Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mark Lawrence Elected Bishop of South Carolina September 16th

September 16th, 2006 posted by kendall at 3:55 pm

From here:

The Very Rev. Mark J. Lawrence was elected September 16 as the fourteenth bishop of South Carolina on the first ballot at an electing Convention at Saint Philip’s Church, Charleston. Based on the numbers present as announced by Michael Ridgill, Convention secretary, an election required 29 votes in the lay order and 54 in the clergy order. According to near final figures, Father Lawrence received 42.5 lay votes and 72 clergy votes on the first ballot.

A fifth generation Californian, and a native of Bakersfield, California, Mark Lawrence attended local public schools, wrestled in high school and college, graduating from California State University, Bakersfield in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. After earning a Master of Divinity from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in 1980, Father Lawrence has spent his entire ordained ministry in parish work. After his diaconal year 1980-81, which he spent assisting in a newly planted church in suburban Fresno, California, and as chaplain at Fresno State University, Bishop Victor Rivera appointed him as the vicar of St. Mark’s Shafter, an Anglo-catholic congregation in the rural San Joaquin Valley.

Mark later served as rector of Saint Stephen’s in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, from 1984-1997, and was subsequently called to Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, California, where he has served until the present day. He has served as a deputy to the 2003 and 2006 General Conventions from the Diocese of San Joaquin, both times as a member of the Legislative Committee on the Consecration of Bishops.

Mark is a member of the Order of St. Luke, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and has been active in Cursillo.

He was married to Allison Taylor in 1973. They have five children, and six grandchildren. All are active in parish life and Christian ministry.

“We are very grateful for the election of a bishop and the overhwhelming mandate with which it provides our new leader” said Father Dow Sanderson, chairman of the Standing Committee and chair of today’s electing Convention.

Reached by telephone on Saturday afternoon, Mark Lawrence shared the following:

“I had a dream last night that awakened me in the middle of the night, and the person speaking said I had a monumental task pulling me forward and as I heard him I was too horrified to go forward on my own. It encapsulated so well how I have felt in the last few weeks and brought me tremendous comfort.

Now as I look ahead I see in considering the dream that there is a monumental task ahead, and no one knows more than I how unworthy I am to fulfill this call. Yet somehow it has pulled me forward thus far, and if I have the assurance of the prayers and trust and love of the people of the Diocese of South Carolina, we will go forward together and under God I believe he will give us what we need to take us where He wishes us to go.”


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