Rector of Christ Church Woodbury Elected Bishop of Springfield

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. —BCP page 818, #13

The Diocese of New Jersey congratulates The Very Rev. Brian K. Burgess, rector of Christ Church Woodbury and Dean of the Woodbury Convocation of the diocese upon his election as the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, Illinois.

Bishop-Elect Burgess was selected yesterday by the Electing Synod of the Diocese of Springfield yesterday.

The following news article appears on the web site of the Diocese of Springfield:

Bishop Election

The Episcopal Diocese of Springfield has elected The Very Rev. Brian K. Burgess as its next bishop.

The Very Reverend Brian K. Burgess currently serves as the 13th rector of Christ Church in Woodbury, New Jersey, and Dean of the three county Woodbury Convocation of parishes and missions. Canonically resident in the Diocese of New Jersey since 2005, Fr. Burgess has held various leadership roles, including serving on Diocesan Council and Diocesan Standing Committee.

Prior to being called as rector of Christ Church, Fr. Burgess served as rector of Saint John’s in Brooksville, Florida, and associate priest and chaplain to the Parish Day School at Saint Luke’s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Music from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and his Master of Divinity from Sewanee—The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He is married to his college sweetheart, Denise Lee, and they have two children, Robert and Catherine.

The bishop-elect was chosen by clergy and lay leaders representing each of the congregations of the diocese during the Electing Synod on Saturday, December 11. A majority of votes in both orders is needed for an election. He was elected after the 2nd round of ballots with 60% of clergy votes and 64% of lay votes.

“When we started this process nearly two years ago, we couldn’t possibly know what would be in store for the world, the church, and this election,” said the Rev. Benjamin D. Hankinson, President of the Standing Committee. “What we did know is that we were searching for one who would be a witness with us to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and praying ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us who you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship.’ By God’s grace at work in this season of discernment and by the movement of the Holy Spirit amongst the clergy and people of the Diocese of Springfield, I believe that we have that one in Fr Burgess.”

Following the election, the Canons of the Episcopal Church require both a majority of diocesan bishops and a majority of diocesan standing committees to consent to the election in order to proceed with the ordination and consecration of a bishop.

The consecration of the new bishop is scheduled to take place on May 21, 2022 in Springfield, with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to act as chief consecrator, pending a successful consent process.

The two other final nominees were the Rev Scott A. Seefeldt (Diocese of Milwaukee) and the Rev Mary Ann Hill (Diocese of Oklahoma).

The next Bishop will succeed Bishop Daniel Hayden Martins, who was elected in 2011 and retired June 30, 2021. Since his retirement, the Standing Committee is serving as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese with the ministry of the Rt. Rev. Paul Lambert at Assisting Bishop until the consecration of the 12th Bishop. The Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, established in 1877, is comprised of 33 congregations and nearly 4,000 members across central and southern Illinois.