H. Coleman McGehee, retired bishop of Episcopal Diocese, dies
Rev. H. Coleman McGehee, one of the founders of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and a World War II veteran, died Thursday at age 89.
Bishop McGehee, who was born July 7, 1923 in Richmond, Va., had engineering and law careers before becoming a member of the clergy.
He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1947, and earned a law degree at the University of Richmond in 1949.
Bishop McGehee then entered the Episcopal Theological Seminary, graduating in 1957.
, who lived in West Bloomfield, was elected a bishop coadjutor of the Michigan diocese in May, 1971, serving until 1973.
He then served as diocese bishop from 1973-1990, succeeding the Rt.
Bishop McGehee, who is survived by his wife of 67 years, June, retired in 1990, worked with Desmond Tutu in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
was known as an apostle of peace and frequently offered a liturgy for peace on Good Fridays at the gates of Williams International of Walled Lake
where missiles were made at that time.
He also fought for reversing national Episcopal canons to begin ordaining women, and he ordained the first woman priest for Michigan, the Rev. Meredith Hunt, in 1977.
Bishop McGehee also was welcoming to gay, bisexual, transgender and lesbian members, and did not hesitate to ordain them.
wanted to welcome all of God's disciples as leaders in the church.
McGehee also founded the Economic Justice Fund which loans funds to small businesses that offer affordable housing to the poor.
In 1995 at age 72, he
joined the picket line of the locked-out Detroit Free Press and Detroit News workers during their strike.
Besides his wife, McGehee is survived by daughters Lesley Case and Cary McGehee; and sons, Alex, Harry and Donald.