Rustin Kimsey Ordained Bishop

Episcopal News Service. August 21, 1980 [80274]

THE DALLES, Ore. -- The Rev. Rustin Ray Kimsey was ordained and consecrated fifth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon on August 4 in the presence of some 1, 500 persons who assembled here in the high school gymnasium.

The new bishop officiated at the Eucharist in the 9 a.m. service which lasted just under two and one-half hours. The service was held in the gymnasium because it was the only auditorium in the town which could accommodate the large crowd of dignitaries and friends.

The Rt. Rev. John M. Allin, New York, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, was the chief consecrator. Co-consecrators were the Rt. Rev. Lane W. Barton, retired Bishop of Eastern Oregon; the Rt. Rev. William B. Spofford, Jr., the fourth bishop of the diocese; the Rt. Rev. Jackson E. Gilliam, Bishop of Montana; and the Rt. Rev. John S. Spong, Bishop of Newark.

The Rt. Rev. John B. Coburn, Bishop of Massachusetts, delivered the sermon.

Following the service, the congregation processed to St. Paul's Landmark, the building used by St. Paul's Church before a new edifice was erected in 1962. Bishop Allin and Bishop Kimsey conducted a brief dedication service, setting aside the property as the new diocesan office. Bishop Kimsey has decided to move the offices from Redmond to The Dalles.

A luncheon honoring the new bishop was served in Sorosis Park at noon.

Bishop Kimsey was born in Bend, Ore., in 1935 and received his B. S. degree from the University of Oregon and his B. D. degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.

Rector of St. Paul's Church, The Dalles, since 1971, he had previously served as general missioner and vicar at several congregations in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon.

He served on the national Executive Council of the Episcopal Church from 1968 to 1976. In 1973 he was elected by the House of Bishops to be the clergy representative -- along with a lay person and the Presiding Bishop -- on the Anglican Consultative Council.

Bishop Kimsey succeeded Bishop Spofford who resigned as head of the diocese and took up his work as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Washington. Bishop Kimsey's four predecessors were elected by the House of Bishops, since Eastern Oregon had the status of a missionary district. Now that Eastern Oregon is classified as a diocese, it is permitted by canon to elect its own bishop. Thus, Bishop Kimsey is the first person elected by the diocese in convention.