The Rt. Rev. Justin S. Holcomb was ordained and consecrated as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida on June 10 at Calvary Assembly in Orlando in a service attended by nearly 2,000 people from diverse backgrounds.
“We weren’t putting on a show to make everyone feel good about themselves. The diversity is real; not performative,” said the Rev. José Rodríguez, president of the diocesan Hispanic Commission, rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church and vicar of Iglesia Episcopal Jesús de Nazaret, in Orlando.
Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, bishop-in-residence, the Church of St. John the Divine, Houston, Texas, former secretary-general of the Anglican Communion and former archbishop of the Anglican Province of Kaduna, the Church of Nigeria, offered a consecration message. The service also included music in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole from a gospel ensemble, a Haitian choir, a youth ensemble and other musicians from churches throughout the diocese, planned and directed by Carl MaultsBy, director of music and organist at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church, Winter Park.
“All of us who were serving, we looked to our left and right and noticed the diversity,” Rodríguez said. “But all of these people already knew each other because we are all serving within the diocese. That’s real diversity.”
Bishop Michie Klusmeyer, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry within The Episcopal Church, served as chief consecrator in the absence of Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, who has paused travel due to medical restrictions. Co-consecrators were the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen, bishop of Honduras; the Rt. Rev. Dr. John C. Bauerschmidt, bishop of Tennessee; the Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, fourth bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida; the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, retired bishop of Cuba; the Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel, bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and the Rt. Rev. George Sumner, bishop of Dallas. An offering taken at the service went to the new bishop’s discretionary fund, which will support his longtime passion for serving survivors of abuse.
Holcomb, elected Jan. 14, was formally seated the following day, June 11, at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, where a proclamation from the city of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was read congratulating Holcomb and thanking him for his service to the community. As bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida, Holcomb will lead over 30,000 Floridians in 81 churches serving 15 counties.
“Going through this process has graciously caused me to rely more deeply on God’s kindness, my wife and daughters, family, friends and the many lay leaders and clergy in our diocese,” Holcomb said. “I have experienced the reality that God is more faithful than I know or can imagine, and this gives me confidence as we move forward as a diocese.”