Adapted from a report by Katy Nesbitt of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon
The Diocese of Eastern Oregon elected the Rev. Patrick Bell as bishop on the first ballot on Dec. 12.
Bell has served as rector of St. Luke’s Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, since 2002. The other two nominees were the Rev. Jedediah Holdorph, rector of Trinity Church in Bend, Oregon, and the Very Rev. Churchill Pinder, dean of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Kim McClain, president of the diocese’s standing committee, said Bell’s background lends itself to his new position as the seventh Bishop of Eastern Oregon. He is a seventh-generation Eastern Washingtonian, hailing from a long farming tradition, and his first Episcopal parish was in Ontario, Oregon.
Bell was raised Episcopalian and became an evangelical Protestant as a young adult. He is a graduate of Whitworth College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Seminary of the Southwest. He was a Pentecostal minister before returning to the Episcopal Church. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1989.
“It broadened my spiritual understanding and my ability to work with evangelical Christians,” Bell said. “I have a deep appreciation for what they believe.”
The bishopric of Eastern Oregon is a half-time position; Bell said he will be in the diocese two weeks a month and will maintain his residence in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The diocesan offices moved to Cove from The Dalles in Oct. 2013. Bell said he would keep the offices at Ascension School.
Bell’s ordination and consecration is scheduled for April 16.