Maryland Bishop Murray on June 9, 1921.

In 1923, a group of Uniate churches in Pittsburgh elected Torok as their bishop, with the idea that he would lead them out of the Roman Catholic communion and into The Episcopal Church. Torok was consecrated on October 19, 1924 at the Serbian Legation Chapel in Vienna by Bishop Gorazd and Bishop Dositej, both Orthodox bishops. Upon Torok’s return, he found that due to other plans regarding intercommunion being carried out at the same time, any exercise of his episcopal privilege would likely result in a split in the Church.

To mitigate potential discord, Torok retired to secular life. However, several years later a renewal of interest in intercommunion brought him back to Church life. After much canvassing on his behalf by Bishop Frank Wilson of Eau Claire, Torok was elected Suffragan Bishop of that diocese in May of 1934. His primary focus was foreign language work among the Uniate peoples in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, but Bishop Wilson could get neither firm approval nor firm disapproval for this work from the rest of the Church. Furthermore, General Convention declined to confirm Torok’s consecration.

Torok returned to secular employment until 1946, when he took up parish work, first in Mexico and later in Puerto Rico. From 1947 to 1950 he served Grace Church in Brooklyn.

John Torok died in 1955.

Putnam, Katharine

  • Person
  • 1889- c.1970

Katharine Putnam was born on September 10, 1889, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Upon completing her studies at the Philadelphia Church Training and Deaconess House in 1917, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society appointed her to the Shanghai District. Putnam arrived in China on August 18, 1917 and taught English at St. Faith’s School and Mahan Boys School in Yangchow. She was set apart as a deaconess on May 23, 1920 and continued teaching until a furlough in 1928.

Upon her return, she was appointed Diocesan Religious Education Director and made supervisor of the women’s work in Shanghai. As part of these duties, Putnam prepared educational religious material, held short-term school appointments at country stations, and helped to train women evangelists. After another furlough in 1934, Putnam returned to St. Faith’s School in Yangchow. From 1937 until 1939, she served as secretary to Bishop Graves. After the Bishop’s retirement Putnam worked in the diocesan office and at St. Elizabeth Hospital until the Japanese placed the missionaries under house arrest in 1942. On February 25, 1943, Katharine Putnam joined other missionaries who had been placed in an internment camp until her release as part of a prisoner exchange on September 20, 1943.

After going back and forth between the United States and China several more times over the next seven years, she returned to the U.S. permanently in 1950 where she worked in various roles within the Church, supporting the training and education of women. After 41 years of service, Katharine Putnam retired from the Episcopal Church in 1958.

Forrester, Henry

  • Person
  • unknown-1904

Henry Forrester was ordained to the diaconate in 1870 and to the priesthood in 1872. He served as a missionary in the Missionary District of New Mexico and Arizona beginning in 1874. Together with the new bishop of the district, William Forbes Adams, he performed the first Episcopal worship service at the Exchange Hotel on the Plaza in Albuquerque on March 4, 1875. After Bishop Adams’s retirement several months later, Forrester took on ecclesiastical oversight of the Missionary District and established St. Paul’s in Las Vegas as the ecclesiastical center. He continued to travel widely around the territory, establishing missionary outposts in 15 towns.

In 1880, George Kelly Dunlop was elected to fill the vacancy left by Adams’ retirement. That same year, the first convention of the Missionary District was held. Dunlop appointed Forrester priest to the congregation in Albuquerque. Forrester continued to travel across the territory, encouraging the missions he had established in the district. He reported in 1882 that “land has been purchased at 4th and Silver” for $5,000 and in November the first service in St. John’s Church was attended by 33 people.

At the General Convention of 1892 the Board of Missions appointed Forrester to succeed the Rev. W. B. Gordon as the Presiding Bishop’s resident representative to the Mexican Episcopal Church, a position he held until his death in 1904.

Shoemaker, Samuel Moor

  • Person
  • 1893-1963

Samuel Moor Shoemaker was born on December 27, 1893, to a wealthy Episcopalian family with deep roots in Maryland high society. He attended Princeton University where he was involved with the Philadelphian Society that shaped much of his early ministry. After graduation, he moved to Beijing to teach and do missionary work. While there Shoemaker met Frank N. D. Buchman, a Pietist Lutheran preacher and activist who would go on to found the Oxford Group that evolved into the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement.

Shoemaker was ordained to the diaconate in 1920 and to the priesthood in 1921. In 1925 he accepted a call to serve as rector of Calvary Church, New York City.

In 1926, Shoemaker began hosting weekly evening meetings geared toward training working people to witness their faith and convert others in their workplaces. He traveled the country in 1932, sermonizing to combat what he saw as the spiritual decay brought on by the Great Depression. His establishment of a rescue mission on New York City’s Lower East Side led him to minister to men struggling with addiction, including William Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Shoemaker continued to pursue those ministries at Calvary Church in Pittsburgh, where he became rector in 1952. He also sought to win converts through his writing. He published frequently in the parish newsletter The Calvary Evangel and later independently as the renamed magazine Faith at Work. Failing health forced Shoemaker to resign from active ministry in 1962.

Samuel Moor Shoemaker died in Baltimore on October 30, 1963.

Spong, John Shelby

  • Person
  • 1931-2021

John Shelby Spong was born June 16, 1931 in Charlotte, North Carolina. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1952 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1955. He was ordained a deacon and a priest that year.

For two years, Spong served as rector at St. Joseph’s Church in Durham, North Carolina, before assuming the rectorship of Cavalry Church in Tarboro, North Carolina, in 1957. In a city that resisted integration, Spong ministered to the Black congregation at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church alongside the white congregation at Cavalry. He continued service as a rector at St. John’s Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, (1965) and St. Paul’s Church in Richmond, Virginia (1969) before being consecrated Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark in 1976. As bishop he continued to work tirelessly on behalf of those marginalized in the Church, ordaining a non-celibate gay deacon to the priesthood in 1989 and advocating for women clergy. Spong gained recognition among lay audiences for his many books on theology, which often challenged conventional doctrine. After retiring as bishop in 2000, he continued to speak on faith, modernity, and social justice.

John Shelby Spong died on September 12, 2021.

Manning, William T.

  • Person
  • 1866-1949

The Rt. Rev. William T. Manning was born in Northampton, England in 1866. He received his theological training at the University of the South in Sewanee, where he served as a professor of dogmatic theology from 1893 to 1895. Manning became rector of St. Agnes Chapel in New York in 1908. He became the fifth Bishop of New York in 1921.

A staunch theological conservative, Manning prevented the Rev. Percy S. Grant from marrying a divorcee in 1921 and became embroiled in a bitter battle of recriminations with Judge Ben B. Lindsey on the issue of "companionate marriage" in 1930; however, on other issues he took a more liberal stance, particularly regarding integrated congregational worship. Bishop Manning retired in ill health in 1946.

William T. Manning died in 1949.

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