Chalfant of Ohio Elected in Maine

Episcopal News Service. April 19, 1984 [84078]

PORTLAND, Maine (DPS, April 19) -- Friday the 13th was not an unlucky day for the Rev. Edward Cole Chalfant, rector of St. Mark's Church, Columbus, Ohio. He was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine on that day.

In what may have been one of the most efficient elections on record, the Maine Episcopalians whipped through four ballots in less than three hours even with fairly stiff competition among three of the eight candidates. Chalfant has accepted his election, relaying word through diocesan Bishop Frederick Wolf of his "sense of awe and humility," and his gratitude to the people of Maine.

Chalfant, 47, was one of five priests nominated by the official search committee -- the others are the Rev. Canon Richard J. Anderson of New York, the Ven. Carlson Gerdau of St. Louis, the Rev. Richard J. Kirk of Philadelphia and the Rev. John H. Smith of Rutland, Vt. These candidates spent three days in late March meeting clergy and lay leaders of the diocese. Three others, including the Rev. Vincent Warner, former archdeacon of Maine, were nominated from the floor.

Chalfant led among the 211 lay delegates through the first three rounds. The clergy had divided among him, Warner and Gerdau in the middle votes and both orders reached consensus on the fourth ballot.

A native of Pittsburgh, the bishop-elect is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1963 and served parishes in Clearwater, Fla. until he was called to Southern Ohio in 1972. He has served as a deputy to General Convention and held numerous diocesan posts.

Wolf, 62, has been bishop of Maine since 1968. He is a graduate of Grinnell College and the Seabury-Western Theological School. Ordained priest in 1946, he served in Illinois until 1957, then on the Executive Council staff for two years. He was rector of St. Peter's Bennington, Vt. when he was elected to the episcopate. He has chaired the General Theological Seminary board and is co-author of three books.

The diocese has 73 full time parishes and missions and 20 summer chapels and serves about 25,000 Episcopalians.