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The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York, was elected and confirmed the 28th presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church on June 26 for a nine-year term beginning Nov. 1.

Rowe was chosen from among five nominees on the first ballot, with 89 votes out of 158 votes cast; 82 votes were needed to elect. Following his election by the House of Bishops, the House of Deputies confirmed the election, with 778 votes for, 43 votes against.

Election voting results in the House of Bishops by ballot, with names listed alphabetically, were as follows:

  • The Rt. Rev. Scott Barker: 24
  • The Rt. Rev. DeDe Duncan-Probe: 9
  • The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutiérrez: 17
  • The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe: 89
  • The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright: 19

Rowe, 49, was ordained bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania in 2007 and became bishop provisional of Western New York in 2019. From 2014 to 2018, he served as bishop provisional of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.

Born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, Rowe earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Grove City College, a master of divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in organizational learning and leadership from Gannon University.

Rowe was the youngest Episcopal priest in the U.S. when he was ordained in 2000 at age 24, and he was the youngest member of the House of Bishops when he was ordained and consecrated at age 32.

Known for his research and work on organizational learning and adaptive performance in the church, Rowe serves as parliamentarian for the House of Bishops and the Episcopal Church Executive Council; chair of the Episcopal Church Building Fund; and as a member of the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, and Constitution and Canons. He also serves on the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable. In 2018, he became the first bishop to serve on the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church.

Rowe is married to Carly Rowe, a Christian educator; they have a daughter named Lauren.

As the new presiding bishop-elect, Rowe will preach at General Convention’s June 28 closing Eucharist service at 8:30 a.m. ET. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preside. The service will be livestreamed on the General Convention Media Hub.

The presiding bishop takes office on Nov. 1. Details about the transition and celebration will be announced after General Convention.

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