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Bishop Stevenson Announces Appointment of Visiting Bishop

Jan 27, 2023 | News Releases

The Rt. Rev’d E. Mark Stevenson announced today the appointment of the Rt. Rev’d Dabney Smith as a Visiting Bishop in the Diocese of Virginia. Bishop Smith will serve in the Diocese from April through June of this year and will be based in Northern Virginia.

 “Bishop Smith brings tremendous talent, a wealth of experience, and a big-hearted love for Jesus to our Diocese,” said Bishop Stevenson. “He will be another strong addition to our dedicated diocesan staff. I have worked with him in a number of settings for nearly 20 years, and I am so looking forward to this new chapter together.”

Bishop Smith is the retired Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, where he served from 2007-2022. In 2015, he was a candidate for Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. From 1987-2007, Smith served as rector of churches in Louisiana, Florida, and Indiana. 

“I’m excited to serve with my good friend Bishop Stevenson and long-time colleague Bishop Gayle Harris,” said Bishop Smith. “I’m also honored to come to the diocese where my father [the Rev. Dorsey Smith] went to seminary and was ordained.” Bishop Smith grew up spending summers in Virginia, where he attended Grace Church, Bremo Bluff. 

Over the course of his career in ministry, Bishop Smith served on the boards of many organizations, including: the Dominican Development Group, Nashotah House; the Seminary of the Southwest; and University of the South. 

Bishop Smith has also served the wider church as chairman of the Episcopal Church Building Fund; a member of the House of Bishops Planning Committee; and Vice President of Province IV. He was appointed by the Presiding Bishop to chair the Mission Beyond the Episcopal Church Committee of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. At the 2015 General Convention, he was elected to serve as a member of Executive Council.

Bishop Smith earned a B.A. in broadcasting production from the University of South Florida, Tampa (1980); a Master of Divinity from Nashotah House (1987); and a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury- Western Theological Seminary (1999).

Bishop Smith and wife, Mary Wallis Smith, are the parents of five grown children. They have 11 grandchildren. His hobbies include music and reading history and biographies.