[Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey] The Rev. Canon William ‘Chip’ H. Stokes, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Delray Beach, Florida, has been elected as 12th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.
Stokes, 56, was elected May 4 out of a field of nine nominees. He was elected on the fifth ballot by the election convention meeting at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.
“I am humbled beyond expression and deeply honored to have been elected as the 12th bishop of New Jersey,” he said. “I am grateful to the people of the diocese for their confidence, support and prayers. I am grateful above all to God in Christ who has called me and walked with me throughout my journey.”
Stokes said the Diocese of New Jersey is a part of “the deep history” of the Episcopal Church. “It is an overwhelming thing to be brought into that history through this election,” he said. “The diocese is made up of a rich and wonderful variety of people. The diversity of the diocese is one of its great strengths and beauties. The people of the diocese understand well the very real challenges that face the church today. My experience of the clergy and lay people of the diocese is that that they are faithful, hopeful and up to any challenges as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us ‘right onward.’ I look forward to getting to know them and to journeying with them hand in hand as we all respond to God’s call to us to love and serve one another, the communities in which we are placed and the wider church and world.”
The other nominees were:
- The Rev. David Anderson, 56, rector of St. Luke’s Parish in Darien, Connecticut;
- The Rev. Joan Beilstein, 52, rector of Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring, Maryland;
- The Rev. Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, 56, vicar, Christ Church, Trenton;
- The Very Rev. René John, 52, dean, Trinity Cathedral, Trenton;
- The Rev. Canon Donald J. Muller, 60, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Medford;
- The Rev. Allen F. Robinson, 43, rector of St. James’ Church in Baltimore, Maryland;
- The Rev. Canon Melissa M. Skelton, 62, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Seattle, Washington; and canon for congregational development and leadership of the Diocese of Olympia; and
- The Rev. Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez, 60, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Walnut Creek, California.
Under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.
Pending a successful consent process, the ordination is scheduled for Nov. 2 at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.
Stokes will succeed the Rt. Rev. George Edward Councell who has served as the diocese’s 11th bishop since 2003.
Biographical information about Bishop-elect Stokes is available here.
View bishop-elect Stoke’s self-introduction video to the people of New Jersey here.