Bishop’s Address of 1940

The Rt. Rev. Middleton Stuart Barnwell

We have come to another milestone in the life of the work of the Church in the Diocese of Georgia.

Bishop M.S. BarnwellThere have been quite a number of changes in our active per­sonnel. The Rev. J. C. Perry has gone to Alabama, and the Rev. William D. Turner has come from South Carolina to St. Stephen’s, Savannah, which parish was left vacant by the leaving of the Rev. G. H. Caution. The Rev. Robert L. Gordon has come to St. Mary’s, Augusta; the Rev. George Shirley has come to St. Thomas’, Thomas­ville, from the Diocese of West Virginia. The Rev. John R. Bentley has been ordained deacon and priest since the last Convention and has begun active work at Tifton. The Rev. Joseph Burton has been transferred to Alabama, and is succeeded at St. Michael and All Angels’, Savannah, by the Rev. Howard McCudden Mueller. The Rev. Joseph Harvey, canonically resident in Alabama, is temporarily at work in the Bainbridge field. Miss Madeline Dunlap was admitted deaconess last summer by the Bishop of Springfield and is now Deaconess Dunlap assisting Deaconess Byllesby in her work. The Rev. Clyde Jardine has been transferred to Alabama, and the place at Statesboro has not been filled as yet. The Rev. John Henry Brown, for many years Archdeacon of colored work in this Diocese and Rector of St. Augustine’s, has been appointed Chaplain of the State university for colored people at Fort Valley, Ga. This is a high tribute to the work and character of Archdeacon Brown, and while we greatly regret losing him from the active life of this Diocese, we rejoice in his promotion and look forward with confidence to his future work in that important center. He has been doing some special work at Harvard University for the last few months under the direc­tion of the Rev. Leslie Glenn, who was formerly in charge of our college work throughout the United States. Dr. Glenn reports that in his judgment a finer man than Archdeacon Brown could not have been found for the Fort Valley position anywhere in this country. On December 28, 1939, I deposed from the ministry Geoffrey Horsfield, he having renounced the ministry of this Church to prepare for the priesthood of a Church not in communion with us.

During the year I have received two postulants, and one candidate for Holy Orders has been admitted. I believe we will be able to pro­vide for our future needs in manpower from our own Diocese, as we have quite a number of young men preparing for the ministry. We have Mr. George Harper, a colored Candidate, graduating from the Bishop Payne Divinity School this coming June, and he will be assigned to St. Augustine’s Church in Savannah. We have one postulant finishing his first year at the Virginia Seminary, and we have a postulant entering this coming September, and another entering the following September. I am trying to arrange these ministerial students in such a way that we will not have more than one gradu­ating in any one year. In this way the problem of placement can be more easily solved. These last three young men are all graduates of the University of the South. We also have a young woman finishing her course at the State University, looking forward to devoting her life to work among young people in the Church. With such splendid young men and women as these coming on into the ministry, the future of our work looks very bright indeed.

There is much that I might write about the tragic situation in which the world finds itself today. There is nothing new involved in the problems of the present. It is the same old story that has been written in human history again and again during the past two thousand years—that the end of the civilization from which Christ has been removed or in which Christ has been neglected is inevitable disaster. If I wrote a book on the world situation, I could not say more than is contained in this simple statement. In the face of these world complexities, our task is a very simple one. We need first of all to build Christ into our own personal lives and to build those lives on Him. Secondly, we need to build Christ into the lives of the people committed to our care in our parishes and missions and in this Diocese. Thirdly, we need, through our parishes and missions and this diocese, to build Christ into the life of the whole world. Nothing else can save it from itself. To build Christ into the life of the world is God’s final objective. To this, all religious history has been leading, and this objective can be reached only in proportion as we have built Christ into our own lives and into the lives of our people. Ourselves, our people, and the world—these three are a trinity and cannot be separated if God’s objective for the world is to be reached. It is a selfish and indifferent attitude to spiritual life which keeps many people entirely out of touch with the Church. For this reason parishes and missions often suffer, and every effort is being made to induce these people to forget themselves and devote their lives to God’s service through the parish. It is a selfish and indifferent attitude toward diocesan life which keeps a parish from active participation in the work of the Church in this larger relationship, and those of us who come to these Conventions deplore this parochial attitude, since we are here because we are diocesan minded. But there are many of us who are diocesan minded who have not yet reached the end of Church loyalty. Just as the individual must lose himself in the life of the parish, and the parish must lose itself in the life of the Diocese, so the Diocese must be willing to lose itself in realizing God’s great objective of building His Kingdom throughout the world. This is how far God’s program goes and this was the end for which Christ lived and died. If we do not follow Him all the way, the time will come when we will not follow at all, for He will go all the way and leave us stranded in the midst of our half loyalties. I go about the Lord’s work here in Georgia with a good deal of cheer and happiness in my heart, because I know perfectly well that God’s purpose for His people is going to be accomplished. I have no fear of God’s failure. The only thing that distresses me sometimes is my fear that we may fail Him. While it is certain that God will succeed, it is not certain that we shall, and it is to this danger that our at­tention should continually be turned.

Last year there met in Amsterdam the World Congress of Youth. Young people of college age came to this meeting from all over the world looking toward God’s Kingdom as a realizable objective. They met for days in that European city planning to make their vision come true. They met under the dark shadows of rising war clouds which were soon to engulf them. They met in the darkest and most discouraging hour that the world has blown for a long, long time. Hanging overhead, stretched from side to side of the great auditorium were emblazoned in shining words CHRISTUS VICTOR. It seems to me that we should try to realize the spirit of this gathering in our own hearts, as we look out upon this troubled world. The clouds may come and the clouds will go, but out of the conflict comes the conquering Christ, ever stronger as the years go by.

Facing our own local responsibilities in carrying out these far reaching plans of God, I think we have many reasons for good cheer. The financial situation of the Diocese is stronger than it has been since I have known it; the canvasses throughout the Diocese were more thoroughly conducted last year than at any time in recent years; and the increase in giving was notable both for parish ex­penses and for missionary enterprise. In the last five years, the giving of our people for Missions and Church Extension has increased from $13,400.00 in 1935 to $19,600.00 expected for 1940. All over the Diocese there are evidences of interest and growth. Extensive repairs on property have been made. At St. John’s, Albany, the parish house has been restored and a new roof installed. At St. Cyprian’s, Darien, all out buildings have been replaced with modern improved ones, a fire escape has been installed for the upstairs class rooms, and new porches have been built and painting and white washing has been done. At Good Shepherd, Pennick, where Deaconess Alexander runs a school, the parish house has been steadily improved and a new roof installed. At St. Augustine’s, Savannah, within the last two years, the whole exterior has been done over at a cost of over six hundred dollars, which is being paid by the people themselves, with no help from the Diocese except my endorsement on their note, which they have now reduced almost to the vanishing point. At St. Ambrose’s in Waycross a new roof has been installed on the Church. At Douglas, the Church Rectory has been remodeled and repainted. Changes have been made in the chancel at St. Andrew’s, Dorian, where a vested choir has been installed, consisting almost entirely of high school boys and girls who formerly had no connection with the Episcopal Church and nearly all of whom have now been con­firmed. In Quitman, there is a new pipe organ and enlargement of the Church building, the “cost of which has been borne entirely by the people of the Mission. The rectory at Thomasville has been re­modeled, and repairs are being made to termite damage in the Church itself. At Christ Church, Frederica, contracts are being let for a new parish house designed by Cram and Ferguson of Boston. This will be a beautiful thing when it is finished. I have bought a lot from my contingent fund adjoining the church lot at Tifton. They are now raising money and having plans prepared for a parish house and apartment for their rector. St. Michael and All Angels’ in Savannah has undergone a practical revolution. The congregations are over-flowing the present old building, and a new lot is being bought out of the Bishop’s contingent fund with help from loyal laymen, somewhere south of Victory Drive, and a new church will be under way very shortly, plans for which are now being studied by the vestry. In all these places, the building developments are the result of new loyalties and growing enthusiasms. I think we may say in all conservatism that our Diocese is an active and growing concern. I certainly know that the outlook is more promising today than it has been any time since I have been connected with the work.

Our institutions are all on the up grade. With the new Deaconess at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Augusta to help Deaconess Byllesby, the work is going ahead most encouragingly. A good deal of money has been spent remodeling the Dodge Home, putting in bath rooms and heating plants and hot water, with the result that the whole tone of the place has been stepped up. Mr. and Mrs. Cousins are making a home which was certainly the idea of Mr. Dodge when he endowed it out of what was formerly an institution, and the results are visible in the attitude and appearance of the children. The Episcopal Home for Girls in Savannah has been greatly im­proved by the addition of a new dormitory, which is built and paid for; and the three colored schools at Darien and Pennick and Thomas­ville are being successfully maintained in the face of decreased ap­propriations for negro work from the National Council. Our pay­ments to the National Council have increased in the last five years from $3,600.00 to $6,000.00—since 2,500 comes back our contri­bution to the National Council is really $$3,500.

There are few changes of any importance that I would recom­mend in the life and organization of the Diocese. I am impressed with the fact that the salaries of our clergy in the smaller points are below the norm throughout the country, and oftentimes we are doing mission work at the expense of our clergy themselves. I think we should establish a minimum salary for married clergy of $1,800.00 and a house, and it is my hope that our future policy will be not to put new men into the field until we can deal justly with those we already have.

There is also going to be a need for increased income for aged and infirm clergy, and the endowment we have for this purpose is quite inadequate. I think some of the income from the Widows and Orphans Fund could be diverted to this purpose without doing violence to the intent and spirit of those generous friends who have provided it. And it is my belief that the widening of the scope of the income of the Widows and Orphans Fund merits serious consideration. We have already taken one step in this direction by assisting the two orphan homes in the Diocese, so nothing new in principle seems to me to be involved. I would suggest that the Board of Officers be asked by this Convention to study this question through and see if we cannot so widen the usefulness of this particular endowment.

There has been distributed throughout the Convention copies of a report made by the Commission on Church Debt of the Third Province. The recommendations of the Commission are being studied throughout the Church and many dioceses have already taken the action that this Commission proposes. I am heartily in favor of the Diocese of Georgia doing the same thing. In regard to the matter of debt, I personally believe that a small debt for permanent improve­ments is ‘a healthful thing in the life of a parish, but a large debt with heavy interest payments is deadening to parish spirit. There is a happy mean somewhere between these two extremes, and it would safe guard the credit position of the Church and Diocese if parish borrowings were limited by canon law. We are fortunate in having only one parish in the Diocese heavily burdened with debt, but it would be wise to provide as best we can against the spreading of this condition.

In closing, I wish to express my deep appreciation of the loyalty shown to the work of the Diocese by clergymen and laymen alike, and to express my deep conviction that under God we are headed out toward better days.

In regard to the calling of clergy, I personally believe that there is too much accent on youth throughout the church today. Perhaps this is because I am growing old myself—Far be it from me to discount youth, for we were all young once, and I for one would like to be young again—but there are compensations—for with age comes wisdom, and if a man is headed in the right direction, there comes less thought of self and more love for the people whom he is called to serve.

But whatever may be your thought on this matter the fact remains that I have never known a diocese where so large a turn­over of clergy has taken place in so short a time as the last four and a half years. We have twenty-two clergy active in the Diocese and one Church army worker. Of these twenty-three men, fifteen have come to Georgia since I became your bishop, and of these fifteen, thirteen are under 38 years of age and many much younger than that. I do not think that these younger men are worth any more than our older ones just because they are young, but they have one advantage, and that is that they will stay useful longer. When you scan our clergy list and see this glittering galaxy of youth and enthusiasm, I believe it will be a surprise to most of you who have not noticed these changes particularly as they took place.

These references are not personal in any sense. We all know—old and young alike—that in a moving army such as the clergy, replacements must always be made. Passing over the splendid clergy of maturer years I ask you what small diocese do you know of, with twenty-three active workers that can duplicate a list of 14 splendid young men like the following:

Howard Harper, Ernest Risley, David Peeples, Howard Mueller, John Hines, Lawrence Fenwidck, Lee Belford, Jack Bentley, Sullivan Bond and George Shirley in the whites field, and Robert Gordon, W. D. Turner and Capt. Graham in the Negro field. Archdeacon Brown’s place is to be filled by the Rev. Geo. Harper, who graduates from his Seminary in June. He will be the fourteenth in this list of younger men.

So looking at our diocese as a whole, I would say that it is now predominantly a diocese of Youth, and becoming more so. It remains to be seen if this growing army of youth will labor as wisely as our fathers did. I believe that they will, and that our future is one of promise.


Albany, St. Paul’s……………………… 35
Americus, Calvary Church…………… 4
Augusta, Atonement ………………….. 2
Christ Church ……………. 10
Good Shepherd ………….. 10
St. Paul’s ……… —……..
Brunswick, St. Mark’s………………… 23
Darien, St. Andrew’s………………….. 6
Douglas, St. Andrew’s………………… 4
Dublin, Christ Church……………….. 2
Fitzgerald, St. Matthew’s……………… 1
Frederica, Christ Church 4
Isle of Hope, St. Thomas’…………….. 5
Pennington, St. James’………………. 1
Quitman, St. James’ ………………….. 3
• Savannah, Christ Church …………. 21
St. John’s ……………….. 43
St. Michael & All Angles 9
St. Paul’s ………………… 22
Thomasville, St. Thomas’…………….. 4
Tifton,    St. Anne’s…………………… 1
Valdosta, Christ Church……………… 3
Waycross, Grace Church…………….. 7
Albany, St. John’s…………………….. 15
Augusta, St. Mary’s……………………. 2
Brunswick, St. Athanasius’………….. S
Burroughs, St. Bartholomew’s………. 5
Darien, St. Cyprian’s………………….. 5
Hawkinsville, St. Philip’s……………. 9
Pennick, Good Shepherd…………….. 6
Savannah, St. Augustine’s ………….. 22
St. Stephen’s ……………. 11
Thomasville, Good Shepherd……….. 4
Waycross, St. Ambrose’s……………… 2
Total White …………………… 264
Total Colored …………………. 88
Total …………………………… 352


May 30, 1939—The Rev. Joseph Burton, Priest, to the Diocese of Alabama.

May 30, 1939—The Rev. Clyde Lawton Jardine, Priest to the Diocese of Alabama.

August 31, 1939—The Rev. Julian Clyde Pery, Priest, to the Diocese of Alabama.


December 28, 1939—Geoffrey M. Horsfield, from the priesthood, for causes not affecting his moral character.


February 1, 1939—The Rev. Robert Lee Gordon, Priest, from the Diocese of Florida.

September 1, 1939—The Rev. William D. Turner, Priest, from the Diocese of South Carolina.

January 1, 1940—The Rev. Howard McCudden Mueller, Priest, from the Diocese of Florida.


January 2, 1940—Deaconess Madeline Dunlap, from the Diocese of Springfield.


June 25. 1939—John Richard Bentley, deacon.

June 25, 1939—The Rev. Lee Archer Belford, priest.

July 2, 1939—Walton W. Davis, deacon (for the Bishop of Atlanta).

January 25, 1940—The Rev. John Richard Bentley, priest.


February 1, 1939—The Rev. Robert L. Gordon became locum tenens at St. Stephen’s Church, Savannah.

May 1, 1939—The Rev. Robert L. Gordon became Vicar of St. Mary’s Church, Augusta.

May 30, 1939—The Rev. Joseph Burton resigned as Rector .of St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Savannah, and removed from the Diocese.

May 30, 1939—The Rev. Clyde L. Jardine resigned as Missionary at Statesboro and Vicar of St. Michael’s Church, Waynesboro, and removed from the Diocese.

August 31, 1939—The Rev. J. Clyde Perry resigned as Rector of St. Athanasius’ Church, Brunswick, and Vicar of Good Shepherd Mission, Pennick, and removed from the Diocese.

September 1, 1939—The Rev. William D. Turner became Rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Savannah.

September 1, 1939—The Rev. John E. Hines, became Vicar of St. Michael’s Church, Waynesboro.

September 1, 1939—The Rev. F. J. Wilson resigned as Vicar of St. Anne’s Church, Tifton, and St. John’s Church, Moultrie.

September 1, 1939—The Rev. John R. Bentley became Vicar of St. Anne’s Church, Tifton, and St. John’s Church, Moultrie.

November 24, 1939—The Rev. Joseph Harvey, canonically resident in Alabama, became locum tenens at St. John’s Church, Bain­bridge, and Holy Trinity Church, Blakely.

January 1, 1940—The Rev. Howard McCudden Mueller, became Rector of St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Savannah.

January 21, 1940—The Rev. George W. Shirley became Rector of St. Thomas’ Church, Thomasville.

January 31, 1940—The Rev. John Henry Brown, Vicar of St. Augustine’s Church, Savannah, and St. Bartholomew’s Church, Burroughs, and Archdeacon of Negro Work, resigned.


June 9, 1937—William Stilwell Mann. June 12, 1937—Bertram Cleveland Cooper.

August 5, 1939—Joseph Boyes Jardine (Transferred to Mississippi September 29, 1939).

January 12, 1940—Walter Robert Belford.


October 31, 1939—George Emanuel Harper.


January 1, 1939—Bishop 1; Priests 25; Deacon 1………………………….…..                  30

During the year, received two priests, advanced one Deacon to the

priesthood, ordained one Deacon—net addition…………                                                    3


Dimitted three Priests, deposed one Priest………………………………                              4

December 31, 1939—Bishop 1; Priests 27; Deacon 1 …………………………….             29

Of whom seven Priests are retired…………………………………………………….                7

In active service… ………………………………………………………………..                                22


December, 1939—St. Mark’s Church from Parish in Union with the Convention to Organized Mission—done at the request of the Vestry.

April 1, 1939—St. John’s Chapel, Inwood, near Darien, destroyed by fire, and its communicants and church members transferred to St. Cyprian’s, Darien.


Parishes: White 13; Colored 2… ………………                          16

Organized Missions: White 13; Colored 9…                             22

Unorganized Missions: White 11; Colored 1..                           12

Mission Stations: White 6……                                                              6

Parochial Missions: White 4; Colored 1……………….                5

Chapel of Institution: White 1……………………                            1



Church Buildings                                                                                            64

Rectories .. ………………                                                                               26

Parish and School Houses (of which one is rented)…………..       22