RIP: Former Central Gulf Coast Bishop Charles Duvall

Posted Oct 13, 2020

The Rt. Rev. Charles Duvall, second bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Photo: Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast

[Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast] The Rt. Rev. Charles Farmer Duvall, retired bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, died on Oct. 8, 2020, in Columbia, South Carolina. Due to coronavirus restrictions regarding inside services, a graveside burial service will be held at Old St. David’s Episcopal Church in Cheraw, South Carolina, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 11:00 a.m.

Charles Farmer Duvall was born on Nov. 18, 1935, in Cheraw, South Carolina, and was the second child of Henry Powe Duvall III and Elizabeth Farmer Duvall. His father was the third-generation proprietor of the Cheraw Hardware & Supply Company.

After attending Cheraw public schools, Duvall graduated in 1957 from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, where he was a member of the elite Summerall Guards and upon graduation was awarded the prestigious Charles O. Willson Ring by his classmates.

Upon graduation from The Citadel, he was married to Ann Warren (Nancy) Rice of Charleston, South Carolina, before attending Virginia Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1960.

Duvall served three churches in South Carolina from 1960 to 1962: Holy Trinity in Grahamville, the Church of the Cross in Bluffton and a small mission on Hilton Head Island. In 1962, he became the rector of St. James (James Island) in Charleston. Between 1970 and 1977, he served as the rector of Holy Trinity Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, after which he became rector of the Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

On Nov. 15, 1980, Duvall was elected bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and was consecrated the following spring by Presiding Bishop John Allin. He served as bishop of the Central Gulf Coast for twenty years, retiring in 2001.

Known as a storyteller, Duvall emphasized the teaching office of the bishop. He recorded a series of ten Bible stories titled “Biblical Stories Retold to Tickle the Ear and Touch the Heart.”

Duvall had a lifelong connection with Kanuga, the Episcopal camp and conference center near Hendersonville, North Carolina. He attended camp there as a boy, led youth conferences there early in his ministry and as a bishop was a popular chaplain for summer guests for many years. He served on the Kanuga board of visitors and was at one time chairman of the board of directors.

Duvall served on numerous boards and received recognition for his accomplishments from many. The School of Theology at the University of the South, where he served on the board of directors, and Virginia Theological Seminary both awarded him a doctorate of divinity. He also served as the chairman of the board of trustees for the Episcopal Media Center, which joined with Day 1 Ministry to become the Alliance for Christian Media during his tenure. In addition, he served on the board of directors of St. George’s College in Jerusalem.

Duvall was predeceased by his brother Henry Powe Duvall IV and his sister Elizabeth Duvall Eubanks. His survivors include his wife of 63 years, Nancy Rice Duvall of West Columbia, South Carolina, his daughter, Ann Duvall Barwick, and his sons, Charles Farmer Duvall Jr. and Theodore Wannamaker Duvall. He is also survived by grandchildren Elizabeth Barwick, David Barwick, Benjamin Duvall, Samuel Duvall, Beverly Duvall Bowers, Anne Lawton Duvall and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Kanuga or Harvest Hope Food Bank of Columbia, South Carolina.