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Lyman Ogilby

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Lyman Cunningham Ogilby (25 January 1922 – 3 November 1990) was an Episcopal priest who became a missionary bishop in the Philippines (then a U.S. territory), coadjutor bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota and later the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, where he succeeded Bishop Robert L. DeWitt and became the 13th diocesan bishop until his retirement.

The Right Reverend

Lyman Ogilby

Bishop of Pennsylvania
Lyman Ogilby.jpg
ChurchEpiscopal Church
In office1974-1987
PredecessorRobert L. DeWitt
SuccessorAllen L. Bartlett
Consecration2 February 1953
by Norman S. Binsted
Personal details
Born(1922-01-25)January 25, 1922
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
DiedNovember 3, 1990(1990-11-03) (aged 68)
Spokane, Washington, United States
SpouseRuth Ogilby
Previous postSuffragan Bishop of the Philippines (1953-1957)
Bishop of the Philippines (1957-1967)
Coadjutor Bishop of South Dakota (1967–1970)
Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania (1971-1973)
Coadjutor Bishop of Pennsylvania (1973-1974)
Alma materHamilton College


Early life and educationEdit

Ogilby was born in Connecticut and received an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College. He then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, mostly in the Pacific theater. After discharge, he attended Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1949.[1]


Upon being ordained a deacon in 1949 and priest in 1950, Ogilby's ministry began at the Brent School in the Philippines, where he served as chaplain as well as teacher. Two years later, he was elected suffragan bishop, and was consecrated in 1953 by the Philippines' missionary bishop Norman S. Binsted and suffragan Robert F. Wilner, as well as by bishop Walter H. Gray of Connecticut. Rt.Rev. Ogilby became the territory's bishop in 1957, but resigned in 1967 to let Benito Cabanban (a Filipino whom he had helped consecrate as his suffragan in 1959) become the diocesan bishop. While bishop of the Philippines, Ogilby also served as secretary of the Council of the Anglican Church of Southeast Asia (1960 to 1968), founded Trinity College in Quezon City, Philippines, and held other regional posts.[2]

Upon returning to the mainland, Rt.Rev. Ogilby became a bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota for three years, but again resigned to let a priest born in the diocese take that leadership position.[3]

He moved to Philadelphia to become coadjutor to bishop Robert L. DeWitt, and succeeded him as bishop. During Bishop Ogilby's first year, retired bishop DeWitt and others consecrated eleven women as priests, the Philadelphia 11, which caused significant controversy in Philadelphia and within the denomination. Ultimately, Rt.Rev. Ogilby became reconciled to the idea of women becoming priests. He ordained Philadelphia native Barbara C. Harris (who had participated in that service as an acolyte), as a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980, and later participated in her (again controversial) consecration as bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts whereby she became the first woman consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Communion. The first parish in the diocese to call a woman as rector (Rev. Michaela Keener) also occurred during his episcopate (St. Giles parish in Upper Darby in 1986).[4]

Death and legacyEdit

Bishop Ogilby's episcopate continued after his somewhat early retirement, despite ongoing health issues. He assisted in the dioceses of Western Michigan, Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Maryland, and Washington (D.C.). He died of a heart condition in Spokane, Washington, where he had gone to assist in a consecration. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.


  1. ^ "Lyman Ogilby, 68, Ex-Diocese Leader Of Episcopal Faith". New York Times. November 7, 1990. Retrieved 2015-05-27.
  2. ^ "Archives -". Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  3. ^ "Bishop Lyman Ogilby, 'One of the Great Missionary Bishops of the Church,' Dead at 68". Episcopal News Service. November 8, 1990. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  4. ^ "History and Archives | Diopa". Retrieved 2016-12-30.
Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Robert L. DeWitt
13th Bishop of Pennsylvania
coadjutor, 1973

Succeeded by
Allen L. Bartlett