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East Tennessee elects next bishop

East Tennessee elects next bishop

Elected on the fifth ballot after leading the four previous rounds, the Diocese of East Tennessee has elected the Rev. Brian Cole, rector, Good Shepherd, Lexington, Ky., Diocese of Lexington as its next and fifth bishop.  Cole sent this message to the diocese in the wake of his election;

“With an open heart, I am both excited and humbled to be chosen by the lay and clergy delegates of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee to serve as your 5th bishop. Susan and I look forward to joining with you all in practicing resurrection, in the apostolic work of revealing the Living Christ to a beautiful but broken world. We will be happy to see you soon as we put down roots in Knoxville later in the year.”

Cole will be ordained and consecrated on December 2, 2017 at Church of the Ascension, Knoxville.

Cole has been the Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Kentucky, since March 2012.  During his tenure, the parish has seen steady growth.

Cole is a native of southeast Missouri and graduated from Murray State University (Murray, Kentucky) with a degree in business administration and is also a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He did additional study at the School of Theology at Sewanee.  Cole taught in the Religion Department at Warren Wilson College and served on the Program Staff of the Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center in Berea, Kentucky.

Ordained to the priesthood in 2002 in the Diocese of Western North Carolina, Cole first served as the Vicar of Church of the Advocate in Asheville, North Carolina.  The Church of the Advocate is unique ministry conceived as a worshiping community for the homeless in downtown Asheville.  From 2005 to the time when Brian was called to serve as Rector of Good Shepherd, he was the Sub-Dean at the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville.  Brian served on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church from 2006-2012 and is an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross.

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