2019 Convention Wrap
The 180th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri:
We elected a bishop!
Nearly 300 people gathered at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis and hundreds more watched live on Facebook as the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri elected our 11th bishop. And the person we selected as the most qualified for this job also happens to be the first person of color and the first openly gay bishop to lead the diocese in our 178-year history.
The Rev. Deon K. Johnson, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, MI, was elected by an overwhelming majority of lay and ordained members on the first ballot.
The crowd erupted into cheers as the results were announced.
“One word - overjoyed!” said Jeanette Hollman, a member of Transfiguration Episcopal Church in Lake St. Louis, after the election.
“I’m very, very, very thrilled for Deon Johnson to be our next bishop,” said Robert Hartzog, a member of St. Thomas Church for the Deaf, Kirkwood.
“I’m off to do my holy dance!” said The Rev. Renee Fenner, Priest in Charge at All Saints and Ascension in Northwoods.
“Exciting, fantastic!” said the Rev. Todd McDowell, rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Kirkwood. “I’m so happy to have such a strong majority on the first ballot.”
“There was so much energy in the room when the announcement was made,” said the Rev. Dawn-Victoria Mitchell, rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hannibal, St. Paul's in Palmyra and president of the Standing Committee. “We are looking forward to welcoming Deon to Missouri.”
Bishop-elect Johnson appeared briefly before the crowd in a livestream from his home in Michigan. He was obviously overwhelmed by the news and the response from the crowd. We expect to hear more from the Rev. Johnson very soon.
Johnson was a finalist on our slate of nominees along with the Rev. Stacey Fussell, rector at Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Bradford, PA, and the Rev. George Smith (no relation to our current bishop), rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. A total of 164 lay and clergy delegates were present at convention to elect our new bishop. To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority vote from both orders of convention. Johnson received 71 votes from the laity and 42 votes from the clergy.
Johnson’s ordination as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri will take place Saturday, April 25. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other bishops from around the country will be in attendance. The service will take place at St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church in St. Louis. The venue was selected for its capacity to handle a large group of diocesan members and for its openness to a diverse and inclusive approach to worship and spirituality.
But wait... there's a lot more news from convention!
The election was the final order of business of our two-day convention, Nov. 22-23, 2019.. Although the election certainly claimed the spotlight, there is other important news to report from this annual convention.
Click on the links below to read and see more details from this year's event.
Online Photo Gallery