Nathan D. Baxter

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The Right Reverend
Nathan Dwight Baxter
X Bishop of Central Pennsylvania
Nathan Baxter 2009.jpg
Baxter in October 2009
Church Episcopal Church
Diocese Central Pennsylvania
In office October 22, 2006 – May 2014
Successor Robert R. Gepert (provisional)
Consecration October 22, 2006
by Frank, 25th Presiding Bishop
Personal details
Born (1948-11-16) November 16, 1948 (age 68)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Previous post Rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Nathan Dwight Baxter, AHC, (born November 16, 1948[1]) is the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and the 1,010 in succession in the Episcopal Church. He was elected as bishop coadjutor on July 22, 2006, and consecrated on October 22, 2006. Baxter's friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached the sermon.

Directly before being elected, Baxter spent two and a half years serving as the rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A third generation priest, he was dean of Washington National Cathedral from 1991 to 2003 and served as Chief Administrative Officer of the Protestant Episcopal Church Foundation. Before becoming dean of the Cathedral, Baxter served as the administrative dean and associate professor of pastoral theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, seminary dean and associate professor of church and ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and chaplain and professor of religious studies at St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Baxter has also served at other parishes in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Baxter, a Harrisburg native, was the oldest of three sons, Charles Wayne and Larry of Elder Belgium N. Baxter and Augusta Baxter. He is married to Mary Ellen Baxter (Walker), an educator with degrees from Hampton University and Harvard University. They have two children, two foster children, and nine grandchildren.

He graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1976 with honors and prizes in homiletics and Christology and earned a Doctor of Ministry there in 1985. Baxter has also completed programs at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Warren Deem Management Institute at the Columbia University Executive Center. Baxter has received numerous other honors from colleges, universities and seminaries including being named an honorary alumnus at the Episcopal Divinity School 1991, and receiving eight honorary doctorates Dickinson College, Messiah College, Colgate University, St. Paul's College, York College, Elizabethtown College, Ohio Dominican University, Lincoln University[2] and the Presidential Medal from Millersville University.

Baxter is an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross, chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Other memberships include Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Cosmos Club of Washington, and a life member of the Union of Black Episcopalians and the NAACP. He is also a decorated U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, having received the Vietnam Cross of Gallenty with Palm and the Combat Medical Badge.

He was selected to deliver the prayer for the nation at the White House Millennium Celebration, which was televised internationally.[3] He was acknowledged by Nancy Reagan for his leadership in planning the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.

Baxter retired in May 2014 after serving as Bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania for eight years. Following Baxter's retirement the Rt. Rev. Robert Gepert was named as provisional bishop of the diocese. On March 14, 2015 the Rev. Canon Audrey Scanlan was elected to become the next bishop of the diocese, with her consecration scheduled for September 2015.[4]


  1. ^ Episcopal Clerical Directory 2013 (2013). New York: Church Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-89869-888-6, p. 73.
  2. ^ "Bishop Baxter receives honorary degree from Lincoln University". Episcopal News Service. New York, NY: The Episcopal Church. June 20, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ Amherst College news release, January 14, 2003
  4. ^ "Central Pennsylvania diocese elects Audrey Cady Scanlan as bishop", Episcopal News Service, The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, 2014-03-15, retrieved 2014-03-15 
Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
John T. Walker
Dean of Washington National Cathedral
Succeeded by
Samuel T. Lloyd III