Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the scope of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. It includes congregations in the District and in Maryland’s Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. This version has been corrected.
The Spanish-speaking rector of a Minneapolis church has been chosen to become the first woman to serve as the primary bishop of Washington’s Episcopal Diocese, the church announced Saturday.
The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, 52, who has served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis for nearly two decades, was selected Saturday as diocesan bishop at a special convention at Washington National Cathedral to succeed Bishop John Bryson Chane.
Chane, 67, a forceful advocate for gay marriage, announced in January 2010 that he would step down this year after leading the diocese since 2002. The 42,000-member diocese includes 89 congregations in the District and in Maryland’s Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.
“I am honored and overjoyed to accept the call to serve as the next bishop of Washington,” Budde said in a statement. “I pledge to serve God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and people and ministries of the diocese with my whole heart, doing everything I can to support and strengthen the mission God has entrusted to you.”
Her consecration and installation as bishop is scheduled for Nov. 12.
“We’re thrilled,” said the Rev. Joan Beilstein, rector of the Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring.
Budde was chosen on the second ballot from a field of five nominees. Under church law, her elevation must win the consent of a majority of bishops and diocesan standing committees.
Budde would not be the first female bishop to serve in the Washington Diocese. In 1992, the Rev. Jane Hart Holmes Dixon was consecrated as the diocese’s suffragan, or assistant bishop, becoming only the second female Episcopal bishop in the country.
A suffragan bishop has all the rights and responsibilities of the diocesan bishop but is considered second in rank, said Beilstein, who chaired the transition committee to replace Chane.
Budde, who has been St. John’s rector since 1993, speaks fluent Spanish and has a long history of working among Spanish-speaking people. She is also the author of the 2009 book “Gathering Up the Fragments: Preaching as Spiritual Practice.”
Budde earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in theology at the Virginia Theological Seminary after studying history at the University of Rochester as an undergraduate. Since 2001, she has been a conference leader of CREDO, an organization devoted to clergy health and wellness. She has been married to Paul Budde for 25 years and has two adult children.