HERLONG, The Right Reverend Doctor Bertram N. Age 77 of Nashville. Oct. 21, 2011.
He was strong and courageous. He preached the Gospel without shame. Under his stewardship, the Diocese of Tennessee grew. Without his vocation, many would have left the church. And he confirmed my children. We shall miss him greatly. Indeed, we have already missed him greatly. May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon him and give him peace.
He managed to balance the competing forces within the diocese and remain faithful. Referencing the first comment, I left the diocese and TEC the Sunday after he retired. He was responsible for several plants during his term, all reflecting his faith. In fact, one plant, having built a church, also left at the same time to eventually become the ACNA church I now attend.
A solid churchman, faithful and orthodox; yet not quite able to believe that his dear church had departed so fully from the Faith once delievered. An easy man to like and respect.
I only heard +Herlong once, when he was the featured keynote speaker at an annual convention of the Albany diocese, but your description sounds a lot like the late, also lamented, +Stephen Jecko (FL), who similarly had trouble thinking the “unthinkable,” i.e., believing that TEC could’ve morphed so quickly into something so anti-Christian. But it seems that +Jecko started thinking the unthinkable a little sooner than +Herlong.
It’s certainly notable that the Diocese of TN is second only to SC in terms of sustained vitality as measured by ASA. Although it hasn’t kept pace with the general population growth, TN has declined less than 98% of the other dioceses in TEC. And that surely is to the credit, humanly speaking, of +Herlong, and his Communion Partners successor +Bauerschmidt.
It’s great to hear these sorts of tributes to a worthy and godly bishop. Alas, the chances for such orthodox stalwarts to be elected and confirmed in TEC in the future are quickly becoming smaller and ever more remote.
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.
TN has yet to come face to face with TEC’s non-negotiable demands for not merely accession to its grave heresies, but embrace of them. The test is coming, and we shall see.