[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Carlye J. Hughes was ordained and consecrated as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark Sept. 22 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. More than 2,000 people attended the consecration service, and nearly 200 others from around the world watched on live-streamed video.
Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry led the service as chief consecrator. The Rev. Brenda Husson, rector of St. James’ Church in Manhattan, was the preacher for the service.
The service was a festive celebration, with music led by a choir of more than 300 singers, including a children’s choir of more than 60. There was a mix of traditional and Gospel music, accented by a brass quintet, a jazz pianist, African drums and bagpipes, as well as the traditional organ.
On Sunday, Sept. 23, the newly consecrated bishop was formally welcomed at Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark at a service of choral evensong, and was seated in the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, that is symbolic of the bishop’s office.
Earlier that day, Hughes led morning worship at an outdoor service for the combined congregations of Episcopal churches in Jersey City, while Curry led worship at St. Paul’s Church in Paterson.
Hughes was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark on May 19, 2018 on the first ballot – the same day Curry caught the world’s attention by preaching at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The 1,109th bishop of the Episcopal Church, she is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Bishop of Newark.
Prior to her election, she was rector of Trinity Church, Ft. Worth, Texas, a position she held since 2012. In 1998, she earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Texas; and in 2005, she received a master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. She is married to David Smedley, a student financial aid specialist.
Hughes succeeds the Rt. Rev. Mark M. Beckwith, who served as the 10th bishop of the diocese for nearly 12 years.
The Episcopal Diocese of Newark comprises the northern third of New Jersey, with congregations in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Warren and Union counties, and includes the two largest cities in the state, Newark and Jersey City.