Explore our Diocesan Archives

Our Mission

The Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana exists to preserve the history and legacy of the Episcopal Church, its bishops, parishes, missions, and other organizations, that have existed since the creation of the Diocese in 1898. It also houses some records from its parent diocese, the Diocese of Indiana, created in 1838. The Archives holds official historical records of the Diocese, including the official papers of bishops, diocesan administrative records, and records of official bodies, as well as parish registers of defunct congregations, photographs, digital recordings, and some artifacts.

The Diocesan Archives welcomes donations of historical photographs, documents, and other items pertaining to the churches, bishops, clergy, or people of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. Physical Items can be mailed to the Diocesan Archives c/o Trinity Episcopal Church, 611 West Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802. Digital items can be emailed to the archivist, John D. Beatty.


Our History

The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana is a diocese in Province V of the Episcopal Church of the United States and has jurisdiction over the northern third of Indiana. In 1898, when the General Convention agreed to allow the Diocese of Indiana to be divided, the Diocese of Michigan City was created with its cathedral at Trinity Michigan City, near Lake Michigan. When the first bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Hazen White, had difficulties with the vestry there, he ended Trinity's cathedral status in 1918, at which time the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Northern Indiana. After many years of having a pro-cathedral at St. Paul's Church, Mishawaka, the Church of St. James in South Bend formally became the cathedral in 1957 under the direction of Bishop Reginald Mallett. The Archives of the Diocese, established in 1972, is housed at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Wayne, which has a facility large enough to house and preserve records under climate-controlled conditions. Eight bishops have served the Diocese since its inception. Currently, there are 34 faith communities covering 31 counties, with multiple parishes in the cities of Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Elkhart. The liturgical tradition was originally High Church and by the 1920s, increasingly Anglo-Catholic. However, in the 1990s that style began to evolve such that today, a number of different liturgical styles are represented.


Our Bishops

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John Hazen White, 1889-1925

The Rt. Rev. John Hazen White (1849-1925) was the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Indiana and moved to Michigan City in 1898 to become the first bishop of what is now the Diocese of Northern Indiana. He served until his death in 1925. During his tenure, which at times was turbulent, he moved his seat from Michigan City to South Bend, while spending most of his time at his residence on Lake Wawasee. He took an interest in missionary outreach and welcomed the admission of new parish, Holy Trinity in South Bend, comprised mostly of former Catholic Hungarian immigrants. White was a passionate preacher, but could at times appear eccentric and unnecessarily authoritarian in his demeanor. He became increasingly Anglo-Catholic throughout his episcopate, but continued to wear the rochet and chimere on his parish visitations.

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Campbell Gray, 1925-1943

The Rt. Rev. Campbell Gray (1879-1943) was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese in January 1925, and he succeeded Bishop White when the latter died two months later. He was the son of the Rt. Rev. William Crane Gray of Florida. A strong Anglo-Catholic, he helped establish a full-ceremonial liturgical tradition in the Diocese, making Northern Indian part of the so-called "Biretta Belt" of other Anglo-Catholic dioceses that bordered Lake Michigan. He welcomed an order of Benedictine monks to the Diocese that later formed St. Gregory's Priory in Three Rivers, Michigan. Gray also inaugurated the Howe Conference during summers at Howe Military Academy in order to enrich the educational opportunities of both clergy and laity. His episcopate was marred by the harsh economic effects of the Great Depression, followed by the trauma of World War II, when one of his sons was taken prisoner in the Philippines. He died suddenly in 1943, but he was celebrated as a kind, pastoral leader.

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Reginald Mallet, 1944-1963

The Rt. Rev. Reginald Mallett (1893-1965) became the third bishop of the Diocese in 1944 after an earlier convention to elect a successor to Bishop Gray had become deadlocked. A native of Ohio and rector of a large parish in Baltimore, Mallett was, like his predecessor, an Anglo-Catholic. Domineering and authoritarian, he often maintained lifelong grudges and was sometimes disliked by both clergy and laity yet warmly received by others. His episcopate was characterized by an ill-fated venture to convert a small teacher college in Danville, Indiana, into Canterbury College, an Episcopal school administered jointly by the Dioceses of Indianapolis and Northern Indiana. However, with shaky finances the school closed in 1951. Mallett made St. James, South Bend the permanent cathedral, and during his episcopate with the Baby Boom generation in full swing, many churches were constructed or greatly enlarged.

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Walter Conrad Klein, 1963-1972

The Rt. Rev. Walter Conrad Klein (1904-1980) became the fourth bishop of the Diocese upon Bishop Mallett's death, having been elected coadjutor two years earlier. A native of Brooklyn, Klein had been an academic, writing books on the Psalms and on Orthodox liturgy while serving as Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem. From 1950 to 1959 he served as a professor of Old Testament Literature and Languages at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, followed from 1959 to 1963 as Dean of Nashotah House. He became well-known for leading parish and vestry retreats. Intellectual, introverted, and extremely formal, Klein served as bishop at a time of intense change in the nation, including the Civil Rights Movement and the widespread youth protest to the Vietnam War. He found some events of the decade overwhelming and offered little in the way of a constructive response except to press for prayer and greater stewardship. The Diocese commissioned the Sommerfeld Report in 1965 that assessed the missionary potential of northern Indiana, but it was widely regarded as ineffective. Klein sought to improve ecumenical relations with both Lutherans and Roman Catholics. In spite of his dislike of making parish visitations and his cold personal veneer, Klein saw stewardship improve greatly during his episcopate, for which he could thank the efforts of both laity and clergy.

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William Cockburn Russell Sheridan, 1972-1987

The fifth bishop of Northern Indiana, the Rt. Rev. William Cockburn Russell Sheridan (1917-2005) was the only one to have been elected from the clergy of the Diocese. A native of New York City, he was a graduate of Nashotah House and long-time rector of St. Thomas, Plymouth. Sheridan was the first bishop to enjoy the assistance of a Canon to the Ordinary, since, by his own admission, his pastoral skills were stronger than his administrative ones. During his tenure, the number of parishioners began to decline as the Baby Boom generation reached adulthood, and stewardship suffered. Some parishes were rent by divisions, but Sheridan, the most pastoral bishop since Campbell Gray, offered prayerful guidance and compassion. He remained a staunch traditionalist and opposed the ordination of women until the last years of his life, when his views softened. He was the Diocese's last Anglo-Catholic bishop, and he spoke in an upper-class, Mid Atlantic accent that often gave him a British demeanor.


Francis Campbell Gray, 1987-1998

The Rt. Rev. Francis Campbell Gray (b. 1940) succeeded Bishop Sheridan as sixth bishop in 1987. The grandson of the second bishop, Campbell Gray, Frank Gray was not the Anglo-Catholic that his predecessor had been. More adaptive in his liturgical style, he allowed for more diversity within the parishes of the Diocese and in 1990 endorsed the ordination of women, actively ordaining many. He led a campaign to build up the endowments of the Diocese and took an active role in promoting stewardship and missions, even though the number of parishioners continued to decline, echoing the trend of other mainline Protestant denominations. A strong and competent administrator, he brought the Diocese into the mainstream of the national Church and retired as diocesan bishop in 1998 so that he could serve as an assisting bishop in Virginia.


Edward Stuart Little II, 2000-2016

After Bishop Gray retired and moved to Virginia, the Diocese spent a year before electing on the first ballot Edward Stuart Little II of Bakersfield, California (b. 1947). Bishop Little, a strong evangelical, entered his episcopate with the hope of bringing new growth and missionary zeal to the Diocese after years of declining membership. He was strongly Christocentric in his ministry and developed a set of core values by which he led the diocese. One of his noted accomplishments was the creation of the Calumet Episcopal Ministry Partnership (CEMP) in 2010, when he invited three small parishes in the western part of the diocese to explore a shared partnership under a single priest. That partnership has since grown to include six parishes with one full-time and several part-time clergy. An articulate preacher with strong pastoral skills, Little provided effective leadership at a time of intense change in the national church.

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Douglas Everett Sparks, 2016-present

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks became the Diocese's eighth bishop in 2016. A former Catholic priest born in 1956, he had served parishes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Zealand before coming to Indiana. Sparks has allowed same-sex marriages and has formed a strong partnership with the Diocese of Indianapolis to develop a joint sense of mission in what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has termed the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement. Within the Diocese, many parishes show signs of new growth and vigor. He has made increasing diversity a hallmark of his episcopate. Blessed with a strong singing voice, his sermons and messages are frequently enhanced by songs and hymns.

“We have good reason to praise God for His loving care of His Church in Northern Indiana. As we think of the diocese and of our own local parishes or missions, we can each echo these loving words, 'For these and all His mercies, may God's holy name be blessed and praised!'"

- The Rt. Rev. William C. R. Sheridan, 5th Bishop of Northern Indiana