Bp. George Edward Councell (1949-2018)

George and Ruth-Councell at a reception in 2013 | Bishop Chip Stokes | bit.ly/2GCjCDL

The Rt. Rev. George Edward Councell, 11th Bishop of New Jersey, died May 21 in hospice care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey. He was 68. Bishop Councell had suffered a stroke a few days earlier.

Born in Detroit, Councell was a graduate of the University of California and Episcopal Divinity School. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1975. He became Bishop of New Jersey in 2003, after serving parishes and dioceses in California, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Councell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — and later climbed Mount Kilimanjaro — in 2008. He retired in 2013. The next year he began serving as resident chaplain of the Doane Academy, a coeducational, independent day school founded in 1837.

In an era of court battles, Councell arranged for a parish to stay in its existing building after it left the Diocese of New Jersey.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their daughters Martha and Sarah.


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