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Steve Wood Elected ACNA Archbishop

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) bishops meeting in a conclave have chosen the Rt. Rev. Steve Wood to lead the 15-year-old denomination.

Wood serves as Bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas and rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Originally from Ohio, Wood became rector of St. Andrew’s in 2000. It grew to become one of the largest parishes in the Episcopal Church (the seventh-largest when it left the denomination for the ACNA).

Under Wood’s leadership, St. Andrew’s was described by the Charleston Post & Courier as “one of the Lowcountry’s biggest church success stories,” growing to a membership of more than 3,200 and planting new churches in North Charleston and downtown Charleston.

In March 2020, Wood was hospitalized with COVID-19, recovering after spending 10 days on a ventilator.

A two-thirds vote of bishops with jurisdiction (seated diocesan bishops) is required for the election of a new archbishop. Wood will be invested in a service this autumn, but assumes the spiritual authority to take up his office on June 28 at the closing Eucharist of ACNA Provincial Assembly held this week at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

The archbishop-designate will receive the Provincial Cross from Archbishop Foley Beach, who will complete his second five-year term at the conclusion of the Assembly. Beach is not retiring, but will continue as diocesan bishop for the Anglican Diocese of the South. ACNA’s constitution provides that an archbishop who has served one five-year term of office may be elected for a second term but not a third.

Before the conclave, Archbishop Beach asked ACNA members to pray for the bishops as they considered his successor. The process ultimately leading to Beach’s selection in 2014 was challenging, with some bishops proving ineligible or unable to secure the necessary two-thirds majority. Beach, among the younger members of the College of Bishops at the time, was selected as a compromise candidate acceptable to bishops from different forms of churchmanship and conviction on Holy Orders.

In 2022, ACNA reported 977 churches, 124,999 members, and an average Sunday attendance of 75,583. Numbers for 2023 are to be released by the denomination’s communications officer during the ACNA Provincial Council.

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