The Rev. Canon John T. W. Harmon was elected the 14th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas during a special convention on August 19, at Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock. He was elected on the third ballot after attaining a majority of both clergy and lay votes in the same round. The election concludes the process of seeking a successor for Bishop Larry R. Benfield, who began his tenure in 2007 and will retire in January 2024.
“I do accept, with the help and grace of God, and the support of the people of Arkansas,” Harmon said via phone to the convention. “May God bless all of us for the ministry to which we have been called.”
The Rev. John Harmon has served as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., since 2000. He received a Master of Divinity from both Virginia Theological Seminary and Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, Va.) and was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, St Paul’s College (Lawrenceville, Va.), in 2012. Harmon is a co-founder of the Episcopal Service Corps and founder of the Trinity Development Corporation, a D.C.-based organization that seeks to empower the underserved through counseling, education, and improved access to adequate health care. He was ordained in 1991.
Harmon was born in Liberia. He has been married to his wife, Keeva, for 30 years, and they have three children.
Harmon was selected from a slate of two candidates after a yearlong discernment process. After inviting interested applicants to apply, a diocesan search committee reviewed and selected the candidates to put before the church. The other candidate was the Rev. Mary Vano, rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Ark.
Pending consent of a majority of the bishops with jurisdiction and the diocesan standing committees, Harmon will be ordained and consecrated on Jan. 6, 2024, in Little Rock. The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, will officiate at the consecration.