Gunter, rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was elected on the 2nd ballot out of a field of three candidates. To be elected, a candidate must have received a majority of the votes in both the lay order and the clergy order. On the second ballot, he received 73 of 99 votes cast in the lay order (50 required) and 43 of 69 votes cast in the clergy order (35 required).
Under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, the election of a bishop requires the consent from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church. Assuming that consent is received, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will ordain Gunter as bishop on April 26, 2014 at Appleton Alliance Church in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The election, which was held at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Fond du Lac, followed a year-long search process in which three candidates were selected by the diocesan search committee; a fourth was nominated through a petition process. One candidate withdrew for personal reasons. Prior to the election, the three candidates spent early October traversing the diocese, meeting the people, and answering questions in a series of three “walkabouts.”
The other two candidates for bishop were:
- The Rev. Eric Mills, rector, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, De Pere, Wisconsin, and
- The Very Rev. Michael Rasicci, rector, Calvary Episcopal Church, Batavia, Illinois.
Gunter has been rector of St. Barnabas since 2000. Growing up on a farm in northern Indiana he received a B.A. in History from Indiana University. After teaching and working in education for a decade, he attended Virginia Theological Seminary, receiving a M.Div. Following ordination to the priesthood he served St. David’s Episcopal Church, Glenview. Over almost two decades of ordained ministry, Gunter has served in many capacities including spiritual advisor of Cursillo and Happening, Commission on Global Ministry (Diocese of Chicago), dean of the Aurora Deanery, deputy to three General Conventions, chaplain at the 75th General Convention, diocesan delegation to Renk, Sudan, and the San Joaquin County AIDS Foundation. He is married to Leslie and they have three adult children.
Gunter will succeed the Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus, who is retiring after serving as bishop of Fond du Lac for 19 years. Jacobus and his wife, Jerrie, will continue to live in Wisconsin. They will be doing a lot of traveling to visit their children in California, New York and Israel.