Morton Elected Bishop in San Diego

Episcopal News Service. May 20, 1982 [82134]

SAN DIEGO (DPS, May 20) -- The bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is the Very Rev. C. Brinkley Morton, rector and dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Ala.

Elected on the 23rd ballot of a special convention, at St. Paul's Church here, Morton has indicated his acceptance of the election provided he receives the required consents of the Episcopal Church's standing committees and bishops.

His election came on May 15, three weeks after the convention reached a stalemate on April 24 following 20 ballots. To be elected, a candidate must poll a majority of the votes in both the lay and the clergy orders, with the two groups voting separately.

Morton was one of the five candidates presented to the convention on April 24 by a nominating committee. Three persons were nominated from the floor. Three of the eight nominees withdrew during the balloting on April 24.

One of the remaining candidates, Bishop Donald J. Davis of Northwestern Pennsylvania, who came within one vote of election in both orders when the convention was recessed after the 20th ballot, withdrew before the beginning of voting on the 21st ballot on May 15.

In addition to Morton, the May 15 candidates in the voting included the Rev. James E. Carroll, San Diego; the Rev. Canon Richard B. Harms, San Diego; and the Rev. Benjamin V. Lavey, La Jolla, with Carroll finishing second behind Morton.

Morton, 56, is a native of Meredian, Miss. He received his L.L.B. and his J.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi, and his M. Div. degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.

Before studying for holy orders, Morton was a practicing attorney and has served as a member of both the Mississippi House of Representatives and the State Senate. Since his ordination to the priesthood in 1959, he has served congregations in West Point and Okolona, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn.

He and his wife, Virginia Roseborough Morton, have two children.

When he is consecrated next fall, he will succeed the Rt. Rev. Robert M. Wolterstorff, the diocese's first bishop, who is retiring at the age of 68.

The Diocese of San Diego, which was formed by General Convention in 1973 from the southern counties of the Diocese of Los Angeles, has 20,000 baptized members, 16,000 communicants, 92 clergy, and 44 parishes and missions.