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William Carl Frey Edit Profile

academic administrator , bishop

William Carl "Bill" Frey served as missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church for the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and later as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.


Frey, William Carl was born on February 26, 1930 in Waco, Texas, United States. Son of Harry Frederick and Ethel (Oliver) Frey.


Bachelor of Arts, University Colorado, 1952;Master of Theology, Philadelphia Division School, 1955;honorary Doctor of Divinity, Philadelphia Division School, 1970.


As of 2015 he is in retirement in the Hill Country of Texas. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1956 in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado. He became a missionary in Latin America in 1962 and was consecrated as missionary bishop of the Diocese of Guatemala in 1967.

In 1971 he and his family were evicted from that country for making public statements about peacemaking during an undeclared civil war. He was elected as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Colorado in 1972 and then installed as bishop of the diocese the following year. This was reported to be apparently the first time an Episcopal parish had been dissolved in the United States in a dispute over forms and rites of worship.

In 1990, after 18 years in Colorado, he resigned as bishop to become the dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. He stepped down as dean in 1996 and moved to the San Antonio region in Texas to retire, but remained active in ministry. After the resignation of Bishop Jeffrey N. Steenson, Frey was asked to be assisting bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.

During his time as assisting bishop of Rio Grande he debated Presiding Bishop Katharine Jeffers Schori. He also served as interim rector of Christ Church, San Antonio. He wrote The Dance of Hope (2010) and Cancelada: Why They Threw us out of Guatemala (2012), in which he tells in more detail about his family’s eviction from Guatemala.


  • The measure to allow the blessing of same-sex unions won by a 111-41 vote with 3 abstentions.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor articles to religious magazines.


During that time there was a dispute over the use of the Episcopal Church's revised Book of Common Prayer. Frey seized St. Mark's Church, Denver by downgrading it from a parish to a mission, citing what he described as an inflammatory article by the church's pastor as proof that the priest intended to secede from the diocese, which the priest denies. What was billed as a debate, with Frey representing traditional, orthodox Christianity, took place on December 12 of 2009.

Some conservative observers were disappointed by Frey's lack of willingness to press Jeffers Schori on her former statements that called into question basic tenets of Christianity, like Jesus' resurrection from the dead. They had five adult children, two of whom are priests of the Episcopal Church.


He is currently a member of Communion Partners, an Episcopalian group which opposed the 77th General Episcopal Convention's decision to authorize the blessing of same-sex marriages in 2012.


Married Barbara Louise Martin, June 12, 1952. Children: Paul, Mark, Matthew, Peter, Susannah.

Harry Frederick Frey

Ethel (Oliver) Frey

Barbara Louise Martin

Paul Frey

Mark Frey

Matthew Frey

Peter Frey

Susannah Frey