WILLIAMSBURG — Hundreds of Virginians and bishops/dignitaries from across the United States will participate in the ordination and consecration of Rev. Susan Bunton Haynes as 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg.
Haynes will be the first woman to serve as chief priest and pastor of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. The diocese stretches more than 300 miles from the Chesapeake Bay westward to Dan River and from the south side of the James River at Richmond to the North Carolina border, encompassing Hampton Roads, Petersburg, Hopewell, Chesterfield County, Farmville, Danville, and all of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It includes approximately 30,000 Episcopalians in 101 congregations.
Notable leaders from the nationwide Episcopal Church will participate in this historic celebration. The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will lead the ceremony as chief consecrator. The first African American to serve as chief leader of the three million-member denomination, Curry is widely regarded as one of the leading preachers in the United States. He speaks frequently on matters of social justice, equality, and reconciliation. He is perhaps most widely recognized as the preacher at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018 in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. In 2018, Religion News Association named Presiding Bishop Curry religion newsmaker of the year.
Haynes was elected at a special Council of the Diocese on Sept. 21, 2019 following a nearly year-long national search process. She succeeds the Right Rev. Herman Hollerith IV, who retired after 10 years as 10th Bishop of the Diocese in January 2019.
Prior to her call to serve as Bishop of Southern Virginia, Haynes served as the rector of St. Paul’s in Mishawaka, Indiana, for the past 11 years. In addition to St. Paul’s, Haynes served as priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, Indiana. A native of South Carolina, Haynes earned her master of divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School and was ordained in 2004. Haynes is married to the Rev. Thomas Haynes, and they have two adult daughters, Sarah and Avery.