Press Release: Diocese of Lexington elects the Very Rev. Dr. Douglas Hahn as 7th Bishop

The Very Rev. Dr. Douglas Hahn was elected on Saturday, August 18 as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.

Hahn, rector of St. Thomas Church, Columbus, Georgia, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of six nominees. He received 67 votes of 120 cast in the lay order and 26 of 44 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 61 in the lay order and 23 in the clergy order.

The election was held during the diocese’s 116th annual convention held at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington. Pending a successful consent process, Hahn will succeed the Sixth Bishop of Lexington, the Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls, who was called to be the Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church in New York. The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen has served the Diocese as Interim Assisting Bishop.

Under the canons (111.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.

Raised in Georgia, Hahn says “My roots run deep in central Kentucky. I come from generations of Kentucky teachers and farmers, spent summers in a community in Mercer County, and went to graduate school in Louisville.” He holds a BA in history from the University of Georgia (1974); the MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1977), Diploma in Anglican Studies from General Theological Seminary (1996) and Doctor of Ministry from the University of the South in 2010. He received a Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders from the Louisville Institute, in 2007 for “Refreshing the Roots of Ministry,” and received a Pastoral Care Specialist Certificate, Congregational Care and Development from the Pastoral Institute of Leadership in Columbus 2001-02. As Convocation Dean in the Diocese of Atlanta, includes supervision over five towns, seven parishes, 12 priests and shared outreach ministry. He has worked in his Diocese in Christian Formation, youth outreach and parishes in transition, chaired the Standing Committee and was an alternate deputy to General Convention. He and his wife Kaye are parents to three young adult children. Prior to becoming Rector of St.Thomas, he served as Associate Rector of St. George’s, Griffen, Georgia 1993-99; Buckhead Christian Community Ministry, Atlanta, 1990-93; The Atlanta Baptist Association Home Mission Board 1980-86 and Chaplain of New Orleans Baptist Hospital 1978-79.

The other nominees were:
The Rev. Ronald Abrams, Rector of St. James, Wilmington, North Carolina
The Rev. Dr. Bruce Boss, Rector of Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Very Rev. Douglas Hahn, rector of St. Thomas, Columbus, Georgia
The Rt. Rev. Santosh Marray, Bishop Assisting, Diocese of East Carolina
The Rev. LaRae Rutenbar, Professional Interim most recently St. Peter’s, Rome, Georgia
The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton. Rector St. Augustines-in-the-Woods, Freeland, Washington

The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, Interim Assisting Bishop during the transition states, “The Diocese of Lexington is healthy and ready to welcome Doug Hahn as the new bishop. We have come through a fruitful interim period and are poised to continue serving our communities through outreach, creative ministry development and hospitality, all in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Our grateful prayers are with all of the nominees and their families.”

Information about all of the nominees is available at

The Diocese of Lexington is composed of thirty-five congregations in central, northern and southeastern Kentucky.

For further information or for interviews, please contact:
Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin
Deputy for Leadership Development, Transition Ministries and Communications
859-252-6527 (office)
859-333-9668 (cell)

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