Diocese of Central Florida announces bishop candidate slate

By Marti Pieper
Posted Oct 12, 2022

[Diocese of Central Florida] The Diocese of Central Florida’s bishop search process continues to move forward by the grace of God and the hard work of the Standing Committee, the Search Committee and the Transition Committee. With the delivery of the slate of candidates to the Standing Committee on Sept. 19, the Search Committee has completed its assigned task. The Transition Committee is now forging ahead with plans for the diocesan tour, Nov. 7-10, and the special electing convention, set for Jan. 14, 2023, at Trinity Preparatory Academy, Winter Park. (See “Convention Clarity” for more details.)

“The candidates we have are excellent,” said the Rev. Chris Rodriguez, chair of the Search Committee and rector of Trinity, Vero Beach. “I’m confident that we have done what the Lord has called us to do … They’re all qualified; they all bring different strengths and personalities.”

Candidates for bishop

Those candidates include the Very Rev. Charles “Roy” Allison II, rector, St. James, Ormond Beach and dean of the Northeast Deanery; the Rev. Justin Holcomb, canon for vocations, Diocese of Central Florida; and the Rev. Dr. Stacey Timothy Tafoya, rector, Church of the Epiphany, Denver. For more information, please visit dcfsearch.org.

Allison has served three churches since his ordination to the priesthood on June 16, 2012, including two in the Diocese of Southwest Florida and his current position, which he has held since October 2017. Prior to the priesthood, he had a career in management in the health care industry and also worked as a youth minister in various churches in the Diocese of Southwest Florida (1996-2010). He graduated with an M.Div. from Nashotah House in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and has a B.A. in business management from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is married to the Rev. Marcia Allison, who was ordained to the diaconate in 2021, and the couple has two adult daughters.

Holcomb has served the Diocese of Central Florida as canon for vocations since 2013 and has also written or edited 20 books. Ordained as a priest on May 28, 2006, he also teaches theology and apologetics at Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo and at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Jacksonville. Prior to his current position, he served as the executive director of an interdenominational ministry and held various other ministry-related positions. He earned a Ph.D. in theological studies from Emory University and also has both an M.A. in theological studies and an M.A. in Christian thought from RTS as well as a B.A. in biblical studies from Southeastern University. He is married to Lindsey Holcomb and the couple has two daughters.

Tafoya, ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 10, 2000, has served two Colorado churches since then, including a curacy and his current position, which he has held since 2002. From 2006-2014, he also served as adjunct professor at Colorado Christian University in the areas of theology, church history and biblical studies. Before that, he worked as a book buyer for a Christian bookstore in Denver. He earned a D.Min. from Denver Seminary, an M.Div. from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and a B.A. in biblical studies from Colorado Christian University. He is married to Sarah Tafoya and the couple has five children.

“We are certain that one of these candidates is the person whom God has chosen to be our next bishop,” Rodriguez said. He is grateful for the team of men and women who assisted him in the long process of fulfilling the Search Committee’s charge from the Standing Committee. “They all did an amazing job,” he said. “And the diocese as a whole should be very thankful for how they approached this task.”

Transition Committee

As of Sept. 19, when the Search Committee presented the final slate of candidates to the Standing Committee, the Search Committee’s work concluded. But the Transition Committee, chaired by the Rev. Becky Chapman, deacon at St. Francis, Bushnell, had already begun its work. “My team hit the ground running by mid-June,” she said.

In addition to Chapman, the Transition Committee includes the following: the Rev. Kevin Bartle, rector, St. Mary of the Angels, Orlando; the Rev. John Clark, deacon and president/founder of No One Hungry, Titusville; Lorraine Harris, St. John the Baptist, Orlando; Krisita Jackson, St. John the Baptist, Orlando; Leslie Jones, Grace, Ocala; Carl MaultsBy, St. Richard’s, Winter Park; Irais Murphy, St. John’s, Kissimmee; the Rev. John Motis, deacon, Good Shepherd, Lake Wales; the Rev. Tim Nunez, rector, Good Shepherd, Lake Wales; Nereida Perez, Jesús de Nazaret, Orlando; the Rev. José Rodríguez, co-rector, Christ the King and vicar, Jesús de Nazaret, Orlando; the Rev. Rose Sapp-Bax, deacon, St. Francis of Assisi, Lake Placid; and the Rev. Eric Turner, rector, St. John’s, Melbourne.

Diocesan tour

The Transition Committee is announcing plans for the diocesan tour, which will take place Nov. 7-10 with stops at various sites around the diocese. “The objective of the diocesan tour is to familiarize the candidates with both the physical breadth and depth of our diocese,” Chapman said. “And it’s also to give the people in our diocese a chance to meet the slate and ask questions of them. … We would encourage people to come out and have an opportunity to meet the candidates.”

Six Q&A sessions, open to the public, will take place as listed below:

  1. Monday, Nov. 7, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando.
  2. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., St. George, The Villages.
  3. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., St. Mary’s, Daytona Beach.
  4. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Trinity, Vero Beach.
  5. Thursday, Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Camp Wingmann, Avon Park.
  6. Thursday, Nov. 10, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., All Saints’, Lakeland.

Although at least one Q&A will take place in each of the five deaneries, anyone interested is encouraged to attend whichever session is most convenient for them. The Transition Committee plans to record each session and to make the recordings available online at dcfsearch.org after the tour.

“I encourage everyone to come out and meet the candidates,” Chapman said. “Yes, two are from our diocese, but people know them in the roles they now have, not in the role of bishop. I would love to see a great turnout!”

Future events

After the diocesan tour, next up on the Transition Committee’s task list is coordinating the Jan. 14 special electing convention. After that will come a celebration for the ministry of the Rt. Rev. and Mrs. Gregory O. Brewer (day and time to be announced) as well as the consecration of the new bishop, which will take place on June 10, 2023.