Commemoration of Fr. DeWees with Recption- 5pm

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Commemoration of Fr. DeWees with Recption- 5pm

April 20, 2023 @ 5:00 PM

Commemoration of the Reverend William L. Dewees

Proposal: St. Paul’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church of Ocean City, Maryland plans to commemorate the beloved and faithful witness of Father William Leroy Dewees, Rector of the parish from 1941 through 1973.  In accordance with the Book of Common Prayer and the Episcopal Church guidance described in the appendix to A Great Cloud of Witnesses (A75), the parish wishes to recognize Father William Dewees with a local, annual commemoration on a date to be determined by the Vestry.   A commemoration will be conducted in a manner provided in the Book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts and approved by the Bishop of the Diocese of Easton.

Description: William Leroy Dewees was born on August 24, 1907 in Frederick, Maryland. He graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and the Philadelphia Divinity School. After ordination, he was assigned as Chaplain to the Philadelphia Episcopal City Missions, Prisons and Hospitals.

He was called to be Rector at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea in Ocean City on April 24, 1941.  Following the outbreak of World War II, Father Dewees served both a religious and civic role in the community. He was a teacher at Ocean City High School, wartime airplane spotter, Boy Scout leader and surrogate father to the town’s youth whose own fathers were away fighting in the war.  Following the war, Father Dewees helped guide the parish during a period of growth.  Under his leadership the parish developed a Sunday School, Christian education, a choir, a Men’s Brotherhood and two Women’s Guilds, a youth group, community events and a summer resort ministry with resident assistant clergy.

Father Dewees oversaw the development and fund raising for the seasonal Chapel of the Holy Sprit in northern Ocean City that was dedicated in July, 1968. The chapel would later become its own parish in 1976.

Through it all, Father Dewees, his wife Ellen and daughters remained integral members of the parish and community.  He found time to serve as Chaplin of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, was active in the Ocean City Ministerial Association and held many positions with the Diocese of Easton.  Following 33 years of selfless service to his parish and his community, Father Dewees retired in January, 1973.  After his retirement he continued to provide summer services at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.  He passed away in September of 1974.  He is fondly remembered as a scholar and pastor by a loving congregation and a grateful community.

Collect for a Pastor:  O God, our heavenly Creator, who raised up your faithful servant, William Leroy Dewees, to be a pastor in your Church and feed your people; we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we may by your grace grow into the stature and fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.


April 20, 2023
5:00 PM
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