Bishop Warnecke Dies in Florida

Episcopal News Service. February 25, 1977 [77066]

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Rt. Rev. Frederick John Warnecke, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania died Feb. 23 in a Boca Raton, Fla., hospital. He was 70 years old.

Bishop Warnecke was consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Bethlehem -- which covers the northeastern part of Pennsylvania -- in February 1953 and succeeded the retiring diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Frank W. Sterrett, a year later. He retired in late 1971.

Active in national Church and ecumenical affairs, the bishop served from 1957-1963 as the Third Province Representative to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. He was chairman of the Council's Department of Christian Social Relations and of the committee which supervised the land purchase and planning for the Episcopal Church Center at 815 Second Avenue.

He was a member of the Council's Division of Urban-Industrial work and a member of the Urban Department of the National Council of Churches. He has also been an Episcopal Church delegate to the National Council's General Assembly.

Bishop Warnecke was a New York City native and received his B. A. degree at Columbia University in 1926, his Bachelor of Divinity degree at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1929, and a Master of Sacred Theology degree at General Theological Seminary in 1935. The honorary Doctor of Divinity degree was conferred upon him by the Virginia Seminary and by Philadelphia Divinity School.

Ordained a deacon in May 1929 and a priest in July 1930, he served parishes at Luray, Virginia; Hawthorne, New Jersey; and St. Mark's at Richmond, Virginia, 1941-49. From 1949 until his election as Bishop Coadjutor in 1953, he was dean of Trinity Cathedral at Newark, N.J.

Bishop Warnecke was president of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Divinity School; a trustee of Virginia Theological Seminary, General Theological Seminary, St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, and the Bach Club, Bethlehem. He also was president of Historic Bethlehem, Inc.

He is survived by his wife, Edith Grace Rhoads, whom he married in 1929, a son, the Rev. Frederick J. Warnecke, Jr., Montclair, N.J., and a daughter, Mrs. Cecil Hughes, of Bethlehem.