Coloradans Choose Suffragan Bishop

Episcopal News Service. September 18, 1980 [80318]

DENVER -- The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado has elected the Rev. William Harvey Wolfrum, 54-year-old rector of St. Alban's Church, Worland, Wyo., as suffragan bishop.

The new bishop will serve as an assistant to Bishop William C. Frey, who was installed as Diocesan Bishop in February, 1973.

Election took place at St. John's Cathedral here Sept. 13 and was accomplished on the seventh ballot, with Wolfrum leading with lay support throughout. Voting were some 450 lay and clergy delegates from the 102 Episcopal parishes and missions in Colorado.

Because of the extent of diocesan work, Frey made the request for a suffragan last March.

"I am grateful to the Diocese for providing the assistance I need, and grateful to the Lord for choosing so fine a priest as Father Wolfrum," said Frey after the election.

Informed by telephone, Wolfrum has accepted his election. Before he can be consecrated, approval must be obtained from diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction in the Episcopal Church, a procedure which is expected to take several months.

A suffragan bishop, unlike a bishop coadjutor, does not automatically succeed the diocesan bishop upon the latter's death or retirement.

Wolfrum was born in Warrensburg, Mo., Jan. 16, 1926, and received a B.S. degree in biology from Central Missouri State University in 1949, and an M.S. in fisheries management from Cornell University in 1952. After working from 1952 to 1956 as District Fisheries Biologist with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, he entered seminary, graduating from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 1959. Following his ordination, he served from 1959 to 1962 at St. Paul's Church, Artesia, N.Mex., and from 1962 to 1968 as rector of Trinity-on-the-Hill, Los Alamos. He then moved to St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, Tex., where he was chaplain and chairman of the department of religion. He became rector of St. Alban's at Worland in 1971.

Wolfrum is married to the former Beverly Ann Gunn; they have two daughters and a son.

Wolfrum was elected from a slate of eight candidates, four from within and four from outside Colorado. Six of these were nominated by a 15-member nominating committee. They were:

The Rev. Canon David E. Bergesen, rector of St. Timothy's Church, Littleton; the Very Rev. Richard M. George, Jr., dean of the Cathedral of St. Paul, Peoria, 111.; the Rev. Canon Jack C. Knight, rector of St. Gregory's Church, Littleton; the Rev. John R. Kuenneth, rector of St. James' Church, Wichita, Kans.; the Very Rev. Harvard L. Wilbur, Jr., rector of the Church of Our Saviour, Colorado Springs; and Wolfrum.

In addition, two others were nominated from the floor: The Rev. William H. Magill, rector of St. Luke's Church, Denver, and the Rev. James F. D'Wolf, rector of St. Paul's Church, Manhattan, Kans.