Episcopal Relief & Development Mourns the Loss of Chair Emeritus, The Rt. Rev. Harry B. Bainbridge

May 28, 2010

Episcopal Relief & Development mourns the loss of the Rt. Rev. Harry Brown Bainbridge III, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors and retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho. 

Bishop Bainbridge or “Bishop Harry,” as he was affectionately called by many Episcopal Relief & Development staff members, died on Thursday, May 27th, in Talbot Hospice Guest House in Easton, Maryland, at the age of 70. Since 2007, he had battled lung cancer and heart complications.

Bishop Bainbridge joined Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors in 2001, serving as Board Chair from 2003 – 2008. During his tenure, the organization grew from a small granting program of the Church to a large relief and development agency, serving the needs of over 2 million people annually.

“Bishop Bainbridge’s service on Episcopal Relief & Development’s board encouraged its growth into the world-class relief and development organization it is today,” said the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. “His leadership was essential, and the world will reap its benefits for many years to come. We give thanks for Harry’s life and ministry, poured out into the service of all God’s people.”

He was elected Chair Emeritus by the Executive Committee of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors in March 2010.

“Harry embodied Jesus’ love and compassion in his service to Episcopal Relief & Development,” said the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board. “On behalf of our staff and board, I extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Kit, the entire Bainbridge family and his many friends and colleagues around the Church. May the Peace of Christ surround us during this time of grief.”

Bishop Bainbridge was the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Idaho. He served on the Standing Commission on Ministry Development of The Episcopal Church and as President of Province VIII. In his first six years of ordained ministry, he served three congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. He then spent six years as assistant chaplain at the University of the South and as a teacher of religion at the Sewanee Academy.

Bishop Bainbridge returned to parish ministry in 1979, as the Rector of St. Thomas Church and Episcopal Chaplain of Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe. In February 1988, he became the Rector of Christ Church in Easton, Maryland, and remained with the congregation until May 1998, when he was elected the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho. He held a B.A., an M.Div. and a D.Min. from the University of the South.

Bishop Bainbridge is survived by his wife, Katherine (Kit) Turnbull Bainbridge, his mother, Grace Holt, and his two children, Harry Bainbridge IV and Elizabeth Bainbridge. He is also survived by three grandchildren.

“I am profoundly saddened by Bishop Harry’s death. He played a critical role in the life of this organization and served as a personal mentor and friend to me,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development.

“Harry was a wonderful man whose love, humor, humility and numerous contributions will remain with all of us,” continued Radtke.

The service for Bishop Bainbridge is scheduled for Monday, June 14 at 11:00 am.  It will be held at Christ Episcopal Church located at 111 S Harrison Street in Easton, Marylnad.  In lieu of flowers, the Bainbridge family requests that donations be made to Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, Virginia 22116-7058 or (800) 334-7626 ext. 5129, and to the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, Maryland 21601-3805.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord: And let light perpetual shine upon him.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.