David Beers, chancellor of four presiding bishops – Episcopal News Service
[Episcopal News Service] David Beers, who served as chancellor to the presiding bishop from 1991 to 2018, died April 3 at the age of 86 after a short illness. As senior legal counsel to the Episcopal Church, Beers implemented a church-wide legal strategy to protect church assets during the post-Rt. Robinson, when some congregations and dioceses sought to leave the church and take property with them.
Beers, a lifelong Episcopalian, grew up in Connecticut and was educated at Trinity College and the University of California, Berkeley, before entering private law practice in Washington, DC, in 1961. After having served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Washington from 1977 to 1991, he was appointed Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop by then Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning, serving four Presiding Bishops.
“David’s knowledge of civil law and the church over his many years of service has made his guidance and counsel invaluable,” said the Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold, 25th Presiding Bishop, in a statement. obituary. “Given his reputation for fairness in handling difficult and sometimes emotionally charged situations, bishops and other clergy have turned to him frequently and have never been turned away. At the same time, chancellors in the service of other bishops sought his advice and, with his encouragement, established their own network.The health of the Church as a whole, in its faithfulness to the Gospel, was at the heart of what can only be call David’s ministry.
Prior to this appointment, Beers served five times as a member of the General Convention and served one term on the Executive Council. He was also a trustee of Virginia Theological Seminary, which honored him with the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership. In addition to practicing law, Beers was a part-time professor of classics at George Washington University for 30 years, teaching Latin and Greek.
Beers is survived by his wife, five children, nine grandchildren and a great-grandson. A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on April 9 at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church (4700 Whitehaven Parkway, Washington, DC), where he was a parishioner for more than 50 years.