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Diocese responds to challenge gift to Brite Divinity School

Brite Divinity SchoolThe Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is responding to the challenge gift of up to $500,000 offered by Anne and Robert Bass to help reach the $2.5 million amount required to permanently endow The Rt. Reverend Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Anglican Studies at Brite Divinity School. Gifts and commitments received to date exceed $1,135,000. The challenge grant will add $1 for every $2 in new commitments for the Hulsey Chair.

"The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth enthusiastically supports the Episcopal Studies Program and the establishment of The Rt. Reverend Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Anglican Studies at Brite Divinity School," said the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, provisional bishop of Fort Worth and retired bishop of Northwest Texas. Bishop Ohl succeeded Bishop Hulsey as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas.

"The Episcopal Church has always recognized the value of theological education. I urge all our parishes to help raise the funds needed to endow the Chair. The generous challenge grant of Robert and Anne Bass makes this the perfect time to contribute. I know the Episcopal community here can make this happen."

The Episcopal Studies Program at Brite provides theological education for those preparing for the priesthood or diaconate as well as lay ministries in The Episcopal Church. Courses include an introduction to the history, theology, liturgical and pastoral use of the Book of Common Prayer as well as courses on Anglican thought and Canon Law and Polity.

"Endowing The Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Chair in Anglican Studies is a way to both build leaders for the church and to honor Bishop Hulsey," said Dr. Newell Williams, president of Brite.

Appointing a Hulsey professor who will teach in one of the general disciplines of the Divinity School and serve as a resource to churches will provide additional strength and national visibility to the Episcopal Studies Program while strengthening Brite’s overall academic program, Williams said.

The Rt. Rev. Sam Hulsey was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas from 1980 to 1997. Prior to his election in Northwest Texas he headed parishes in Corsicana, Pampa, and Midland as well as Nashville, TN. He graduated from Washington and Lee University and pursued post-graduate studies at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. When he returned to the United States, he entered Virginia Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1958.

While bishop of Northwest Texas, he chaired the Planning Committee of the House of Bishops and served on the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and the University of the South, Sewanee. Since his return to Fort Worth after his retirement, he has held leadership positions in many civic organizations, including the Tarrant County Historical Society, Alzheimer’s Association of North Texas, Fort Worth Symphony and Fort Worth Opera. He is a regular driver for Meals-On-Wheels.

Bishop Hulsey has been a source of strength and comfort for many Episcopalians as the diocese has reorganized in the wake of the departure of former Bishop Jack L. Iker and other diocesan leaders from The Episcopal Church.

Donations should be mailed to Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, TCU Box 298130, Fort Worth, TX, 76129. Checks should be made out to Brite, with “Hulsey Chair Endowment” in the memo line.