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Location of the Diocese of South Carolina

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America covering an area of 24 counties in the eastern part of the state of South Carolina. Established in 1706, it is one of the nine original dioceses of the Episcopal Church. The diocese includes 25,830 baptized members in 76 congregations which are served by 178 clergy licensed or canonically resident.[1] The diocese's Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul and Diocesan House is in the see city of Charleston. It is a member of the Anglican Communion Network.

The diocesan bishop is the Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence. Lawrence was consecrated and installed as bishop on January 26 2008, after being elected twice.[2] The polity of the Episcopal Church requires that the other Episocopal dioceses give consent to the election of any diocesan bishop. Because of "canonical deficiencies" in several dioceses' responses, the first election was declared void, requiring a second election.[3]

Episcopalianism's origins in South Carolina began when it was a British colony. Legislation in 1706 made the Church of England the established religion of the colony.[4] Concentrated in the lowcountry, with its center at Charleston, the colonial church's membership included the plantation gentry, the professional class, urban merchants, skilled craftsmen. Most of the Huguenots who immigrated to the colony also converted to Anglicanism. This influence caused the clergy in South Carolina to be more Calvinist than the surrounding colonies.[5] Lay vestries controlled the churches and were the foundation for local government in the colony. Outside of the lowcountry, however, the Church of England's presence was very weak. During the American Civil War, the Diocese of South Carolina was briefly separated from the Episcopal Church in the United States and was part of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America. In 1922, the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina was created from territory formerly part of the original diocese.


Bishops of South Carolina

These are the bishops who have served the Diocese of South Carolina:[6]

  1. Robert Smith (1795 - 1801)
  2. Theodore Dehon (1812 - 1817)
  3. Nathaniel Bowen (1818 - 1839)
  4. Christopher E. Gadsden (1840 - 1852)
  5. Thomas F. Davis (1853 - 1871)
  6. William B. W. Howe (1871 - 1894)
    * Ellison Capers, Coadjutor Bishop (consecrated 1893)
  7. Ellison Capers (1894 - 1908)
    * William A. Guerry, Coadjutor Bishop (consecrated 1907)
  8. William A. Guerry (1908 - 1928)
    * Kirkman George Finlay, Coadjutor Bishop (1921 - 1922)
  9. Albert S. Thomas (1928 - 1944)
  10. Thomas N. Carruthers, (1944 - 1960)
  11. Gray Temple (1961 - 1982)
    * C. FitzSimons Allison, Coadjutor Bishop (consecrated 1980)
  12. C. FitzSimons Allison, (1982 - 1990)
    * G. Edward Haynsworth, (Assistant, 1985 - 1990)
  13. Edward L. Salmon, Jr. (1990 - 2008)
    * William J. Skilton, Suffragan Bishop (1996 - 2006)
  14. Mark J. Lawrence (2008 - )

See also


  1. ^ Episcopal Church province directory
  2. ^ "South Carolina re-elects Mark Lawrence as bishop" Episcopal News Service, 4 August 2007
  3. ^ "South Carolina election voided due to canonical deficiencies in responses" Episcopal News Service, 15 March 2007
  4. ^ Childs, Margaretta P.; Leland, Isabella G. (October 1983), "South Carolina Episcopal Church Records", The South Carolina Historical Magazine 84 (4): 250  
  5. ^ Holmes, David L. (1993). A Brief History of the Episcopal Church: With A Chapter on the Anglican Reformation and an Appendix on the Quest for an Annulment of Henry VIII. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International. p. 35. ISBN 1-56338-060-9.  
  6. ^ The Episcopal Church Annual. Morehouse Publishing: New York, NY (2005)

External links



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