Kristin Uffelman White ordained and consecrated 10th bishop of Southern Ohio

Posted Feb 20, 2024

The Rt. Rev. Kristin Uffelman White, center, was ordained and consecrated as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio on Feb. 17. Bishops pictured from left include Ohio Bishop Anne B. Jolly, now former Southern Ohio Bishop Provisional George Wayne Smith, Southern Ohio Assisting Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs, Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows and former Chicago Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee. Photo: Graham Stokes

[Diocese of Southern Ohio] The Rt. Rev. Kristin Uffelman White was ordained and consecrated as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio on Feb. 17 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. White, the first woman to serve as Southern Ohio’s diocesan bishop, leads more than 15,000 Episcopalians in 71 congregations across the southern half of Ohio.

“People of Southern Ohio, the one who you have called to be your bishop is faithful because in her bones, she knows that Jesus—the one who animates her life—is faithful. You have not only chosen one who wants to be with you, you’ve called someone who knows how to show up, be with, and who will be with you in the heat of the day at mile 20 of a marathon and beyond,” Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows said during the consecration sermon. “Kristin will lead you with conviction, clarity, grace and strength. She will listen robustly and lead you in this very complicated and challenging time in history.”

White served as canon to the ordinary for congregational development and leadership in Diocese of Indianapolis before her election to the episcopacy.

Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs, former bishop of Michigan who now serves as an assisting bishop in Southern Ohio, was the chief consecrating bishop. Baskerville-Burrows and Michigan Bishop Bonnie A. Perry, Ohio Bishop Anne B. Jolly and former Chicago Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee served as co-consecrators, along with Bishop Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt of the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and Bishop George Wayne Smith, who served as bishop provisional in Southern Ohio from August 2021 until White’s ordination and consecration.

The bulletin for the service and the worship space were decorated with artwork created by Cincinnati artist Lyric Morris-Latchaw, a member of Church of the Advent, Cincinnati. The hand-sculpted and painted pieces were inspired by stained glass preserved from St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, the diocese’s original cathedral. Four choirs sang during the service, including a massed diocesan choir, Coro Latinoamericano from Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, Raise Choir of Columbus, and the Canterbury Choir of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Columbus. A brass ensemble was provided by Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati.

Lay leaders bearing banners of diocesan congregations began the first of five processions, which included kite bearers, vergers, ecumenical and interfaith representatives, the bishop-elect’s family, and more than a hundred clergy from across The Episcopal Church. More than 20 bishops from around the church attended the service.

Kenny Ramos of Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador in Cincinnati read from Isaiah in Spanish, and Mari Fetz, daughter of the Rev. R. Derrick Fetz of the Northern Miami Valley Episcopal Cluster, read the same lesson in English. Jennifer Phelps, transition minister in the Diocese of Indianapolis, read from 1 Thessalonians. The Rev. Stephen Applegate, a priest of the diocese who is currently interim rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio, was the liturgist for the service, which nearly 1000 people attended in person.

In a letter included in the service bulletin, White wrote, “To you who have come from across the wide expanse of our diverse and beautiful diocese: you have made this day possible. I experienced God’s call to serve as Bishop of Southern Ohio as, again and again, you expressed the hope for a bishop who would be with you. Through the months that followed, I grew to trust, in the words of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, that the One who calls us is faithful. I am honored to be here with you now. Thank you, people of Southern Ohio, for calling me as your bishop. Thank you, all of you who are here, for being the Body of Christ gathered in this time and place.”

On Feb. 18, White was formally seated at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati. A video of Bishop White’s ordination and consecration is available on the Diocese of Southern Ohio’s YouTube channel. A video of the seating is available on Christ Church Cathedral’s YouTube channel.