RIP: Former Diocese of Atlanta Bishop Suffragan Milton LeGrand Wood

Posted Jul 21, 2015

[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta] The Rt. Rev. Milton LeGrand Wood III died peacefully in his home on July 16

Born in Selma, Alabama, on Aug. 21, 1922, he grew up in Montgomery as the only son of Milton Legrand Wood Jr. and Roberta Hawkins Wood. After graduating from Sidney Lanier High School in 1940, he attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennesse, earning both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees. During this time he was also in the U.S. Navy College V-7 program. After his ordination into the Episcopal Church in 1946, he was named rector of St Paul’s Church, Mobile, Alabama, and director of Wilmer Hall Children’s Home, also in Mobile.

During his six years in Mobile, he founded St. Paul’s Episcopal School. Started as one kindergarten classroom, the school has grown into one of Alabama’s finest Christian schools. In 1952 he became rector of All Saint’s Church in Atlanta, Georgia, a position he held until 1960. In 1957 when the governor of Georgia and the State Legislature threatened to close down all public schools instead of integrating them, Wood was part of the steering committee that authored a document which became known as the Minister’s Manisfesto. Ultimately the document was signed by over 300 clergy in the Atlanta area and was instrumental in keeping the schools open.

For two years in the early 1960’s he worked in Macon, Georgia, as archdeacon of the diocese and director of Appleton Church Home. After returning to Atlanta in 1963 he was canon to the ordinary for the diocese until he was elected the first bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Atlanta in 1967.

In 1974 when Wood was named assistant to then-Presiding Bishop John Allin, he and Ann moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. For the next 10 years he worked as the executive for administration on the staff of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church in New York before retiring and moving back to Alabama and building a home in Josephine on Perdido Bay. For the past 30 years their home has been known as Camp Greenwitch by his many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, the former Ann Linwood Scott, of Montgomery, Wood is survived by his four children: Leigh Pate (Charles) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ann Benedict (Barry) of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Mit Wood (Linda) of East Cobb, Georgia, and Roberta Conroy (Jim) of Westport, Connecticut; his thirteen grandchildren: Sarah Benedict, Scottie Pate, Elizabeth Foley (Paul), Becky Clifford (Rick), Tyler Wood (Becca), Virginia Pate, Carter Wood (Jannell), Tom Benedict (Eden), Ashley Tiegs (Jake), Jack Conroy, Chris Conroy, Peter Conroy, and Will Conroy; and his eleven great grandchildren: Montie, Brandon, Sadie, Emi Grace, Ty, Grace, Sylas, Clare, Mary, Priscilla, and Elie.

Funeral services were held at St John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery on July 19 with committal at Greenwood Cemetery on July 20.


Comments (1)

  1. The Rev. Robert S. Runkle, Deacon says:

    I was fortunate to be a Georgia Tech student from 1955 through mid 1960, finally graduating with a degree in Building Construction. I remember Milton Wood fondly from those years as he and his assistant built the Episcopal Canterbury Club into one of the largest in the US. We cherished the Sunday services, the Sunday evening services and meal and dancing (!) at church. Many of us came back on Friday’s for services in the chapel. My experiences with All Saints under Milton Wood’s direction were one of the factors that ultimately led to my ordination to the Diaconate in 2012. More importantly, this grounding led me to a life of servant-hood, working with inner city housing, meal serving, refugee resettlement, and constant fighting for equality my whole life. The Episcopal Church has lost an incredible leader. Rest in Peace.

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