Episcopal Diocese of Ohio

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Diocese of Ohio
Diocese of Ohio Seal.png
Seal of the Diocese of Ohio
Territory 48 northern counties of Ohio
Ecclesiastical province Province V
Denomination Episcopal Church
Cathedral Trinity Cathedral
Current leadership
Bishop The Right Reverend Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
ECUSA Ohio.png

The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America comprising the northern 48 counties of the state of Ohio. Established in 1818, it was the first diocese of the Episcopal Church to be established outside the original 13 colonies and presently consists of 95 parishes, with a membership of almost 19,000 individuals.[1] The diocese was contiguous with the state of Ohio, but was split into two dioceses in 1875, largely over liturgical and theological differences: The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, which retained the original name, and the Diocese of Southern Ohio headquartered in Cincinnati. It is one of 15 dioceses that make up the Province of the Midwest (Province 5).

Originally the diocesan see, or headquarters city, was located in Gambier in south-central Ohio, but moved to Cleveland shortly after the diocesan split. Offices are located on Euclid Avenue near Trinity Cathedral, the cathedral of the diocese.


As settlers and missionaries moved westward after the Revolutionary War, they brought their faith traditions with them, including those of the newly formed Episcopal Church. Shortly after Ohio was admitted to the Union, the first Episcopal church was established in the state at Worthington, near present day Columbus in 1804. After years of fruitless petitions and through the hard work of missionaries and others, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church finally granted Ohio a separate diocese in 1818.[2]

Philander Chase was appointed the first Bishop of Ohio in 1819. Chase returned from a fund raising trip to England in 1823 and established the diocesan headquarters and a new Episcopal college, Kenyon College, in Gambier. Kenyon College and Gambier were named for Lord Kenyon and Lord Gambier, the largest benefactors to the establishment of the college and new diocese.

Bishop Chase retired in 1832 and was succeeded by Charles Pettit McIlvaine, a leading advocate Evangelicalism which called upon the Episcopal Church to turn from the more Anglo-catholic reforms of the Oxford Movement and return to a purer Protestant expression in the Church. This precipitated a split of the Diocese of Ohio into two separate dioceses in 1875: the Diocese of Ohio, which favored the more evangelical expression of worship and theology, and the Diocese of Southern Ohio which favored more Anglo-catholic styles.

Upon Bishop McIlvaine's death in 1873, Gregory Thurston Bedell became the Third Bishop of Ohio, after his consecration as assistant bishop in 1859. Bishop Bedell was a staunch supporter of the Union in the Civil War, and has been credited with keeping the Episcopal Church unified during this time, unlike many other denominations.[3] Bishop Bedell also moved the headquarters of the diocese from Gambier to Cleveland as most new parishes were now located in urban areas along Lake Erie.

William Andrew Leonard was consecrated as the Fourth Bishop of Ohio in 1889 and was responsible, with financial backing from William G. Mather, for the construction of Trinity Cathedral, completed in 1907. The Cathedral was designed by Charles F. Schweinfurth in English Perpendicular Gothic form from Indiana limestone.[4] Diocesan offices were located in the adjoining Church House, and remain here presently.


Current Bishops[edit]

The Right Reverend Mark Hollingsworth, Jr. was consecrated as the 11th Bishop of Ohio on April 17, 2004 and is assisted by three assisting bishops: The Right Reverend David Bowman, retired bishop of the Diocese of Western New York, the Right Reverend William Persell, retired bishop of the Diocese of Chicago, and the Right Reverend Arthur Williams, retired bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Ohio.[5]

Former Bishops[edit]

Bishops who have served the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio include:


  1. ^ "About the Diocese of Ohio". Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. 
  2. ^ "History of the Diocese of Southern Ohio". Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. 
  3. ^ "Episcopalians". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 
  4. ^ "Trinity Cathedral". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 
  5. ^ "Office of the Bishop". Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. 

External links[edit]