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BISHOPS OF THE DIOCESE
The First Bishop of South Dakota The Right Reverend William Hobart Hare
Hare first served as the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara, which was established in 1873. It covered a territory north of the Niobrara River and west of the Missouri, all the way to the Rockies. He then served from 1883 to 1909 as the Diocese’s first Bishop. He designed the Niobrara Cross as a symbol of the truth in Christianity. During his tenure, Bishop Hare ministered to 10,000 active Episcopal members within the Native American communities in 100 churches spread throughout the reservations.
The Second Bishop The Right Reverend Frederick Foote Johnson
Bishop Johnson created a mission in the surrounding region of Rosebud. He was involved in building the Rectory for the Church of the Incarnation at Dallas, SD.
The Third Bishop The Right Reverend George Biller, Jr.
Bishop Biller created the South Dakota Churchman in February, 1913. It was designed as a means to reach out to the people in the Diocese. At this time, Bishop Biller would have been able to visit his people only once or twice a year. He spoke forcefully about the dire need for a Suffragan Bishop.
The Fourth Bishop The Right Reverend Hugh Latimer Burleson
He further defined the goal of the South Dakota Churchman as: “To reach every family, even in our remotest mission, and the scattered church-folk of the countryside. It is a messenger of religion and life as exemplified in the work and service of the Episcopal Church. It should also be a missionary, making known to our own people, and to those favorably disposed to us, the activities which the church carries on, for the ideals for which she stands.” In 1930, Bishop Burleson created the Niobrara Council to address all Native American concerns.
The Fifth Bishop The Right Reverend W. Blair Roberts
After World War II, he appointed Native American clergy to assist in the growth of Native urban communities in South Dakota’s larger cities of Huron, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls, including other growing towns. In 1940, he also dedicated the new St. Elizabeth’s School on the Standing Rock reservation after a fire had destroyed the school in 1939.
The Sixth Bishop The Right Reverend Conrad H. Gesner
During his tenure, the growth of Native American and Non-Native American clergy flourished. In 1965, he was one of the designers and creators of the Thunderhead Episcopal Camp, also known as TEC. TEC now serves as a retreat center and a summer camp for the Diocese.
The Seventh Bishop The Right Reverend Walter Heath Jones
He furthered the progress of church-oriented programs such as Cursillo. He was also an active member of the National Committee on Indian Works. During his episcopacy, an election was called for a Suffragan Bishop. Harold S. Jones became the first Native American Suffragan Bishop of South Dakota.
The Eighth Bishop The Right Reverend Craig Barry Anderson
Bishop Anderson promoted a fundraising campaign which resulted in a more than one million dollar endowment for clergy support. He also started the Niobrara School for Ministry and served on the South Dakota Governor’s Commission on Reconciliation.
The Ninth Bishop The Right Reverend Creighton L. Robertson
In 1995, Bishop Robertson sought for alternate means to train clergy. This began a program now called Mutual Ministry, which trains congregations and then raises members up to serve as clergy in that local area. He has also been an adamant spokesperson, stressing the need for more Native American clergy.
The Tenth Bishop The Right Reverend John T. Tarrant
His focus is establishing a network of youth and young adult ministries that will make a real difference in real lives.
The Right Reverend William P. Remington, 1918-1922
The Right Reverend W. Blair Roberts, 1922-1931
The Right Reverend Harold S. Jones, 1971-1976
The Right Reverend Conrad H. Gesner, 1945-1954
The Right Reverend Lyman C. Ogilby, 1964-1970
The Right Reverend John T. Tarrant, 2009
The Rt Rev Frederick Foote Johnson, 1905-1909