[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Burgess Carr, a Liberian-born priest who in the late 1980s served as the Episcopal Church’s partnership officer for Africa and who for seven years in the 1970s headed the All Africa Council of Churches (AACC), died May 14 in his sleep, according to an announcement from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Snellville, Georgia. He was 76.
“During his tenure as General Secretary of AACC, he brought a new energy to the work of the Anglican Church in Africa and made a few enemies, including Idi Amin. May his soul rest in peace,” said the Rev. Canon Petero Sabune, the church’s global partnerships officer for Africa, in an e-mail sent to church center staff May 14.
In that same e-mail, Margaret Rose, the Episcopal Church’s deputy for ecumenical and interfaith collaboration, said: “Many here at the Church Center knew Burgess Carr when he was on staff here. In addition to being one of my professors in Divinity School and the preacher at my ordination, he was an executive director of the All African Council of Churches, a great ecumenist and a negotiator of one of the first peace agreements in the Sudan.”
Carr graduated in 1958 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Cuttington College, in Suakoko, Bong County, Liberia, and earned a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1961. He was ordained a deacon in 1961 and a priest in 1962 in the Diocese of Liberia, which was a diocese in the Episcopal Church until 1980, when it became part of the Anglican Province of West Africa.
Additionally, Carr served as the secretary for Africa with the World Council of Churches; Geneva, Switzerland, from 1967-1970. He was the executive director of Episcopal Migration Ministries from 1990-94; held various teaching appointments over the years at schools including Union Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Boston University, Episcopal Divinity School, and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; and was a consultant to The World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Economic Commission for Africa. In 1972 he served as moderator on the Addis Ababa Agreement on Southern Sudan, which ended 17 years of civil war in Southern Sudan.
Carr moved to Georgia sometime in the 2000s and served as vicar of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Decatur, Georgia, for three years. Carr and his wife, Francesca, had five children.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday, June 1, at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. Bishop of Atlanta J. Neil Alexander will preside.