CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The first female has been elected to serve as the fifteenth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
Reverend Canon Ruth M. Woodliff-Stanley was elected on Saturday during a Special Meeting of Convention, according to the Diocese of South Carolina.
Once consecrated in October, leaders say Bishop-elect Woodliff-Stanley will be the first female to serve as bishop in the more than 200-year history of the historic diocese.
Woodliff-Stanley was elected on the second ballot in an election that was fully conducted on Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There were five candidates on the ballot.
“You have given a vision of what is possible,” said Woodliff-Stanley while addressing the delegates after the results were announced. “It’s a vision I hope I can honor.”
Woodliff-Stanley was raised and ordained in Mississippi, according to a news release. She served as rector of a parish, as canon on the staffs of two bishops of The Episcopal Church, and also in church-wide ministry focused on stewardship of finances and property.
In closing her remarks to the Convention, the bishop-elect expressed her pure joy in being elected to lead the Diocese of South Carolina. “This is a moment of pure, unabashed joy. I cannot wait to be with you,” she stated.
Woodliff-Stanley, who is scheduled to be consecrated as the XV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina on Saturday, October 2 of this year, will be the first full-time diocesan bishop of the diocese since 2012.
The search for the XV Bishop began in January 2020 but was paused briefly at the beginning of the pandemic.
As diocesan bishop, Woodliff-Stanley will lead 31 churches (including parishes, missions, and worshiping communities) affiliated with The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in the eastern half of the state of South Carolina.
The diocese represents more than 7,500 members, more than 100 priests and 15 deacons who are either canonically resident, or licensed to serve, in our diocese.