Douglas F. Scharf elected bishop coadjutor of Diocese of Southwest Florida

Posted Apr 4, 2022

The Very Rev. Douglas F. Scharf. Photo: Diocese of Southwest Florida

[Diocese of Southwest Florida] Delegates and voting clergy of the Diocese of Southwest Florida elected the Very Rev. Douglas F. Scharf bishop coadjutor on April 2.

The electing convention, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in St. Petersburg, hosted 324 canonically resident clergy with voting privileges and lay delegates who participated in three ballots of voting. The other nominees were:

  • The Rev. Thomas P. Reeder, rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • The Rev. Timothy E. Schenck, rector, Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Hingham, Massachusetts
  • The Rev. C. John Thompson-Quartey, canon for ministry development & congregational vitality, Diocese of Atlanta

Scharf was elected on the third ballot via the LUMI Global electronic voting system.

Applause and words of joy could be heard inside the cathedral as Bishop Dabney T. Smith announced the election results.

“There are few moments when a priest is speechless, but this is one of them. I have been so humbled and honored to have been a part of this journey with you all and to be elected, I am truly overwhelmed. I feel the presence of God’s grace in this moment,” said Scharf when he received the news of his election via phone call from Smith.

The bishop-elect was chosen by the majority of clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese.

Scharf is the rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and School in Tequesta, Florida. Good Shepherd consists of a thriving congregation of more than 500 active members and a vibrant, fully accredited early childhood program and elementary school of 140 students. After graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2004, Fr. Scharf served as associate rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Osprey, Florida, and then served for more than nine years as rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Valrico, Florida. In 2018, Fr. Scharf completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, with a concentration in biblical interpretation and proclamation. In addition to parish ministry, Scharf has served in various leadership roles within his diocesan communities and the wider Episcopal Church, including standing committee president, convocation dean, and two-time deputy to General Convention. Scharf and his wife, Shannon, have been married for 22 years and have three sons.

Scharf will be ordained and consecrated a bishop on Sept. 24, 2022, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida. Scharf will become the sixth bishop diocesan upon the retirement of Smith.