The Reverend Churchill Gibson, the priest who married my wife and me, died earlier this week. I know that he touched many lives over the course of his life, but he certainly touch ours. He will be missed. Peter Carey has a wonderful collection of memorials at his blog.
Here is an excerpt from the VTS memorial:
Rev. Churchill J. Gibson, Jr. (1931-2008)
Virginia Theological Seminary mourns the death of the Rev. Churchill J. Gibson, Jr. (VTS ‘56), former chaplain at VTS and St. Stephen’s School. Churchill is the grandson of two bishops: Robert Atkinson Gibson (Bishop of Virginia, 1902-1919) and Arthur S. Lloyd (Bishop Coadjutor of Virginia, 1909-1910). His father was a much beloved rector of St. James's Church in Richmond for many years, his son Webster is the rector of Christ Church, Winchester, and Joe Pinder, VTS Development Officer for Communication Services, is Churchill's nephew.
Looking back, Churchill has joked that he spent most of his life on Seminary Road. He attended Episcopal High School and, following graduation from the University of Virginia, attended VTS where he earned an M.Div. in 1956. Later he served as chaplain at St. Stephen’s School from 1966 until he joined the VTS faculty in 1977. Concurrently, he served as a chaplain at the diocesan camp at Shrine Mont (1964-84) and as an assistant rector at Emmanuel on Russell Road (1962-95). Professor Tony Lewis remembers Churchill as his 10th grade English teacher and high school chaplain at St. Stephen’s. Many of Churchill’s former students look upon him as being one of the most influential people in their maturation, having treated them with respect, utter honesty, and complete integrity.
Earlier this year the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to confer upon Churchill Gibson, Seminary Chaplain from 1977 to 1996, the title of Professor Emeritus, as of February 28, 1996. The designation of Emeritus status was made in appreciation of and in thanksgiving for Churchill’s many years of service and many contributions to the Seminary Community.
Said the Rev. Bob Prichard, professor of Church History at Virginia Seminary, “It is Churchill’s wit and his deep and abiding concern for matters of social justice that people most admire and revere. Churchill Gibson could make and still does make the Christian enterprise believable and oh so much more delightful. According to Churchill, 95% of ministry is just showing up!”
Read it all here.