Richardson, James Milton (1913–1980)

By: John A. Logan, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: November 1, 2017

James Milton Richardson, fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, the son of James Milton and Palacia (Stewart) Richardson, was born at Sylvester, Georgia, on January 8, 1913. He received a B.A. from the University of Georgia in 1934 and a B.D. (1936) and M.A. (1942) from Emory University. He was both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Georgia. He received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from John Marshall Law School in 1948 and was granted honorary doctor of divinity degrees by the Episcopal Seminary in Kentucky (1960), the University of the South (1961), the Virginia Theological Seminary (1965), and the Seminary of the Southwest (1976). After attending Virginia Theological Seminary, Richardson was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in July 1938 and a priest in July 1939. During his tenure in Atlanta, Georgia, he was, successively, the minister in charge of St. Timothy's (1938–40), assistant rector of St. Luke's (1940–43), and rector of St. Luke's (1943–52). He became dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, Texas, in 1952. He was elected bishop of Texas at a special session of the 115th Annual Council of the Diocese of Texas (fifty-seven counties in Southeast and Central Texas) on December 4, 1964, to succeed John E. Hines. Richardson was consecrated a bishop in Christ Church Cathedral on February 10, 1965. During his fifteen-year episcopate, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Texas grew from 53,237 communicants to 61,478. Richardson attended the Lambeth (Anglican Communion) conferences of 1968 and 1978 in London, England. In addition to serving as chairman of diocesan boards and organizations, he was a trustee of the Church Pension Fund from 1951 to 1980 and, from 1978 to 1980, president of its board of trustees. He was also a trustee of the Church Insurance Corporation and the Church Life Insurance Corporation. He was national president of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity from 1952 to 1956. Richardson married Eugenia Preston Brooks, and they had four children. He died in Houston, Texas, on March 24, 1980, and was buried in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Texas Diocese, Protestant Episcopal Church, Journal of the . . . Annual Council, 1965, 1970, 1981. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Religion
  • Protestant Episcopal
Time Periods:
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John A. Logan, Jr., “Richardson, James Milton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995
November 1, 2017

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