It would’ve been impossible to steal a scene from one of the most anticipated Royal Weddings in history but The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church managed to do it. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, offered many pleasant surprises from Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir to cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason but Presiding Bishop Curry captivated the world with a moving sermon on God, race and love. So the question is, who is Presiding Bishop Curry?
Learning more about Presiding Bishop Curry brings light to his stirring sermon which touched on slavery as he is descendant of enslaved Africans brought to North America through the trans-Atlantic slave routes. Presiding Bishop Curry was born in Chicago, IL, on March 13, 1953. His father was an Episcopal priest and his mother was a devout Episcopalian. After his mother’s death, Presiding Bishop Curry, along with his sister, were raised by his father and his grandmother. He grew up in a household that held fast to its Christian beliefs.
Presiding Bishop Curry attended public schools in Buffalo, NY, and became a social activist at a young age. He graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, NY, in 1975. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, CT. He continued his education at many other institutions that include: The College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Institute of Christian Jewish Studies. Presiding Bishop Curry has received honorary degrees from Episcopal Divinity School; Sewanee: The University of the South; Virginia Theological Seminary; and Yale.
Presiding Bishop Curry was ordained to the diaconate in June 1978, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo, NY, by the Rt. Rev. Harold B. Robinson, and to the priesthood in December 1978, at St. Stephen’s, Winston-Salem, NC, by the Rt. Rev. John M. Burgess. He began his ministry as deacon-in-charge at St. Stephen’s, Winston-Salem, in 1978 and was rector from 1979-1982. Presiding Bishop Curry accepted a call as rector at St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights, OH, serving from 1982-1988. In 1988, he became rector of St. James’, Baltimore, MD, where he served until his election as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina in February 2000.
Throughout his ministry, Presiding Bishop Curry has been active in issues of social justice, reconciliation, speaking out on immigration policy and marriage equality.
“You could visually see a relationship, we saw that,” said Presiding Bishop Curry. “And it was contagious in the room.
“You could actually feel it in the church and people were happy.
“They were happy a joyful.”
That’s what Presiding Bishop Curry had to say about what he observed of the happy couple on their wedding day. The 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church charged the Royal Wedding ceremony with a moving sermon with a resounding theme of love—love for God and love for each other. The ceremony felt very much like church with the name of Jesus being said more than most have probably heard on television nowadays.
“This weekend, I spoke about the way of love,” stated Presiding Bishop Curry.
“As elders, we view bringing the Reclaiming Jesus declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out that way of love.”
Presiding Bishop Curry was invited to speak by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the leader of the Church of England. Initially, he thought the invitation was an April Fool’s joke but when he realized it was real, he gladly accepted the invitation. Presiding Bishop Curry’s moving sermon took the union formed by two through marriage and used it as a catalyst for a message of a more united world.
“We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square,” said Presiding Bishop Curry. “As citizens we want our government to reflect our values.
“As a Bishop, I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus — who taught us to love God and love our neighbor.”
He is married to the former Sharon Clement, and they have two adult daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth.