Sunday, August 18, 2013

William Porcher Dubose

(April 11, 1836-August 18, 1918) was an American Anglican priest and theologian. He spent most of his career as a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He is remembered on August 18 on the Episcopal Calendar of Lesser Feasts and Fasts. His middle name, Porcher, is pronounced as if it were spelled por-shay.

Dubose descended from Huguenot stock in the midlands of South Carolina and attended Mt. Zion College and then the Citadel where he graduated as ranking cadet in 1855. While at the Citadel, Dubose had a conversion experience that he describes thus:

"I lept to my feet trembling, and then that happened that I can only describe by saying that a light shone about me and a Presence filled the room. At the same time, ineffable joy and peace took possession of me which it is impossible to either express or explain"

In 1856, DuBose entered the University of Virginia. He graduated from that institution with a Master of Arts in 1859. Later that same year, he entered the South Carolina diocesan seminary in Camden, South Carolina. It was during DuBose's seminary studies that the American Civil War broke out.

During the War Between the States Dubose served as an adjutant of Holcome's Legion in the Confederate Army where he was wounded twice and later captured and interned as a POW. In 1863 Dubose was paroled by the Union Army and he returned home being ordained to the priesthood in December of 1863 and appointed as a Chaplain in Kershaw's Brigade of the Confederate Army.

After the war, DuBose served St. Stephen's Episcopal Church near his home of Winnsboro. While there, he also taught Greek at nearby Mt. Zion College.

In July 1871, DuBose's name was given to the Board of Trustees of the University of the South by Vice-Chancellor Charles Todd Quintard, to serve as Chaplain of the School and Professor of the School of Moral Science and the Evidences of the Christian Religion. DuBose served as Chaplain of the school from 1871-1883 (he was succeeded by Thomas Frank Gailor).

Among his work at the University of the South, DuBose helped to establish the Theological Department, which would later be known as the School of Theology at the University of the South. He served as professor in the Theological Department from 1877-1893. In 1894, DuBose was elected as Dean of the Theological Department, a position he held until 1908.

Propers for William Porcher Dubose - Priest and Theologian

The Collect.

Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant William Porcher DuBose special gifts of grace to understand the Scriptures and to teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant, we beseech thee, that by this teaching we may know thee, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Epistle - 2 Timothy 1:11-14.

The Gospel - St. Luke 24:25-32.

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