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The Right Reverend
George Purnell Gunn
|Bishop of Southern Virginia|
|Predecessor||William A. Brown|
by Robert Carter Jett
|Consecration||January 6, 1948|
by Henry Knox Sherrill
|Born||October 11, 1903|
Winona, Mississippi, United States
|Died||June 16, 1973 (aged 69)|
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
|Parents||Elijah Steirling Gunn & Susan Ellwood Carter|
|Spouse||Frances Hawkins Purnell (m.1930)|
|Previous post(s)||Coadjutor Bishop of Southern Virginia (1948-1950)|
|Alma mater||University of Virginia|
Gunn was born on October 11, 1903, in Winona, Mississippi, the son of Rev. Elijah Sterling Gunn and Susan Ellwood Carter. Based on his parents' ancestry, Gunn later became active with the First Families of Virginia. Raised in Halifax County, Virginia, young George attended to the Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg between 1921 and 1923. In 1924 he went to Charlottesville for studies at the University of Virginia, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1927. He then traveled to Alexandria to study for the ministry at the Virginia Theological Seminary, graduating in 1930. The same institution awarded him a Doctor of Divinity in 1948. He married Frances Hawkins Purnell on September 3, 1930, and together had three children.
Bishop Robert Carter Jett of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia ordained Gunn as a deacon in October 1929 and priest in June 1930. He then became rector of Moore Parish in Altavista Campbell County, Virginia, and in 1932 became rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Norfolk, Virginia, where he remained till 1948.
Gunn was elected Coadjutor Bishop of Southern Virginia on September 17, 1947, during a diocesan special convention. He was consecrated on January 6, 1948, by Presiding Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill. He then succeeded as diocesan bishop on January 6, 1950, upon the requirement of Bishop Brown that same day. He retained the post till his retirement in 1971. he died in Norfolk, Virginia on June 16, 1973.
- "St. John's Episcopal Church, Halifax, Virginia: History".
- White, T. J. (1980). "Gunn, George Purnell". The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. 59: 212.
- "George Purnell Gunn". The Monthly Supplement: 497. 1951.
- "Mr. Gunn Elected Coadjutor of Southern Virginia". The Living Church. 115 (13): 3. 28 September 1947.
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