Furman Charles (Bill) Stough (July 11, 1928 – February 2, 2004) was an American prelate who served as the eighth Episcopal Church Bishop of Alabama from 1971 till 1988.
Early Life and Education
Stough was born on July 11, 1928 in Montgomery, Alabama, the son of Furman Charles Stough and Martha Elizabeth Turnipseed. He was educated at Sewanee: The University of the South and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1951. That same year, on May 12, he married Margaret Dargan McCaa, and together had two children. He also for a Bachelor of Divinity at Sewanee and graduated in 1955. Sewanee also awarded him with a Doctor of Divinity in 1971.
Stough was ordained deacon on May 29, 1955 by George M. Murray, Suffragan Bishop of Alabama. He was then ordained priest in December of the same year by Charles Carpenter, Bishop of Alabama. He then served as rector of St Andrew's Church in Sylacauga, Alabama and St Mary's Church in Childersburg, Alabama from 1955 till 1959. Later, in 1959, he became rector of Grace Church in Sheffield, Alabama, where he remained till 1965. In 1965 he became a missioner in Japan and served as priest-in-charge of All Souls Church in Machinato, Okinawa Island. He then returned to the United States in 1968 and served as a missioner in Alabama. In 1970 he was appointed as rector of St John's Church in Decatur, Alabama.
On December 15, 1970, during a special convention held at the Church of the Advent, Stough was elected Bishop of Alabama. He was consecrated on February 18, 1971 by Presiding Bishop John E. Hines. During his time in Alabama he guided the diocese in adapting to the ordination of women and accepting the revised prayer book. It was also during his episcopate that the Church of the Advent was raised to the status of a cathedral. He is also credited for establishing a link between the Diocese of Alabama and the Diocese of Namibia. Between 1978 and 1988, the Diocese of Alabama managed to contribute more than $400,000 to the Diocese of Namibia. In 1987, Stough also ordained the first black priest in Alabama since 1953.
In February 1988, he announced his intention to resign as Bishop of Alabama in order to accept an appointment as senior executive for planning for the Episcopal Church and deputy for the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief. He resigned in October 1988. In 1993 he returned to Alabama and became bishop-in-residence at St Luke's Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama. He died in Birmingham, Alabama on February 2, 2004.