About Us - Previous Bishops

The Right Reverend Francis Huger Rutledge

First Bishop of Florida


Francis Huger Rutledge became the First Bishop of Florida thirteen years after the diocese was organized. Until then it hadn't money enough to pay the salary of a bishop so it had depended for Episcopal services of near-by states. Among those who had come were the Right Reverend Messrs. James H. Otey, Bishop of Tennessee; Stephen Elliott from the Diocese of Georgia; Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina and Nicholas H. Cobbs, Bishop of Alabama. Before those and before the Diocese of Florida was organized, Bishop Jackson Kemper, the General Church's first missionary bishop, had come to Florida to help get the church started here.

Bishop Rutledge's father was chancellor of the State of South Carolina for twenty years, and one of his uncles was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Governor of South Carolina. Educated at Yale and the General Theological Seminary, Francis Huger Rutledge served the church in his native state from 1823 until 1840. Then he moved to Florida, where he was rector, first of Trinity Church, St. Augustine, then of St. John's, Tallahassee. In 1851 he was elected and consecrated Bishop of Florida. The diocese still was unable, however, to pay a bishop's salary, so for seven years The Right Reverend Francis Huger Rutledge served as bishop and as rector of St. John's.

Being the Bishop of Florida in the 1850's was a hard assignment. The distance between parishes was great; the modes of travel were slow, uncertain and exhausting; and the diocese's material resources were meager. Bishop Rutledge labored under two additional handicaps -he was responsible for a parish as well as for his Episcopal duties and he frequently suffer ill health. Nevertheless, the diocese grew from ten congregations to fourteen in the first ten years after he became its bishop and it appeared ready to grow more and faster in the 1860's.

Then came the blow that all but destroyed the work Bishop Rutledge had done. The American Civil War devastated the Diocese of Florida. The physical damage was bad enough - three churches burned. The rest neglected and left wanting repairs - but far more destructive to the diocese was the scattering of clergy and congregations. There were only four clergy present at the first diocesan convention after the war - and it was held when the war had been over for nearly a year - and then were lay delegates in attendance from just three churches.

Bishop Rutledge was one of the four clergymen present at the convention in February 1, 1866, but he was ill most of that year and he died on November 5. "We may well remember him," said the senior member of his clergy in a funeral sermon," as one of those whose good example we thank God." When we want to point to a good man for our children to emulate, the reverend minister continued, "we will pronounce, in emphatic tones, the name of Rutledge, our first Bishop."

The Right Reverend John Freeman Young

Second Bishop of Florida


John Freeman Young (1820-1885) became the Second Bishop of Florida in 1867. The diocese was only twenty-nine years old and it was so devastated by the effects of the Civil War that the Committee on the State of the Church wrote that year that it was a "wonder" that the Church in Florida still had "an organized existence at all." Only four clergymen and lay delegates from just three churches had been present at the diocese's convention of 1866, and later that year Bishop Francis Huger Rutledge had died.

The first ten years of his Episcopate, Bishop Young wrote in a pastoral letter in 1882, were "mainly a struggle for life", but with the end of the depression of 1873 and the beginning of a wave of immigration into Florida, the diocese began to grow very rapidly. In Bishop Young's last ten years it expanded from twenty parishes and missions with fourteen clergy at work to forty-eight congregations ministered to by thirty-six clergymen.

Bishop Young did much of the work of planting new missions himself. Traveling the length and breadth of the state on horseback, in buggies and carts, by steamer and sailboat and sometimes on foot, he started missions wherever he found a few Episcopal families. He organized in Key West the first Episcopal Church exclusively for black people in Florida and also a Spanish-language parish for Cuban immigrants. He visited Cuba twice, in response to a petition that the Church be established there, and Cuba became an important missionary field for the Episcopal Church in the United States.

The future bishop had begun his ministry in 1845 at St. John's Church, Jacksonville, Florida. From there, he had moved on to various posts in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana; then he had become an assistant rector at Trinity Church, New York City. While serving there, from 1860 - 1867, he became a serious student of theology, church architecture and hymnology. He began collecting and translating great Christian hymns of various churches, a collection which was published posthumously as Great Hymns of the Church. By translating the German "Stille Nachr! Heilige Nacht!" into the Christmas carol "Silent Night", Bishop Young made a lasting gift to all English-speaking Christians.

The bishop's interest in architecture enabled him to bring the Carpenter Gothis church to Florida. It was a small, simple, inexpensive, easily-constructed, but churchly wooden church building. Richard Upjohn, the architect who had designed New York's Trinity Church had also published a book containing detailed plans and instructions with which small congregations could build churches. Gothic in style, they looked like churches and felt like churches. Bishop Young, while he was at Trinity, had known Upjohn. In Florida he scattered churches built in Upjohn's Carpenter Gothic style over the face of his diocese. In them his people sang praises to God and worshipping in accord with the rites of the Book of Common Prayer.

Bishop Young died in 1885. He had greatly enriched his diocese and his church.

The Right Reverend Edwin Gardner Weed

Third Bishop of Florida


The Third Bishop of Florida, and the first to be consecrated within the boundaries of the state, was The Right Reverend Edwin Gardner Weed. He was a native of Savannah, a confederate war veteran and a graduate of the University of Berlin and the General Theological Seminary. He had served the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, as its rector through his ministry , for fifteen years, before he was called to Florida. He was consecrated in St. John's Church, Jacksonville, on August 11, 1886.

Almost immediately, Bishop Weed began traveling the state. He reached Key West before the Episcopalians of St. Paul's knew a new bishop had been consecrated! 

Travel was a major part of his life throughout his episcopate. He was on the road as much as eight weeks at a time, and in one of his earlier years as bishop he spent just eighteen days at home. The next year after that, 1892, the diocese was divided and Bishop Weed became responsible only for that part of the state north of a line drawn across the peninsula a little south of St. Augustine, Palatka and Gainesville.

Four years before the diocese was divided, Bishop Weed had led it through the first major crisis in his episcopate. He had been visiting Augusta when he was informed that yellow fever had struck Jacksonville. Hurrying home, he said years later that he would never forget "that empty train" which took him south to Jacksonville and the "the crowded trains" going north. The epidemic lasted from August until December. At one time, in reply to a friend who had offered help, Bishop Weed wrote that three of his three clergymen in Jacksonville were down with the fever he was keeping another at the cemetery 'so that all shall have a burial,' and he himself was doing "all the work in the city.- A quarter-century later a churchman in Mandan reminded the diocese of Bishop Weed "devotion to duty, his courage and his humanity to all the people of Jacksonville when the dread scourge of yellow fever swept that city.

There were to be two more crises within the ten years after the division of the diocese: Florida's "great Freeze" of 1894-95 and the Jacksonville fire in 1901. The freeze - or freezes, for there were two that winter - destroyed most of the diocese's citrus industry. "A serious disaster has befallen the state," wrote Bishop Weed. "Everything seemed full of hope last October ... The trial and struggle to raise sufficient funds to carry on the legitimate mission of the diocese ... seemed to be over ... The freeze of February dashed these hopes to the ground ... It will take years, in all probability, for the state to recover its former prosperity." Jacksonville's fire had a somewhat similar effect. It burned down most of the city, including the diocese's biggest church for white people and its biggest one for blacks. Bishop Weed himself paid for a temporary church for the white congregation and he persuaded the church's General Board of Missions to help the black congregation rebuild. He "fear(ed) the whole diocese will have to bear an increased burden on account of this fire - but it was not ended. He wrote in 1908 that the first twenty years of his episcopate had been a "succession of hopes and crushed hopes." but the crises were over and the work was going forward. He had written that "supporting the Missions of the Diocese" was "the paramount necessity." He wanted missions to be founded even though some would certainly fail because of the changing plans of railroads and the failures of business ventures - (But) suppose we do build a church in a place which becomes deserted ... The effort and labor has been a help to eternal souls, and we are not seeking to build monuments to our wisdom, we are seeking to help eternal souls." In 1886, he became a bishop, there had been forty-five congregations in the diocese, in 1892 fifty-four had transferred out of the diocese and fifty-one were retained; in 1924, the year of Bishop Weed's death, the diocese had sixty-eight congregations. He had been a builder; seventy-seven missions had been founded during his episcopate, before and after the division of the diocese. 

Bishop Weed died on January 18, 1924, after seventy-seven years of life and thirty-eight as the Bishop of Florida. He was remembered by his contemporaries best of all perhaps, for his personal relationship with people - his friendship and cheerfulness. "Perhaps the American Church has never before known a more approachable bishop," wrote the rector and wardens of St. John's, Jacksonville; and, said another one of the clergy of the diocese, "He was a shepherd who knew his sheep. He would always ask you about some incident in your life .. that you had told him (about) on a previous visit. He was a real Pastor."

The Right Reverend Frank Alexander Juhan

Fourth Bishop of Florida


 

After the war Bishop Juhan's long years of labor were rewarded with glowing success. Eleven missions became parishes in ten years, and sixteen new missions organized. The number of clergy at work grew from thirty-eight to fifty-eight, and the membership of the church almost doubled.The Right Reverend Frank Alexander Juhan, sometimes called "the young people's bishop," was himself the youngest diocesan in the Episcopal Church when he was consecrated in 1924. He was to be the Bishop of Florida until 1956, when would retire as the Church's senior active bishop. By then he had been bishop through Florida's "boom and bust" of the 1920's, the Great Depression, World War II and ten years of recovery after the war.

Bishop Juhan was born in Macon, Georgia, but was brought up in San Antonio, Texas. He earned both the B.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of the South, when he was All-Southern football player, the captain of a championship team and the elected head of the student body. The university continued throughout his life to be one of his dearest interest; indeed after retiring from his episcopate, Bishop Juhan raised millions of dollars for his alma mater while serving, without pay, as its director of development.

After graduating from the university and being ordained in 1911, Bishop Juhan served as a missionary in Texas, as chaplain of the Sewanee Military Academy and, for eight years, as the rector of Christ Church, Greenville, South Carolina. Then he was called to Florida and was consecrated in St. John's Church, Jacksonville on November 25, 1924. In his first episcopal address he emphasized the importance of Christian education for the young; in his first summer in the diocese he organized and conducted a camp for young people; and early in the next year he persuaded the Diocese of South Florida to help him support programs of college ministry at the state universities in Gainesville and Tallahassee. He told the Diocesan Convention of 1927 that he had been putting "great emphasis ... on our young people's work," and that he felt justified in doing so because "there is no ground so rich in treasure for the future of Christ's Kingdom as that of childhood ... and there is no more blessed and blessing task in the whole world than taking the young by the hand and leading them to God."

The first five years of Bishop Juhan's episcopate were a time of prosperity for the state and growth for the diocese, but the end of the Florida real estate boom and the onset of the Great Depression brought on more than a decade of hard times and retrenchment. In the early 1930's the budgets were cut and so was the money sent to the National Church and Bishop Juhan's salary, the salaries of missionaries and other clergy, the number of clergy at work in the diocese (from thirty-one in 1929 to twenty-five in 1934) and the founding of new missions. The number of congregations in the diocese slipped from seventy in 1929 to sixty-two in 1933 and sixty in 1937. By then, however, the depression was beginning to loosen its grip on the diocese and in 1941, Bishop Juhan was able to say to his people, "It should be evident to all ... that the diocese had definitely stepped forward during the past three years." But he reminded them that America was then looking out at "a world that is filled with darkness and disaster.

World War II began before the Great Depression was fully over and it, too put great pressures on the Diocese of Florida. It added a new work to those the diocese was accustomed to doing the work of ministering to many thousand servicemen being trained within its borders, and it took from the diocese many of the tools with which to accomplish its work. Shortages of gasoline and tires, building materials, food and fuel hampered the diocese, but worse still was the shortage of clergymen. "Available clergymen, - wrote Bishop Juhan in 1942, "are becoming more and more scarce, due to the fact that so many of our men have gone into the Army or Navy as chaplains. - And a year later he wrote, "Believe me when I say that I can get four new tires and four hundred pounds of tenderloin easier than I can get able clergy now." Even so, Bishop Juhan was determined that no churches should be closed. And none were. Parish priest accepted extra charges; missioners were spread thin; retired clergy, chaplains stationed in Army and Navy bases and lay readers all helped; and no churches were closed. At the end of the war Bishop Juhan and that the diocesan organization was "shot" but that it was "positively astonishing" how much it had accomplished and how little had been lost.

After the war Bishop Juhan's long years of labor were rewarded with glowing success. Eleven missions became parishes in ten years, and sixteen new missions organized. The number of clergy at work grew from thirty-eight to fifty-eight, and the membership of the church almost doubled.

St. John's Church, Jacksonville, became St. John's Cathedral; a retirement for elderly women was established; the diocese got its first diocesan house with a bookstore; a Department of Christian Social Services was created; a coadjutor was elected and helped Bishop Juhan through his last eight years as diocesan. Bishop Juhan could turn the work over to his successor with a sense of accomplishment and an assurance that all was well with the Diocese of Florida. He retired in 1956, raised money for his beloved University of the South and died there in 1967. He was praised there as "Sewanee's guardian angel" and, in Florida, as "a man of humor, a man of courage. a man of compassion, a man of sport, but most of all a man of God, founder of new missions, builder of new parishes, pastor of the pastors of men and servant of the servant of God."

The Right Reverend Edward Hamilton West

Fifth Bishop of Florida


The Right Reverend Edward Hamilton West served the Diocese of Florida as its chaplain in charge of students work at the University of Florida from 1936 until 1941, as its bishop-coadjutor from 1948 until 1956 and as its diocesan from then until his retirement on December 31, 1974. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and educated at Birmingham-Southern College and Virginia Theological Seminary. After graduating from the seminary he became a deacon and then a priest in Idaho where one of his assignments was to be in charge of the student work at the state university. His bishop told bishop Juhan, the Bishop of Florida, that Mr. West was "the best qualified man for student work" he knew. 

Bishop Juhan had been well impressed with Hamilton West when he was a college boy and had a leader in the Province of Sewanee's Young People's Division. Now the Bishop of Florida brought the young priest to Gainesville to take charge of the student work there. In the next five years Mr. West counseled students, encouraged some to seek Holy Orders, sent more out to nearby missions to learn to be lay readers and built the Chapel of the Incarnation just across from the university campus. His chaplaincy was one of the most successful ever at the University of Florida.

From Gainesville, the Reverend Mr. West went to Augusta in 1941 to be the rector of St. Paul's Church, but in April 1948, he was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Florida. He was consecrated on October 4 and served as coadjutor for the next eight years. Then, on February 1, 1956 when Bishop Juhan retired, the Right Reverend Hamilton West became the fifth Bishop of Florida.

Bishop West was the Diocese of Florida during troubled time. That had been true for other Bishops of Florida, too, but there were difference. Their difficulties for the most part had been caused by wars, depressions, a terrible epidemic, the Big Freeze and the Jacksonville fire. Those were matters that caused great trouble for the diocese, but trouble the diocese could face as a unit with its people standing shoulder-to-shoulder. The difficulties the diocese faced during Bishop West's episcopate tended instead to be divisive and to cause deep and sometimes angry differences of opinion among the people of the diocese. There was the wear in Vietnam, the civil rights struggle of the 1960's and 70's, the controversy over racial segregation, or integration, within the church, the "Martin Luther King demonstration" in St. Augustine and the trying and testing of the proposed new Book of Common Prayer. These were disputed issues, and some of them bitterly disputed within the diocese, but in all of them Bishop West gave full, firm and courageous support on the side principles and policies of his church.

There was progress, too, in the diocese despite all disagreements. Indeed the accomplishments of the diocese under Bishop West's leadership was impressive, and its success important. Fifteen missions became parishes, seventeen new missions were founded. The clergy staff grew from fifty-eight in 1956 to seventy-four in 19700. The diocese gave up eighteen of its clergy, nine of its parishes and thirteen of its missions to help create a new diocese, the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. That made the Diocese of Florida a more urban diocese that it had been, and Bishop West asked it to try "to bring Christ to the cities and the cities to Christ. The diocese, with its cathedral taking the lead, undertook to rehabilitate one of the worst slum areas in Jacksonville. More than a hundred dilapidated houses were renovated; new apartment buildings and houses constructed and rented or sold at prices poor people could pay; a health center provided medical attention "to those who had been overlooked in the past"; children's daycare center were established in Jacksonville and Gainesville; a counseling service and meals-on-wheels were organized for older, handicapped and homebound people in Jacksonville.

Another of the cathedral's projects during Bishop West's episcopate was building and operating a splendid Episcopal High School in Jacksonville. But most important of all the cathedral's good works were the three high-rise apartments buildings it built in Jacksonville to house eight hundred elderly people of most incomes. Intended to be more than just places for people to live, these buildings were to be a "retirement community," complete with recreational and health facilities. Their apartments were occupied as fast as the buildings were completed.

So impressed with the retirement center and the high school was a layman who had been a member of the church's national council that he wrote a letter of congratulations and appreciation to Bishop West and the dean of the cathedral. He said that he had sat in on "endless discussions" at the national level about the church's duty to do something for the aged and the young and "you two gentlemen, with the least discussion I ever saw, have actually done something ... I only wish more of the leaders in our church would use you as an example." Bishop West, however, may have been more proud of some other achievements; writing to the diocese one day after his retirement began, he said, "together we have rebuilt after the Second World War, constructively ridden the crest of the population explosion of "the fifties," steered a steady course as we tried to be Christian in our race relations, studied our liturgies and helped prepare for the coming Book of Common Prayer and on our knees prayed our way through the election of the new Bishop." He had given this diocese good leadership in a troubled time.

The Right Reverend Frank Stanley Cerveny

Sixth Bishop of Florida


The Sixth Bishop of Florida, the Right Reverend Frank Stanley Cerveny, was called to the diocese in July 1972, to be dean of St. John's Cathedral. Bishop Hamilton West had asked for a coadjutor because he intended to retire at the end of 1974. On February 23, 1974, Dean Cerveny was elected bishop coadjutor.

He was consecrated as Bishop in the Church of God on May 23, 1974. The consecrator was the Presiding Bishop of the Church, the Right Reverend John Elbridge Hines, and co-consecrators were Bishop West and Bishop John Vander Horst, the Bishop of Tennessee. On January 1, 1975 Cerveny became the Sixth Bishop of Florida and on January 17 he was installed as Chief Pastor of this Diocese, which now unites over 30,000 Episcopalians in more than 70 congregations stretching from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and the Gulf, and south to Gainesville and Palm Coast.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1933, Bishop Cerveny holds a B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, where he was class president and was graduated with honors, and an M.Div. from General Theological Seminary in New York, where he was student body president. He holds four honorary doctorates. He began his ministry in 1958 as an assistant to the rector at Church of the Resurrection in Miami and had been ordained priest there by Bishop Louttit, Bishop of the Diocese of South Florida. From Miami he had gone to Trinity College New York City, as an assistant, then had become rector, first of St. Luke's, Jackson, Tennessee, then of St. John's, Knoxville, Tennessee. From there he been called to St. John's Cathedral. It was said of him, then "he is regarded as a New Englander who is well adapted to the South" and that he was "keenly interested in the pastoral ministry, with concern of all ages."

Bishop Cerveny held numerous positions in the national Church and served on the national Board for Theological Education, served as chair of the Presiding Bishop's Select Committee, Deans and Bishop and the Environmental Stewardship Team of the national Church, in addition to acting as Trustee of University of the South.

During his episcopacy, the Diocese increased church membership, built heavily used Camp Weed and the Cerveny Conference Center centrally located lakefront acreage near Live Oak, and established the Episcopal Foundation for support of extended ministries within and outside the church. His commitment to witnessing the Gospel in both word and action in daily led Bishop Cerveny to take his sabbatical in Madrid, where he served as a worker priest at a Roman Catholic mission.

The years of Bishop Cerveny's episcopate coincided with the election of a new Presiding Bishop, ordination of women, election of women bishop, prayer book revision, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, gay rights, racism, abortion, death penalty, inclusive language texts, "church within a church" movement. Among Episcopalians, disagreement over such concerns fed potential disunity. Yet, Bishop Cerveny observed. we still in the Church, with visible growth in spirituality in the Diocese. "Diversity rooted in community will be creative rather than destructive," he taught.

With Bishop Cerveny focusing the people of the Diocese on common goals, accomplishments were many. Among them: The Episcopal Foundation was launched to enable ministry and growth beyond the reach of the annual budget of the Diocese. Men and women were ordained to the permanent diaconate, and our first Canon IX priest ordained. "Total Ministry" offered a growing understanding of clergy-lay sharing of the ministry of all the baptized. A Diocese-wide computer network brought secular technology to the service of the Church, interconnecting parishes and transmitting daily reports from General Convention in 1991. The Diocese underwrote experienced priests for missions congregations, enabling missions to more quickly reach parish status and releasing support funds for new missions. CBS/TV cameras were welcomed into the Bishop's office to film a documentary on diocesan ministry to criminals and victims. Bishop Cerveny and his Roman Catholic colleague Bishop Snyder iterated the drafting of a pastoral "Letter to Christians in Florida" on the death penalty, signed by leaders of major denominations in the state.

Bishop Cerveny's long friendship with the Bishop of Cuba led to a Partners in Mission and Companion Diocese relationship, a continual exchange of visitors, Cursillo candidates from Cuba, and establishments of a Cross of Nails chapter in Havana, enhancing Floridians lives with the witness and vitality of the Cuban church. Planners guided by a consulting firm identified mission sites, seeking affordable real estate ahead of predicting growth and cost increases. Large crowds assembled to mark such happy events as the Bishop's 50th birthday or the 10th anniversary of Cursillo. St. Mary's Outreach Mission, serving the inner city, Episcopal Child Day Care Centers grew to a national model. The Diocese became well-known throughout our church as a leader in renewal for both adults and youth. The Diocesan was created, an award-winning newspaper unifying ministries with the Diocese and the Anglican Communion.

Nine Bishops, including the Presiding Bishop, participated in the Sesquicentennial Diocese Convention of the Diocese of Florida. The Christian Healing Ministry, Inc. was encouraged by the Diocese, providing a center for healing, reconciliation, and peace. Diocesan Convention adopted a format preceding business sessions with prayer in small groups. The Rt. Rev. Robert Varley named Assistant Bishop in 1989, easing Bishop Cerveny's visitation schedule and becoming chief coordinator of the Twenty-First Century Document.

At the end of 1992, Bishop Cerveny, 59, resigned to become Executive Vice President of the Church Pension Group headquarters in New York City, joining the managerial team "ministering to ministers" as he put it. To the joy of his flock, he and Emmy kept their Jacksonville home, planning to return after retirement. The Diocese said reluctant and fond farewells. Bishop Cerveny's strong leadership had been an anchor in uncertain times; his episcopacy had spanned a time of worldwide disunities with a consistent call to unity in Christ.

The Right Reverend Stephen Hays Jecko

Seventh Bishop of Florida


Stephen Hays Jecko was elected Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Florida on December 11, 1993, and was ordained and consecrated on May 7, 1994 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bishop Jecko was born in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 1940. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Syracuse University in 1964, an M.Div. at The General Theological Seminary in 1967, and a D.Min. at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1982. GTS and VTS awarded the D.D. to him in the Fall of 1994. The University of the South honored him with a D.D. in May, 1995.

Bishop Jecko began his ordained ministry as a Curate at Christ Church, Binghamton, New York in 1967. In 1969 he became Priest-in-Charge of St. Margaret's Church, Plainview, New York for five years. He was Associate Rector at St. James' in Warrenton, Virginia in 1974, and then Rector at Zion Church, Rome, N.Y. in 1977. He founded and was first Board Chairman of the Zion Episcopal School. In this capacity he saw the per capita giving triple in this urban parish. He served local community organizations and was President of the Rome Clergy Association. He was honored by the Mayor with a citizenship award for community service. His doctoral thesis focused on the introduction of spiritual renewal in the parish. In 1984 he was called to the Diocese of Florida to become Rector at St. Michael's Church in Gainesville. During this ministry the budget went from $100,000 with 1% outreach to $300,000 with 30% outreach and an increase of 20% in net communicant strength.

In 1990 he became Assistant to the Bishop of Florida. In this capacity his primary focus was as Chair of the Commission on Ministry while serving as the bishop's liaison with all the related functions in the ordination process, as well as evangelism, stewardship, Christian education, youth, renewal, social ministry and the Diocesan companion relationship with Cuba. He designed the Vocational Deacon Formation program and the Canon 9 process for the Diocese of Florida.

Bishop Jecko was author of Spiritual renewal for twenty years, as a Chaplain with the Order of St. Luke, and a Priest Associate of the Order of The Holy Cross. He helped develop the Province IV Cornerstone Project known as Priestly Formation The First Three To Seven Years. He has worked closely with the people charged with developing "total ministry" in the Diocese and continued to affirm and support these efforts to enhance effective deployment of both lay and ordained ministries in the life of the Church.

During his tenure Bishop Jecko served as a Trustee of the University of the South, Chair of the Board for Episcopal Children's Services, and as a member of the Board of Episcopal High School of Jacksonville, Inc. He is author of Spiritual Renewal & Ministry in A Local Church (doctoral thesis), and Home Fellowship - A Manual for Leaders, and is listed in Who's Who in Religion, 3rd Edition.

Following retirement in January of 2004, Bishop Jecko was invited to serve the Diocese of Dallas as Assistant Bishop, working with Bishop James M. Stanton. He was the Clerical Trustee for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and a member of the National Advisory Board for Christian Healing Ministries, both headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.

Bishop Stephen Hays Jecko was taken home peacefully to be with the Lord on June 7, 2007. Bishop Jecko lived with his wife Joan in Plano, Texas at the time of his death. Son, Bryan, former Webmaster for the Diocese of Florida now lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. Son, Sean, founding Webmaster for the Diocese of Florida, lives with his wife Christine and their daughter Ann Elizabeth in Richardson, Texas.