Eighth Bishop of Georgia, 1985-1995
(January 28, 1926- )
Harry Woolston Shipps was born January 28, 1926 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a 1946 graduate of the New York State Maritime Academy and served in the Merchant Marine and the United States Navy for nine years. On May 16, 1953, he married Louise Huntington Rosenberger.
Shipps was graduated from the School of Theology at the University of the South in 1958. That same year, he was ordained as a transitional deacon. He was ordained to the priesthood in January of 1959. Shipps served in parish ministry in Albany, Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. He also served the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, prior to his election as Bishop, as diocesan secretary, editor of the diocesan newspaper, on diocesan council, member and president of the standing committee and as a deputy to three General Conventions. He was the Dean of the Augusta Convocation at the time of his election. Shipps was elected Bishop coadjutor on September 15, 1983.
Shipps was consecrated as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. He had been elected as a bishop coadjutor to succeed Paul Reeves on Bishop Reeve’s retirement. Bishop Shipps served as diocesan bishop from 1985 through 1995.
During Bishop Shipps’ tenure as diocesan bishop, the Diocese made headlines when a former Assembly of God minister, Stan White, lead his independent congregation to join the Episcopal Church en masse and as Christ the King Church, Valdosta, became a congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. During his episcopacy, women were first ordained in the Diocese of Georgia. The Vision in Mission and Ministry capital campaign he led the diocese through 1988-1992 raised $1.1 million. The campaign doubled the number lodge rooms at Honey Creek and created a fund for missions to use largely for brick and mortar projects. Church buildings were built for Atonement Augusta, Holy Cross Thomson, Trinity Statesboro, St. Elizabeths Richmond Hill, and Grace Sandersville through the use of matching funds grants. Land was also purchased in Effingham County and Columbia County, along with some parish hall and classroom projects at other churches.
He was succeeded by Henry I. Louttit, Jr. as Bishop of Georgia.
A video of Bishop Shipps’ consecration created by WJCL is online below:
A video of a liturgy of thanksgiving for Bishop Reeves and the Investiture of Bishop Shipps is online below: