Spotlight on abuse: Episcopal priest John Elton Smith Jr.

By | May 6, 2022
Spotlight on Abuse: Episcopal priest John Elton Smith Jr.

Episcopal priest John Elton Smith Jr. fled the state after he resigned as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Butte, Montana in the Episcopal Diocese of Montana on January 30, 2012. Smith was accused of “extreme mismanagement” of the church’s finances and causing a breakdown in congregational relationships. Under Smith, attendance declined from 200 on Sundays to under 10. After Smith’s departure attendance rose to 26. Smith was ordained in 1995 after studying at Nashotah House in Wisconsin. He was rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Clinton, South Carolina for three years before becoming rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Westwood, New Jersey, whose website describes his rectorate as “a difficult time for both Father Smith and the parish” because of conflicts over sexuality and liturgy. Smith was removed from the Episcopal priesthood by Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart.

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