Episcopal Diocese of Kansas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Diocese of Kansas
Ecclesiastical province Province VII
Congregations 46
Members 10,823
Rite Episcopal
Cathedral Grace Cathedral, Topeka
Current leadership
Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe
Location of the Diocese of Kansas
Location of the Diocese of Kansas

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, established in 1859, is the diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America with jurisdiction over eastern Kansas. It is in Province 7 and its cathedral, Grace Cathedral, is in Topeka, as are the diocesan offices.[1]

Current bishop[edit]

The Right Reverend Dean Elliot Wolfe is the ninth bishop of Kansas, he became Bishop Diocesan on Jan. 1, 2004. He serves 46 congregations and other institutions of the diocese.

Bishops serving areas including the Kansas Territory[edit]

Jackson Kemper, (1789–1870), Missionary, Missouri-Kansas (1837–1859)

Henry Washington Lee, Missionary, Iowa - Kansas (1860–1864)

History of the Territorial Area[edit]

The first Episcopal services in the Kansas Territory were conducted in 1837 by Bishop Jackson Kemper. In 1859 Bishop Kemper agreed to a convention, at which seven clergy and 11 laymen voted to form the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. The Diocese constituted the territory of the Kansas Territory. Bishop Henry Washington Lee of Iowa, served as provisional bishop of Kansas from 1860 to 1864. During this time the state of Kansas was established by Congress, and the boundaries of the diocese shrunk to conform to those of the state.

During the territorial era, the diocese formed the College of the Sisters of Bethany. The last legislative act of the Kansas Territorial government was passing the charter of the school.[2]

List of bishops[edit]

The bishops of Kansas have been:[3][4]

  1. Thomas H. Vail (1864–1889)
  2. Elisha Smith Thomas (1889–1895)
  3. Frank Millspaugh, (1895–1916)
  4. James Wise, (1916–1939)
  5. Goodrich R. Fenner (1939-1959)
  6. Edward C. Turner (1959–1981)
  7. Richard F. Grein (1981–1988)
  8. William E. Smalley (1989–2003)
  9. Dean E. Wolfe (2004–present)

See also[edit]

History of the Diocese[edit]

In 1864, 26 delegates from 10 organized parishes gathered at diocesan convention and elected the diocese’s first bishop, Thomas Hubbard Vail. Bishop Vail established a hospital in Topeka, Christ Hospital (the successor to that institution, Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center, still bears his name). At the end of his episcopacy, the diocese had expanded to 138 congregations, more than 3,000 communicants and 31 clergy, plus three schools and the hospital.[4]

The Missionary District of Salina was created from the Diocese in 1901. Its territory extends over the western 60 percent of the state and now is known as the Diocese of Western Kansas. [4]

In June 1879, Grace Church of Topeka was designated the Cathedral of the diocese. In 1910 the foundation for the current Cathedral building was laid. By 1912, the walls had been erected but funds were depleted and further construction was halted. Fund raising efforts and leadership from Bishop Frank Millspaugh and the Rev. J. P. DeBevers Kaye, money was raised for completion of the Cathedral, with exception of the towers, in 1917.[5]

During the 1960s Turner House was established to serve the Inner City of Kansas City Kansas. During the 1980s Venture House was established to serve the needs of the Inner City of Wichita, KS. Both of these agencies have grown into respected Social Service Agencies in their areas.[4]


  1. ^ Episcopal Church Annual, 2006, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, p. 220-221
  2. ^ Thirty years in Topeka: a historical sketch by Frye William Giles, p184
  3. ^ Episcopal Church Annual, 2006, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, p. 301
  4. ^ a b c d Diocese of Kansas history
  5. ^ "Grace Episcopal Cathedral » A house of prayer for all people.". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°03′03″N 95°41′02″W / 39.05083°N 95.68389°W / 39.05083; -95.68389