Harold Jones, First American Indian Bishop, Passed Away at 92

Nov 15, 2002 03:00 AM EST

The Rt. Rev. Harold Jones, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota, died November 12 at a hospital in Chandler, Arizona. He was 92.

Jones was the first American Indian to be elevated to the office of bishop by any Christian denomination.

"He lived the Native American concept of generosity," said the Rev. Ron Hennies of Rapid City, an Episcopal priest and longtime friend of Jones. "He'd give you literally the shirt off his back, and he'd never check to see if he had a spare," Hennies said. "He brought many of the characteristics of the best of Native American culture with him to this Christian expression."

His career began with the ordination as a bishop in 1938 and its highlight is marked by his consecration as a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Church on January 11, 1972.

He served at the Pine Ridge Mission, the Cheyenne River Agency, Gettysburg, Dupree, Pine Ridge, and Wahpeton, North Dakota; Fort Defiance, Arizona; and Rapid City, South Dakota.

By Albert H. Lee
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