Victor Rivera (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Victor Manuel Rivera
Bishop of San Joaquin
Province Episcopal Church in the United States
Diocese San Joaquin
Installed 1968
Term ended 1999
Predecessor Sumner F. D. Walters
Successor John-David Schofield
Ordination 1944
Consecration 1968
Personal details
Born 1916
Peñuelas, Puerto Rico
Died December 24, 2005
Visalia, California
Spouse Barbara Ross Lamb
Children Nedi Rivera
Alma mater Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Victor Manuel Rivera (1916 – December 24, 2005) was an American Episcopalian priest and bishop. He served from 1968 to 1989 as the third bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

Education and early career[edit]

Rivera was born in Penuelas, Puerto Rico, where his father and four uncles were Episcopal priests.[1] In 1944, he graduated from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, and was ordained to the priesthood. From 1943 to 1944 he was vicar of Grace Church in Martinez, California, and from 1945 to 1968, he was rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Visalia, California. He also held diocesan offices in the Diocese of San Joaquin.[2]


In 1968, Rivera was elected third bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin.[2] He served until his retirement in January 1989, shortly after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 72.[1] He was succeeded by bishop coadjutor John-David Schofield, who had been elected in the fall of 1988.

By the end of Rivera's episcopacy, the Diocese of San Joaquin was one of only six in the Episcopal Church that had not ordained any women to the priesthood. Rivera opposed the ordination of women and sexually active homosexuals during his episcopacy, describing his diocese as "not willing to do away with biblical teachings and the beliefs of the church."[1] When his daughter Nedi was ordained to the Episcopalian priesthood in 1976, Rivera did not attend her ordination service.[3]

Later life[edit]

Rivera is reported to have changed his mind on women's ordination after his retirement as bishop, as he participated with approval in the consecration of Nedi Rivera as bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.[3][4]

Rivera's wife, Barbara, died in April 2005, and he died eight months later on December 23 in Orinda, CA.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Hoagland, Doug (September 26, 1987). "Bishop won't speculate on successor". Modesto Bee. 
  2. ^ a b c "Victor M. Rivera, 89, retired Bishop of San Joaquin, California". Episcopal News Service. December 29, 2005. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Coleman, Sandy (Fall 2008). "The History-Making, Down-to-Earth Bishop" (PDF). Wheaton Quarterly. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Connelly, Joel (January 23, 2005). "In The Northwest: New Bishop Nedi Rivera will not lack for challenge". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Sumner F. D. Walters
Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin
Succeeded by
John-David Schofield