The Rt. Rev. Terry Allen White was consecrated as the Diocese of Kentucky's eighth bishop on Sept. 25, 2010 at the Galt House in Louisville as more than 1,000 congregants from across the United States watched.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, was the chief consecrator, assisted by six co-consecrators: the Bishop Ted Gulick, White's predecessor; Bishop Barry Howe of the Diocese of Western Missouri; New Jersey Bishop George E. Councell, San Diego; Bishop James R. Mathes, retired; Chicago Bishop James W. Montgomery; and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Bishop William O. Gafkjen. Thirteen other bishops also attended the service, as well as religious leaders from other denominations in Kentucky.
White comes to the Commonwealth of Kentucky from Kansas, City, Mo., where he had served since 2004 as the dean of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Diocese of West Missouri.
Before being called to Kansas City, he served as rector of Trinity Church, Highland Park, Ill. from 1995-2004; associate rector at Christ Church, Winnetka, Ill., from 1991 to 1995; Vicar of St. Paul's Church, Plymouth, and St. Boniface, Chilton, Wis., from 1987-1991. He was curate of Christ Church, Winnetka, from 1985-1987.
White was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in 1959, and received a Bachelor of Arts in religion and philosophy from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1982, and a Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1985. He was ordained a deacon in 1985 and priest in 1986.
While a dean, White was a deputy to the 75th and 76th General Conventions, serving as vice-chair of the legislative Committee on the Certification of Minutes in 2006, and as a member of the legislative Committee on Liturgy, Prayer Book, and Music in 2009. In the Diocese of West Missouri, he served as a member of the Standing Committee and the Companion Diocese Committee, was a board member of Episcopal Community Services for the dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri, and a member the House Abraham Builds steering committee, an interfaith Habitat project in Kansas City. He is also a member of the Christian Leadership Seminar and Project Interchange of the American Jewish Committee, Chicago Chapter.
While in the Diocese of Chicago, he served as presiding officer of the Commission on Ministry, chair of the Liturgy Committee, chair of the Priesthood Formation Committee, and chaplain and associate director of the School for Deacons. For nine years he was a field education supervisor for Seabury-Western. He has also served as a diocesan ecumenical officer and stewardship consultant.
He is married to Linda Sue White. They have two children, Tim and Beckah.
The night before White's consecration as bishop, the Rev. Canon Susan L. Sommer, his former subdean at the cathedral, gave a humorous testimonial of the dean's proclivities, but she closed by telling the people of the Diocese of Kentucky with utmost seriousness that they had "chosen well." In her sermon at the consecration service, she elaborated a bit after telling the people of the diocese to “rejoice” in the listener they have called as bishop. Her former dean, she said, “pays attention to how he listens” and listens as taught by Jesus, listening that goes beyond “nodding our heads in pious agreement” and leads to action.
“In the 15 years that I have known Terry, I have come to appreciate and to covet his ability to listen for content and for process, for red flags and for subtle nuance. He has an enormous capacity to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit both at work within the community he leads as well as within his heart through his own rich life of prayer. And this listening to God’s Word always, always leads him to action, though I must admit not always with the immediacy.”