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Episcopal Diocese of Arizona


Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona is the diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America which has jurisdiction over Arizona. It is in Province VIII.

Kirk Stevan Smith is the current bishop. His seat is at Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix.


The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona was established by General Convention in 1959, but its history began 100 years before. Here are some important dates:

  • February 15, 1860: Joseph C. Talbot consecrated at Christ Church, Indianapolis to be Missionary Bishop over the newly organized Northwest jurisdiction, covering nearly , including Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana and Idaho.
  • 1865: Arizona and Nevada were constituted a Missionary Jurisdiction.
  • 1874: Arizona is separated from Nevada and is joined into a Missionary Jurisdiction with New Mexico.
  • 1880: The first convention of the Missionary District of New Mexico and Arizona was held at the Exchange Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1881: St. Paul's, the first Episcopal church building in Arizona was erected in Tombstone with help from Endicott Peabody. St. Paul's is the oldest non-Roman Catholic Church in Arizona.
  • 1889: Trinity Church in Phoenix was completed and held its first service on the first Sunday in January.
  • 1892: Arizona and New Mexico were made separate Missionary Jurisdictions.
  • 1897: The Hospital of the Good Shepherd was founded by Miss Thackara among the Navajos at Fort Defiance.
  • 1907: St. Luke's Home for tubercular patients was founded in Phoenix.
  • August 18, 1931: The Arizona Church Conference Center (Chapel Rock was added to the name in 1995) was bought and paid for with $13,972.85 by Bishop Mitchell.
  • 1959: The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona was established by General Convention.

List of Bishops of Arizona

Missionary bishops over Arizona
From Until Incumbent Notes
1875 1876 Joseph C. Talbot, Missionary Bishop of the Northwest Joseph Cruikshank Talbot (September 5, 1816, Alexandria, VA – January 15, 1883, Indianapolis, IN); consecrated February 15, 1860 at Christ Church, Indianapolis.
1869 1874 Ozi William Whitaker, Missionary Bishop of Arizona and Nevada (May 10, 1830, New Salem, MA – 1911); consecrated on October 13, 1869; first Episcopal Visitations to Arizona in 1873; translated to Pennsylvania.
1875 1876 William Forbes Adams, Missionary Bishop of Arizona and New Mexico (2 January 1833, Enniskillen, UK – July 27, 1935, Los Angeles, CA); consecrated January 17, 1875; translated to Easton.
1876 1880 John Franklin Spalding, Bishop of Colorado (August 25, 1828, Belgrade, ME – March 9, 1902, Erie, PA); also acting Missionary Bishop; previously Missionary Bishop of Colorado.
1880 1888 George Kelly Dunlop, Missionary Bishop of Arizona and New Mexico (November 10, 1830, County Tyrone, UK – March 12, 1888); consecrated November 21, 1880.
1889 1911 John Mills Kendrick, Missionary Bishop of Arizona and New Mexico (May 14, 1836, Gambier, OH – December 16, 1911, Oceanside, CA); consecrated January 18, 1889.
1911 1925 Julius W. Atwood, Missionary Bishop of Arizona Julius Walter Atwood (June 27, 1857, Salisbury, VT – April 10, 1945, Washington, DC); consecrated 1911.
1926 1945 Walter Mitchell, Missionary Bishop of Arizona Consecrated 1926.
1945 1959 Arthur B. Kinsolving, Missionary Bishop of Arizona Arthur Barksdale Kinsolving II (1894, Brazil – June 15th 1965; consecrated 1945; diocesan bishop from 1959.
Bishops of Arizona
1959 1962 Arthur B. Kinsolving Missionary Bishop since 1945.
1962 1979 Joseph M. Harte John Joseph Meakin Harte (July 28, 1914, Springfield, OH – December 19, 1999, Phoenix, AZ); previously suffragan bishop in Dallas.
1979 1992 Joseph T. Heistand Joseph "Joe" Thomas Heistand (March 3, 1924, Danville, PA – October 14, 2008, Richmond, VA); consecrated August 28, 1976 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Phoenix.
1985 1988 Wesley Frensdorff, coadjutor bishop (1926, Hannover, Germany – May 17, 1988, Grand Canyon, AZ); previously Bishop of Nevada (1972–1983); interim Bishop of Navajoland (1983–1985); died in office in an airplane crash.
1992 2004 Robert R. Shahan Robert Reed "Bob" Shahan (born October 18, 1939, Elkhart, KS); consecrated in October 1992 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Phoenix.
2004 present Kirk Stevan Smith (born June 6, 1951, Soap Lake, WA); consecrated April 24, 2004 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Phoenix; seated October 15, 2004 Trinity Cathedral.

External links

  • The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
  • Trinity Cathedral
  • Chapel Rock
  • Journal of the Annual Convocation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Missionary District of Arizona

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