A memorial Mass for the Right Rev. Cedric E. Mills, who had been rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Baltimore for nearly 23 years before becoming the first resident bishop of the Virgin Islands, will be offered at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the church at Lafayette and Arlington avenues.
Bishop Mills, who was 88, died July 3 of a respiratory illness at a hospital in San Pedro, Calif., where he had lived since his retirement in 1972.
Services for Bishop Mills, were July 7 at St. Peter's Church in San Pedro. He had worked throughout the Los Angeles diocese when he first retired, but later limited his work to St. Peter's as his sight failed and he was forced to memorize the services.
In the Virgin Islands from 1963 until his retirement, he built and enlarged churches, schools and church halls.
During his time at St. James from 1940 until 1963, the Layette Square Community Center was built and and the Terrace Apartments for the elderly were planned.
In 1948, he was elected president of Clericus, an organization of Episcopal priests in the Diocese of Maryland and also served on several diocesan committees.
A charter member of the Baltimore group of Frontiers International and a member of the boards of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Provident Hospital, the Baltimore Urban League and the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, he was a promoter of civil rights, including school integration.
Born in Hartford, Conn., he was a 1926 graduate of Lincoln University and a 1929 graduate of the Philadelphia Divinity School. In 1929, he also received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and was ordained.
From 1929 until 1937, he was rector of a church in West Chester, Pa., and Episcopal chaplain at Lincoln University and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
He also served a church in Plainfield, N.J., before coming to Baltimore.
Schools awarding him honorary doctorates included Lincoln University, the Philadelphia Divinity School, St. Augustine's BTC College in Raleigh, N.C., and Morgan State University. Bishop Mills is survived his wife of 66 years, the former Rebecca Taylor; a son, Dr. Damon F. Mills of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.