Empowered for ministry through our baptism, the Diocese of Eastern Michigan is called to love God and neighbor through our relationship with God in Christ and through covenantal relationships characterized by collaboration, mutual accountability, and capacity building. We live this mission by praying, learning, serving and growing.
Bishop William J. “Bill” Gordon (resigned, Alaska) was called to be Assistant Bishop in Michigan in the mid-70s. He spent the majority of his time serving the people and congregations that would eventually become Eastern Michigan. Active leaders at the time recall clearly that Bishop Gordon articulated a vision of the Church based on local leadership empowerment and support for the ministry of all the baptized. He planted seeds for the creation of congregations supported by locally-trained Mutual Ministry Support Teams and an increased voice of laity in the governance of the Church.
It was out of this feeling that the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan was officially incorporated as a separate entity in 1995.
With the September 1996 ordination and consecration of our first Bishop, Edwin M. Leidel, Jr., the Diocese gained an energetic and enthusiastic catalyst for ministry and prolific generator of ideas. Bishop Leidel’s entrepreneurial spirit and tireless embrace of possibilities helped give shape to a diocese that blesses experimentation and gives permission to take bold steps without fear of failure.
On January 1, 2007 Steven Todd Ousley, became the second Bishop of Eastern Michigan. As a former diocesan staff member, Bishop Ousley brought a deep appreciation for the history of the diocese and an intimate knowledge of both the people and congregations of Eastern Michigan. His tenure was focused on relationship, creativity, and social justice, to bring innovative responses to modern challenges in ministry. He resigned in June 2017 to become the Bishop for Pastoral Development of The Episcopal Church, a position on the staff of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
From 2017-2019, the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick (retired, Indianapolis) served as Bishop Provisional as the diocese entered into two years of study, reflection, and charting next paths.
The 25th Diocesan Convention in October 2019 elected the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr. to serve as Bishop Provisional of the diocese while serving concurrently as diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. The two dioceses are in the midst of 3-5 years of conversation, developing deeper collaboration, trying on some additional sharing, and more.
Today, a spirit of hope and perseverance is alive and well. The people of the Diocese are continuing to engage more deeply the promises made in baptism and living more fully into the dream of a diocese characterized by creative collaboration between all the baptized.