The Rev. Dr. James "Jay" Magness was elected the sixth bishop suffragan for federal ministries March 24 during the meeting of the House of Bishops at Camp Allen, Texas, pending the required consents from a majority of the church's diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction.
Magness, 63, was chosen out of a field of eight nominees. A simple majority of the votes cast by the bishops was necessary for the election, according to the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs. Magness received 64 votes; 54 were required.
He is canon for mission and diocesan administration in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
The consecration is scheduled for June 19 at Washington National Cathedral, with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding.
The bishop suffragan for federal ministries, formally known in the church's constitution as the bishop suffragan for the Armed Forces, is responsible for the pastoral care and oversight of U.S. Armed Forces chaplains; military personnel and families; chaplains in federal hospitals, prisons and correctional facilities; and for the eucharistic communities related to military installations.
Current Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries George E. Packard is scheduled to retire in May.
The public affairs office confirmed that, even though Magness was elected by the House of Bishops, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to his ordination within 120 days of receiving notice of the election, as required by the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4).
The other candidates were:
- the Rev. Carl Andrews, 61, U.S. Air Force colonel and chaplain stationed at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas;
- the Rev. Dr. Robert G. Certain, 62, rector, Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Marietta, Georgia, and founding president, Care For The Troops Inc., Atlanta, Georgia;
- the Very Rev. Richard James Martindale, 53, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia;
- the Rev. Babs Meairs, 59, field coordinator, Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries;
- the Rev. C. Christopher Thompson, 56, rector, Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia;
- the Rev. John Weatherly, 58, Joint Force Headquarters chaplain and rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Virginia; and
- the Rev. Carl W. Wright, 50, U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and Air Force Global Strike Command chaplain stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, Louisiana.