[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee has been nominated to serve as bishop provisional for the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, according to an announcement from the diocese.
A formal election will be held March 9 when the 130th diocesan convention will convene at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, North Carolina.
Bishops provisional are elected for an interim period until a diocesan bishop is chosen. Lee’s tenure as provisional bishop is expected to begin in early April and last approximately two years.
The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel served as bishop of the East Carolina diocese for 15 years. He resigned on Feb. 28 to become bishop provisional of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Lee, 74, retired in 2009 after serving for 25 years as bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. He since has served as interim dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and of General Theological Seminary in New York. He currently is interim dean of the American Cathedral in Paris.
“Bishop Lee is well known as a gifted Christian leader with outstanding experience as a leader in the Episcopal Church at home and abroad,” the Rev. Kevin A. Johnson, president of the Standing Committee for East Carolina, wrote in a letter to the diocese.
“In times of conflict he has been a moderate who intentionally reached out to people in both wings of the denomination attempting to keep as many people around the table as possible. We believe that Bishop Lee will bring faithful service, skilled experience and dynamic leadership to our diocese as we continue in mission and ministry in the Diocese of East Carolina.”
Lee has served as chair of the Church Pension Fund board; trustee of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; chair for 17 years of the board of trustees for Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria; and board member for the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
He also served on the advisory committee to the Anglican Observer at the United Nations and on the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (forerunner to Episcopal Relief & Development).
Lee was born in Mississippi and raised in Florida. After time spent in law school, as a newspaper reporter and as a military intelligence officer, Lee began his ministry at an urban cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida. After his diaconal year, he became an assistant at St. John’s Episcopal Church Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.
He was rector of Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from 1971–1984, the year he was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Virginia.
Lee graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and studied law at Duke University. He earned a master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1967.
He is married to Kristina Knapp Lee. They have two children and five grandchildren.