Open main menu

Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota

The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota is a diocese of the Episcopal Church with jurisdiction over the state of South Dakota.

Diocese of South Dakota
Diocese of South Dakota seal.jpg
Ecclesiastical provinceProvince VI
Congregations78 (2014)
Members8,962 (2016)
CathedralCalvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls
Current leadership
BishopJohn T. Tarrant
Location of the Diocese of South Dakota
Location of the Diocese of South Dakota


The diocese was created in 1871 at the Missionary District of Niobrara. It adopted the name Missionary District of South Dakota in 1884.[1] William Hobart Hare was consecrated as Missionary Bishop in 1873, and full Bishop and the district concentrated its efforts on Native Americans.[2][3] The original boundaries of the district "covered a territory north of the Niobrara River and west of the Missouri, all the way to the Rockies."[3] The Missionary District became the Diocese of South Dakota in 1971, at which time there were 18 parishes, 24 mission congregations, 90 churches & chapels in the Niobrara Deanery, and 4 Episcopal schools.[2]

One of the stained glass windows

Structure and MembershipEdit

The Diocese is composed of 76 member congregations in South Dakota, two in Nebraska and one in Minnesota, organized geographically into seven deaneries.[4]

The Diocese is made up of seven geographical Deaneries: Black Hills (10 churches), Pine Ridge (7), Rosebud (15), Central (7), Northwest (17), Northeast (10) and Eastern (12). There is one church located in Minnesota, St. John’s in Browns Valley, part of the Northeast Deanery, and two in Nebraska, Blessed Redeemer, in Howe Creek and Our Most Merciful Savior, in Santee.[5] Its cathedral, Calvary Cathedral, is located in Sioux Falls.[6]

The Diocese of South Dakota has a unique multicultural membership and history. It has a special relationship with its Native American population. Approximately half of the 12,000 baptized Episcopalians in South Dakota are either Dakota or Lakota Sioux. The Diocese also includes two congregations composed of Sudanese immigrants in Sioux Falls.[4]

List of bishopsEdit

The bishops of South Dakota have been:[7]

  1. William Hobart Hare, Missionary Bishop from (1873–1883), full Bishop (1883–1909)[3]
    * Frederick F. Johnson, assisting bishop (1905–1909)
  2. Frederick F. Johnson, (1910–1911)
  3. George Biller, Jr. (1912–1915)
  4. Hugh L. Burleson (1916–1931)
    * William P. Remington, suffragan (1918–1922)
    * W. Blair Roberts, suffragan (1922–1931)
  5. W. Blair Roberts, (1931–1954)
    * Conrad H. Gesner, coadjutor (1945–1954)
  6. Conrad H. Gesner, (1954–1970)
    * Lyman C. Ogilby, coadjutor (1964–1970)
  7. Walter H. Jones (1970–1983)
    * Harold S. Jones, suffragan (1971–1976)
    (Note: Harold S. Jones was the first Native American bishop in the Episcopal Church)[8]
  8. Craig B. Anderson, (1984–1992)
  9. Creighton Leland Robertson (1994–2009),
  10. John T. Tarrant, (2009–2019)[9][10]

Historic churchesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Journal of the Annual Convocation, Missionary District of South Dakota
  2. ^ a b "A Brief History of the Diocese". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  3. ^ a b c Diocesan Bishops Archived 2016-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Diocese of South Dakota: Who We Are
  5. ^ The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota 2011 Journal of the 127th Annual Convention held at Pierre, South Dakota September 9-10, 2011 together with the Constitution, Canons, and Rules of Order Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine pp.6-7
  6. ^ Episcopal Church online directory
  7. ^ Episcopal Church Annual, 2006, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, p. 349
  8. ^ Dakota Cross-Bearer: The Life and World of a Native American Bishop, Bison Books, Lincoln, Nebraska, 252 p.
  9. ^ Sioux Falls Argus Leader, October 22, 2009
  10. ^ South Dakota diocese elects Tarrant as bishop coadjutor, Episcopal Life Online, May 9, 2009 Archived September 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit