Bishop John Shelby Spong died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of September 12, 2021. He is remembered fondly by many in the larger church and progressive community he served so well. ProgressingSpirit.com, where he wrote a column, and ProgressiveChristianity.org, who introduced many readers to his work, shared this gratitude statement: "Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed!"
John Shelby Spong was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. He was a teaching bishop who made contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson. He was considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church.
A visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches worldwide, Bishop Spong delivered more than 200 public lectures each year to standing-room-only crowds. His extensive media appearances included a profile segment on 60 Minutes as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Fox News Live, Politically Incorrect, Larry King Live, The O’Reilly Factor, William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and Extra.
Bishop Spong and his wife, Christine Mary Spong, have five children and six grandchildren. Their home is in New Jersey.
- Creative but practical re-imaginings of traditional Christian doctrine
- Progressive views within the church on contemporary social issues
- A call for a "new reformation" of Christianity