John Lane DENSON III

DENSON III, John Lane John Lane Denson III, an Episcopal clergyman and local writer who was currently Stated Supply for Calvary Church, Cumberland Furnace, TN, died early Wednesday. He was 89 and living in Nashville. The Reverend Mr. Denson came to Nashville as rector of Christ Episcopal Church in l965 where he initiated a more centered liturgical program, an enlarged adult education program, and founded the Storefront Ministry, later becoming the Campus for Human Development. Subsequently, he served as rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Old Hickory, TN, during which time, he was also Director of Development for the Vanderbilt School of Engineering. Mr. Denson served as convener for the Diocese of Tennessee Clericus, as chair of the Diocesan Coalition on Alcoholism and Other Drugs, as a member of the Standing Committee, the Council, and as a deputy to the 1985 and 1988 General Conventions of the Episcopal Church, USA, and as a representaive of the press there in 2000, 2003 and 2006. He was a nominee for Bishop of Tennessee in 1985. After his retirement, he was interim chaplain at St. Augustine Chapel, Vanderbilt, 1988-89, Spiritual Director for the Vanderbilt Institute for the Treatment of Addiction, 1988-1993, interim rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Antioch, TN, and priest associate at St. Ann's Episcopal Church, Nashville. He was a Fellow of the College of Preachers of the National Cathedral, Washington, DC. He was a lifelong trumpet player and a founding member of the Establishment, a Nashville 1940s-style big jazz band, and of the Monday Night Jazz Band. He was the founding editor of The Covenant Journal, an occasional paper and commentary on the church. He wrote a daily email essay Out of Nowhere. During World War II, Denson was a naval aviator. He flew PB4Y2 Privateers. He held two degrees in geology from the University of Texas and was a geologist with the Texas Highway Department before entering the founding class of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, 1951-1954, where he subsequently became president of the Alumni Association and a member of the Board of Trust. He served numerous Texas churches while a student at ETSS, and from 1959-1965 was Episcopal Chaplain at Rice University, Houston. He is survived by his wife, Caroline Stark, former director of the Nashville Public Library; his children, Ann Milstead, John Lane IV and Scott Thomas; six grandchildren, Megan, Sarah, Molly, Claire, Thomas and William Denson. He was predeceased by a son, William Brewster; grandson, John Lane V; his only brother, Dr. Thomas Charles Denson of Temple, TX. A requiem eucharist will be celebrated Monday, November 26, 2012 at Christ Church Cathedral at two-thirty. There will be a reception before the service at one-thirty in the Wheeler Room at the cathedral. In lieu of memorials, please extend an act of kindness to someone in need. MARSHALL DONNELLY COMBS, (615) 327-1111

Funeral Home

Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home | Nashville Funeral Home
201 25th Ave North Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 327-1111

Published in The Tennessean on Nov. 25, 2012