Keith Ackerman

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Keith Ackerman
8th Bishop of Quincy
Church Episcopal Church in the United States of America
See Diocese of Quincy
In office 1994–2008
Predecessor Edward Harding MacBurney
Successor Juan Alberto Morales
Orders
Ordination Deacon, 1974
Priest, 1974
by William Davidson
Consecration 1994
by Edmond Browning, Clarence Pope, Edward MacBurney, Donald J. Parsons, Robert H. Mize, William Davidson
Personal details
Born (1946-08-03) August 3, 1946 (age 68)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania, United States
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Rector of St. Mark's Church, Arlington, Texas, United States (1989 -1994)

Rector of St. Mary's Church Charleroi Pennsylvania (Diocese of Pittsburgh) (1976 - 1989), Curate, Church of the Transfiguration, Freeport Long Island (1974 - 1976)

Keith Lynn Ackerman (born August 3, 1946 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, United States) is the Eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Quincy (retired November 1, 2008) and is current Bishop Vicar of the Diocese of Quincy of the Anglican Church in North America.[1] Ackerman currently lives in Keller, Texas, works part-time as a therapist, serves as Vicar of St. Timothy's Church Fort Worth, and assists the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth (ACNA).[2] Prior to becoming a bishop, Ackerman served as Rector of St. Mary's Church in Charleroi, Pennsylvania (1976 - 1989) and from 1989- 1994 as Rector of St. Mark's Church in Arlington, Texas.[1]

Background[edit]

Ackerman was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania on August 3, 1946, to Raymond Levan Ackerman (1909 - 1985) - first generation Swede - and Alberta Melba Pritchard (1912 - 2001) - first generation Welsh and English. His sisters, Adrienne and Rae, died prior to his birth of upper respiratory complications. He has a brother, Jay, who was born in 1953. Ackerman attended Centennial Elementary School, George Washington School, and graduated from McKeesport High School in 1964. In 2005 he was inducted into the McKeesport High School Hall of Fame. On August 19, 1967 he married Joann Bevacqua. They have three children: Keith (1971), Renée (1972) and Lynne (1976) and four grandchildren.ref name="Quincy1" />

Ackerman was noted as a baseball pitcher in his Jr. and Sr. High School days, pitching for the McKeesport American Legion team. During 1963 he was being scouted professionally, and continued to pitch after graduation, including exhibition games. Ackerman was born into Anglicanism, and has been actively involved in the life of the Church his entire life. In 1964 he served as the Diocesan President of the Episcopal Young Churchmen in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Upon graduating from High School he worked for the United States Steel Corporation in Duquesne, PA from midnight to 8 a.m. while attending day classes, first at the Pennsylvania State University (McKesport Campus) and then the University of Pittsburgh. In 1968 he accepted a call to the St. Francis Boys' Homes in Ellsworth Kansas - homes for delinquent adolescents, founded by the Rt. Rev. Robert H. Mize, Jr. In 1971 he graduated from Marymount College in Salina, KS with a B.S. in psychology with an emphasis in counseling and psychometry while working full time at the St. Francis Boys' Homes. He published his first research findings during his time at the St. Francis Boys' Homes. He subsequently did graduate studies in the area of clinical psychology and was mentored by Ronald C. Force, a clinical psychologist who was both a faculty member at several universities, and the clinical coordinator for the St. Francis Boys' Homes. While in Kansas he was a member of the Kansas Psychological Association. From 1971 - 1974 he was a Therapist in the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit at Rogers Hospital in Oconomowoc Wisconsin while being enrolled full time at Nashotah House (Theological Seminary.) In 1974 he received his Master of Divinity from Nashotah House, and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from the same institution in 1994.[1]

Priesthood[edit]

Ackerman was ordained at Nashotah House as a deacon in 1974 and to the priesthood the same year in Long Island, New York by Bishop William Davidson of the Diocese of Western Kansas. He served as a curate, at the Church of the Transfiguration in Freeport, New York from 1974 to 1976. During that time he also served as an instructor in the Parish Day School, and as Coach of the Sports teams. During his curacy he did additional studies in chemical addiction, and served as a Counselor/therapist. In 1976 he was called to be Rector of St. Mary's Church, Charleroi, Pennsylvania, in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.[1]This call placed him back into the industrial Monongahela Valley, 15 miles from his home town.

As rector in Charleroi, Ackerman served as president of the Charleroi Clergy Association and founded St. Elizabeth Chapel in nearby Bentleyville, Pennsylvania. In 1983 he was awarded the "Excellence in Pastoral Care" award by the Bishop of Pittsburgh. He was also a recipient in 1988 of the Bishop of Pittsburgh's award for "Extraordinary Service to the Church." Much of his ministry has focused on assisting the unemployed, the homeless, and otherwise advancing the interests of local workers. He established five outreach ministries and a Christian counseling service (Reconciliation House), for the unemployed, and also received the prestigious "Ecumenical Award" from Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania in 1984 for his mediation in a labor dispute between union members and management at a local steel-related business that subsequently resulted in saving the plant. He was active in diocesan life, serving as President of the Standing Committee and as Deputy to General Convention, and was also an active instructor, teaching in several institutions including Chichester Theological College in Chichester, England and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. During this time he also served as a substitute host on several radio and television shows, and was an occasional guest Lecturer at the Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge Pennsylvania.> In 1987 he was named "Father of the Year" by the Mon Valley Independent Newspaper.

During his ministry in the Monongahela Valley, Ackerman was actively involved in numerous endeavors to link the smaller declining communities which were sufferingh from industrial closures with the Greater Pittsburgh area with its increasing job market due to a growth in both the health care and technology industries. He worked with numerous city officials and County officials to explore alternatives to the existing transportations systems, including "Mag Lev" - the magnetic levitation system, and a Mid Mon Valley Expressway. He was honored by the city of Charleroi for these endeavors, and when he announced that he would be moving to Texas, the community organized a Farewell event that included a police escort. The Ackerman's moving day activities were broadcast on WESA Radio in Charleroi.

In 1989, Ackerman was called to be rector of St. Mark's Church in Arlington, Texas, in the Diocese of Fort Worth. While there, he served as president of the Ministerial Association and was presented the "Minister of the Year" award. He also served as a member of several diocesan committees, including President of the Standing Committee.[1] On the national church scene, he served on numerous committees in the Episcopal Church including the Standing Liturgical Commission and the Executive Council. During this time he became a regular leader of Pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and is noted for his support of persecuted Christians, in particular, Palestinian Christians. Due to his involvement in defending Palestinian Christians, he was invited by the Anglican Church in the Middle East to be co-Consecrator of their Bishop, Riah abu El-Assal, and preached at the Mass the night before the Consecration. He has led 14 Pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Election as bishop[edit]

Ackerman was elected as the eighth Bishop of Quincy on January 8, 1994, and was consecrated on June 29, 1994, on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul at St. Paul's Cathedral in the see city of Peoria, Illinois.

During his episcopacy a significant emphasis was placed on the spiritual life of the clergy and lay leaders, including the formation of the Diocesan School for Ministry. While he was immediately thrust into an international, national, and regional ministry that included great ecclesiastical chaos, he sought to establish order based on the principles of the Catholic Revival in Anglicanism and the Oxford Movement.

During his fifteen years as diocesan bishop, he served as one of the first "flying bishops" in the Episcopal Church, serving at one time 21 churches and institutions outside the geographical diocese, from California to Rhode Island in the United States and Nepal. He oversaw what he called the "Refugee Program" whereby men who were not considered to be appropriate candidates for Holy Orders in their own dioceses due to their orthodoxy were sponsored by him, mentored by him, ordained by him, and then sent to posts from East Coast to West Coast as well as several overseas countries.

In an attempt to revitalize the Diocese of Quincy, in the year 2000 he instituted a "Jubilee Year" policy whereby all debts to the Diocese owed by parishes and missions were forgiven, and immediately began a capital campaign. The campaign finances allowed for a full time Youth Missioner whose task was to evangelize youth and establish youth programs in all parts of the Diocese and beyond. Donations to the campaign provided for the establishment of a Diocesan Center for Mission and Ministry, the building being designed by Joann Ackerman and accomplished by a man who eventually joined the Church - a principle that Bishop and Mrs. Ackerman had used while in parish life; engaging people in the life of the Church so that they may draw closer to Christ Himself.

In 1995 Ackerman welcomed and incorporated into the life of the Diocese, for all Christians, the Ecumenical Order of St. Benedict, an orthodox Monastic Order from Puerto Rico. As the Order grew in size it grew in prominence as a spiritual center for countless people. Several of the monks served on the Bishop's Staff with the Abbot as the bishop's friend and confidant. Ackerman continues to serve as Bishop Visitor of the Order. During his Episcopacy, Ackerman has served as Patron, Bishop Visitor, or Bishop Protector of thirteen different Religious Orders, Societies, and Institutions.He retired as Bishop of Quincy on November 1, 2008.[1] Upon the election of Bishop Alberto Morales, OSB, as the Ninth Bishop of Quincy, Ackerman was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese of Quincy.

In addition to his many ecclesiastical activities, he also served as Chaplain to the Peoria Chiefs, an "A" team in the Midwest League. He often pitched batting practice, took batting practice, sang the National Anthem, threw out the first pitch, and ministered to players and staff. As part of his sabbatical in 2001 he traveled with the team on occasion. In 2001 "Bishop Ackerman Baseball Field" was erected in Arlington Texas. It is a community field that engages people, especially young people, in the neighborhoods.

During the 1990s, Ackerman served as Bishop Visitor and Pastor, at the invitation of the Executive Director and Board of Directors of St. Jude's Ranch in Boulder City Nevada. Due to his experience and training in the area of adolescent psychology, his presence and counsel were seen as a helpful part of the treatment program. He also included the monks from St. Benedict's Abbey in the ministry at St. Jude's Ranch. In 2001, Ackerman was removed as Bishop Visitor and ex officio board member of St. Jude's by the newly consecrated Bishop of Nevada, Katherine Jefferts Schori.

In December 2008 he accepted the invitation to serve as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Springfield for one year, and in August 2008 he accepted the invitation to serve as Assisting Bishop of Bolivia

Post-retirement[edit]

Upon returning to Texas, Ackerman served as Interim at St. Mark's Church in Arlington for one year, and then as Vicar of St. Timothy's Anglo-Catholic Church in Ft. Worth, Texas since January 2012. He has practiced part-time at CitySquare Ministries in Dallas as a pastoral counselor/therapist, and does private practice Counseling under the auspices of Dove Tracts Ministries.

Since 2002 he has served as President of Forward in Faith North America, a traditional, conservative Anglo-Catholic movement operating in a number of provinces of the Anglican Communion. Forward in Faith is known for its support of the Faith as received by the Apostles, including a traditional understanding of the Sacraments, including Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony.[3] Ackerman resigned as superior-general of the American branch of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament in 2010: "I have recently been informed by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church that I am no longer a Bishop in the Episcopal Church, thus making me ineligible to be a member of or to serve as an officer of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America."[4] The surprising notice regarding his status was sent by Katharine Jefferts Schori by email. After being received into the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, Ackerman was given the title Bishop Vicar of the Diocese of Quincy by his successor as Diocesan Bishop the Rt. Rev. [Juan Alberto Morales, OSB] and represents the Diocese of Quincy as needed by the Diocesan Bishop. .[5]

Ackerman serves on numerous Boards, among them Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House, Patron of the Prayer Book Society, Patron of the Society of King Charles Martyr, Honorary Guardian of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsighman in England,to name a few. He is a recipient of the St. George's Award in the Boy Scouts of America, is a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, and is a member of the Academy of Christian Therapists. He has been a member of the Society of the Holy Cross since 1979. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Cranmer House in Dallas Texas, and the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Blue Bell Pennsylvania. The disciplines in which he is most often engaged to teach are: Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Psychology, Liturgics, Sacramental Theology, Pastoral Care, Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Direction. In 2010 the "Nashotah House Distinguished Alumni Award" was bestowed upon him.

He has lived a Franciscan Rule of Life since 1968, and has served as the Minister General and Bishop Protector of the Franciscan Order of Divine Compassion. His "Name in Religion" is Bishop Dominic; the FODC bestowed the honor of retiring the name "Dominic" in 2014.

Ackerman currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Prayer and Liturgy Task Force, as one of the Chaplains to the College of Bishops, and as a member of several Ecumenical Task Forces in ACNA: Orthodox, Polish National Catholic, and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. He is currently, along with the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, a Patron of the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans which will gather people form around the world: July 13 - 17, in Fort Worth Texas.

Writings[edit]

Ackerman has been a prolific writer, penning weekly columns for the Bentleyville Courier (1979–1985) and Bentworth Times (1983–1985), a monthly column for the Arlington Daily News (1990–1994), and numerous articles for the The Harvest Plain (1994–present), the newspaper of the Diocese of Quincy, in addition to numerous magazines in several countries, including "Forward In Christ" a publication of Forward in Faith North America. Several series of lectures have recently been made public, including Retreat Addresses. He has also written several books, including To God be the Glory, a book co-written with his wife Joann, which was published in 2001.[1] In 2010 he and his wife purchased The Parish Press, a publishing company founded in Fond du Lac Wisconsin in the 1890's. He is currently finishing research for a book entitled: "Dies Irae" : an evaluation of death and dying in traditional institutions.

Published books[edit]

  • "Delinquent Boys aren't what they used to be: True or False?" Journal of the American Corrections Association (with R.C. Force)
  • "Spiritual Counseling as a Function of Goodwill Industries," Goodwill Industries
  • "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing," an expose of the Unification Church
  • "A Marriage Instruction Manual," the Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • "The Gospel Conspiracy in the Episcopal Church" (Chapter entitled "Salvation.") Morhouse-Barlow
  • "The Suitability of the Propsed Supplemental Liturgical Rites," The Advocate (with Pierre Whalon)
  • "Church Musicians," The Diocese of Pittsburgh (with Pierre Whalon)
  • "Biblical Authority," The Evangelical and Catholic Mission
  • "Ministry and Mission: The Christian Family," Trinity School for Ministry
  • "The Spiritual Life," Episcopalians United
  • "The Pastor as Evangelist," Chichester Papers, Chichester Theological College
  • Why We Do What We Do: A Manual on the Eucharist, 1992, Dovetracts Publications
  • Liturgy: The Work of the People: A Guide to the Eucharist, 1993, DoveTracts Publications
  • To God be the Glory: Growing Towards a Healthy Church (with Joann Ackerman), 2001, Dovetracts Publications
  • "Called to be a Bishop," The Parish Press (with Edward R. Monk)
  • A Series of Instructional DVD's: "Instructed Eucharist for Children", "Instructed Eucharist for Adults," "The Daily Offices." "Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Edward Harding MacBurney
8th Bishop of Quincy
1994–2008
Succeeded by
Juan Alberto Morales (ACNA)