Rev. Peter James Lee became the twelfth Bishop of Virginia on May 27, 1985.
He was the rector of the Chapel of the Cross at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, when the Council elected him Bishop Coadjutor in February 1984.
A graduate of Washington and Lee University, he served in the United States Army and was a newspaperman before entering Virginia Seminary.
In 1967, he
began ordained ministry at St. John's Cathedral
in Jacksonville, Florida, and was for three years assistant to the rector of St. John's Church
, Lafayette Square, in the nation's capital.
ministry at Chapel Hill in 1971.
On the Feast of St. Dunstan of Canterbury, May 19, 1984, he was ordained and consecrated a bishop at the Washington National Cathedral where, 16 years earlier, he had been ordained to the priesthood.
He had served as Bishop Coadjutor for only a year at the time of Bishop Hall's sudden death.
In 1985, Bishop Lee led the diocese in a bicentennial celebration of its organization and called its congregations to a third century of mission and ministry, renewed and strengthened in commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
On January 30, 1986, the newly-installed 24th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
, the Most Reverend Edmond Lee Browning, presided over the Recognition and Investiture of Virginia's twelfth Bishop.
At the request of Bishop Lee, the 193rd Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia approved the establishment of the position of Assistant Bishop for a term of five years beginning in 1989.
Subsequently Bishop Lee, with the consent of the Standing Committee, called the Right Reverend Robert Poland Atkinson, the fifth Bishop of West Virginia, to that position.
In January 1992, Bishop Lee called for the election of two suffragan bishops, and the Annual Council of the Diocese affirmed his vision for a "college of bishops" who would begin working together just before Bishop Atkinson's planned retirement.
In 1987, Bishop Lee called him to be Canon to the Ordinary, the post he held until his 1993 election.
Bishop Lee held a series of meetings throughout the Diocese to discuss the situation and to consider the future of his "college of bishops.
At the following Annual Council
meeting, in January 1994, he
called for another election, this taking place in January 1995 during the 200th meeting of the Annual Council.
A nominating Committee for Suffragan Bishop appointed by Bishop Lee with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee began working quickly and, from a field of some 70 suggestions, presented a slate of six nominees to the 200th Annual Council; three women and three men.
Following the publication of that slate in November 1994, two additional men were nominated by petition.
At a special Council held on September 19, 1998, at St. Stephen's Church, Richmond, Bishop Lee requested authorization to call an Assistant Bishop.
Shortly thereafter, and with the consent of the Standing Committee
, the Rt.
At the 211th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, held January 27-28, 2006 in Richmond, Bishop Lee asked Council to authorize the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia to appoint a nominating committee to bring before the 212th Annual Council in 2007 several nominees for Bishop Coadjutor for election at that Council and with plans to have the Bishop Coadjutor consecrated in the spring of 2007.
Bishop Lee also announced his plans to resign no later than 2010.
On January 26, 2007 at the 212th Annual Council
meeting of the Diocese of Virginia
, Council elected the Rev. Shannon S. Johnston as Bishop Coadjutor.
was consecrated at Washington National Cathedral
on May 26, 2007.
Bishop Johnston and his
wife, Ellen, came to Virginia from the Diocese of Mississippi, where he
served as rector of All Saints', Tupelo.
A graduate of The University of the South, he holds degrees in philosophy and music.
first employment was in programming for young adults and youth, first at the University of North Alabama, Florence
, and then with the Boys' Club of Gwynn
in Brunswick, Ga. In 1985 Bishop Johnston entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
, Evanston, Ill.
studies during this period included two terms at Westcott House Theological College at Cambridge University
in England, where he
engaged in independent research as well as following the regular course work.
Bishop Johnston received the M.Div. degree summa cum laude from Seabury-Western in 1988, graduating first in his class.
On January 23, 2009, at the 214th Annual Council in Reston, Bishop Lee announced that he would resign as Bishop of the Diocese effective October 1, 2009, after 25 years of ministry.
On March 6, Bishop Lee announced that, following his resignation, he would serve as interim dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, the third largest cathedral in the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Lee and the Diocese joined in a celebration of 25 years of ministry together at St. Paul's, Richmond on September 19, 2009.