Michael Curry (bishop)

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The Most Reverend
Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Curry in 2016 wearing a miter and vestments
Church Episcopal Church
Diocese Non-territorial/non-metropolitical
Installed November 1, 2015[1]
Predecessor Katharine Jefferts Schori
Other posts Bishop of North Carolina
Ordination December 9, 1978
Consecration June 17, 2000
by Robert Hodges Johnson
Personal details
Born (1953-03-13) March 13, 1953 (age 63)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality United States
Spouse Sharon
Children 2

Michael Bruce Curry (born March 13, 1953) is the 27th and current Presiding Bishop of the The Episcopal Church. Elected in 2015, he is the first African American to serve in that capacity. He was previously bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina.

Early life and education[edit]

Curry says in his autobiography that both sides of his family were descended from slaves and sharecroppers in North Carolina and Alabama.[2] He was born in Chicago and attended public schools in Buffalo, New York.[3] He graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, in 1975. He received the Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from the Yale Divinity School. He has also studied at The College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary's Seminary, and the Institute of Christian Jewish Studies. He has received honorary degrees from the School of Theology-Sewanee, Virginia Theological Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, the Episcopal Divinity School,[4] and the Seminary of the Southwest.[5]


Curry was ordained deacon in June 1978 and priest in December 1978.[6] He served initially as deacon-in-charge and subsequently as rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (1978–1982) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; then as rector of St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights, Ohio (1982–1988). He served as rector of St. James' Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland (1988–2000). In his three parish ministries, Curry participated in crisis response pastoral care, the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, creation of networks of family day care providers, and the brokering of investment in inner city neighborhoods. He inspired a $2.5 million restoration of the St. James' church building after a fire.[7]

Episcopal career[edit]

Curry in 2015

Curry was elected eleventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on February 11, 2000, and consecrated bishop on June 17, 2000, at Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham.[8] The consecrators were Robert Hodges Johnson, J. Gary Gloster, and Barbara C. Harris.

As a diocesan bishop, he served on the board of directors of the Alliance for Christian Media [7] and chaired the board of Episcopal Relief and Development.[9] He also had a national preaching and teaching ministry and was a frequent speaker at services of worship and conferences around the country.

Presiding Bishop[edit]

On May 1, 2015, the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church nominated Curry and three other bishops (Thomas E. Breidenthal, Ian T. Douglas, and Dabney Tyler Smith) for election as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.[10] The election took place on June 27, 2015, at the church's 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City.[11] He was elected on the first ballot with 121 of 174 votes cast.[12]

Curry formally took office on November 1, 2015, All Saints Day, with an investiture ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral.[13] The ceremony included readings in Spanish and Native American languages.[14][15]


Curry was appointed a member of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem by Elizabeth II on July 25, 2015.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Curry and his wife Sharon (née Clement) have two adult daughters.[17]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ "The Holy Eucharist with the Installation of Bishop Michael Bruce Curry as the Presiding Bishop". Episcopal News Service. Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs. July 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  2. ^ Curry 2015, p. 2.
  3. ^ City Desk (June 27, 2015). "Buffalo native elected to head Episcopal Church". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 28, 2015. Michael B. Curry, an Episcopal bishop who grew up in Buffalo, was elected Saturday to be the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. 
  4. ^ "2013 Honorary Degree Recipients Announced". Episcopal Divinity School. Cambridge, Massachusetts. March 26, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2015. Michael Bruce Curry...eleventh Bishop of North Carolina 
  5. ^ "Commencement 2016 - Seminary of the Southwest". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  6. ^ McLean, Naomi C. (December 23, 1978). "Rev. Michael Curry Ordained Dec. 9". Baltimore Afro-American. Baltimore, Maryland. Retrieved 2015-05-08. The Rev. Michael B. Curry...ordained Dec. 9 
  7. ^ a b "The Most Rev. Michael Curry". Day 1. Atlanta, Georgia: The Alliance for Christian Media. Retrieved 2015-11-04. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. 
  8. ^ Mack, Daphne; Schjonberg, Mary Frances (February 3, 2006). "Reconciliation is hard but necessary work". Daybook. Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2008-06-30. Keynote speakers and preachers included...Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina 
  9. ^ Fontaine, Ann (January 10, 2015). "Bishop Michael Curry Named Chair of Board of Directors of Episcopal Relief and Development". The Episcopal Café. Retrieved May 15, 2015. The Right Reverend Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, has been appointed as Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors. 
  10. ^ Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. "The Election of the 27th Presiding Bishop: The Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop-elect". Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  12. ^ Episcopal Church Public Affairs (June 27, 2015). "From TEC: Bishop Michael Bruce Curry from North Carolina Elected 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church". Retrieved November 4, 2015. The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, was elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church on the first ballot on June 27. 
  13. ^ Boorstein, Michelle (November 1, 2015). "Episcopal Church installs its first African American presiding bishop". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved November 2, 2015. The public face and style of the Episcopal Church shifted Sunday with the installation of Michael Bruce Curry, the denomination’s first African American spiritual leader. 
  14. ^ Matt Townsend (November 1, 2015). "'God Has Work for Us to Do'". The Living Church. Retrieved November 4, 2015. the installation of the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry as 27th presiding bishop featured a diverse liturgy 
  15. ^ Vera Bergengruen, Tribune News Service (November 7, 2015). "Episcopalians looking to future of inclusion: Church recently instated first black presiding bishop". The Colombian. Retrieved December 5, 2015. The service that installed Michael Bruce Curry as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church on Sunday would have been unrecognizable to Episcopalians of the past century. 
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 61305. p. 13772. 24 July 2015.
  17. ^ Quillin, Martha (June 20, 2015). "NC Bishop among 4 nominated to lead Episcopal Church in the United States". News & Observer. Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved June 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
November 1, 2015 – present