Frederick H. Belden

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Frederick Hesley Belden (born 25 September 1909 in Watertown, New York — died 4 November 1979) was the tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.[1]

Early Life, Education, and Family[edit]

The son of Stacy Beardsley Denn Belden and Emma May Hesley, he attended Hartwick College, where he earned his B.A. in 1932. He went on the study at the General Theological Seminary, where he earned an S.T.B. in 1936 and in 1970, was awarded an S.T.D. degree. He married Dorothy Elizabeth Reumann on 26 November 1936. They had four children.[2]


Ordained to the ministry of the Episcopal Church in 1935, he first served as rector of Christ Church, Duanesburg, New York for a year, when he was called to be rector of Christ Church, Walton, New York from 1937 to 1942. From there, he became rector of St John's Church, Johnstown, New York from 1942 to 1949. He first came to Rhode Island to become rector of St. Paul's Church, North Kingston, Rhode Island in 1949. while rector there, he served as President of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches in 1964-65 and warden of the Guild of Ascension, 1961-69.

In 1971, he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Rhode Island. He succeeded Bishop Higgins the following year and remained Bishop of Rhode Island until his death in 1979.[3] Noteworthy during his time as president of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches and especially during his time as bishop were his ecumenical efforts as evidenced, in part, by formation of a covenant relationship between twelve parishes of the Diocese of Rhode Island and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. These efforts were recognized with the award of honorary doctorate degrees by Brown University and Providence College.

He was buried at the Old Narragansett Church.


  1. ^ Who was Who in America
  2. ^ Who was Who in America
  3. ^ Who Was Who in America
Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
John S. Higgins
10th Bishop of Rhode Island
1972 – 1979
Succeeded by
George Nelson Hunt, III