An electing convention overcame a miscount and two invalidated ballots April 4 to choose the 16th Bishop of Massachusetts. Clergy and lay delegates elected the Rev. Alan M. Gates, a graduate of Episcopal Divinity School who began his priestly vocation in the diocese. Gates is now rector of St. Paul’s Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Gates once worked as a Russian-language translator, researcher, and intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense. He served on the board of the Teleios Foundation for U.S.-Russian church relations from 1996 to 2005.
“To return to the Diocese of Massachusetts a quarter century after my ordination to the priesthood there will be a genuine delight,” Gates said after his election. “To be called to do so as bishop-elect is an unimagined honor and a privilege beyond the telling.”
The slate included six other nominees:
- The Rev. Holly Lyman Antolini, rector, St. James’s Church, Cambridge
- The Rev. Timothy E. Crellin, vicar, St. Stephen’s Church, Boston
- The Rev. Ronald Culmer, rector, St. Clare’s Church, Pleasanton, California
- The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia
- The Rev. Canon Mally Lloyd, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Massachusetts
- The Rev. Sam Rodman, project manager for campaign initiatives, Diocese of Massachusetts
A miscount on the first ballot led to the convention declaring the second and third ballots invalid and posting a corrected first ballot. The incorrect first ballot affected lay votes for six candidates, but did not change their rank in total votes.
Four nominees — Antolini, Crellin, Culmer, and Lloyd — withdrew their names after the second ballot, but the convention reinstated them after discovering errors in the first ballot.
The convention met for seven hours. Clergy and delegates sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during one lull in the day.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas M. Shaw, 15th Bishop of Massachusetts, praised the convention for resolving the ballot question.
“It was a long day, but it was worth taking that extra procedural time,” he said. “I was impressed with people’s desire to make sure everything was in order.”