ST. LOUIS – The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri has elected an openly gay man as its next leader.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rev. Deon Johnson will replace Bishop George Wayne Smith upon Smith’s retirement this spring. The election was held this weekend at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis.
Preaching there Sunday, the Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd said the Episcopal Church “has not always been a safe space” for all but that a “new season is ahead.”
Johnson is rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, near Detroit. He and his husband have two children. He says he has a passion for “social justice and inclusion.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri has about 11,500 active members who live in the eastern half of the state.