Atlanta diocese elects Robert C. Wright to be 10th bishop

By ENS staff
Posted Jun 2, 2012

The Very Rev. Robert C. Wright

[Episcopal News Service] The Very Rev. Robert C. Wright was elected on June 2 to be the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.

Wright, 48, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Atlanta, was elected on the third ballot out of a field of six nominees. He received 185 votes of 291 cast in the lay order and 90 of 172 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 146 in the lay order and 87 in the clergy order.

Ballot-by-ballot results were posted here.

The election was held at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. Wright was present and stepped to the lectern to accept his election, according to the diocese’s Twitter feed.

Wright was elected to succeed Bishop J. Neil Alexander, who was elected in 2001. At the time of his election, Alexander was a professor at the University of the South School of Theology and priest in charge of St. Agnes’ Church in Cowan, Tennessee.

Upon his resignation as diocesan bishop he will become professor of liturgics and head the Department for Anglican Studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta this fall.

Because the election occurred within 120 days of the start of the 77th meeting of General Convention in Indianapolis July 4-12, Episcopal Church canons provide (in Canon III.11.3) for the required consents to be sought from the bishops and deputies at convention.

Assuming that consent is received, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is scheduled to ordain Wright as the 10th bishop of Atlanta on Oct. 13, also at the Cathedral of St. Philip.

Wright has been rector at St. Paul’s since July 2002. Prior to that, he was canon pastor and vicar for two years at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, where he was chaplain at the Cathedral School for two years before that. Wright served as a U. S. Navy helicopter crew chief and search and rescue diver from 1982 to 1987. He then worked in organizations that serve youth in the Washington, D.C. area, including the Children’s Defense Fund, and served two mayors of Washington DC as a child advocate.

He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1998 and is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching at the University of the South. He and his wife Beth-Sarah are parents to five children. His resume is here.

The other nominees were:
* the Rev. George F. Adamik, 58, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Cary, North Carolina (Diocese of North Carolina);
* the Rev. Michael A. Bird, 44, rector, Christ Church, Bronxville, New York (Diocese of New York);
* the Very Rev. Samuel G. Candler, 55, dean, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia (Diocese of Atlanta);
* the Rev. Martha N. Macgill, 54, rector, Memorial Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland (Diocese of Maryland); and
* the Rev. Canon James H. Pritchett, 55, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Western North Carolina.

More information on all the candidates is here.

With more than 50,000 members in 26,000 households, the Diocese of Atlanta is the ninth largest of the 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church.


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Comments (14)

  1. Christopher Johnson says:

    As someone who got to work directly with Robert Wright when he was our Vicar at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and I was one of the Wardens, I take great joy in knowing that one of the great pastors of the church has been recognized. Congratulations to Rob and best wishes and familial blessings from our Diocese to yours.

  2. Wm Thomas Martin says:

    I rejoice with the whole Diocese of Atlanta in the election of Robert Wright as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese.

  3. Very Rev. Walter Brownridge says:

    Congratulations to the Bishop-Elect, all other nominees! Thanksgiving and prayers for Bishop J. Neil
    Alexander and the Diocese.

  4. Peggy Shaw says:

    Bishop-Elect Wright is also a member of our Board of Trustees at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta. We are very proud!

  5. Congratulations to the Diocese of Atlanta and to you Rev. Robert Wright Bishop – Elect. Blessings and thanksgiving to all the nominees and may you, Bishop Alexander have an edifying journey at Emory.

  6. Peter Spalding says:

    I had the honor of being a classmate of Rob Wright at Virgina Theological Seminary. I remember him fondly as a particpant in a seminar on Reinhold Niebuhr. A very blessed choice. The Diocese has chosen wisely. Peter

  7. Toni Daniels says:

    Congratulations Rob!

  8. Ann Hobbs says:

    Winds of change, how refreshing. This is an exciting time for us Episcopalians.

  9. David D. Cutting says:

    Congratulations to the Very Rev. Robert Wright on this well-deserved appointment as bishop-elect of the Atlanta diocese. His natural flair for leadership and his unique ability to make scripture infinitely clear and relevant is good news for the future of the Episcopal Church.

  10. Congratulations, blessings and best wishes to Bishop-Elect the Very Rev. Robert Wright. May God continually bless and keep you in his care.

  11. Congratulations to Bishop-Elect Robert Wright!

  12. Delois Ward says:

    Congratulation and God Speed in this new phase of your ministry

  13. Vicki (Williams) Romero says:

    Congratulations to the Bishop -Elect Robert Wright. I am so proud of you. Will be there in October.

Comments are closed.