Ordination to the Priesthood by Bishop Powell, the Rev. Kingsley Smith, April 12, 1957

By Mary Klein, Diocesan Archivist

Two clergy in the Diocese of Maryland celebrate astonishing milestones this year – the 65th anniversary of their ordinations to the sacred ministry. Philip Kingsley Smith and Carl Berlinger Harris were ordained to the diaconate in 1956 in the Diocese of Maryland.

Carl Harris is a native Baltimorean, having been born to Alfred John Harris and Helen Clara (Berlinger) Harris on October 20, 1929. A graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania (1952) and the General Seminary in New York city (1956), he was ordained to the diaconate on September 29, 1956 (St. Michael & All Angels Day) at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Ten Hills, by Bishop Harry Lee Doll. Sent to St. Anne’s, Annapolis as curate, he served from 1956-1958, and was ordained to the priesthood there by Bishop Noble C. Powell on July 20, 1957. Called to be vicar of the Church of St. Andrew the Fisherman, Mayo, in September 1958, Mr. Harris, perhaps unknown to him at the time, embarked on a ministry that was to be marked by new beginnings. St. Andrew’s had in 1957 begun an extensive campaign to rebuild their parish, starting by erecting a new church building to replace the one that had burned in 1935. Breaking ground in 1959, and completed by Trinity Sunday, 1960, the striking modern building became a symbol of a fresh start in an old place. Building up the congregation and staying in Mayo until 1967, Harris returned to St. Annes’ Annapolis, as assistant to the rector until 1971, when he began a 25-year ministry at Severn Parish, St. Stephen’s, Crownsville.

On October 31, 1971, the Rev. Mr. Harris began his ministry at St. Stephen’s. This was the beginning of the use of “trial liturgies” in the Episcopal Church – the Green Book, the Zebra Book – modernizing the language of the 1928 Prayer Book, which caused a lot of backlash in many places. Easing the modern language into parish usage took patience and tact by the clergy, and Carl Harris possessed both. Add to that change, the undertaking by the parish to enlarge and renovate the church building, replace the organ, add an addition for offices and church school classrooms, and enlarge the sacristy, narthex and altar area, beginning in 1975. All this work was completed and dedicated by October 31, 1976, the fifth anniversary of Harris’ first Sunday in Crownsville.

The Rev. Mr. Harris retired in 1996 but served as an assistant priest for Church of the Ascension, Westminster, until 1999. He and his wife, the former Tomolyn Tarayos, moved from the rectory in 1981 purchasing a home in Crofton, where they live today.

The Rev. Carl Harris at the groundbreaking of St. Andrew’s Church, Mayo
From left to right: Thomas E. Lee (chairman of the building committee), Bishop Harry Lee Doll, the Rev. Carl Harris, Thomas Love, jr. 

Kingsley Smith was born on May 14, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the son of Frank Hinman Smith and Amy Lillian (Mackenzie) Smith. Earning a BA degree from Amherst College (in Massachusetts) in 1950, he had joined the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1947 and served on active duty from 1951-1953. Obtaining a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1956, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Noble C. Powell on July 5, 1956, at Trinity Church, Towson. In an uncommonly stable career, he never left Trinity, serving as the assistant from 1956-1969, and rector until 1996, when he retired and received the Bishop’s Award for Distinguished Ministry in the Church. Bishop Powell ordained Smith to the priesthood at Trinity on April 12, 1957, and he served as a chaplain in the United States Naval Reserve from 1955-1976. Besides his duties as parish priest, Smith taught at the Peabody Institute, Towson University and Goucher College as Visiting Professor of Religion and served as the Historiographer for the diocese from 1996-2016, writing, visiting, and researching parish and diocesan histories. He also authored Towson Under God, a religious history of the Baltimore County seat (1976). Serving the broader church, Mr. Smith headed both the diocesan Armed Forces Committee (1969-1975) and the Refugee Committee (1980-81), was a Trustee for Episcopal Ministries to the Aging from 1975-1981, and a member of the Episcopal Church Advisory Council to the Bishop of the Armed Forces from 1972-1976. In Towson he was on the board of the Towson YMCA, president of Historic Towson, and member of the Towson Area Ministerial Association.

Never one to slow down, following retirement The Rev. Mr. Smith served as priest-in-charge or interim priest at Immanuel, Glencoe; Good Shepherd, Towson; Redemption, Baltimore; Sherwood Parish, Cockeysville and St. George’s, Perryman. He married Mary Lee Evans in 1951, and they are the parents of four children, and numerous grand and great-grandchildren.

The Rev. Kingsley Smith

The Rev. Carl Harris

The Rev. Carl Harris

Congratulations to these two long-serving clergymen whose tenure in this diocese spans more than half a century – an era of rapid and drastic change in the church, the nation and the world. Such a milestone is rare indeed, and should be celebrated!

St. Stephen’s Church building, 1975