Longtime River Region faith leader passes away

Longtime River Region faith leader passes away
The Rev. Mark Waldo, Sr. came to Montgomery in 1961. (Source: Contributed)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A longtime leader of the River Region’s faith community has passed away. The Rev. Mark Waldo, Sr. died Monday at the age of 91.

Waldo led Montgomery’s Episcopal Church of the Ascension for more than two decades. In addition to his duties as spiritual leader of his parish, Waldo also was known as a quiet reconciler during Montgomery’s turbulent civil rights movement.

The Rev. Mark Waldo, Sr. (left) with his son, Mark Waldo, Jr. on the occasion of his ordination in 1988.
The Rev. Mark Waldo, Sr. (left) with his son, Mark Waldo, Jr. on the occasion of his ordination in 1988. (Source: Contributed)

Waldo arrived in Montgomery in 1961, having previously served Episcopal churches in Texas and Georgia. He was a graduate of The College of William & Mary and Virginia Theological Seminary. He also served a brief time in the US Navy.

In Montgomery, Waldo is particularly remembered for his leadership following a devastating fire that nearly destroyed the Church of the Ascension in 1984. The congregation worshiped outdoors and at other religious institutions as Waldo led the renovation effort. The church in Montgomery’s Garden District remains one of the city’s best examples of English Gothic architecture.

Montgomery’s Church of the Ascension is one of the city’s best examples of English Gothic architecture.
Montgomery’s Church of the Ascension is one of the city’s best examples of English Gothic architecture. (Source: Contributed)

Waldo is survived by his wife of 69 years, Anne, along with six children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Two of his children followed in their father’s footsteps, becoming Episcopal priests themselves. The Rev. Mark Waldo, Jr. serves as Rector of St. Michael & All Angels’ Episcopal Church in Millbrook and the Rt. Rev. Andrew Waldo is Bishop of the Upper South Carolina diocese.

Built in 1908, the Church of the Ascension is located in Montgomery’s historic Garden District.
Built in 1908, the Church of the Ascension is located in Montgomery’s historic Garden District. (Source: Contributed)

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Episcopal Relief and Development, giving to the area of need you choose, as will be clear at the website. You may specify that your gift is in memory of Rev. Mark E. Waldo, Sr. Cards may be sent to Anne B. Waldo, PO Box 6380, Montgomery, AL 36106.

A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, September 14th at 2 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 315 Clanton Ave., Montgomery, AL.

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