Bishop F. Richard Spencer was born in Sylacauga, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement, a Master of Education Degree in Counseling, a Master of Divinity Degree, a STB Degree and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. His military education includes: Military Police Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Chaplain Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Command and General Staff Officer Course and Clinical Pastoral Education, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.; and selected to attend the Resident National War College, Class 2010. He was Ordained a Roman Catholic Bishop 08 September 2010 and currently serves as the Vicar for all military Chapels (and U.S. State Department Embassies) in Europe and in Asia for the Archdiocese, Military Services, USA. Bishop Spencer was commissioned an Army Officer in 1973 and began serving active duty 1974. Following his years as a Military Police Officer, he was released from active duty in 1978 to pursue ministerial studies.
Ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore 14 May 1988 and also began serving with the USAR and ARNG Units in Maryland. Chaplain Spencer returned to active duty ministry, January, 1999, and served in Korea, Bosnia, Egypt, Pentagon (during 9/11) and Germany in capacities to include Brigade and Division positions. He has deployed into Iraq on five occasions and returned Jan 2012 from a deployment in Afghanistan. Bishop Spencer retired from the US Armed Forces as a Chaplain, Colonel, February, 2014.
Bishop Spencer’s awards include: The Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Iraq Combat Medals and the Korean Service Medal. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge for specific combat actions in Iraq, 2004.
Bishop Spencer shares the joys of Priesthood with his younger brother, Father Robert Spencer, U.S. Navy Chaplain, and along with the members of his immediate family, Frank S. Spencer, his father, and brothers Jim Spencer (a Methodist Minister) and Bill Spencer and sister, Peggy Spencer Fetyko.