Richard Channing Moore
Consecration as Bishop of Virginia




Early Life


Virginia Seminary







A special convention was held at the Capitol, on Wednesday, the 4th of May, 1814. Present of the clergy:  the Rev. John Buchanan, D. D., John Cameron, D. D., John Dunn, Wm. Meade, Oliver Norris, Andrew Syme, Wm. H. Wilmer - 7 in all.

Of the laity: Messrs, John Adams, Wm. Broadus, John Buford, Wm. Cameron, Daniel Carmichael, Cadwallader J. Dade, James Hunter, Baldwin M. Lee, Edmund J. Lee, Thos. Matthews, Wm. Mayo, Edward McGuire, Hugh Mercer, David Patterson, Richard Stuart, George Thornton—16 in all.  Afterwards increased, as before stated, by the admission of Jas. McClurg, D.D., and John Marshall.



Election of Rev. Mr. Moore as Bishop  

ON Thursday, the 5th of May—

Resolved, That the convention proceed immediately to the election of a person to fill the Episcopate in this State.”

“Dr. James McClurg then presented a certified extract from the vestry-book of the Monumental Church in Richmond, showing the appointment of the Rev. Richard Channing Moore, D.D., of the city of New York, to the rectorship of that church.

“On motion, ordered that the secretary read sundry letters exhibited by members of the standing committee, from Dr. Moore and the Right Re. Bishop Hobart, which was accordingly done.

“Dr. Moore was nominated to fill the office of bishop in this State.  No other person being in nomination, the convention proceeded to ballot for a bishop.

“The Hon. John Marshall and Mr. Edmund J. Lee were appointed to count the ballots, who reported that there were twenty-three votes for the Rev. Richard Channing Moore, D.D., and one vote for Dr. John Buchanan; whereupon the Rev. Richard Channing Moore was declared to the duly elected to the Episcopate in the diocese of Virginia; and the members of the convention proceeded to subscribe the testimonial required by the constitution of the General Church of the United States.

Resolved, That the President be requested to apprize Dr. Moore of his election to the Episcopate, and that the Secretary do furnish forthwith a certificate of that appointment.”



The General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, being assembled in St. James church, Philadelphia, on Monday, May 18th, 1814, a certified extract from the minutes of the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, stating the election by that body of the Rev. Richard Channing Moore as bishop of that diocese, was presented and read whereupon,

Resolved, That the members of this house do now proceed to sign the testimonials required by the canons in the favor of the Rev. Richard Channing Moore, D. D., in order to his consecration as bishop of the diocese of Virginia, which was accordingly done, and the certificate in proper form transmitted of the house of bishops.

“The house then rose for the purpose of attending divine service, and sermon by the Right Rev. Bishop Hobart, on occasion of the meeting of the convention and the consecration of the Rev. D. Moore.  After which the house resumed their session; and it was, on motion,

“Resolved, unanimously, that the thanks of this convention be communicated to Bishop Hobart for his appropriate and excellent sermon, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of the same for publication.


Know all men by these presents, that we, William White, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Pennsylvania, presiding Bishop; John Henry Hobart, D. D., Assistant Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York; Alexander Victs Griswold, D.D, Bishop for the Protestant Episcopal church in the Eastern Diocese, and Theodore Dehon, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the State of South Carolina; under the protection of Almighty God, in St. James Church, in the city of Philadelphia, on Wednesday, the eighteenth day of May, the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, did then and there, rightly and canonically, consecrate our beloved in Christ, Richard Channing Moore, D.D., Rector of St. Stephen’s Church, in the city of New York, of whose sufficiency in good learning, soundness in the faith and purity of manners, we were fully ascertained, into the office of Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, to which he hath been elected by the convention of said State.

“Given in the city of Philadelphia, this eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen.

William White,   [Seal.]

John Henry Hobart  [Seal.]

Alex. V. Grisowold,  [Seal.]

Theodore Dehon,  [Seal.]



Sermon upon Bishop Moore's Consecration

In the sermon preached upon the occasion of Bishop Moore’s consecration by Bishop Hobart, the following passages are found:

“The night of adversity has passed, and the morning, I would fain hope, of a long and splendid day is dawning on the church in Virginia. I think I see the pledge of this in the attachment to our church, and in the anxious desire to serve her, manifested by laymen of the highest influence and talents, and by a few zealous clergy. They have combined, and they have resolved, under God, that the church in Virginia shall not perish.

“From my soul I revered and love them for the holy resolve. My God! In this remember them for good. The first fruits of their labors we witness to-day.

“To counsel, to lead, to strengthen them in their exertions; to revive, among a numerous and widely extended population, the sprit of piety; to make known, valued and loved, the evangelical and primitive institutions of our church; to make these institutions and services, under God, the instruments of bringing again the outcasts, and reclaiming the lost; of conviction and conversion to the sinner; of holiness and comfort to the saint, is the work of imminent difficulty, and hazard; but I trust, by God’s blessing, of success and honor, to which you, my reverend brother, will be called.

“I owe it to you to declare, that in relation to the Episcopate of Virginia, you were pressed with urgency which would not admit of a refusal; and that your whole conduct in respect to it has been marked by a frankness and conciliation, and a zeal for the interests of religion and the church, which have removed every difficulty that might have impeded your elevation to the Episcopal office.

“We shall now follow you to your arduous station with our best wishes and our prayers. It must be apparent that you make no inconsiderable sacrifices of personal ease. At a period of life when you must have begun to look forward to a degree of rest from the conflicts of active duty, you are called on to exchange the comforts of your native city, and the attentions of a congregation warmly attached to you, for a land of strangers, and for the difficulties of a depressed and extensive diocese.

“Still, in the labors of the field on which you enter, you will meet, we trust, with zealous coadjutors in the clergy and laity, who, in a manner very honorable to yourself, have chosen you for the diocesan; and who have, by this act, pledged themselves to support you in the fulfillment of your consecration vows, to extend and to maintain the doctrine, discipline, and worship of our church.

“Among the laity whose talents and influence will be called to your aid, I perceive some most early and valued friends.

“The state of society and manners among those with whom your future life is to be passed, (I speak from some degree of personal knowledge,) needs only the purifying and elevating influence of religion to become in a high degree interesting, and a source of personal gratification. But you must look beyond all earthly aids and consolations, to those which your Lord and Master only can confer.

“Should the spirit of unfeigned and humble piety, regulated and cherished by the sound doctrines, the primitive order, and the truly evangelical services and institutions of our church be revived in the scene of your future labors, with what delight shall we all look back to the service of this day! And how fervent will be our thanks to God, who hath made you the instrument of this great good!“

Quoted from: History and Reminiscences of the Monumental Church, Richmond, VA., From 1814 to 1878; by Geo. D. Fisher; Richmond, Whittet & Shepperson, 1880.

"To counsel, to lead, to strengthen...  to revive...the sprit of piety... bringing again the outcasts, and reclaiming the lost... is the work... to which you, my reverend brother, will be called."
Bishop Hobart on Bishop Moore's Consecration
© Charles C. Hall 2005