The Rt. Rev. Dabney Tyler Smith was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Southwest Florida on Dec. 9, 2006. He was consecrated as a bishop on March 10, 2007 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was seated as the fifth bishop of the diocese Sept. 15, 2007 at St. Peter's Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Prior to his election, he had been rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, La., since January 2005. The church, with about 2,500 members and seven associate clergy, includes Trinity Episcopal School (pre-K through eighth grade with 329 students), and a counseling and training center.
In post-Katrina New Orleans, he served on the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative that exists to create desperately needed housing for hurricane victims. He was also on the steering committee of Common Good, a public partnership of faith-based, nonprofit, civic and higher-education organizations that brings the voice of the citizens of New Orleans to the table with the political and business sectors. He served on the Diocesan Rebuilding Committee for the Diocese of Louisiana and on the diocesan executive board.
He earned a B.A. in broadcasting production from the University of South Florida, Tampa (1980); an M. Div. from Nashotah House, cum laude (1987); and a D. Min. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary with special focus on congregational development (1999). He served at Holy Trinity in Melbourne, Fla; St. Michael and All Angels in South Bend, Ind.; and Grace Church in Port Orange, Fla.
He is president of the Bishop Gray Retirement Foundation and a member of the board of directors of the Dominican Development Group, a trustee of the University of the South and Nashotah House, and is a member of the House of Bishops Planning Committee. As Vice President of Province IV, he sits on the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice. He was recently appointed by the Presiding Bishop to serve on the Standing Committee on Mission and Evangelism. In the Diocese of Southwest Florida, he serves on the board of Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa.
He also served the wider Church as chairman of the Episcopal Church Building Fund and boardmember of the Seminary of the Southwest.
Born in 1953, Bishop Smith is a Florida native, the son of the late The Rev. Dorsey and Dorothy Smith.
He and wife Mary Wallis Smith are the parents of five grown children; sons Dabney Smith and Andrew Bennett Wallis and daughters Alicia Caputo, Megan (Meg) Wallis and Ashton Williston. They have six grandchildren, Dabney Tyler, Emma, Isabella, Abigail and twins James Christopher and Lucas Tyler.
His hobbies include music (he played guitar and keyboards in various groups for many years), and reading history and biographies.