The former suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Rayford High has been named provisional bishop of Fort Worth. Pending confirmation by the 3 Nov 2012 diocesan convention in Stephenville at Tarleton State University, Bishop High will succeed the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., as bishop of the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church in North Texas.
"I am deeply honored and humbled by the fact that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth would ask me to be their provisional bishop," Bishop High said, according to an announcement posted on the diocese’s website.
"I am thrilled and I am excited about it and I look forward to working with laity and clergy of the diocese. I’m really grateful for the laity of the church. And Pat and I are excited about being in Fort Worth, about moving there in January. Pat goes with me on visitations -- she’s part of the team,” he said.
A native of Houston, Texas, Bishop High served as a parish priest in Texas for 32 years following his graduation from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Mass. In 2003 he was elected suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Texas and has had oversight of 44 congregations in the Northeast, Northwest and Southeast Convocations of the diocese.
Following the vote by the 26th annual convention of the diocese, on 15 November 2008, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori convened a meeting of loyalists to the national church on 7 February 2009 and formed a second Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and appointed the retired Bishop of Kentucky, Rt. Rev. Edwin Gulick, Jr., as first provisional bishop. The retired Bishop of Northwest Texas, the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., was appointed second provisional bishop of Fort Worth in November 2009.
On 15 October 2012 the Texas Supreme Court will hear the dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth led by Bishop Jack Iker and the second Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth currently led by Bishop Ohl and is expected to determine which group is the “true” Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth under law.