By Douglas LeBlanc
The Diocese of Central New York took only two ballots Saturday to elect the Rev. DeDe Duncan-Probe as its 11th bishop.
Duncan-Probe has served as rector of St. Peter’s in the Woods in Fairfax Station, Virginia, since 2009. She led in both orders of ministry from the first ballot.
Two priests, the Rev. Norah Smith (rector of Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington, New York) and the Rev. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew (rector of Christ Church in Manlius, New York), withdrew their names after the first ballot.
Two other priests remained on the ballot: the Rev. Noah H. Evans, rector of Grace Church in Medford, Massachusetts, and the Rev. Debra Jean Kissinger, canon for transition ministries and leadership development in the Diocese of Indianapolis.
Cleaver-Bartholomew, a nominee by petition, was the only priest serving in the Diocese of Central New York. Smith works within 250 miles, just north of New York City, and Evans works 200 miles away, near Boston.
The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III, tenth bishop of the diocese, announced in 2015 that he planned to retire this year. He has been nominated as the next Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. A special convention will convene Sept. 10 to act on that nomination.
Duncan-Probe holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University, a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a master of divinity from General Theological Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy in theology, completed through the Graduate Theological Foundation House/Oxford University.
“Jesus and his disciples journeyed with people; they spoke with people along the roadside, at social meeting places, and in the public square,” she wrote in a profile distributed by the diocese. “They actively engaged with people of different religious beliefs, cultural mores, and societal outlooks. In the 21st century I view the role of bishop as a return to this level of personal, social, and religious engagement, actively responding to societal and individual needs through relationship and by proclaiming the love of Christ in transformative and life-giving ways for all people.”