Three nominated for bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries

Posted Aug 23, 2016

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Three nominees have been announced for Episcopal Church bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries.

With an office based in Washington D.C., the bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries is a member of the staff of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

The three nominees are:

ens_082316_christopherGarcia-1The Rev. Christopher Garcia, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood, Virginia, Diocese of Virginia.  A career Army officer, he retired after 25 years of service in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps with the rank of colonel. He was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


ens_082316_davidMcElwain-1The Rev. David McElwain, Veterans Administration staff chaplain in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Diocese of Wyoming.  A retired Navy commander, among his military posts he served as pastoral care chaplain at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida, and as command chaplain, supervisory chaplain and battle group chaplain, USS Nassau Amphibious Ready Group.


ens_082316-carlWright-1The Rev. Carl Wright, St. Andrew’s Church, Pasadena, Maryland, Diocese of Maryland. In his military career, he has served as deputy command chaplain for the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Commissioned an Air Force chaplain in August 1993, Lieutenant Colonel Wright is an Associate Member of the Anglican religious Order of the Holy Cross (OHC).

The election is slated for the fall meeting of the House of Bishops Sept. 15-20. According to Episcopal Church Constitution Article II sec. 7, the House of Bishops who have gathered for the session will elect the bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries. The successful nominee must garner at least 50 percent of the total votes plus 1.

Christopher Weaver, rear admiral, U.S. Navy-retired, is the chair of the search committee.  Members of the committee are: Major General Razz Waff, USA (Ret.); Chaplain (Col.) Paul Minor, USANG; Col. Stephen Dalzell, USA (Ret); Chaplain (Col.) Carl Andrews, USAF (Ret.); Chaplain Marion Thullbery, Department of Veterans Affairs; Chaplain Christine Waweru, Federal Bureau of Prisons.

For more information contact Weaver at, or Maggie Mount


Comments (9)

  1. Not sure we’ve ever had a more impressive slate from which to choose. Congratulations sesrch committee!

  2. Martha Richards says:

    Firmly believe all are well qualified and would serve admirably.

  3. Cindi Bartol says:

    a wonderful list of qualified persons with military backgrounds – thank you search committee for the work taken to secure such fine candidates.

  4. Donald A Lowery says:

    Very impressive slate of candidates. The Church will be well served by any one of them

  5. Phillip Ayers says:

    Does anyone remember the boycott of the consecration of the Suffragan for the Armed Forces (as that post used to be called) by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship? A then-priest who was part of that demonstration, Edward Lee, later became Bishop of Western Michigan and my bishop for five and a half years. I would have to say he was one of the best bishops I’ve ever known and I much admired his integrity in remaining very much an advocate for peace in an area of the country (west Michigan) that often was not very friendly toward that stance. To this day, however, I’m not sure that that demonstration back in the sixties (seventies?) was necessary; but it did get some attention in the church press and otherwise. As an EPF member at that time, I disagreed, but quietly!
    Good luck and God bless whoever is elected. While something of a pacifist, I love and admire my brothers and sisters in the armed services and pray for them regularly. More especially, I love and admire my brother and sister clergy who serve as their chaplains, often in horrendous situations, offering their love, concern, caring and presence. Bless them!

  6. The Rev. Canon Rosa Lee Harden says:

    I find it impossible to believe there were zero qualified female candidates. This is 2016. This is not acceptable.

  7. Selena Smith says:

    Thank you EPF for your witness and challenge. Qualifications for the Bishop does not include leading a conquering Crusade for land in the Holy Land. I do not see ministry in the Church and service to the State as mutually exclusive. I see witnessing to Jesus the Peacemaker in whatever occupation to which one is called or takes up. Thanks to Canon Harden who raises an interesting question which can be explored with the Committee Chair using the contact info given above.

  8. Dr. Erna Lund says:

    Indeed are any of these candidates “Pro-Peace” and “Anti-War”? Our country shamefully has/is the warring nation, destructive, military focused with pride in the most sophisticated weaponry for killing! And any country that doesnot align itself with this policy is regarded as enemy or uncooperative in the world stage, UN, etc. As Grant Bakewell expressed so well where is the spirituality of Jesus and our Christian faith? The U.S. has destroyed The Holy Land and countries of the Middle East maintaining that this bombing,killing,destruction is “necessary to establish order in the region.” And thusly whitewashing 25 years of imperialist war crimes.

Comments are closed.