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The Rt. Rev. Mellick Belshaw
9th Bishop of NJ
TRENTON, NJ—MARCH 2, 2020. The Rt. Rev. George Phelps Mellick Belshaw, who served as the 9th Bishop of New Jersey until his retirement in 1995, died peacefully at his home in Princeton on Saturday. He was 91.

Funeral will be Friday, March 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church at 33 Mercer Street in Princeton. Clergy should vest in cassock and surplice with white stoles and gather in Pierce-Bishop Hall no later than 10:30 a.m. There will be a reception at the Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street, immediately following the service.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Mellick Belshaw, the 9th Bishop of New Jersey,” said the Rt. Rev. William H. (Chip) Stokes, current Bishop of New Jersey. “Mellick was old-school gracious and kind. He loved the people God called him to serve from Hawaii, to New York, to New Jersey. His leadership in the Diocese of New Jersey was strong and stable during the years he was Bishop Suffragan and later Bishop Diocesan. When I was a seminarian at The General Theological Seminary in New York, Mellick was President of the Board. I will always be grateful for his warm affection then and in later years when I ended up in the bishop’s chair in New Jersey. I will miss his wise care and counsel and am eternally grateful for the legacy he left for those of us who have succeeded to the office he occupied so faithfully and well.”

George Phelps Mellick Belshaw was born in Plainfield, N.J., in 1928, the son of the Reverend Harold Belshaw and Edith Mellick. He attended St. Paul's School, in Concord, N.H., where he was a member of the Missionary Society. He earned a B.A. from the University of the South in 1951, and followed that with both a B.A. in 1954 and an M.A. in 1959 in Sacred Studies from the General Theological Seminary.

After completing his studies at the General Seminary, Mellick Belshaw served churches in Waimanalo, Hawaii; Dover, Delaware; and Rumson, N.J., where he was rector of St George’s-by-the-River for ten years. He was elected Suffragan Bishop of New Jersey in 1975, then Bishop Coadjutor in 1982, and in 1983 became the 9th Bishop of New Jersey. He served as diocesan bishop until his retirement in 1995.

Bishop Belshaw has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary and the University of the South; he has also been the recipient of an honorary degree from Hamilton College. His service to General Theological Seminary includes 31 years on the board of trustees, as well as serving at various times as tutor, fellow, adjunct faculty member, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and acting dean of the seminary.

Bishop Belshaw has been a fellow of the College of Preachers, a member of the Commission on Peace of the Episcopal Church from 1979 to 1985, president of the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey in 1986–1987, president of the Episcopal Urban Caucus from 1986 to 1989, and a member of the Economic Justice Committee of the Episcopal Church from 1988 to 1995. In the late 1990s, he was chair of the Coalition for Peace Action, a grassroots citizens organization that advocates for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy, and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad.

He is the editor two well-regarded books, Lent with Evelyn Underhill and Lent with William Temple, as well as a number of articles and reviews.

He was married to Elizabeth Wheeler from 1954 until her death in 2014. They have three children and several grandchildren. 
Three bishops of the Diocese of New Jersey, at 2013 event at Diocesan House in Trenton. (From left) The Rt. Rev. William H. (Chip) Stokes, 12th Bishop of New Jersey, the Rt. Rev. George E. Councell, 11th Bishop of New Jersey, and the Rt. Rev. Mellick Belshaw, 9th Bishop of New Jersey
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