Above: The Church of the Holy Communion, New York, New York
Image Source = New York Public Library
HENRY MELCHIOR MUHLENBERG (SEPTEMBER 6, 1711-OCTOBER 7, 1787)
Patriarch of American Lutheranism
His feast day transferred from October 7
WILLIAM AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG (SEPTEMBER 16, 1796-APRIL 8, 1877)
Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgical Pioneer
ANNE AYRES (JANUARY 3, 1816-1896)
Foundress of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion
One church, one book.
–Henry Melchior Muhlenberg
October 7 is the feast day of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg in The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and The Lutheran Church–Canada. A Great Cloud of Witnesses: A Calendar of Commemorations (The Episcopal Church, 2016) lists William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayres on April 8. However, since one of my purposes in renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences, I have merged the commemorations.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg became the Patriarch of American Lutheranism. He, born at Einbeck, Saxony, on September 6, 1711, attended the University of Gottingen. Then our saint taught in the orphanage at Halle for 15 months. He wanted to become a missionary to India, but became a pastor in Grosshennersdorf, Saxony, instead. In September 1741 Muhlenberg visited Halle. Soon thereafter he was en route to America, sent there by pastor August Herman Francke, who had also sent other missionaries to the New World.
Lutheranism was in a sorry state in America. There was little organization above the parish level, liturgies varied widely, there were no firm standards for become an ordained minister, and adjacent Lutheran churches frequently had little to do with each other. In 1741 Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a Saxon Lutheran layman and Moravian bishop, was visiting America. While in Pennsylvania, he functioned as a Lutheran pastor at Philadelphia, creating a controversy in the church there.
Muhlenberg had a difficult set of tasks to complete. His motto was Ecclesia Plantanda, or
The Church Must Be Planted.
Our saint arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1742. Then he spent a week with the Jerusalem Lutheran Church at Ebenzezer, Georgia. Muhlenberg arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 1742. Within a month he had ousted Zinzendorf from the pulpit. On December 27, 1742, Muhlenberg became the pastor of several congregations. He went on, within a year, to found a school per congregation and to found new churches.
During the following decades Muhlenberg planted and organized the church. He founded new congregations, fostered unity among them, and established standards for ordination. On August 26, 1748, at St. Michael’s Church, Philadelphia, ministers from 10 of the 70 Lutheran congregations in North America formed “The United Preachers of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregations of German Nationality in These American Colonies, Especially Pennsylvania,” the first synod. In 1781, with the adoption of a constitution, the synod became the German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium in North America. The ministerium gave rise to other synods, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium in the State of New-York and Adjacent States and Countries (1786), led by John Christopher Kunze, Muhlenberg’s son-in-law. The original synod became the German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States in 1792.
Muhlenberg did much to build up the Ministerium in North America/of Pennsylvania. He traveled from the northeast to Georgia. In 1751 and 1752 he spent much time in New York City, where the dispute over what the proper language for worship should be had created divisions. Our saint, who prioritized the Gospel of Jesus Christ over languages, preached in English, Dutch, and German every Sunday for months. Over the years he struggled with Lutheran disunity; many Lutheran ministers did not relate to Halle, as he did. Our saint also prepared a hymnal late in life.
On the personal side, Muhlenberg married Anna Mary Weiser, daughter of Indian agent Conrad Weiser, in April 1745. Three of their sons became Lutheran ministers. Although our saint ranged from Loyalism to neutrality during the American Revolutionary period, two of his sons (both of them ministers) chose to fight under the command of George Washington. Peter (in full, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, 1746-1807) went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with Frederick (in full, Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, 1750-1801), the first Speaker of the House.
Our saint died at Trappe, Pennsylvania, on October 7, 1787. He was 76 years old.
Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, had a son named Henry William Muhlenberg, who became a wine merchant in Philadelphia. Henry William married Mary Sheefe. The couple welcomed William Augustus Muhlenberg into the world on September 16, 1796. He became a figure to rival his great-grandfather in terms of ecclesiastical importance.
William Augustus Muhlenberg, raised in a Lutheran home, became an influential Episcopal priest. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania from 1812 to 1815, graduating as the English-language salutation. His affinity for the English language, especially in worship, led him to join The Episcopal Church. Such conversions were common at a time when German was the preferred language of worship in many Lutheran congregations, the leaders of which referred those who preferred to worship in English to Episcopal churches. Muhlenberg became a priest, serving first as the assistant at Christ Church, Philadelphia, from 1817 to 1822. (The rector of the parish was William White, also the Bishop and Pennsylvania and the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.) Then, for a few years, Muhlenberg was the Rector of St. James’s Church, Lancaster. There he opened the first public school in Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia. Meanwhile, our saint had published a case for singing hymns instead of the traditional metrical Psalms. Thus he served on the committee for the Prayer Book Collection (1826), an early Episcopal hymnal.
In 1826 Muhlenberg relocated to New York. He became the Rector of St. George’s Church, Flushing, Long Island. There he founded the Flushing Institute (later St. Paul’s College), which made him nationally famous for his advocacy of progressive educational methods. At St. George’s Church Muhlenberg was a pioneer in liturgical renewal. His church had vested choirs, candles and flowers on the altar, and greenery at Christmas. If that were not enough, the church sang Christmas carols. This was groundbreaking in a culture in which much of the dominant Protestant ethos did not support celebrating Christmas.
Muhlenberg received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Columbia College, New York, New York, in 1834.
In 1845 Muhlenberg founded the Church of the Holy Communion in the City of New York. The architect of the edifice (dedicated in 1846) was Richard Upjohn (1802-1878). Muhlenberg’s sister, the wealthy widow Mary A. Rogers, financed the construction of the building and much of the parish’s budget for years. This patronage enabled the church to minister to members of all social classes; that was a priority for the priest and his sister. One of the novelties at the Church of the Holy Communion was free pews–no pew rentals. Our saint was also a pioneer in the Sunday School movement; the parish schools reflected this fact. The church also offered unemployment benefits, operated an employment agency, provided medical services, and offered English-language classes. Furthermore, the liturgical life of the parish was more advanced than at other churches. Communion services were weekly, Morning and Evening Prayer were daily, Holy Week was a priority, and the choirs there were the first vested choirs in the city. Beyond that, the use of colors, flowers, and music to increase the beauty of worship was influential.
The parish dispensary became the genesis of St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City. Muhlenberg served as the Superintendent and Chaplain there from 1858 to 1877. He and Anne Ayres, a member of his congregation, founded the institution.
Ayres, born in London, England, on January 3, 1816, arrived in New York City in 1836. For a few years she tutored children of the wealthy, but Muhlenberg’s influence prompted her to change the direction of her life. In 1845 she and Muhlenberg founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion, dedicated to providing social services. For many years members of the Sisterhood performed most of the nursing duties at St. Luke’s Hospital. The Sisterhood of the Holy Communion was the first Anglican order for women founded in North America.
Muhlenberg was an ecumenist. In 1853 he presented a proposal before the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Our saint, convinced that the rubrics of The Book of Common Prayer (1789) were too rigid, proposed Articles of Union with Protestant bodies in a confederation, complete with Apostolic Succession. The requirements were:
- The Apostles’ Creed;
- Ordination not repugnant to the Word of God;
- Common hymns, prayers, and Biblical readings; and
- A council on common affairs.
This proposal, the natural successor to The Evangelical Catholic (1851-1853), Muhlenberg’s monthly journal, went down in failure. It did, however, influence the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1886, 1888):
- The Old and New Testaments as scripture,
- The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds,
- The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and
- Apostolic Succession.
In 1868 Muhlenberg served on a committee to discuss revising The Book of Common Prayer (1789). Revision had to wait, however; the next edition debuted in 1892.
Muhlenberg, who wrote hymns, chose to remain unmarried, so that he could have more time for ministry. His theology was something science did not threaten; he did not oppose Evolution. His priorities in ministry reflected his proto-Social Gospel ethos. Among his final projects (with Anne Ayres) was St. Johnland, an intentional community for members of the working class on Long Island, away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. There were family homes, group homes, businesses, a library, a church, et cetera. Muhlenberg helped to finance St. Johnland.
Muhlenberg died in New York City on April 8, 1877. He was 80 years old.
Anne Ayres died in New York City on February 9, 1896. She was 80 years old.
The Ministeriums of Pennnsylvania and New York survived into the 1960s, when they, as part of The United Lutheran Church in America, merged into the Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s dream of a common liturgy for North American Lutherans has never become a reality. The closest it came to reality was the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), which, by the way, borrowed heavily from The Book of Common Prayer (1979), in development at the same time.
The Church of the Holy Communion closed in 1975 and merged with Calvary Episcopal Church and St. George’s Episcopal Church. Since then the edifice has housed a series of establishments, including two night clubs (one of them notorious), an upscale store, and a gymnasium.
The Sisterhood of the Holy Communion ceased to exist in 1940.
St. Luke’s Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital merged in 1979.
St. Johnland survives as a nursing center.
Flowers and altar candles remain familiar sites in Episcopal hymnals.
The Episcopal Church has made the transition from metrical Psalms to hymns.
The Episcopal Church has entered into full communion agreements with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Moravian Church in America.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, William Augustus Muhlenberg, and Anne Ayres did much to glorify God, build up the church, and benefit many people.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MARCH 15, 2017 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT ZACHARY OF ROME, POPE
THE FEAST OF SAINTS JAN ADALBERT BALICKI AND LADISLAUS FINDYSZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN POLAND
THE FEAST OF OZORA STEARNS DAVIS, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF VETHAPPAN SOLOMON, APOSTLE TO THE SOLOMON ISLANDS
Almighty God, we praise you for your servants
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, William Augustus Muhlenberg, and Anne Ayres,
through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.
Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,
whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 3:11-23
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Above: The Flag of The Episcopal Church
Image Source = Zscout370
THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER (APRIL 26, 1726-JUNE 17, 1790)
His feast transferred from August 17
JOHN HENRY HOBART (SEPTEMBER 14, 1775-SEPTEMBER 12, 1830)
Episcopal Bishop of New York
His feast transferred from September 12
WILLIAM HOBART HARE (MAY 17, 1838-OCTOBER 23, 1909)
Apostle to the Sioux and Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Niobrara then South Dakota
With this post I add to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days three holy men from The Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints. The Episcopal Church has, for logical reasons, assigned each man to a different date. I, for my logical reasons also, have moved Chandler and Hobart to Hare’s feast day, May 17. This is, after all my weblog, and the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Says and Holy Days is my project. I have concluded that the stories of these three men’s lives, told in one post, constitute a compelling account of active Christian faith across generational lines. Also, combining what would have otherwise been three posts into one enables a readier to notice connections more easily.
THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER (1726-1790)
The intergenerational story begins with Thomas Bradbury Chandler. He was one of ten children of William J. Chandler (1698-1754) and Jemima Bradbury Chandler (circa 1703-1779) of Woodstock, Massachusetts. Our saint grew up on the family farm and attended Yale College, from which he graduated in 1745. He became the catechist and lay reader of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1747. The congregation had no priest at the time, and the consensus at St. John’s was that Chandler should fill that vacancy. In 1751 our saint traveled to England, where Thomas Sherlock, the Bishop of London, ordained him to the priesthood and designated him the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown.
Chandler spent most of the rest of his life as the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, and became beloved there. He also traveled in the Northeast, functioning as a missionary. Our saint, a stickler for doing things decently and in order, refused to permit the Anglican-Methodist revivalist George Whitefield (1714-1770), who visited Elizabethtown in 1763 and 1764, to fill the pulpit.
Chandler, whom Oxford University honored with a D.D. degree in 1766, took up a controversial cause his mentor, Samuel Johnson (1696-1772), Anglican priest, former Congregationalist minister, and first President of King’s College (now Columbia University), New York, New York, favored. The Anglican congregations in America were in the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. There was no bishop in North America, and Johnson and Chandler thought there should be at least one. This was a controversial position. On the American side of the Atlantic Ocean many Congregationalists and Presbyterians, fearing that an Anglican bishop in North America would lead to the establishment of The Church of England in the Middle Atlantic colonies, opposed such an episcopal appointment vehemently. Chandler published his case in An Appeal to the Public in Behalf of the Church of England in America (1767) and in The Appeal Defended, or, the Proposed American Episcopate Vindicated: In Answer to the Objections and Misrepresentations of Dr. Chauncy and Others (1769). (Dr. Charles Chauncy had published his rebuttal to Chandler’s Appeal (1767) in 1768.)
Our saint was, as were at least one-third of the subjects in the rebellious thirteen colonies, loyal to the British Empire during the American Revolutionary period. Chandler was quite vocal in his political opinions, for he wrote and published at least two pamphlets:
- A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans on the Subject of Our Political Confusions (1774), and
- What Think Ye of Congress Now? Or an Enquiry How Far the Americans are Bound to Abide by and Execute the Decisions of the Late Congress (1775).
Chandler had to leave Elizabethtown and America in 1775, for he was receiving threats from the Sons of Liberty. He spent the next ten years in England.
The vestry of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, invited Chandler to return in 1785. He accepted the offer. By the time our saint arrived his health did not permit him to conduct regular services, but the vestry insisted that he be the official rector and reside in the rectory anyway. In 1786 Chandler received word that he was the first choice of the Archbishop of Canterbury to become the first Church of England bishop in North America, headquartered in Nova Scotia. Our saint, who had not sought the position, declined it for health reasons. The post went to Charles Inglis (1734-1816), Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York, from 1777 to 1783 instead.
[Aside: The first Anglican bishop in North America was Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), whom bishops of The Church of England refused to consecrate because he, as an American (albeit a Royal Army chaplain during the Revolutionary War) could not swear allegiance to the crown. Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated him at Aberdeen on November 14, 1784, however, and he became the first Bishop of Connecticut on August 3, 1785.]
Chandler died at Elizabethtown on June 17, 1790. He was 64 years old, and Then Episcopal Church was less than one year old, having completed the process of separating from The Church of England in 1789.
Chandler had written The Life of Samuel Johnson, D.D., the First President of King’s College in New York yet not published it during his lifetime. The volume became available in print in 1805.
Chandler’s legacy continued via his family. His wife was Jane Emott Chandler (circa 1732-1801). Their youngest daughter, Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), married a young clergyman named John Henry Hobart (1775-1830, who became the Bishop of New York.
Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor
JOHN HENRY HOBART (1775-1830)
John Henry Hobart was a great missionary bishop and a man of strong opinions. He funded educational institutions, started congregations and left a legacy which even many who argued with him bitterly had to respect.
Hobart was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Enoch Hobart (1726-1776) and Hannah Pratt Hobart (1732-?). Our saint studied at the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia, before matriculating at The University of Pennsylvania. He remained there for two years before transferring to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), graduating with his A.B. in 1793. He worked in a counting house in Philadelphia for a few worlds, but commerce was not his vocation.
Hobart, realizing this fact, turned toward theology. In 1777 and 1778, while working as a tutor at the College of New Jersey, our saint pursued theological studies under the direction of William White (1747-1836). White was the Rector of St. Peter’s Church and Christ Church, Philadelphia (1779-1836), the Bishop of Pennsylvania (1787-1836), Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (1789, 1795-1836), and the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1790-1800). White ordained Hobart to the diaconate on June 3, 1798, and to the priesthood in 1800. Our saint served the yoked congregations of Trinity Church, Oxford, Pennsylvania, and All Saints Church, Perkionmen, Pennsylvania, in 1798 and 1799. He served briefly at Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1799 and 1800. On May 6, 1800, Hobart married Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), youngest daughter of Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790). At the end of 1800 Hobart became the Assistant Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York. In 1811 he became both the Rector of Trinity Church and the second bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York. He served as rector and bishop until his death, in 1830.
The first Bishop of New York was Samuel Provoost (1742-1815), who served in the diocese from 1787 to 1815 and as the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1789-1790) and the Presiding Bishop of the denomination (1792-1795). Benjamin Moore (1748-1816) had become the first bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York in 1801. When Provoost died Moore succeeded him and became the second Bishop of New York. Moore died in February 1816, so Hobart automatically became the third Bishop of New York. This made official was had been unofficial reality for several years, for both Provoost and Moore had not been well, so Hobart had been administering the diocese.
Hobart was an effective bishop. Between 1816 and 1820 he increased the number of clergy in the diocese by a factor of two and the number of missionaries by a factor of four. By the end of his tenure (and life) our saint had started missionary work among the Oneida Indians and planted a church in every major town in the state previously lacking one. In 1817 Hobart helped to found the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York. He served as its first dean and taught pastoral theology. Our saint expanded education in the western part of the state, selecting the site of Geneva College (opened in 1822), Geneva, New York. (It became Hobart College then Hobart and William Smith Colleges.) Hobart also visited churches in Connecticut and New Jersey during times of vacancies in the episcopates of those dioceses.
This hard work damaged our saint’s health. He took a sabbatical in 1823-1825 to recover while traveling in Europe.
Hobart was also a controversialist. The bishop was a pre-Oxford Movement High Churchman. The Oxford Movement, which started in England in the 1830s (after Hobart’s death), had a strong liturgical emphasis. Hobart’s High Churchmanship pertained to questions of baptism and Apostolic Succession. There were competing theologies of baptism and the episcopate. Our saint argued strongly for his interpretations and cautioned against ecumenical cooperation with denominations with different understandings. These matters, he insisted, were crucial.
One might recognize Apostolic Succession as one of four standards in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1886 and 1888). The other three standards for Christian unity there are the Old and New Testaments, the Nicene Creed, and the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
Hobart died at Auburn, New York, on September 12, 1830, two days before his fifty-fifth birthday. Among the bishops who met a Chicago, Illinois, in 1886 to discuss the Quadrilateral was his grandson, William Hobart Hare (1838-1909), the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota (1883-1909), and a son of Elizabeth Catherine Hobart Hare (1810-1883).
Hobart’s immediate successor was Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk (1791-1861).
Hobart’s published writings included the following:
- A Companion for the Altar, or, Week’s Preparation for the Holy Communion (First Edition, 1804; Fifth Edition, 1819)
- Feasts and Festivals (1804);
- An Apology for Apostolic Order (1807);
- Letters to the Vestry of Trinity Church (1811);
- The Christian’s Manual of Faith and Devotion (1814);
- The State of the Departed (1816);
- The Churchman (1819);
- Sermons on the Principal Events and Truths of Redemption (1824);
- The High Churchman Vindicated (1826); and
- The Christian Bishop Approving Himself Unto God (1827), preached at the consecration of Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Posthumous volumes about Hobart, most of them containing writings by him, included the following:
- A Great Man in Israel (1830), by John Frederick Schroeder;
- Memorial of Bishop Hobart: A Collection of Sermons on the Death of the Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, D.D., with a Memoir of His Life and Writings (1831), by John Frederick Schroeder;
- The Posthumous Works of the Late Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, with a Memoir of His Life by the Rev. William Berrian, D.D. (1832), Volumes I, II, and III;
- The Early Years of the Late Bishop Hobart (1834), by John McVickar;
- The Professional Years of John Henry Hobart: Being a Sequel to His “Early Years” (1836), by John McVickar;
- The Office of Devotion (Second Edition, 1846);
- Instruction and Encouragement for Lent (1859); and
- The Correspondence of John Henry Hobart (1911), Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.
WILLIAM HOBART HARE (1838-1909)
Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor
William Hobart Hare shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in the Dakotas, Japan, and China.
Our saint was a son of the church. His family tree included, among others, Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790) and John Henry Hobart (1775-1830). Hare’s parents were George Emlen Hare, Sr. (1808-1892), and Elizabeth Catherine Hare (1810-1883), daughter of Bishop Hobart. George Emlen Hare, Sr., was a prominent Episcopal priest and Biblical scholar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He taught at and served as the dean of Philadelphia Divinity School (extant 1857-1974). At the time of our saint’s birth in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1838, George Emlen Hare, Sr., was the Rector of Trinity Church in that city. He wrote Christ to Return: A Practical Exposition of the Prophecy Recorded in the 24th and 25th Chapters of the Gospel According to St. Matthew (1840) and Visions and Narratives of the Old Testament (1889).
Our saint became an Episcopal priest. He attended yet did not graduate from The University of Pennsylvania. Then he studied at the new Philadelphia Divinity School. Hare became a deacon in 1859 and a priest in 1862. At first he was assistant at St. Luke’s Church, Philadelphia, where Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1808-1895), later the first Bishop of Central Pennsylvania from 1871 to 1895, was the rector. In 1861 Hare transferred to St. Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, and on October 30, married Howe’s daughter, Mary Amory (May 4, 1837-January 7, 1866). The couple’s brief marriage produced one child, Hobart Amory Hare (September 22, 1862-June 15, 1931), a physician and author of medical texts. The Hares spent parts of 1863 and 1864 in Michigan and Minnesota for Mary’s health. Then, in 1864 Hare became the Vicar of the Church of the Ascension, Philadelphia, He remained there until 1870, becoming rector in 1867.
Hare entered the missions field in 1870, when he became the Secretary and General Agent of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions. He nearly left that job the following year, when the House of Bishops elected him to become the Missionary Bishop of Cape Palmas (in western Africa), but the House of Deputies concluded that he was invaluable in his then current position. On All Saints’ Day 1872, however, the bishops elected him the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara, with a territory spanning the Dakotas. The consecration occurred on January 9, 1873.
From 1873 to 1883 Hare administered the affairs of the Missionary District of Niobrara, ministering to Sioux and pioneers alike. He divided the district into ten departments, each led by a priest. This manner of organizing his see proved to be quite effective. He wrote annual letters, published as pamphlets, to raise funds for the schools. One such letter was Christian Schools Among the Indians: Bishop Hare’s Circular (1874).
The Missionary District of Niobrara divided into the Missionary Districts of North and South Dakota in 1883. Hare became the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota, a post he held for the rest of his life. He oversaw a network of parochial schools and established his headquarters at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He lived in a wing of All Saints School (for Sioux and pioneer girls), near Calvary Episcopal Cathedral. Our saint wrote of the schools one year in How the Church Schools in South Dakota Help Indian Boys and Girls. (Archive.org provides 1850 as the date, but that is incorrect, for he would have been 11 or 12 years old at the time, and the document lists his title as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota.)
Hare’s job was demanding. Nevertheless, our saint doubled as a missionary bishop in Japan in 1891 and in Japan and China in parts of 1891 and 1892, with a return to South Dakota separating those two tenures. Furthermore, Hare’s health became an issue. Thus he traveled in Europe from October 1895 to April 1896. The work of the church in South Dakota continued, as another pamphlet, Indian Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Dakota: Letter from Bishop Hare (1899), attested. Hare eventually requested a bishop to assist him. Answering that request affirmatively entailed altering the denominational canons. In 1905 Frederick Foote Johnson (1866-1943) became the Assistant Bishop of South Dakota.
Hare visited sisters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, from time to time. He died at Atlantic City during one such visit on October 23, 1909. He was 71 years old.
Johnson succeeded our saint as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota then left to become the Bishop Coadjutor of Missouri, serving under Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (1837-1923), Bishop of Missouri from 1886 to 1923 and Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church from 1903 to 1923. Foote served as the Bishop of Missouri from 1923 to 1933, when he retired.
Archive.org is host to biographies of our saint and other published works by him:
- Reminiscences (1888);
- Addresses Relating to the Growth of the Church in the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Dakota: From June, A.D. 1860 to June, A.D. 1898 (1898);
- Bishop Hare’s Indian Boarding Schools in South Dakota (1910);
- The Life and Labors of Bishop Hare: Apostle to the Sioux (1914), by Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1864-1960), his late wife’s half-brother; and
- Zitkano Duzahan, Swift Bird: The Indians’ Bishop; a Life of the Rt. Rev. William Hobart Hare (1915), by Mary B. Peabody.
I ponder the contributions of these three men to the glory of God, to The Episcopal Church, to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to the lives of the people they touched in positive ways then stand in awe of them. These were men of God whose influences (both direct and indirect) was great. I join others in standing on the shoulders of such giants.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JANUARY 22, 2016 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETICA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER
THE FEAST OF SAINT ABELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK
THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST
THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE PALLTINES
Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servants
Thomas Bradbury Chandler, John Henry Hobart, and William Hobart Hare,
who were faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;
and we pray that, following their examples and the teaching of their holy lives,
we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:1-4
–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718