The Rev. Kevin S. Brown, rector of Holy Comforter Church in Charlotte since 2010, has been elected 11th Bishop of Delaware.
Brown was one of five nominees for the position, and he was elected on the fifth ballot. Election required winning a two-thirds majority among both clergy and laity.
The other nominees were:
- The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan, the Episcopal Church in Connecticut
- The Very Rev. Michael Battle, Herbert Thompson Professor of Church and Society and director of the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary
- The Rev. Patricia S. Downing, rector, Trinity and Old Swedes Parish, Wilmington, Delaware
- The Rev. Canon Scott A. Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement
Brown led among laity from the first ballot, drawing 39 of the 52 votes he would need to win. Clergy first favored Gunn. Brown took the lead among clergy on the second ballot.
A native of the U.S. Air Force who has worked for FedEx Corp. and the investment banking company Coolidge & Co. of Memphis, Brown is a graduate of Duke University, the University of West Florida, and General Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 2007, and has served parishes in Tennessee and North Carolina.
“I had no inkling of priesthood until my early thirties, a few years after starting a family, buying a house, and building a career,” Brown wrote in a narrative biographical statement [PDF]. “Though I was ‘successful,’ I was shaken by an urgent question. I knew I could teach my daughters to work hard and find good jobs. But could I, their father, lead them toward a life worth living? What is a life worth living? My priorities were upended. I found myself praying seriously for the first time in my life, and I learned firsthand that honest prayer can rock your world. Within a few years my family and I were at General Seminary marching toward an unexpected future.”