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Deputies Elect Steve Pankey as Vice President

The Rev. Steve Pankey of Kentucky was elected Vice President of the House of Deputies on the second ballot on June 27. He was the only one of four candidates to endorse President Julia Ayala Harris, who was handily reelected on June 25.

“I am humbled and honored to be elected the 16th vice president of the House of Deputies,” he said immediately after the announcement of the election results. “Thank you for trusting me with this office. I promise I won’t let you down.”

He added, “Our beloved Episcopal Church is in exceedingly good hands with President Julia Ayala Harris, Presiding Bishop Curry, and Presiding Bishop-Elect Rowe. I can’t believe I get the chance to work with them.

“Let’s be about sharing the love of Jesus with one another and with a world that desperately needs it.”

Pankey is rector of Christ Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He served on Executive Council from 2020 to 2022 and is on the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution, and Canons.

At a Thursday morning candidates’ forum, Pankey said he wants “to follow God’s call in service to the church.”

He cited his extensive committee work. “That is what I do. That’s important. But more important is who I am. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I am committed to deep listening, compassionate leadership, and standing with those who have been on the margins for too long.”

He said collaborations “have allowed me to speak hard truths when necessary.” For example, he is the rector of “a ‘purple parish.’ I have learned to keep people who might disagree with one another living in community, loving another, moving forward in common mission.”

Pankey has pressed for a job description for the vice presidential post: “Make sure that everything about this role, this very limited role, is in the canons so that everyone knows what the responsibilities are.

“One of the most important things we can get started in the next 30 days is an evaluation process,” he said. “I can learn from the hard lessons President Ayala Harris has been through these past two years. We can move forward. Constant communication is important.”

Three other deputies ran for the post: the Rev. John Floberg of North Dakota, the Rev. Charles Graves IV of Texas, and the Rev. Ruth Meyers of California.

On the second ballot, deputies cast 415 votes, with these results:

  • Pankey, 442
  • Meyers, 278
  • Graves, 71
  • Floberg, 21

The incumbent vice president, the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, opted not to run for reelection as she challenged Ayala Harris for the presidency. Ayala Harris was re-elected on the first ballot.


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