The diocese of South Carolina is pleased to announce the upcoming consecration of Mark Joseph Lawrence as its 14th Bishop on Saturday, January 26th, 2008, at the Cathedral of Saint Luke and Saint Paul in Charleston at 11:00 a.m.
Father Lawrence was born in Bakersfield, California, on March 19, 1950. He was educated at California State University, Bakersfield (BA, 1976) and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (M. Div. 1980). He has ministered at Church of the Holy Family, Fresno, California (1980), Saint Mark’s, Shafter, California (1981-1984), Saint Stephen’s, McKeesport, Pennsylvania (1984-1997) and Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, California (1997-2007). Known for being a dedicated pastor-teacher, Mark also served, among many other capacities, as a member of the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and the Board of Examining Chaplains, the latter of which he chaired. He also served as a deputy to the General Conventions of 2003 and 2006.
Mark has been married to Allison Kathleen Taylor since 1973. They have five children: Chadwick (33), married to Wendy; they have 3 children, Esther, Sarah, and Sydney; Adelia (30), married to Stephen Matson; they have three children, Natalie, Tobias, Macy; Emily (24), married to Jacob Jefferis; Joseph (23), married to Joette, who is expecting her first child this summer, and Chelsea (19).
Chief consecrator for the service will be E. Clifton Daniel, Bishop of East Carolina and president of the Fourth Province. He will be assisted by Edward L. Salmon, 13th Bishop of South Carolina, C. FitzSimons Allison, 12th bishop of South Carolina, Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, U.K., Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, and Hulio Holguin Khoury, Bishop of Dominican Republic.
The preacher for the service will be Alden Hathaway, former Bishop of Pittsburgh and now bishop-in-residence at Saint Helena’s, Beaufort, South Carolina.
Among distinguished foreign visitors in addition to two of the co-conscecrators are expected to be Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria, and Tony Burton, Bishop of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dean William McKeachie, who is hosting the service, said he is looking forward to a thrilling opportunity for worship and celebration. “With all that Mark Lawrence has been put though in the process of two elections and the ensuing confirmations, it seems that he has become more holy, happy, healthy, and good-humored than ever before.”
Backround on the Diocese of South Carolina
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is a diocese of approximately 75 parishes and missions in the lower half of the state of South Carolina known for its ministry of congregational development, evangelism, and church growth. According to national church statistics, the diocese grew its baptized membership 20.3% between 1996 and 2006. Edward L. Salmon Jr. was elected the last bishop of the diocese in 1989, a position he served with distinction for 18 years, including the last year or so as acting bishop at the request of the Standing Committee of the diocese. Both Edward L Salmon Jr. and Mark Joseph Lawrence were elected by a substantial margin in both orders on the first ballot.