The Living Church

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The Living ChurchApril 16, 1995Western Kansas Consecrates Its Third Bishop 210(16) p. 6

The Ven. Vernon E. Strickland was consecrated as the third Bishop of Western Kansas on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cathedral, Salina. The new bishop was archdeacon of Wyoming when he was elected last October, and he succeeds the Rt. Rev. John F. Ashby, who retired.

The Most Rev. Edmond L. Browning, Presiding Bishop, was consecrator, with the Rt. Rev. Bob G. Jones, Bishop of Wyoming; the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Bishop of Iowa; the Rt. Rev. Rustin R. Kimsey, Bishop of Eastern Oregon; and Bishop Ashby as co-consecrators.

"You are called to be a bishop of the church as a friend of God's," Bishop Jones said to Bishop Strickland in his sermon. "People who are friends of God's can expect to be lonely from time to time, but here is a loneliness that can be exhilarating because it is a loneliness evoked by the adventure of being faithful, rather than a loneliness produced by merely being overly accessible."

In Diocese of Florida

Bishop Strickland is a native of Holopaw, Fla. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College and Virginia Theological Seminary. After being a Florida state trooper for a short time, he followed the path to ordination, and was ordained to the diaconate in 1970 and to priesthood in 1971 in the Diocese of Florida. In that diocese, he served as vicar of St. Agatha's Church, DeFuniak Springs, and St. Thomas', Laguna Beach, then as rector of St. Luke's, Live Oak. In 1973 he moved to the Diocese of Central Florida as assistant of St. Michael's, Orlando, then he became rector of St. David's, Lakeland, in 1975.

He was archdeacon of Eastern New Mexico congregations from 1979 to 1981, and then became rector of St. James', Dillon, Mont. He was elected rector of St. James', Clovis, N.M., in 1983, and remained there until he moved to Wyoming in 1985 as rector of St. Luke's, Buffalo. He was named archdeacon in 1989.

The new bishop and his wife, Joyce, are parents of a daughter, Teri, a student at Bethany College.