Our diocese traces its roots to 1803 when 45 Protestants voted to form a new congregation (what is now Christ Church Cathedral) and the vast majority of parishioners voted Episcopal over Presbyterian and Methodist. It would take until 1838 for the Diocese of Louisiana to organize and elect Leonidas Polk as the first bishop of the diocese in 1841.
Our bishops experienced and led our diocese through Reconstruction, World War I, the Great Depression in the 1930s, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the split of our diocese into two, hurricanes, and all of the other social, cultural, and economic “good times” and “bad times” the country and Louisiana have experienced over the last 184 years since the diocese was founded.
Only two of our eleven bishops were born in Louisiana, and five of eleven bishops were serving in Louisiana at the time of their election. Four individuals declined the position after being elected bishop. The bishops are:
Leonidas Polk (1841-1864)
Joseph Pere Bell Wilmer (1866-1878)
John Nicholas Gallaher (1880-1891)
Davis Sessums (1891-1929)
James Crail Morris (1930-1939)
John Long Jackson (1940-1948)
Girault McArthur Jones (1949-1969)
Iveson Batchelor Noland (1969-1975)
James Barrow Brown (1976-1998)
Charles Edward Jenkins (1998-2010)
Morris King Thompson, Jr. (2010-2022)
The bishops of our diocese have been and will continue to be persons of deep spirituality, and the ability to change with the times. Our 12th bishop will join this wonderful group.
Ms. Carolyn Douglas & the Reverend Jay Albert
Search & Nominating Committee