, 59, was elected on the third ballot April 29 in an election at Christ Church Cathedral
in Houston, according to the Episcopal News Service. Harrison, who will shepherd congregations in the Austin region, is the first female bishop in Provinces IV and VII, with a total of 32 dioceses covering most of the map from Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, to Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina, according to Carol E. Barnwell, communications director for the Diocese of Texas.
"Her fellow nominees were the first to congratulate Harrison
, standing at either side of her, joining in the standing ovation that followed the announcement of her election," Barnwell said.
"It's just a huge honor to have my ministry affirmed in that way ... I'm very humbled by that," Harrison
ministry in Austin will be one of making a place for everybody, "inviting the greatest number of people, and the greatest diversity of people to God's table," she
was looking forward to planting new churches in the region, and the opportunity to work with an international population similar to Houston, including the Hispanic, African and Asian communities.
"Our churches need to be aware of the diversity in which we live," Harrison
Harrison's reaction to her
status as the first female bishop in Texas included thoughts toward a shared ministry and church.
"It certainly affirms the ministries of all women, and the value the church places upon our contributions to the common life of the church," she
While there may be some in the diocese who don't agree with Harrison's election, the large majority support her
, according to the Rt.
The election wasn't about gender, but about the respect held for Harrison
by both clergy and laity, High said.
The Rev. Douglas J. Tucker, rector at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church and School
in Lufkin, and chair of the diocesan Commission on Ministry, was one of two speakers nominating Harrison
in Houston.Harrison served with Tucker as executive for the commission, which is responsible for selecting and guiding candidates into ordained ministry.Her
qualities of leadership and discernment have been shown in her
walk as an ordained child of God, he
said in his
...Austin is the site of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, of which Harrison is a board member.She
will work with St. Stephen's Episcopal School
in Austin, and El Buen Samaritano, a mission supporting working-poor Hispanic families, among her
With a mother and other relatives in Lufkin and a brother in Huntington, growing up in Orange and making visits to her
grandparents in Shelby County, East Texas is home for Harrison
"It is very much my home culture in lots of ways.I appreciate the support from all over East Texas," Harrison
is married to Larry N. Harrison
, who has a CPA firm.The couple has two children and four grandchildren.Harrison graduated from Lutcher Stark High School in Orange, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Divinity from the seminary in Austin. She has served the diocese in many capacities since 1992, including priest at churches in Conroe, La Grange and Austin, before becoming Canon, Archdeacon and Bishop Suffragan-elect. The Episcopal Church's General Convention
will be asked to consent to her
election at its June meeting in Ohio, followed by her
consecration Oct. 7 at Camp Allen, Episcopal conference and retreat center in Navasota, near College Station, according to the church news service.