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Episcopal Bishop Calls for Election of Eventual Successor

The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, preaches Sunday at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling during the closing service for the annual diocesan convention. Klusmeyer announced Saturday that he has called for the election of a bishop coadjutor.

WHEELING — The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, has called for the election of a bishop coadjutor to be his eventual successor.

Klusmeyer made his announcement Saturday during the 142nd annual diocesan convention, which was held at Oglebay Park.

A coadjutor holds the right of succession to become head of a diocese upon the diocesan bishop’s retirement.

Klusmeyer, 63, has not set a date for his retirement. He will retain ecclesiastical authority within the diocese until he steps down.

“I am not announcing my retirement, please know that. Calling for a coadjutor is a statement that I’m planning to retire,” he told clergy and lay delegates at the convention.

Under The Episcopal Church’s canons, a diocesan bishop has up to three years to retire after a coadjutor’s consecration, Klusmeyer noted.

A tentative date of June 5, 2021 has been set for the consecration of a bishop coadjutor, he said.

The diocese’s Standing Committee will be in charge of the selection process and may name a search committee to identify candidates for the position. After finalists have been introduced, another diocesan convention will be held to elect a bishop coadjutor.

To date, Klusmeyer has served 18 years as bishop of West Virginia.

“You all have been a blessing. … You have brought joy and grace into my life,” he told convention attendees.

Klusmeyer also serves as chair of the Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Seminary Federation Board of Directors. He is a member of the boards of trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and The General Theological Seminary in New York City.

He and his wife Marsha reside in Charleston, where the diocesan office is located. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.

Klusmeyer was elected as the diocese’s seventh bishop in May 2001 and was consecrated in October 2001. Prior to becoming bishop, he was a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

He was rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wheaton, Illinois, from 1990 until 2001. Before that, he had served as curate and later rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Freeport, Illinois, between 1980 and 1990.

A life-long Episcopalian, he graduated from Illinois College in 1977 and earned a Master of Divinity degree from The General Theological Seminary in 1980.

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