Two more bishops have been nominated by petition for consideration as the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, bringing the total number of nominees to seven.
Bishop Charles Edward Jenkins III of Louisiana and Bishop Francisco Duque-Gomez of Colombia announced their intention to accept nomination at the House of Bishops meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Bishops J. Neil Alexander of Atlanta, Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., of Kentucky, Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada, and Henry N. Parsley Jr. of Alabama were nominated in January by the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington was nominated by petition in February.
All seven addressed the House of Bishops in a March 19 evening session devoted to hearing the nominees' views on the ministry of the Presiding Bishop in church, national and global contexts. Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia -- who co-chairs the Nominating Committee with Diane Pollard of New York -- convened the two-hour session. While the session was reserved for bishops only, views of the nominees will be published by April 10 concurrently with release of the "Blue Book" reports to the upcoming 75th General Convention.
Each nominee by petition is subject to the same background checks and screenings conducted for the four bishops selected by the Nominating Committee, Lee and Pollard said, adding that April 1 is the deadline for any other nominees by petition. The election is set for June 18 in the House of Bishops, meeting during the 75th General Convention.
"I had to decide last Friday night whether or not I would agree to the request of twelve Bishops who asked me to allow them to nominate me from the floor for consideration as the next Presiding Bishop," Jenkins wrote to his diocese March 19. "As you may know, I had been previously dropped from the process by the Nominating Committee. These twelve bishops who asked me were from across the spectrum of the Church and included liberal and conservative, male and female and are of various colors. I am humbled by and conflicted by their request.
"After a long night and day of struggle and wrestling with myself and with God, I decided to allow them to put my name in nomination, this time for consideration by the entire House of Bishops.
"... In saying yes to these Bishops I am not saying that I prefer something else over the work of 'episcope' in Louisiana. I am saying that I want to be open to serve God as I might be called. Unless and until called elsewhere, I believe I am called to serve God in Louisiana. The Church will discern where best I might serve God and use whatever gifts and talents God gives me at this juncture in my life."
No letter from Duque to his diocese was immediately available to reporters.
A native of Louisiana, Charles Edward Jenkins III attended Louisiana schools and graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1973 and Nashotah House Seminary in 1976. He was consecrated bishop coadjutor of Louisiana in New Orleans on January 31, 1998 and was invested as the tenth bishop of Louisiana at Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, on March 28, 1998.
Jenkins was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Nashotah House in 1992 and an honorary doctorate from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1999. In his continuing education, he studied for five years with Rabbi Edwin Friedman.
Jenkins was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop James Brown in 1977. His first call was as assistant chaplain at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he served from 1976-77. He next served as assistant rector at Grace, Monroe, until 1979. In his only tenure out of state, he was called as rector of St. Mark's, Arlington, Texas where he served from 1979-1985. Jenkins was called as rector of St. Luke's, Baton Rouge, in 1985 where he served until his election as bishop coadjutor in 1997.
As a priest, Jenkins was president of the Standing Committee from 1992-1994. He was elected a Louisiana clerical deputy to General Convention in 1994 and 1997. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House Seminary from 1981-1991. At the 73rd General Convention in Denver, Jenkins chaired the House of Bishops Structure Committee and served as a member of the church's Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons.
At the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis in 2003, he served on the Cognate Committee on Evangelism and was appointed to the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice. In 2004, he was elected president of the council.
In 2005 he was invited by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to join the delegation to address the Anglican Consultative Council's meeting as representatives of the Episcopal Church.
Following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the fall of 2005, Jenkins partnered with Episcopal Relief and Development to form the diocesan Office of Disaster Response and is involved in long-range community rebuilding plans.
He and his wife, Louise Hazel Jenkins, reside in New Orleans and are the parents of two grown sons.
Francisco J. Duque-Gomez was chosen unanimously on February 2, 2001, as Bishop Coadjutor of Colombia and consecrated in the Church of San Albán of Bogota on July 14, 2001. He is the fourth bishop of the Episcopal Church in Colombia, constituted as a Missionary Church by the General Convention in 1963.
Born in Salamina (Caldas), Colombia, in 1950, he is married to Blanca Lucia Echeverry. They have three children.
He was received into the Episcopal Church in December 1967 by the first bishop of Colombia, the Rt. Rev. David Reed.
Duque holds a doctorate in law and social sciences from the Universidad Libre de Colombia in 1978. He is a practicing trial attorney for several companies and in the financial sector, as well as a university professor, teaching in the area of civil, family and commercial law since 1978.
He has studied alternative mechanisms of conflict resolution at the National University of Colombia and participated in several symposiums and conferences on the subject.
Duque studied theology at the Seminary of the Caribbean in Puerto Rico, the Universidad Javeriana of Bogota, and the Theological Training Center of the Diocese of Colombia (CET), where he currently serves as a professor of constitution and canons.
Duque also participates in social work with vulnerable groups who are victims of Colombia's internal conflicts, in union with different churches and religious denominations. He participates in different ecumenical forums involving the country's minority churches. He was the first nonstipendiary priest of the Diocese of Colombia for 12 years.
From 1997 to 2003 he represented the Episcopal Church's Province IX as a member of the Executive Council and also served as a member of its communications and international relations subcommittees. He also represented Province IX before the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He served on the Comite de Convenio of Province IX, regarding autonomy with the Episcopal Church, and participated in the writing of agreements with the Church of Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. He is president of the Province IX Court of Appeal and representative of Province IX to the Ministry Development Committee of the Episcopal Church.
He served the Diocese of Colombia as Secretary of Diocesan Convention in 1972, as well as president of the diocesan standing committee and of various diocesan committees. In 1975 he represented the Diocese before the Provincial Synod and has been a member of the Province IX Council for 20 years. In 1978 he was elected Provincial Chancellor, a post he held for 14 years.