[Episcopal Diocese of Lexington] The Very Rev. Douglas Hahn was elected Aug. 18 as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church.
Hahn, rector of St. Thomas Church in Columbus, Georgia, in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of six nominees. He received 67 votes of 120 cast in the lay order and 26 of 44 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 61 in the lay order and 23 in the clergy order.
The election was held during the diocese’s 116th annual convention at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington.
Pending a successful consent process, Hahn will succeed the sixth bishop of Lexington, the Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls, who was called to be the chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church in 2011. The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen has served the diocese as interim assisting bishop.
Under the canons (111.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.
Raised in Georgia, Hahn says “my roots run deep in central Kentucky. I come from generations of Kentucky teachers and farmers, spent summers in a community in Mercer County, and went to graduate school in Louisville.”
He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia (1974); the Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (1977); Diploma in Anglican Studies from General Theological Seminary in New York (1996); and Doctor of Ministry degree from Sewanee: the University of the South in 2010. He received a Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders from The Louisville Institute in 2007 for “Refreshing the Roots of Ministry,” and received a Pastoral Care Specialist Certificate, Congregational Care and Development from the Pastoral Institute of Leadership in Columbus 2001-02.
As convocation dean in the Diocese of Atlanta, Hahn supervised five towns, seven parishes, 12 priests and shared outreach ministry. He worked in his diocese in Christian Formation, youth outreach and parishes in transition, chaired the Standing Committee and was an alternate deputy to General Convention.
Hahn and his wife Kaye are parents to three young adult children.
Prior to becoming rector of St. Thomas, he served as associate rector of St. George’s, Griffen, Georgia 1993-99; Buckhead Christian Community Ministry, Atlanta, 1990-93; The Atlanta Baptist Association Home Mission Board 1980-86 and Chaplain of New Orleans Baptist Hospital 1978-79.
“I am thrilled and honored to be called to be the seventh bishop of Lexington,” said Hahn. “Kaye and our family share this excitement. I have long had love for the people of Kentucky, and over the last several months have grown especially fond of the people of the Diocese of Lexington – those inside and outside the Episcopal Church. I know that my passion for these people and my passion for God’s church will bring us a long and fruitful ministry together.”
“I am grateful to Kaye for her presence in this journey. She is my joy. I am grateful for the many people of the diocese who have invested heart and soul in this process; for Bishop Chilton’s steady care of the diocese; for the prayers of my Bishops and colleagues in the Diocese of Atlanta, and especially for the people of St. Thomas Church in Columbus, a people whose care for one another is deep, and whose courage and imagination always take them to new places of service in the world. I am also grateful to the other candidates for their commitment to the church. I am grateful to God, in whose service we all find our highest, truest and best selves.
“May our years together be filled with mutual respect and affection, passion for God’s people and God’s earth, and great wonder at the mystery of Grace that surrounds us. May the world see Christ’s light among us, and in that light know that they, too, are part of God’s beloved community.”
The other nominees were:
- The Rev. Ronald Abrams, rector of St. James, Wilmington, North Carolina;
- The Rev. Dr. Bruce Boss, rector of Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, Indiana;
- The Rt. Rev. Santosh Marray, bishop assisting, Diocese of East Carolina;
- The Rev. LaRae Rutenbar, professional interim most recently St. Peter’s, Rome, Georgia; and
- The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton. rector of St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods, Freeland, Washington.
Interim Bishop Knudsen said the Diocese of Lexington “is healthy and ready to welcome Doug Hahn as the new bishop. We have come through a fruitful interim period and are poised to continue serving our communities through outreach, creative ministry development and hospitality, all in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Our grateful prayers are with all of the nominees and their families.”
Information about all of the nominees is available here.
The Diocese of Lexington is composed of 35 congregations in central, northern and southeastern Kentucky.
— Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin is deputy for leadership development, transition ministries and communications in the Diocese of Lexington.