[Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi] The Very Rev. Brian Richard Seage was ordained and consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi on Sept. 27 at a service at the Jackson Convention Complex.
Seage was elected on May 3 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, and received the required consents from a majority of bishops and standing committees of the Episcopal Church. He will succeed the Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, III, as the 10th bishop of Mississippi when Gray retires in February 2015.
Bishops throughout the Episcopal Church attended the ordination-consecration, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the chief consecrator. Also in attendance was Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno, who was a co-consecrator at the service. Bruno was a formative influence to Seage as an adolescent growing up in the church in southern California. Other co-consecrators were Gray, Bishop Shannon Johnston of Virginia, and the Rt. Rev. Alfred Clark Marble, former bishop of Mississippi.
Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel, a seminary classmate of Seage, preached at the service. Rickel wove a theme of Seage’s lifelong love of surfing together in a captivating homily on why the ministry of bishops continues to exist in the church.
Seage was elected as bishop coadjutor during his tenure as rector at St. Columb’s in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where he served since 2005. He was also the dean of the Central Convocation of the Diocese of Mississippi where he helped coordinate and enable the ministry of Episcopal clergy in central Mississippi.
He holds an undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University and a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. He has been a priest since 1998.
From 1997-98, Seage served as curate at St. John’s, Ocean Springs, and then as rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Diamondhead from 1998-2005, growing both attendance and programming in the parish. A successful building program was completed and average Sunday attendance doubled during his ministry at St. Thomas.
Seage was called to St. Columb’s in Ridgeland in 2005. St. Columb’s attendance and programming grew under his leadership and a large building project was completed as well.
Before entering the priesthood, Seage served as director of youth ministry for St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in his native Thousand Oaks, California. In this large, program-size church he managed a team of volunteers to support both the junior high and senior high youth groups, assisted with chapel at St. Patrick’s Day School, and coordinated the congregation’s Habitat for Humanity program.
In the Diocese of Mississippi, Seage served as a Fresh Start facilitator and was on the diocese’s Executive Committee from 2006 through 2009. He was also a member of the diocesan Restructure Task Force.
Seage has been a camp director at Camp Bratton-Green every summer since 2006 and will continue that ministry during his episcopacy. He also served on the Gray Center Board of Managers. While at St. Thomas, he served on the board of trustees for Coast Episcopal School.
Brian and his wife, Kyle, who is rector at St. Philip’s in Jackson, are parents to two daughters, Katie and Betsy.
Seage told the crowd gathered from throughout the Diocese of Mississippi and the nation, “Thank you to so many, especially to those who have traveled so far to attend, especially family and friends from Thousand Oaks, California. To be called to this office by the people of the Diocese of Mississippi on behalf of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is humbling beyond words. The people of this diocese have ministered to my family and me in so many amazing ways. It is an honor to join with the faithful of this diocese in this new relationship.”
— The Rev. Scott Lenoir is the editor of the Mississippi Episcopalian.