The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
» Site Map   » Questions    

« Return
Northern California elects Barry Beisner as bishop coadjutor

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

The Rev. Canon Barry Beisner, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Northern California, was elected May 6 as bishop coadjutor of his diocese.  

[Episcopal News Service] 

The Rev. Canon Barry Beisner, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Northern California, was elected May 6 as bishop coadjutor of his diocese.

Beisner, 54, who was chosen on the fourth ballot, will succeed Bishop Jerry Lamb, who called in late 2004 for a coadjutor to succeed him when he retires January 1.

To be elected on the fourth ballot, based on the number of votes cast, a nominee needed 56 votes in the clergy order and 131 in the lay order. Beisner received 79 clergy votes and 145 lay votes. The results of the balloting are available at

The convention had to declare its second ballot null and void due to an error with its vote-counting machines.

Beisner served parishes in the dioceses of Northern California, California and Southern Ohio before becoming canon to the ordinary in Northern California in 2002. He is a frequent facilitator for vestry planning retreats, clergy retreats and mutual ministry reviews. He has taught a parish leadership course at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), the Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, California.

He has a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a master of divinity degree from CDSP and is nearing completion of a doctor of ministry degree there. Beisner also has a master of sacred theology degree from General Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1979.

Beisner is married to the Rev. L. Ann Hallisey, national coordinator of Fresh Start, a program of the Church Deployment Office. They have six grown children.

The Episcopal Church's General Convention will be asked to consent to Beisner's election because it occurred within 120 days of the convention, which runs from June 13-21 in Columbus, Ohio. Beisner's consecration is scheduled for September 30.

The other two nominees were:

  • the Rev. Jonathan B. Coffey Jr., 56, rector, St. Anthony's on the Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona (Diocese of Arizona), and
  • the Very Rev. James Nixon, 57, rector, St. Catherine's Episcopal Church, Marietta, Georgia, (Diocese of Atlanta).

More information about all the nominees is available at

The Rev. Canon Irwin M. Lewis, Jr., 53, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Southern Virginia, had also been nominated but wrote to the Northern California Standing Committee on March 12 withdrawing from the race. He wrote that he had come to understand that he could not uproot his 15-year-old daughter.

The election took place at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park, California.