The Rt. Rev. Charles H. Murphy III, an Episcopal priest who was consecrated as an irregular Anglican bishop and founded the Anglican Mission in the Americas, died Jan. 9 after a struggle with brain cancer. He was 69.
Murphy was a graduate of the University of Alabama, Trinity College (Bristol, England), and the University of the South’s School of Theology. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1975.
Murphy and the Rt. Rev. John Rodgers Jr., the second dean of Trinity School for Ministry, were consecrated as bishops in 2000 by the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda, and the Most Rev. Moses Tay, Archbishop of South East Asia.
Murphy became rector of All Saints Church, Pawleys Island, in 1982, and remained in that cure after his consecration. His founding of the AMiA led to a long-term legal struggle with the Diocese of South Carolina for the property of All Saints. The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled in the diocese’s favor in 2009.
The AMiA had further conflicts with the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America in subsequent years. Murphy founded a new congregation, the Abbey at Pawleys Island, in 2012. He resigned as the AMiA’s apostolic vicar in 2013, and most AMiA congregations changed their affiliation to the ACNA.
“Chuck passed away early this morning quietly and peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family and his Savior. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, three children and six grandchildren,” wrote Murphy’s successor, the Rt. Rev. Philip H. Jones, in announcing his death.
“I have to say, as I am sure many of you will attest, no leader has had the impact on my life like +Chuck. The Southern charm and sparkle in his eyes made one feel at ease with him. His faithfulness to the Word and openness to the Spirit characterized his rock solid faith. I will miss him as a mentor and a dear friend.”