ST. LOUIS–A gay bishop was elected last week to be the next leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. The diocese convened at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis and elected The Rev. Deon K. Johnson, who lives with his husband, Jhovanny Osorio-Vasquez Johnson, and their two children in Brighton, Michigan.
Johnson won 113 out of a total of 164 votes which were cast by clergy and lay delegates.
Ironically, Johnson was not in attendance. In a video call after the vote was taken, Rev. Johnson said: “Thank you so very much for this awesome responsibility. We are so looking forward to continuing this adventure that God has called us to achieve with you and the amazing people that make up the diocese.”
A veteran Episcopal priest with deep experience in social justice issues and ministry to gay and lesbian communities, Johnson has been rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, MI, since 2006.
The Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd said in her sermon last weekend that the Episcopal Church “has not always been a safe space” for all, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“A new season is ahead,” said Adams-Shepherd, dean of the cathedral where delegates had gathered. “It won’t be easy, nor will it be without its pains and its heartaches and its challenges. However, we will set out together with a young, energetic, wise and faithful shepherd.”