Adapted from the Diocese of North Carolina’s newsletter, Please Note
The Rt. Rev. Alfred “Chip” Marble, Jr., eighth Bishop of Mississippi and former Assisting Bishop of North Carolina, died March 30. Born in New York, Marble was a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of the South’s School of Theology. He also attended the University of Edinburgh. He was ordained deacon in 1967 and priest in 1968.
Bishop Marble’s time as Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi (1991-93) and later as Bishop of Mississippi (1993-2003) was marked by a concern for justice and racial reconciliation. He engaged in the same work in North Carolina from 2005 until 2013.
During his time in North Carolina, Bishop Marble was very involved with Greensboro’s efforts to establish the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States to examine the “context, causes, sequence, and consequences” of the Nov. 3, 1979, shooting of five anti-Ku Klux Klan demonstrators by Klan members, all of whom were acquitted. His efforts came to fruition when the commission released its final report on May 25, 2006.
Bishop Marble was also a founding co-chair of Greensboro Faith Leaders Council. He worked with the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro and the NAACP of North Carolina, and he reinvigorated the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee in the Diocese of North Carolina.
He remained involved in recent citywide efforts at racial reconciliation. He was honored with the Bishop’s Medal at the 198th Annual Convention in recognition of his work on behalf of the poor, immigrants, LGBT persons, and those who are disenfranchised or ignored.
“It’s something he dedicated his life to over the last several years,” said the Rev. Randall Keeney, vicar of St. Barnabas, where Bishop Marble worshiped during the last few years.
“If ever there was a saint who understood that the work of reconciliation is the work of evangelism, it was Chip Marble,” said the Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Pro Tempore of North Carolina.
Before being elected Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi, Marble served as a chaplain at the University of Mississippi and in parishes and missions throughout the state. He also served for eight years as an assistant to the Rt. Rev. B. Sidney Sanders, sixth Bishop of East Carolina.
Bishop Marble is survived by his wife, Diene, and their two sons.