Diocese of Texas elects Dena Harrison as bishop suffragan

April 29, 2006

The Venerable Dena Harrison, archdeacon and canon for ministry in the Diocese of Texas, was elected April 29 as the diocese's second bishop suffragan.

Harrison, 59, was elected on the third ballot during the election held at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston.

She becomes the 13th woman elected as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.

She will serve with diocesan Bishop Don A. Wimberly, Bishop Suffragan Rayford B. High Jr. and Assistant Bishop John C. Buchanan.

A bishop suffragan acts as an assistant to and under the direction of the diocesan bishop, and serves as a bishop for the whole church. Harrison will oversee pastoral and congregational development for the 64 Episcopal congregations in the Austin region.

Harrison was born and raised in Texas. She received the master of divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 1987. She was ordained to the diaconate later that year and was made a priest in early 1988. She served three parishes in Texas before becoming canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Texas in 2000. Harrison took her present position in 2003.

The Episcopal Church's General Convention will be asked to consent to Harrison's election because it occurred within 120 days of the convention, which runs from June 13-21 in Columbus, Ohio. Her consecration is set for October 7 at Camp Allen.

To be elected, a nominee had to receive a majority of the votes in both the clergy and lay orders on the same ballot. The number constituting a majority was based on actual votes cast. Election on the third ballot required 216 lay votes and 98 clergy votes. Harrison received 222 lay votes and 133 clergy votes.

Results of the three ballots are available at www.epicenter.org/edot/Default.asp.

The other nominees were: the Rev. James McGill, canon missioner at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston; the Rev. Albert Rodriguez, rector of St. John's, Austin and the Rev. Frankie Rodriquez, rector of Calvary, Richmond.

Information all the nominees is available at www.epicenter.org/edot/Bishop_Election_Nominees.asp?SnID=1547410525

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