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Former Bishop of South Carolina, Edward Salmon has died

Former Bishop of South Carolina, Edward Salmon has died

The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon Jr. died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. Salmon, 83, served from 1990-2008 as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.  Salmon had been an opponent of marriage equality and was one of nine bishops who were named in a disciplinary complaint for supporting schismatic dioceses in 2012.

Seven bishops filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court supporting the faction led by former Bishop Jack Iker in its attempt to maintain control of church property and assets. Iker’s group broke from the Episcopal Church in November 2008. The bishops who signed the brief include three retired bishops, Maurice M. Benitez, John W. Howe, and D. Bruce MacPherson; one suffragan, Paul E. Lambert of Dallas; and three diocesan bishops, William H. Love of Albany, Daniel H. Martins of Springfield and James M. Stanton of Dallas.

MacPherson and retired bishops Edward L. Salmon, Jr., and Peter H. Beckwith signed an affidavit opposing summary judgment in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, which is attempting to recover property and assets from a breakaway faction that left the church in November 2008.

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (the continuing diocese) acknowledged and honored Salmon as an important part of its history. The Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, bishop of the diocese, said in a news release that when he served as bishop of East Tennessee, he and Salmon were colleagues in the House of Bishops. Salmon, he said, “had a unique leadership style among bishops, and he could be counted on to offer his particular point of view on most matters. His perspectives and personality were assets among his fellow bishops. He will certainly be missed.”

The breakaway diocese in South Carolina, led by Mark Lawrence also remembered Salmon.  In a press release, Lawrence said that Salmon “was a champion of the faith; a tireless churchman, whose principled wisdom, sagacious humor and razor wit were legendary and widely loved by the casual acquaintance as well as by his family and longtime friends.”

A Memorial Eucharist for Salmon will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth St. The Rev. Dow Sanderson will be the preacher.

The breakaway Diocese of South Carolina will also hold a memorial service at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston. Details are still being arranged.


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JC Fisher


Thom Forde

Bishop Salmon was my pastor. It was for only about three years but he had a huge, positive impact on my spiritual life and my relationship with our Savior. He opened my heart to the daily office and the beauty of Scripture and our liturgy. He was one of the grounded, humble persons I know. I loved how if you were at the parish on a weekday, more often than not you would encounter him in coveralls. He would always engage you as a good friend. If you addressed him formally, it was always as “Mr.” but more often he was just “Ed.”

In my opinion, there is no “May he…” as if there is a question. He will rest in peace and rise in glory! Axios!

The Rev. Jamie Stutler

Bishop Salmon ordained me priest in 1999 and was to me, my late wife, and our children an extraordinary friend and pastor. He remained so even when I left the diocese of SC and without regard to our differences in the church. I will never forget the sermon he preached a few years later at Eleanor’s funeral on Edisto Island and the continued consolation he provided me. If I can be gifted with a fraction of what I saw as so great in him I will be greatly blessed as will be those to whom God sends me.

The Rev. Father Brian Vander Wel

Thank you Dr. Seitz. I, too, had the privilege of knowing Bishop Salmon, and I can honestly say that every time I was with him, I would say to myself, “What do I have to do today to be like him when I am his age?”

The sad part of this story – as given above – is also the part of Bishop Salmon’s legacy that is overlooked by most in TEC: his diocese grew faster than any other diocese in the Episcopal Church during his tenure. It grew at a higher percentage rate than the rate of the population it served. And nobody seemed to notice or care then, and nobody seems to care now. For me, though, it remains a small sliver of light revealing the full glory that God shone through Bishop Salmon.

God bless you my dear bishop! You are already missed.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

A generous man who deplored bitterness and courted all sides. He had his principles but refused to make enemies of anyone. This kind of person, a builder and an optimist who enjoyed people, is harder and harder to find. I once rode with him in his car and listened to all the people phoning in to speak with him. A sofa that burned up. An aunt who died. Funeral lessons to be picked. Sam who left his watch at the reception. On it went. I thought, how inefficient. But this was his world and he was loved for his attention to all and sundry. Rest in peace, Bishop Salmon.

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