Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan to visit local church

MANISTEE — Bishop Whayne M. Hougland Jr. will preach during a special beach Holy Eucharist service at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20 at the Lions Pavilion on Manistee’s First Street Beach with a potluck to follow.

All are welcome to join The Church of the Holy Trinity’s parishioners.

Hougland a Kentucky native, was elected the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan on May 18, 2013, and was consecrated in Grand Rapids on Sept. 28, 2013, succeeding the Rt. Reverend Robert R. Gepert who retired in August 2013.

Bishop Hougland arrived in Michigan from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, N.C., where he served as rector for eight years and is credited with leading the congregation through a transformative process that helped the parish find its ministry as the “Church That Feeds People.”

Bishop Hougland’s leadership style centers around developing meaningful relationships and recognizing a need to relate to people where they are, as they are, believing that building relationships is central to hearing God’s call and working through him. This also includes developing a personal rule of life. He believes that the disciplines of work, prayer, listening, study, worship and fun are important to keeping us anchored in our mission. A student of the Rule of St. Benedict, he strives to practice thanksgiving by welcoming each day as an opportunity to begin again.

Before Bishop Hougland attended the University of the South School of Theology at Sewanee from 1995-1998, he had what he describes as a dissatisfying career in the corporate world. He was ordained a priest in December of 1998 and began serving as a canon evangelist at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Ky. He was called to be rector of St. Luke’s, Salisbury, N.C. in 2005.

While in North Carolina, he was active in the Diocese of North Carolina, serving on the Missionary Resources Support Team, Pastoral Response Team, Convener of the Boards of Missionary Endowment, and a clergy mentor for postulants and newly-ordained priests. In 2012, he served as Field Education Supervisor for Hood Theological Seminary.

Bishop Hougland received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of the South in 2015, and is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree, also from the University of the South.

Raised a Roman Catholic, Bishop Hougland heard the call to Holy Orders at eight years old while a boy in parochial school. But upon meeting his wife Dana at Woodford County High School, he knew that Holy Orders in the Roman Church presented significant problems. He and Dana have been married 30 years. They have two grown daughters and three grandsons. Whayne and Dana reside in Grand Rapids.

The Diocese of Western Michigan oversees all Episcopal parishes in the western half of the Lower Peninsula, and covers a nearly 300-mile area north-to-south. The diocese’s 8,000 members worship in 55 parish churches, two mission churches and four seasonal chapels. The diocese has undergone some major changes in the past 12 years, including a complete revision of the diocesan canons, the governing laws of the church, and the sale of the cathedral in Kalamazoo. It has also significantly improved its financial health to support its various ministries.

Bishop Hougland’s hope for the diocese is to establish meaningful, honest and loving relationships that will cultivate a diocesan identity abounding in joy, innovation and excitement.

Leave a Reply