Who was Bishop Elliott?
The Bishop Elliott Society is named for The Rt. Rev. Robert W.B.
, first Missionary Bishop (1874-1887) of what was then the
Missionary District of Western Texas.  We take him for a model for
many sound examples:
Missionary Leader —  He came from a distinguished southern family and a comfortable eastern
rectorship to assume leadership of a new, weak, raw frontier missionary effort.  That
commitment stood the test of time and cost Elliott his life.

Educator — A key to his strategy was provision of excellent schooling for the youth of his
jurisdiction, leading him to found schools that continue to this day.

Builder —  Over more than a decade of exhausting travel and despite delicate health, he more
than quadrupled his church in membership and support, founding churches and educational
institutions from El Paso to the coastal bend.  

Evangelist —  His passion was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by faithful living witness to
the Anglican tradition.  He articulated and lived a message of practical, energetic and whole-
hearted evangelism consecrated for apostolic ministry on a growing frontier.  

Uncompromising Anglican —  For Bishop Elliott, Anglicanism had universal appeal.  He
addressed the Missionary District Convocation of 1875 in this way:
It is our mission as brethren banded together for the work of the Lord Jesus
Christ to maintain in all of its breadth and fullness a true catholicity, at the
same time to repel… any policy which would tend to compromise “the
freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.” For myself I willingly mean by a
true catholicity neither a narrow Protestant Episcopalianism, nor a weak
imitation of the Papacy.  
Our heritage is Anglicanism.
–Bishop’s Address, 1875
Click here for an 1874 sermon on the
missionary martyr Bishop Patteson by
Bishop Elliott
Click here for a link to more wisdom from
Bishop Elliott.


Robert Elliott, Episcopal bishop, the son of Stephen and Charlotte Bull (Barnwell) Elliott, was
born at Beaufort, South Carolina, on August 16, 1840. After graduating from South Carolina
College in 1861, he entered the Confederate Army and became aide to Gen. A. R. Lawton. Elliott
was wounded at the second battle of Manassas and was with Joseph E. Johnston at the time of
the general's surrender in May 1865.

After the war Elliott entered a seminary to train for the Episcopal ministry and was ordained in
1868. He was rector at St. Philip's Church, Atlanta, Georgia, when he was elected by the House
of Bishops to be the first missionary bishop of Western Texas; he was consecrated on November
15, 1874 and arrived in Texas the next month.

He held his first service at Luling in a passenger coach of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San
Antonio Railway. He found in his diocese six church buildings, three of which were unfinished
and two without services; he left twenty-four churches, nine rectories, St. Mary's Hall in San
Antonio, and Montgomery Institute in Seguin.

Elliott married his third cousin, Caroline Elliott, on January 7, 1864, and they had five children.
He had served as bishop for thirteen years when he died, on August 26, 1887, at Sewanee,
Source: The Handbook of Texas Online
Bishop Gary Lillibridge:
"Deny Yourself.
Take Up Your Cross.
Follow Me."
Sermon to the
104th Annual Council
21 February 2008
Click here
About Us