[Episcopal News Service] The Very Rev. Jacob W. Owensby was ordained and consecrated on July 21 as the fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana during a service at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport.
Owensby, 54, succeeds the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, who is retiring after leading the diocese as its bishop for the last 10 years.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori served as chief consecrator during the service. Co-consecrators were MacPherson and Bishop George Wayne Smith of Missouri. Nine other Episcopal bishops and one Lutheran bishop also participated in the service. The preacher was the Very Rev. Brian Grantz, dean of St. James Cathedral in South Bend, Indiana.
Owensby served as dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Western Louisiana diocese, since January 2009. He previously served as rector of Emmanuel Church, Webster Groves, Missouri; as rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Huntsville, Alabama; and as assistant rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in Jacksonville, Florida. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Emory University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1997.
Shortly after his election on April 21, Owensby said: “I am humbled to be called to be the fourth bishop of Western Louisiana and filled with affection for the good people who make this part of our state their geographical and spiritual home … My first and most important job is to love the people of this diocese and to help them grow in their witness to the extravagant love of God in Jesus Christ. I am especially looking forward to building deep relationships with my fellow clergy, visiting with our congregations and helping them to grow in vitality, and serving our Lord together with these wonderful people.”
Owensby is married to Joy, and they have three children; Andrew (23), Meredith (19) and Patrick (15).
The Western Louisiana diocese extends from the Arkansas border to the Gulf of Mexico and includes 52 congregations.