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Bishop Richard Hooker Wilmer
Cenotaph

Bishop Richard Hooker Wilmer

Birth
Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
Death 14 Jun 1900 (aged 84)
Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
Cenotaph Brook Hill, Henrico County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 16259713 · View Source
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Religious Figure. He was the only Bishop consecrated by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States. His father was William Holland Wilmer, a founder and one of the original members of the faculty of the Virginia Theological Seminary. He graduated from Yale College in 1836 and from Virginia Seminary in 1839. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 31, 1839, and priest on Apr. 19, 1840. He served parishes in Goochland and Fluvanna counties in Virginia prior to becoming rector of St. James Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. He returned to Virginia where he continued his ministry in Clarke, Loudon, and Fauquier counties. He also ministered in Bedford County, Virginia, from 1853-1858. In 1858 Wilmer started a mission in Henrico County, Virginia, and that mission grew into Emmanuel Church. He served there until his consecration as the second Bishop of Alabama. He was elected Bishop on Nov. 21, 1862. This occurred a little over three months after the Diocese of Alabama decided that the Episcopal Church in Alabama would secede from the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. He was consecrated without a majority vote of the House of Bishops and the Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church. A majority of the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States consented to Wilmer's consecration. He was consecrated on Mar. 6, 1862, at St. Paul's Church in Richmond, Virginia. During his episcopate, a Home for Orphans was opened in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a diocesan Board of Missions was established, a diocesan newspaper was published, attempts were made to organize missionary work, and the financial affairs of the diocese were systematized. After the reunion of the southern dioceses with the Episcopal Church following the Civil War, Wilmer's ordination as a bishop was recognized and accepted by the Episcopal Church. Some of his papers reside at the Library of the University of North Carolina, the Birmingham Public Library, and the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Archives. The Bishop Wilmer Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding son or daughter of a priest of the diocese of Alabama. It is awarded on the basis of merit.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - ONE OF BISHOP WILMER'S STORIES. -
Bishop Wilmer, of Alabama, was a very straightforward man, with a faculty for saying good-naturedly sharp things to, rather than about, people, and the Washington Post prints the following anecdote in this connection:
"Soon after the Civil War Bishop Wilmer went to a Northern city to ask aid for a Confederate Orphans' Home in which he was interested. There was a dinner in his honor, and after dinner the Bishop was begged to tell a story. He replied that he hadn't a story. 'But,' he added, 'I've got a conundrum: "Why are the Southerners like Lazarus ?" '
"The guests, who were all Union men, suggested many answers. The Southerners were like Lazarus because they were poor, because they ate the crumbs from the rich man's table, because—because of everything anybody could guess.
" `No,' said the Bishop; 'you're all wrong. We're like Lazarus because'—and he smiled blandly—`because we've been licked by dogs.'
"A roar of laughter went round at that, for the Bishop's utter unreconstructedness was always one of his charms.
Everybody laughed but one man, who became indignant. `Bishop,' lie said, 'if you think we're dogs, why have you come up here for our money—for the money of dogs?'
"The Bishop chuckled. 'My friend,' said he, 'the hair of the dog is good for the bite. That's why I have come.' "
Confederate Veteran, December 1909, p. 605.

Bio by: BigFrench


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  • Created by: BigFrench
  • Added: 20 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16259713
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Bishop Richard Hooker Wilmer (15 Mar 1816–14 Jun 1900), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16259713, citing Emmanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery, Brook Hill, Henrico County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by BigFrench (contributor 46554304) .