Perry, William Stevens
- Donald S. Armentrout
Perry, William Stevens (22 January 1832–13 May 1898), Episcopalian bishop and historiographer, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Stephen Perry and Katherine Whittemore Stevens. As a young man he served as parish clerk, Sunday school superintendent, and lay reader at Grace Church in Newton, Massachusetts. He studied at Brown University for a time and then graduated from Harvard University in 1854, where he received an A.B. He then studied at the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, but never graduated. He read theology with the Reverend Alexander Hamilton Vinton of Boston, Massachusetts, a leader of the Episcopal church’s Broad Church party, which stressed ecumenical activity and inclusivity. He was ordained a deacon on 29 March 1857, at Grace Church in Newton. He was ordained a priest on 7 April 1858 at St. Paul’s Church in Boston, where he served as assistant minister (1857–1858). From 1858 until 1861 he was rector of St. Luke’s Church in Nashua, New Hampshire, and then from 1861 until 1863 he was rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Portland, Maine, where he married Sara Abbott Woods in 1862; they had no children. His last two parochial positions were as rector of St. Michael’s Church in Litchfield, Connecticut (1864–1869) and as rector of Trinity Church in Geneva, New York (1869–1876)....