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Holy Innocents' dad ordained Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta | People

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Holy Innocents' dad ordained Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
People, Schools
Holy Innocents' dad ordained Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

ATLANTA -- "It’s a glorious day!” someone shouted out Saturday morning, Oct. 13, on a sunny plaza in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the Morehouse College campus.

The occasion was the ordination and consecration of the Rev. Robert Christopher Wright as the 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. And a glorious celebration it was, with a procession of church banners emblazoned with vibrant colors, stands of bright yellow daylilies and crimson roses and gladiolas, and thousands of worshippers dressed in their Sunday best, coming to see the ordination of the first African-American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

Wright is a father of four Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School students and a member of the school's Board of Trustees.

Holy Innocents’ Tom FitzStephens directed an Episcopal Schools’ Choir, senior Freedom Wright served as a school acolyte, carrying the HIES banner, and Head Chaplain Ned Mulligan processed. Fifteen HIES students sang in the combined choir:Isabel Fargason, Logan Dorrill, Preston Cross, Emerson Delonga, Travis Thurber, Camryn Landis, Amelia Rempe, Ella Gorin, Sarah Kallis, Jack Patterson, Mary Gordon Mulherin, Eric Bell, Khyla Bell, Joseph H. Monti and Maggie Watson.

Saturday’s ordination and consecration service was steeped in tradition, with chanting, anthems and Holy Communion. The sermon was delivered by the Hon. Rev. Andrew Young, who praised Wright and his wife, Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright, saying, “God blessed you to minister together to a world in need of love.”

Young spoke of his Civil Rights work first in Birmingham and later South Africa, remarking that “reason guided by faith can take on any challenge. We can have justice and mercy together.”

The former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations also noted that Wright was becoming bishop in a time of great turmoil. “And in times like these, I refer to this—and I pass it on to you,” he said, pulling out lines from one of his favorite hymns, "The Solid Rock":

“On Christ, the solid rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

Among the many dignitaries who traveled to Atlanta for Saturday’s special ceremony was the Rt. Rev. Jane Dixon of Virginia, a retired Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C. Dixon ordained Wright to the priesthood in 1999 and offered a simple answer when asked about the qualities that would stand him in good stead as a diocesan bishop.

“He’s a faithful believer,” she said.

Wright earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1998 and was ordained a priest in 1999. He is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching at the University of the South. His ordination ceremony on Oct. 13 drew some 2,000 church members, bishops, and clergy.

For more about Wright’s ordination, visit: www.episcopalatlanta.org.

People, Schools