Shore Episcopalians elect Townsend bishop

July 13, 1992

EASTON -- A 48-year-old rector from Blacksburg, Va., was elected the ninth bishop of the 124-year-old Episcopal Diocese of Easton.

The Rev. Martin G. Townsend, of Christ Church in Blacksburg, was chosen to succeed the Right Rev. Elliott L. Sorge, 63, as bishop for all nine counties of the Eastern Shore. Father Townsend was elected by vote of clergy and laymen from 41 Shore parishes in a Special Convention of the Diocese held at Trinity Cathedral in Easton Saturday.

Father Townsend finished first among six candidates in a series of three ballots. A fourth vote was taken to make the choice unanimous.

His election must now be approved by a majority of bishops and standing committees of 120 dioceses in the United States and pTC Latin America, a process that will probably take until November, Bishop Sorge said. If his election is approved, Father Townsend will be ordained as a bishop and serve about five months under Bishop Sorge, who said he will probably retire in February or March.

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