A total of 10 clergy and 11 lay persons are toiling over the next year as members of the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee, charged with finding a candidate who will become the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. On behalf of all the people of the diocese, they will be looking for, in the words from the Book of Common Prayer, “a faithful pastor who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries.” The group includes two representatives from each of the seven deaneries in the diocese along with an additional seven people appointed by the bishop.
They are priests and deacons, teachers and lawyers, some who have lived a lifetime in this diocese and others who have come more recently. They bring to their work a multitude of perspectives borne of various cultures and life experiences. But in the end, all will have one thing in common; a desire to find the very best person to fill this important role.
What follows is a list of committee members by deanery, concluding with the bishop appointments, a bit about them personally and their thoughts on the importance of this process.
With experience serving in seven churches in this diocese, the Rev. Janet Tunnell is currently rector of All Saints in Tarpon Springs. Recently, she took part in the Congregational Leadership Initiative designed to address the financial and leadership challenges churches are facing in the 21st Century. She says of her service on the search committee, “I trust the process and find joy in being a part of it, working with and learning from other members of the diocese.
Phil Beauchamp retired from hospital administration following a 40-year career during which he was active in a number of civic endeavors. He worships at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin where he is a member of the vestry and serves as an usher. At previous churches, he has served as treasurer, junior warden, endowment chair and a member of the choir. Of this new task, he said, “After just having led as the senior warden, a very successful search for a new rector, I have the talent and experience necessary to successfully complete this challenge.”
A graduate of Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin in 2007, the Rev. Christian Maxfield is the second rector of All Souls in North Ft. Myers where he has been for nearly four years. He previously served as dean for youth, young adult and family ministries at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Peoria, IL, and as rector/priest -in-charge at two small parishes in southwestern Wisconsin before coming to Naples to serve as an associate rector. He sees his contribution to the search committee as, “the ability to work well with others, a discerning nature and a willingness to serve.
Ft. Myers Deanery
As a partner and financial adviser with Marquis Wealth Management Group in Ft. Myers, Trevor Whitley brings to the committee a lifetime commitment as a member of St. Hilary’s in Ft. Myers as well as financial expertise and leadership experience. He says of his interest in this search effort, “I have received many blessings from my involvement in various diocesan committees and ministries, in particular the Happening ministry. As a result, I wanted to give my talents and time back to the diocese.” Whitley is serving, along with the Rev. Jessica Babcock, as co-chair of the search committee.
The Rev. David Marshall has been rector of All Angels by the Sea, Longboat Key, for the past two years, bringing with him a decade of experience with the Diocese of San Diego. He received his master’s of divinity degree from the School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA, and also served in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He is a member of the Southwest Florida Disciplinary Board and has taken an active role in administering Episcopal camps. Of his position on the search committee, Marshall said he is excited for the opportunity because it gives him a chance to contribute the gifts of discernment, “in particular listening, prayer, analysis and introspection.”
Currently the youth minister at Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota, Jackie Overton served on the diocesan level as a member of the Happening and New Beginnings Steering Committee and as summer camp director in 2011. She is president of the board of directors for FLE Santiago, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and community programming in the Dominican Republic. She welcomes this new role. “It has been a blessing for me to see firsthand how wonderfully diverse our diocese is and I’m excited to work to ensure all those voices are being heard and presented in our search.”
The Rev. Jessica Babcock, who along with Trevor Whitney is the co-chair of the search committee, is rector of St. Mark’s, Marco Island. She brings to this work her passion for serving others through ministry and a wealth of knowledge in regard to communications and technology. She said she is eager to serve on the committee to ensure that a diverse pool of candidates, including women and minorities, is considered in the selection process.
A practicing lawyer, Michael D. “Mick” Moore is owner/partner in the Vanderbilt Beach Resort and the Turtle Club Restaurant in Naples. He grew up worshiping at St. Paul’s but is now a member of Trinity by the Cove. He says, “I have received many blessings as a result of my involvement with the church and its ministries. I felt called to serve on the search committee because I wanted to give back to the diocese and I believe that my long roots in the area as well as my professional skills and abilities will be helpful as the committee conducts its work.”
The Rev. Robert Douglas is the third rector serving at St. Mark’s in Tampa where he has been for over three years. Prior to St. Mark’s he was a Priest Associate at St. Mary’s Bonita Springs. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the search committee and am anxious to contribute to the successful discernment of our next Bishop.
Katie Arp is a second-grade teacher and a longtime member of St. John the Divine in Sun City Center. She recently completed work for her master’s degree in educational leadership and brings particular skills in technological communications and relationship building to her new task. At the diocesan level, Katie is currently the lay director for New Beginnings and the Assistant Summer Camp Director. In considering service on the search committee, she said, “I felt called because I have a deep love for this diocese and its people and I believe I have the insight and skills that will be essential during this process.”
The Rev. Roy Tuff has served as rector of Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda since June 2010 and is a General Convention delegate. Of his role in this search, he said, “The influence our next Bishop will have on our Diocese and wider Church cannot be over-stated. Finding candidates with a depth of being and experience living into our human condition under God’s grace and direction within the Episcopal Church will help us all work together toward unity of spirit in faith and obedience to God in Christ.”
Of her selection for the search committee, Kathy Silverberg, senior warden at St. Andrew’s Boca Grande, had this to say: “It is an honor to be considered for this vital task. The challenges we face as a people of faith in these difficult times call for a church leader armed with a clear vision grounded in the knowledge that God’s unfailing love for his people will bring us together.” Silverberg retired from the New York Times Company and writes a weekly column for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. She relishes her role as wife, mother and grandmother.
A priest for more than 15 years, the Rev. Ann Dieterle, is assistant rector at St. Thomas and serves as the Dayspring programming coordinator for the diocese. She has experience as a group facilitator and considers her gifts in discernment and research to be key to her work on the committee. Looking at the task ahead, she says, “I believe a key attribute needed to serve as a bishop in this diocese is the ability to work equally well among a vastly diverse group of people and congregations.”
St. Petersburg Deanery
A retired management analyst and educator, Hazel Hudson-Allen attended Church Teacher’s College in Jamaica, the University of London and Iona College, New York. For the past 29 years, she has worshipped at St. Augustine’s serving in a variety of roles including vestry member, lay eucharistic minister and chair of outreach ministries. She volunteers at Benison Farm, a partnership between the two St Petersburg churches. She welcome the chance to serve on the search committee as, she said, “A one-time opportunity to join with diverse individuals from all our deaneries in helping to discern the individual God has called to be the sixth bishop of our diocese.”
Ning Bonoan, who’s full name is Unidad Soriano Reyes Bonoan, describes herself as a bishop’s daughter, a clergy spouse, a mother of three, a nurse and an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Safety Harbor. In her role on the search committee, she hopes to bring into focus the perspective of community inclusiveness. She says she will be advocating for provisions and support of the bishop and his family so that they may be equipped to care for the people of this diocese in seeking unity in diversity in these unprecedented times.
A sustainability management professor at St. Petersburg College, the Rev. Dr. Lynn Grinnell serves as a deacon at St. James House of Prayer in Tampa. She is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force and holds a master’s degree in management and a PhD in education. She brings to the committee skills in survey development and analysis. As she looks to the task ahead, she says, “In my view, the key attribute needed to serve as bishop in this diocese is love and peacemaking. We have experienced great turmoil in our nation and our church and, as Bishop Michael Curry said, ‘Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live.’ ”
Greg Hearing, a labor and employment attorney and with GrayRobinson Law Firm’s Tampa office representing local and national management clients, is a member of St. John’s in Tampa. He is a trustee at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, and has served as board member and chair of St. John’s Episcopal Day School. He recently completed a term as senior warden at St. John’s and has been active in a number of community efforts aimed at cultivating healthy families in the Tampa area. Of this new role, he said, “I am available to assist the committee with any canonical law questions.”
The Rev. Adrienne Hymes, missioner for church extension and vicar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Wesley Chapel, is serving as chaplain for the search committee. She has experience in the specialized ministry of church planting, leaning on her skillset from a journalism and corporate public relations and marketing career. The next bishop, she believes, “must be a compassionately curious visionary who finds joy in exploring people, the ministries of this diocese and the opportunities for ministries that have not yet been tapped.”
Ordained to the diaconate in 2002 in the Diocese of Chicago, the Rev. Michael Kitt currently serves as a deacon at Good Shepherd, Venice. He retired in 2005 as chief financial officer for a consulting firm and is equipped to contribute his financial expertise to the committee’s work. He believes the key attribute that will be needed by the next bishop is “to serve as pastor to a population that is diverse in culture and demographics.”
Kraig H. Koach is a tax attorney concentrating in estate and trust planning and administration as well as real estate and corporate law and has experience in banking. He is a lifelong resident of Sarasota and worships at the Church of the Redeemer. He currently serves as chairman of the Diocesan Finance Committee and as a member of the Endowment Committee. In a new bishop, he will be looking for a candidate who has the gift of discernment, who is able to make wise decisions in difficult situations.
The head of school at St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School in Tampa, Steve Salvo is a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. His career encompasses more than 20 years as an independent school educator and is a former middle school mathematics teacher. He is an adjunct faculty member for Independent School Management and is on the board of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals. He hopes to bring to the search committee his passion for the role Episcopal schools play in the lives of children.