Michael Curry (bishop)

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The Rt Revd
Michael Curry
Michael Curry wearing a mitre and vestments, holding a crosier in his left hand
Province The Episcopal Church Flag of the US Episcopal Church.svg
Diocese North Carolina
Ordination December 9, 1978[1]
Consecration June 17, 2000
by Robert Hodges Johnson, Bishop of Western North Carolina
Personal details
Born (1953-03-13) March 13, 1953 (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality United States

Michael Bruce Curry (born March 13, 1953) is an American bishop of the Episcopal Church. He is currently the Bishop of North Carolina and the Presiding Bishop Elect of the Episcopal Church. He was the first African American bishop to lead a southern diocese of the Episcopal Church. On June 27, 2015, he was elected on the first ballot to serve a nine-year term as Presiding Bishop, the top elected position in the denomination. He will formally take office on November 1, 2015, succeeding the current Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori.[2][3] He is the first African American elected to the position.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Curry was born in Chicago and attended public schools in Buffalo, New York,[5] and 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 done continued study 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 and the Episcopal Divinity School.[6]


Curry was ordained deacon in June 1978 and priest in December 1978. 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 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, North Carolina.[8] Curry serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for Christian Media [7] and chairs the board of Episcopal Relief and Development.[9] Curry has a national preaching and teaching ministry, having been featured on The Protestant Hour and as a frequent speaker at services of worship and conferences around the country. He is the author of Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus[10] and Songs My Grandma Sang.[11]

He resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, Sharon (née Clement), and two daughters.[12]

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 for election as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.[13] The election of the next Presiding Bishop took place on June 27, 2015, at the church's 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City.[14] He was elected as presiding bishop on June 27, 2015, on the first ballot with 121 of 174 votes cast in his favor. He is due to formally take office on November 1, 2015, All Saints Day, with an investiture ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral.[3]


  1. ^ McLean, Naomi C. (December 23, 1978). "Rev. Michael Curry Ordained Dec. 9". Baltimore Afro-American (Baltimore, Maryland). Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  2. ^ "Episcopal Cafe". Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Schjonberg, Mary Frances (2015-06-27), "North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry elected as 27th Presiding Bishop: History-making decision will bring first person of color into church’s top leadership office", Episcopal News Service (The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society), retrieved 2015-06-27 
  4. ^ Kumar, Anugrah (June 28, 2015). "Episcopal Church Elects First Black Presiding Bishop Michael Curry". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2015-06-29. 
  5. ^ City Desk (June 27, 2015). "Buffalo native elected to head Episcopal Church". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ "edsedu". Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "day1". Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ "[ENS] Reconciliation is hard but necessary work". www.wfn.org. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Bishop Michael Curry Named Chair of Board of Directors of Episcopal Relief and Development". The Episcopal Café. January 10, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Curry, Michael B. (2013). Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8192-2885-7. 
  11. ^ Curry, Michael B. (2015). Songs My Grandma Sang. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing. ISBN 9780819229939. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "episcopaldigitalnetwork". Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "extranetgeneralconvention" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2015.