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Correction to This Article
The index on the front of the Nov. 20 Metro section incorrectly referred to the new dean of Washington National Cathedral, the Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, as a bishop.

Ascending a Pulpit of Greater Prominence

National Cathedral's New Dean Leaves Boston Eager to Embrace a 'Daunting Challenge'

By Bill Broadway
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 20, 2004; Page B09

Washington National Cathedral and Boston's Trinity Church, Copley Square share several characteristics. Both are preeminent houses of worship in the Episcopal Church, both have distinctive architectural features and illustrious histories and both draw large interfaith crowds for public celebration and mourning.

There's one prominent difference, though, aside from one's location in the heart of Boston and the other's on one of the highest points in the District. Trinity Church is an inner-city parish with a mandate to serve its congregation and the increasingly diverse community around it. Washington National Cathedral has no congregation per se and has a mandate to serve a much wider community -- one that includes the District's poorest neighborhoods and the country's highest-ranking officials.

The inner-city Trinity Church, here being renovated last year, has a mandate to serve its congregation and its diverse community. (Chitose Suzuki -- AP)

Samuel T. Lloyd III


Rector (1993 to present)

Trinity Church, Boston

University Chaplain

(1988 to 1993) University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.

Rector (1984 to 1988)

Church of St. Paul & the Redeemer, Chicago

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies (1981 to 1984) University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Assistant to the Rector and Chaplain(1981 to 1984)

St. Paul's Memorial Church, Charlottesville

Personnel Officer

(1971 to 1974) U.S. Air Force, Cape Charles, Va., and Washington


• Master of Divinity, Virginia Theological Seminary, 1981

• PhD, English Literature, University of Virginia, 1981

• MA, English Literature, Georgetown University, 1975

• BA, University of Mississippi, Oxford, 1971

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Early next year, the Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III will begin exploring how much alike -- and different -- the two churches are when he leaves Trinity and assumes the position of the cathedral's 10th dean.

"It's a profound honor and a daunting challenge to come to a significant church such as this," Lloyd, 54, said this week in a telephone interview. "I come eager to discover the life that's already there, to honor what has grown out of the cathedral's life and ministry in the last years and to ask the question where God is calling the cathedral next."

Lloyd succeeds the Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, who unexpectedly announced his resignation in January 2003, effective in June of that year. Lloyd will begin his job early next year, but the date of his installation has not been decided.

The Rev. John B. Chane, consecrated as bishop of Washington two years ago and formerly dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego, served as dean of the cathedral while a 17-member national committee searched for a full-time replacement. The committee, consisting of clergy and laity from across the country, considered about 50 applicants and could have recommended several candidates from whom Chane would choose the dean.

It presented one name, and Chane announced Lloyd's appointment last week.

"Sam Lloyd is a very fine preacher with a proven track record as leader of one of the most prestigious congregations in the United States, at least in the life of the Episcopal Church," the bishop said in an interview. "It takes a unique talent to become dean of this cathedral, and Sam has all the gifts" to fulfill a mission envisioned a century ago and take it into the future.

The Rev. Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, said he was delighted with the appointment and called Lloyd "one of the most gifted clergy I know."

The cathedral's mission, stated in an 1893 charter that was passed by an act of Congress, involves being "a great church for national purposes," a "house of prayer for all people" and the "mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington."

The mission has expanded as the national and global communities have experienced traumatic upheavals, Chane said. Today, the cathedral is known not only as a place to celebrate presidents' inaugurations and mourn the deaths of heads of state, but also for its role in interfaith and intrafaith dialogue, the bishop said.

Parishioners at Trinity Church in Boston said that they were saddened when they heard of Lloyd's imminent departure but that they share in the joy of his appointment to one of the country's most visible and prestigious pulpits.

Joan Hadly, a member of the vestry who joined Trinity nine years ago, said Lloyd announced his plans at a vestry meeting last week -- a gathering that turned emotional. "I told Sam as I hugged him, with tears in my eyes, how grateful I was for his ministry with us and that I would continue to uphold him in prayer, because I felt it definitely was the call of God I felt, too."

Hadly said what impressed her the most about Lloyd was that "he lives his life according to what he preaches and teaches."

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