Four Priests Nominated For Armed Forces Bishop

Episcopal News Service. September 9, 1977 [77286]

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- A special committee to nominate candidates to be Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces will present four names to the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops this fall, according to an announcement by the Rt. Rev. John M. Allin, Presiding Bishop.

The committee of bishops, priests and lay persons, which was chaired by Bishop Robert B. Appleyard of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, made its report to Bishop Allin in late August. The House of Bishops, which will elect the Armed Forces Bishop, will meet at Port St. Lucie, Fla., Sept. 30-Oct. 7.

The person who is elected to this post in October will succeed the Rt. Rev. Clarence E. Hobgood who has announced his intention to retire as soon as his successor can be consecrated.

The four nominees to be placed before the House of Bishops are: The Rev. Allen W. Brown, Jr., Woodbridge, Va., executive assistant to the suffragan bishop of Virginia; the Rev. Charles L. Burgreen, Brooklyn, N.Y., executive assistant to Bishop Hobgood; the Rev. Edward I. Swanson, Kensington, Md., director of the General Commission on Chaplains and Armed Forces Personnel; and the Rev. John F. Walker, Cubi Point, The Philippines, Naval Chaplain Corps.

Nominations may also be made from the floor of the House of Bishops at the time of election.

Chaplain Brown, 46, a native of Cooperstown, N.Y., served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army from 1967 until he joined the staff of Suffragan Bishop John A. Baden in Virginia in 1976. He retired from the U.S. Army May 31, 1976 in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

Born in Davis, W.Va., Chaplain Burgreen, 53, became a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve and was called involuntarily to active duty in 1951. In 1955 he accepted a commission into the Regular Army where he served until he was called by Bishop Hobgood to serve as executive assistant. He retired from the Army in 1973 in the grade of Colonel.

Fr. Swanson, 54, a native of Providence, R.I., accepted the invitation of Bishop Arnold M. Lewis to become civilian coordinator in the office of the Bishop for the Armed Forces in 1966. He held that post for five years, when he became director of publications for the Commission on Chaplains in Washington, D.C. He became director of the Commission in 1975.

Chaplain Walker, 48, was horn in Philadelphia and has been in the Naval Chaplain Corps since 1962. During his career, he has ministered to Navy regulars, Marine, SeeBee and Coast Guard personnel. He was assigned as chaplain to the Coast Guard School and Support Center on Governors Island in New York City from 1974 to 1977. His present military grade is Commander.

Bishop Hobgood, 63, was elected to his post by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1970. He retired from active duty in the Air Force chaplaincy in 1971 after 29 years of service, with the rank of Colonel.

As the Presiding Bishop's Suffragan for Chaplaincies, the Bishop for the Armed Forces has spiritual jurisdiction over the 125 Episcopal priests in the Armed Forces and in the Veterans Administration. Each year these priests baptize about 450 persons and present approximately 250 persons for confirmation.

Members of the nominating committee are: Bishop Appleyard, chairman; Bishop Harold C. Gosnell, retired Bishop of West Texas; Bishop David S. Rose of Southern Virginia; the Rev. Carleton J. Sweetson, St. Luke's Hospital, New York City; the Rev. T. Stewart Matthews, Navasota, Tex.; Mrs. Walter F. White, president of the Association of Diocesan Altar Guilds, Pasadena, Calif.; and Major General William T. Hudnell, USAF (Ret.), San Antonio, Tex.