GEORGIA: Benhase becomes diocese's 10th bishop[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Scott Benhase was ordained and consecrated Jan. 23 as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
Benhase succeeds Bishop Henry I. Louttit, Georgia's ninth bishop, who has served the diocese since January 1995.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the chief consecrator in the service that took place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.
The other consecrating bishops were Louttit, eighth Georgia Bishop Harry W. Shipps, Maryland Bishop Eugene T. Sutton and New Jersey Assisting Bishop Sylvestre D. Romero. Among the other bishops who participated were John Chane of Washington, Julio C. Holguin of the Dominican Republic, J. Neil Alexander of Atlanta and Arthur Williams, retired bishop suffragan of Ohio.
The Very Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl, the retired dean of Trinity School for Ministry, was the preacher.
Benhase, 52, was the rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., when he was elected bishop Sept. 12 on the second ballot out of a field of six nominees. He received 76 votes of 146 cast in the lay order and 58 of 103 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 74 in the lay order and 53 in the clergy order.
Prior to his ordination and consecration, Benhase told the Savannah Morning News that in his 26-year priesthood he has learned the need for patience in the midst of division.
"When we're in dilemmas, the worst thing we can do is try to force a resolution before one appears," Benhase said. "I think God's m.o. (modus operandi) and the Holy Spirit's m.o. throughout this for the church is that if we remain faithful and stay together and bear one another's burdens long enough, the Holy Spirit almost always has a tendency to provide a way forward."
Within 120 days of receiving notice of his election a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees consented to Benhase's ordination as bishop, as is required under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church.
Benhase, who graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary, served congregations in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia before being called to St. Alban's in 2006. He is married to Kelly Jones Benhase and they have three children: Jake, 22, Charley, 18, and Mary Grace, 16.
More information about Benhase, including a video presentation and answers to the search committee's questions, is available here.