It was a bittersweet weekend for Episcopalians, who gathered in Jackson for their annual meeting. Members honored retiring Bishop Duncan Gray, III and installed his successor, Bishop Brian Seage. Gray led the denomination for 15 years. He tackled the challenges of rebuilding six churches destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, prevented the diocese from splitting over the issue of same-sex marriage and promoted racial reconciliation. Through it all, it's the relationships Gray says he'll cherish.
"There are quite a few folks that I have met for the first time and those relationships are spread over 93 churches and half a dozen schools and all of that. I was in two or three churches or schools every week." Said Gray.
Bishop Seage said his goals are to listen to the vision of the members, strengthen smaller churches and support youth programs.
"I'm really here in large part because a youth director years ago took a great interest in making sure that a program existed in the church that I grew up in. I really look forward to working with others to strengthen youth ministry and to make sure that we present Christ in young peoples' lives." Said Seage.
A native of Thousand Oaks, California, Seage has served in Mississippi since 1998.