[Diocese of Upper South Carolina] The Rt. Rev. Daniel Paul Richards was ordained and consecrated as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina on Feb. 26 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina.
“I am excited that you all have broad theological diversity and love each other. The Episcopal Church needs to be a whole church,” Richards said. “We need traditional teaching, faith and practice even as we reach out to our neighbors in ways that stretch us. We need to pass on the faith that was given to us, and we need to be willing to pass it on to anyone who will follow Jesus.
“The church can be bold and faithful in our love of others when we are rooted in the Bible, the sacraments and strong community ties. In both the survey responses and the profile, the people and clergy of the diocese wrote of a desire to have a bishop with a strong faith rooted in Christ. I am excited to lead a diocese that is hungry to know God more and to follow Christ more than any agenda.”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry served as the chief consecrator. The Very Rev. Rebecca McClain of the Diocese of Arizona preached at the service, sharing the knowledge she has gained from a lasting friendship with the newly ordained bishop.
“Let it be known that the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina has come to set your hearts ablaze with the love of Christ!” said McClain. “Upper South Carolina, hear me! This is good news for the small towns and villages and churches of Upper South Carolina. Daniel of The Way [of Jesus] is coming to see you and will bring joy to your hearts, stories to inspire you and the oil of gladness to bless you.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person seating was limited, but the service was livestreamed on Trinity Cathedral’s Vimeo page and a recording can be viewed at this link.
Raised in Cleveland, Mississippi, and Tennessee before moving with his family to Phoenix, Arizona, Richards has served as rector of a parish, a curate, a dean, a spiritual director for high school students and a youth and young adult coordinator. Prior to his election in September, he was serving as rector of Christ Church of the Ascension, a parish and day school, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and chaplain of the Phoenix Fire Department. He is married to Amy Richards and they have two college-age daughters and one son.
As diocesan bishop, Richards will lead 62 churches (including parishes, missions and worshiping communities) affiliated with The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in the western half of South Carolina. The diocese represents more than 10,000 members and more than 150 priests and 18 deacons who are either canonically resident or licensed to serve the diocese.