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Last updated: 17 May 2019


BISHOP, 1997

John Elbridge Hines (October 3, 1910 – July 19, 1997) was the 22nd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. When he was elected to that office in 1965, at the age of 54, he was the youngest person to hold that office, which he held until 1974.

Hines was born in Seneca, South Carolina. He graduated from the University of the South and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.

His ministry began at parishes in Hannibal, Missouri in the Great Depression, where he became acquainted with the Social Gospel movement through bishop William Scarlett of Missouri. At age 26, Hines became rector of Saint Paul's Church, Augusta, Georgia, and began attacking racism in Georgia, continuing his lifelong defense of those who lacked political, social, economic and educational opportunities. Hines then accepted a call to become rector of Christ Church in Houston, Texas from 1941–45, which was later raised to the status of cathedral.

Hines was consecrated as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas on October 18, 1945,and in 1955 became diocesan bishop. While his social activism was criticized in some quarters, the number of churches grew under his stewardship. He became known as a theological conservative and social liberal, and was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in 1965. Hines responded to the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by calling for social justice and self-determination, and launched the controversial General Convention Special Program.

from Wikipedia

See also his obituary in the New York Times