Bishop’s Address of 1936

The following reports are taken from the Journal of the Convention of the Diocese of Georgia.
Below is the brief note, which was the final address of Bishop F.F. Reese followed by
the first address of Bishop M.S. Barnwell, given while Bishop Coadjutor

Address of the Bishop

My dear Brethren of the Clergy and Laity:

I submit herewith the report of my official acts and accounts from January 1st to October 1st, 1935, at which date the Rt. Rev. Dr. Barnwell, Bishop Coadjutor, took charge of the Diocese. At that time in accordance with the terms on which I asked or and you elected a Coadjutor, I transferred to him all the authority and responsibility of the administration of the Diocese. I append also the list of such services as I performed or assisted in to January 1st, 1936, and which I did unofficially. I regret that during the year, owing to my impaired health, I was able to perform very few services, though I endeavored to conduct such correspondence as was necessary in the administration of diocesan business.

I felicitate the diocese on the election of Bishop Barnwell as its Coadjutor, and extend to him and to it the assurance of my good wishes and prayers for God’s blessing upon both, that his Episcopate may be a long and happy one and profitable in the promotion of the Kingdom of God among our people. I am sure that everybody in the diocese will give to him the same loving and loyal support with which they have honored me during the many years of my Episcopate, for which I am most grateful.

I commend you all to God’s care and loving guidance, both in your Convention and for all time, until by His mercy we shall meet in the peace and joy of His Paradise, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Bishop of Georgia.

Address of the Bishop Coadjutor

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Bishop M.S. BarnwellI began my work in Georgia last October not unmindful of the splendid traditions of the Diocese of Georgia. It is no light task to follow in the footsteps of men like Elliott, Beckwith, Nelson, and Reese. There are high standards indeed to be maintained, and I shall need God’s help and your cooperation. This Church has been built in Georgia in the face of many handicaps and has won itself to a state of recognition which does credit to those who have builded so well. During the years of Bishop Reese’s leadership, the communicant strength of the Diocese has just about doubled, and as I survey the field, the future seems bright indeed. The Gospel as presented by this Church becomes a sane and reasonable thing. It remains loyal to Catholic truth and tradition and does no violence to the minds of educated men. Here, it seems to me, lies our greatest hope, and with the spread of higher education through this part of the world, it seems to me inevitable that the present growth of our Church among the educated classes should continue. I look forward to the future with every confidence.

The past few years have been years of stress, but I feel perfectly sure that the so-called depression has been definitely weathered. Judging by outward and worldly signs, the darkest days are behind us, and yet there remains a certain amount of uncertainty in the heart of the secular world as to what the future holds. Changes are impending in our industrial and political institutions which are at variance with the old accepted standards that have come down to us from the past, and in the presence of such impending change, in many hearts there is a feeling of fear. I do not believe that such fear is justified, for amidst all the uncertainties of a changing outward scene, there remains the eternal fact of God’s omnipotence and love. The changes that have come and are impending are a part of the process of a dawning social conscience, and however much men may differ about programs, I believe they are yet united upon ultimate objectives. There is in the world a growing determination that suffering and poverty shall be eliminated as far as possible from our social and economic life and that there shall be a more even distribution of the blessings which Almighty God has showered upon the world. With such objectives, all right-thinking men everywhere must be in sympathy, for such an objective must ultimately be a part of God’s Kingdom on earth. Different men advocate different programs for achieving this great end. This is inevitable, as human minds differ. The Church is not interested in programs, nor can she speak concerning programs which deal with the outward circumstance of life with any God given authority. But the Church must stand now and always for the eternal principle of Christ as Ruler and King in every phase of human life.

But just because there is some uncertainty and fear when we look towards the days that lie ahead, our duty as Christian men becomes more compelling. Just because the world is in process of outward change, there is need more than ever for some permanent anchorage upon which the soul of man can rest. That anchorage has ever been, and will ever be, our Father God, in whom we live and move and have our being.

To begin with the less important things, I would call your attention to the fact that the finances of this Diocese reflect the outward improvement which we see in the business world, and reflect to some extent also I believe, a greater determination on the part of our clergy and lay leaders to develop a sense of Christian stewardship in the hearts of our people. You will find from reading the reports presented by the Board of Officers of the Diocese and also by the Executive Council, that income from investments and gifts are again on the up-grade. I am perfectly sure they can be still further increased just as soon as we recover from the defeatist complex which has been caused in many hearts by the prolonged depression. To see the sun-light out ahead, as we can do today, is to walk with greater assurance. There is much that we need to learn in regard to enlisting the strength of our Church through the annual Every Member Canvass, and to this end, I am planning to call a conference of clergy and lay leaders this fall, at which two things will be considered. First of all, the development of our spiritual life, out of which all activity must spring, and secondly, more effective methods for bringing this life to bear upon the need of the world for the Gospel.

There are some seeming contradictions in the Canon law of the Diocese, which it is not necessary to point out at this time. I am perfectly sure that a careful scrutiny of these Canons is needed, and that a continuing committee should be appointed to revise these Canons during the coming year. I am particularly concerned about the relationship existing between the Convention of the Diocese and the colored churches. There are manifest inconsistencies in our canon laws which deal with this relationship. I shall ask this committee, when selected, to consider this matter seriously. I have no desire to suggest at this time any change in the relationship existing between the Council of Colored Churchmen and the Diocesan Convention. I wish, however, to make myself perfectly clear in one respect. This committee may go as far as it pleases in the matter of granting recognition to the colored parishes on the floor of this Convention, without meeting with any opposition on the part of the ecclesiastical authority. This is a matter which I intend, however, to leave entirely in your hands, as I realize full well that it is a matter upon which a comparative new-comer in your midst should walk warily.

It is hard to guage the spiritual state of the diocese. In order to do this, we would have to read men’s hearts. So far as this can be judged by outward circumstance, it appears in healthful condition. The number of confirmations is encouraging, and about one-half of our communicants are definitely using the booklets of the Forward Movement. I wish to take this opportunity of stressing the importance of this Forward Movement in the life of our Church, and any priest who is not pressing these booklets into the hands and lives of his people is missing a great opportunity. While the cost is purely nominal, I do not want even such nominal cost to stand in the way of the universal use of this splendid literature, and the Bishop’s office is prepared to purchase these booklets for any parish or mission that will declare its inability to pay for them. I find a spirit of growing hopefulness about the future of the work in practically every parish and mission in the diocese, and to me this has been a very encouraging factor. The Forward Movement is needed in every branch of the Church’s life. The strength of the Forward Movement is that it puts first things first, and takes as its first objective the human heart. With the human heart alive to the needs of the world for Christ, there will never be any difficulty so far as methods and means are concerned. We must first realize what the Church is and what Christ wants the Church to do. The Church is a channel through which He pours His life into the need of the world, and the purpose of such self-giving is that His Kingdom may be built throughout the earth. The Church is the agency that He established for accomplishing that great purpose. The Church is the means to an end, and the end the Kingdom of God. Our great objective, therefore, is not to support the Church too often our thinking stops there—not so much to support the Church, as to make the Church strong for its God given world-wide task. The measure of our usefulness as parishes, therefore, is not what we spend upon ourselves, but what we spend through ourselves for the extension of God’s Kingdom throughout the world. This distinction must be borne clearly in mind if we are to see the Church through Christ’s eyes.

Such an outlook brings us face to face with our missionary responsibility, and makes it perfectly clear that so far as the work of the Church in the world is concerned, our missionary giving is in great degree the measure of our usefulness, for by the strength which a parish pours into the need of the world for Christ, does it enter into partnership with Christ in His eternal purpose. This idea of partnership runs as a golden thread through all of life. By partnership we enter into God’s Kingdom, for God’s Kingdom on earth is a social entity and involves our relationship as partners of each other in a common enterprise. It is a sense of partnership which creates parish life, for a parish is but a group of individuals bound together by a sense of common responsibility for the accomplishment of a great purpose. It is the partnership of parishes in this common enterprise which creates a diocese. It is the partnership of dioceses which creates the Church. It is the Church’s partnership with all mankind which will ultimately redeem the world. To do violence to this principle of partnership is to destroy that which the Church effective, and yet such violence is continually being done. The individual who withholds his gift from his parish is no partner. The parishes which withhold their gifts from the diocese strike at the heart of the principle. The diocese which spends too much of its own upon itself, rests upon a selfishness which is the very opposite of partnership. The Church which lives for itself soon will die. This chain of partnership must not break at any point. It is no stronger than its weakest link, and every link must be strengthened.

As you well know, there are many counties in this diocese where this Church is not represented. We look forward to the time when this condition no longer exists, but this cannot be attained at any time in the near future by means of a paid ministry. I look forward to the developing of a group of lay readers to do perhaps a different type of work from that which our lay readers have been doing in the past. Every point in the diocese where we now have a resident minister should be a center from which the Church reaches out, and every minister should seek to develop within his present field a group of laymen who will be willing to receive training for this special work and give their time on Sundays for carrying the Church into nearby communities, into which heretofore it has never gone. In times past, work of this type could not have been done because of inadequate travel facilities, but in these days of good roads, our horizons are greatly broadened and places which once were far off are now brought near. I shall be glad if the names of laymen capable of this type of work are given to me so that we may begin the development of a lay reader’s league, through which the entire diocese may ultimately be reached. For ten years past, I have been a Missionary Bishop. I intend to remain one for the rest of my life, because missions is the life of the Church. The missionary frontier is no longer in the West. Geographically speaking, there are no frontiers left in the world. The real missionary frontier today is in the hearts of our people. It is there that the battle of the Church’s Mission must be fought and won.

I wish that the clergy in charge of mission stations would ask themselves the question as to what a missionary really is. It is not missionary work merely to read Morning and Evening Prayer and celebrate the Holy Communion at stated intervals. Missionary work is to go and seek out lives into which Christ has not entered, and there are hundreds, of thousands of such lives all around us in the Diocese of Georgia. A missionary is a man who builds a church school. There is no community in Georgia where there is not to be found a great number of little children for whose souls no man is caring. A missionary earnestly sought for those people who are able to help the church, rather than for those people into whose lives the Church will bring the blessings of Jesus Christ. A missionary places the major emphasis not upon being ministered to, but on ministering. If we can make of this a Diocese missionary in spirit, we shall not have to worry about communicant strength or Church support, for God will bless us when and only when we do His work in His way.

There are certain small financial problems which face us and which I know can be easily disposed of this year if we will have it so. The first and most pressing is the rebuilding of the Rectory at Cordele, which was destroyed in the recent cyclone. Through the mercy of God, our rector and his wife were unhurt, but at present they are homeless, and the people of Cordele are hard pressed to restore their own property. We should thank God that this storm did not strike Cordele a few hours later. If it had, hundreds of children would have died in the wreckage of the schools. I am sure you will rally to the call I sent you in receiving offerings for this purpose, and that your people will be glad to express in their giving their thankfulness for God’s many mercies.

We are under the necessity of raising $694.00 for our negro work. The word has gone out that no reductions have had to be made by the General Church in any of its appropriations, but this is true in theory only. When we faced the imminence of cuts, we were told that unless the Church rallied to the missionary cause, our negro work would suffer to the extent of $694.00. Our reply was that if it did, we would endeavor to raise this sum of money ourselves. The National Church accepted this as our pledge of $694.00 towards the emergency. In effect, therefore, we are taking a reduction of this amount in our appropriation from the National Council, and are under the absolute necessity of securing it if this worthy work is not to be curtailed and additional hardships placed upon the already underpaid colored clergy.

We are under the necessity of finishing payment for the home in which Bishop Reese is living. We cannot do too much to show to him the appreciation we have of his service in the past. He does not know that I am writing this, but I feel sure that the lifting of this debt would be a happiness to him, We have been slowly reducing it out of the funds of the Executive Council, but these funds are given primarily for missionary enterprises, and it has seemed to me best to use this money for such purposes and to make an extra effort to clear off this small remaining indebtedness. So later in the year, I am going to make another appeal through the Diocese for this purpose.

These are special needs which have arisen for the most part in the last few months. Financially, the diocese is in splendid condition, for which all credit must go to our beloved retiring Bishop. I cannot fill his place here in the work of the Church nor in your hearts. I do not want to fill it. That place must always be his. What I want to do is to carry on toward completion the work at which he labored so long and so faithfully. This, I shall daily endeavor to do, God being my helper.



February 24—Brunswick, St. Mark’s 11.*
April 5—Albany, St. Paul’s 13; St. John’s 3.*
April 7—Savannah, St. Michael and All Angels’ 16; St. Stephen’s 6; St. Augustine’s 14**
April 10—St. Simon’s Island, Christ Church 6.**
April 11—Pennick, Good Shepherd 1.**
April 14—Savannah, St. John’s 29; for Christ Church 2.***
April 14—Brunswick, St. Mark’s 5; St. Athanasius’ 7.**
April 16—Waycross, Grace Church 3.**
April 17—Waycross, St. Ambrose’s 1.**
April 19—Thomasville, St. Thomas’ 8.**
April 20—Thomasville, St. Thomas’ 2.**
April 21—Tifton, St. Anne’s 1; Cordele, Christ Church 5.**
April 22—Fitzgerald, St. Matthew’s 2.**
April 24—Hawkinsville, St. Luke’s 4.**
April 26—Dublin, Christ Church 1.**
April 28—Augusta, St. Paul’s 21; Atonement 3; Christ Church 6; St. Mary’s 1.**
May 6—Savannah, St. Paul’s 27.***
May 5—Americus, Calvary Church 4; Pennington, St. James’ 3.**
May 7—Albany, St. Paul’s 4.**
May 12—Burroughs, St. Bartholomew’s 4.***
May 16—Savannah, Christ Church 2.***
June 2—Savannah, Christ Church 24; for St. John’s 3.***
December 1—Augusta, Good Shepherd 12; for St. Paul’s 1; St. Mary’s 2. §
December 15—Augusta, St. Paul’s 9.§

Totals: Men: White 97; Colored 24—————— 121
Women: White 129; Colored 15————                  144

*By the Rt. Rev. F, A. Juhan, D. D., Bishop of Florida.
**By the Rt. Rev. M. S. Barnwell, D. D., Bishop of Idaho.
*** By the Rt. Rev, Frederick F. Reese, D. D., Bishop of Georgia.
§ By the Rt. Rev. M. S. Barnwell, D. D., Bishop Coadjutor of Georgia.


January 8, 1935—The Rev. John Buckman Walthour, to the Diocese of South Florida. Accepted as of January 12, 1935,
January 10, 1935—The Rev. Robert Lee Gordon, deacon, to the Diocese of Florida. Accepted as of January 12, 1936.
April 16, 1935—The Rev. Walter W. Ware, to the Diocese of Erie. Accepted as of May 1, 1935.
February 1, 1936—The Rev. Armand Tise Eyler, to the Diocese of Florida.


March 6, 1935—The Rev, Geoffrey M. Horsfield, from the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
November 13, 1935—The Rev, Howard Vincent Harper, from the Diocese of Ohio.
March 1, 1936—The Rev, Thomas Gustave Mundy, from the Diocese of Alabama.


February 21,, 1936—Stephen Elliott Barnwell, to the Diaconate, by the Bishop of Idaho.


January 1, 1935—The Rev. John Buckman Walthour, resigned as Rector of Grace Church, Waycross, and removed from the Diocese.
January 10, 1935—The Rev, Robert Lee Gordon, deacon, removed from the Diocese.
March 6, 1935—The Rev. Geoffrey M. Horsfield, became Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Savannah.
April 16, 1935—The Rev. Walter W. Ware, removed from the Diocese.
June 1, 1935—The Rev. John Coulson Skottowe, resigned as Vicar of St. Luke’s Church, Hawkinsville, etc., and retired under the Church Pension Fund.
October 1, 1935—The Rt. Rev. Middleton S. Barnwell, D. D., became Bishop Coadjutor of Georgia.
October 1, 1935—The Rev. Howard V. Harper, become Rector of Grace Church, Waycross.

Since January 1, 1936

January 14, 1936—The Rev. J. Harry Chesley, retired, died.
February 1, 1936—The Rev. Armand T. Eyler, resigned as Vicar of Christ Church, Valdosta, and St. James’ Church, Quitman, and removed from the Diocese.
March 1, 1936—The Rev. Thomas G. Mundy, became Vicar of Christ Church, Valdosta, and St. James’ Church, Quitman.
March 15, 1936—The Rev. Stephen Elliott Barnwell, deacon, became Vicar of St. Luke’s Church, Hawkinsville, Christ Church, Dublin, and St. Matthew’s Church, Fitzgerald.


July 8, 1931—Lee Archer Belford.
January 18, 1935—J. Sullivan Bond, Jr.
May 25, 1985—Louis Aldworth Haskell.
April 17, 1936—John Richard Bentley.


October 24, 1935—Clyde Lawton Jardine,
October 24, 1935—Stiles Bailey Lines,
January 27, 1936—Stephen Elliott Barnwell, received as transfer from Idaho.


January 1, 1935—Bishop 1; Priests 30, Deacon 1 …………………….. 32
Received—Bishop 1; Priests 2 ………………………………                          3
Dimitted—Priests 2; Deacon 1 ………… ………….. ………….. ………….. 3
January1, 1936—Bishops 2; Priests 30 ………………….. …………..     32
Of whom—Retired 5; non-parochial 1 ……………….                                    6
Inactive service………….. ………….. ………….. ………………………….. 26

Since January 1, 1936
Received—Priest 1; Deacon 1                                                                             2
April30, 1936—In active service——————————–                 28
(One retired Priest died January 14, 1936),


Parishes—White 14; Colored 2————————————–  16
Organized Missions—White 12; Colored 9———————–     21
Unorganized Missions—White 11; Colored 2 …………………….   13
Mission Stations—White 5—————————-                             5
Parochial Missions—White 4; Colored 1———————-            5
Chapel of Institution—White 1————————————      1


Church Buildings ——————————————–                         55
Rectories———————————————————                    25
Parish and School Houses, of Which one is rented—————–      22