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The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr. was consecrated by Katharine Jefferts Schori as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan on September 28, 2013 in Grand Rapids. Bishop Hougland grew up in a Roman Catholic family in central Kentucky where he became aware of his call to Holy Orders as a teenager, but when his wife Dana stole his heart in high school, he knew that becoming a Roman Catholic priest presented "significant problems." He and Dana were married in the Episcopal Church and have raised their two daughters in the church.

Bishop Hougland was called again to Holy Orders after a dissatisfying career in the corporate world. He attended The School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee and was ordained a priest in 1998.

Bishop Hougland believes in developing a personal rule of life, and patterns his own after the Rule of St. Benedict, which includes prayer, study and daily reflection on scripture.

His name is Whayne – with an "h." It is his great-great-great grandmother's maiden name and is Welsh for wagon maker – one who makes a way to carry the heavy stuff of life. "I like my name and strive to live into it in helping others carry the heavy stuff of life by making a way for God," he said.

He and his wife Dana reside in Grand Rapids, MI.

Click here to see the Bishop's Visitation Customary.
Click here to see Bishop Hougland's visitation schedule.
Click here to see Bishop Hougland's Thoughts on the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

The Bishop's Consecration Page. Photos, information and DVD ordering from the Bishop's 2013 Consecration.
News article, "Western Michigan: Whayne M. Hougland Ordained as Ninth Bishop" (Episcopal News Service)
Photo Gallery of the Consecration of the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.

Request a Meeting with the Bishop or Canon to the Ordinary

      1. To request a meeting with Bishop Hougland, please call (269) 381-2710 ext. 14 or click here now to send an e-mail message. The Bishop will speak with clergy, Sr. Wardens (with their Rector if there is one), and with chairs of committees/commissions as necessary. The Canon to the Ordinary speaks with others in the Diocese, in most cases.

        For additional assistance, or more information please call the Diocesan Office at (269) 381-2710. Thank you.

The Bishop's Crosier

At the 2014 Special Convention, Ted Gerrard of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, Belmont presented Bishop Hougland with a new handmade crosier constructed from the woods of Kent County.

When Bishop Hougland visited Holy Spirit the winter prior to receiving this gift, he had met Ted, who asked the bishop if there was anything he could make for him. Bishop Hougland replied that he would really like a new crosier made from local wood.

Ted came across the curved piece of wood while walking in the woods one day. He used the unique, narrow shape for the crook, which is especially appealing to Bishop Hougland, who explained to the congregation at Special Convention that there are two ways to snag a sheep back to the flock.

The more common, wider hook shapes of shepherd's crooks are used to retrieve the sheep by ensnaring its neck, which is often more painful for the animal, jerking its neck and often choking it.

But the narrower hook, often called a leg clique, is meant to grab the sheep by its leg, a more gentle and less painful way to return the sheep to the flock.

Since a bishop bears this staff as "shepherd of the flock of God," Bishop Hougland appreciates this symbol of gentle leadership.

He is also grateful for the talent of Ted Gerrard who so lovingly made this beautiful crosier.

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