May 10, 2021

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Robert R. Spears Jr.

Robert Rae “Bob” Spears Jr. (June 18, 1918 – March 18, 2008) was a distinguished American prelate who served as Bishop of Rochester from 1970 to 1984.

Spears was married to his spouse Charlotte Luttrell for many years, they usually had three kids and three grandchildren.[1][2]

Spears was elected Suffragan Bishop of West Missouri in November 1966. He was consecrated on May 15, 1967 by Presiding Bishop John E. Hines. On April 26, 1970 he was elected Bishop of Rochester.[1] He was consecrated underneath apostolic succession by the Presiding Bishop [3][1][2][4] He supported feminine ordination within the Nineteen Seventies, then a controversial topic.[1][2][5] He was finest recognized for his liberal views. Spears was an essential chief within the Episcopal Church’s progressive wing. He was in favor of the choice to ordain girls. He opposed the Vietnam War, and spoke out in opposition to violence throughout the Attica Prison riot. He was additionally an early proponent of involvement within the Episcopal Church by its homosexual and lesbian members. He co-chaired the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Human Affairs and Health from 1976 to 1979 He retired in 1984 and served as Associate at St James’ Church on Madison Avenue in New York City. At the time of his dying he was an Associate at St Thomas’ Church in Rochester, New York. He died on March 18, 2008.

Spears was ordained a deacon on June 24, 1943 and priest on May 15, 1944, each by Bishop Cameron Josiah Davis of Western New York. He served as curate of St Stephen’s Church in Olean, New York from 1943 until 1944 after which he turned rector of St Paul’s Church in Mayville, New York. On February 15, 1948 he turned canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. He served as rector of St Peter’s Church in Auburn, New York from 1950 until 1954, when he turned vicar of the Chapel of the Intercession in New York City, the place he remained until September 1, 1960. From 1960 until 1967 he served as rector of Trinity Church in Princeton, New Jersey.

Spears was born on June 18, 1918 in Rochester, New York, the son of Robert Rae Spears and Phebe Elizabeth Wing. He graduated from Hobart College in Upstate New York[1] in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts.[2] He answered the decision to holy orders within the Episcopal Church. He graduated from The General Theological Seminary in New York City[1] in 1943 with a Bachelor of Sacred Theology.[2] He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity in 1969.



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