New Bishop Elected

Breaking News from Poway

The Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook was elected by the Bishop Nominating Convention in Poway today to serve as the Fifth Bishop of San Diego. The election came on the first ballot, with 71 votes from the lay delegates and 45 votes from the clergy delegates.

Bishop-Elect Brown Snook is the canon for church growth and development in the Diocese of Oklahoma. In this role, Susan guides ministries of evangelism, church growth, church planting, and new mission development, and consults with congregations on growth and development plans. She grew up as the daughter of an Army officer, living all over the world. After graduating from Rice University with a degree in English and Managerial Studies, she continued at Rice and received her master’s in business administration and master’s in accountancy. After a ten-year career as a certified public accountant, she was called into ministry in the Episcopal Church. She served for several years in lay ministry, as the director of Christian education and then the director of lay ministries at a church in Arizona, before attending seminary. She received her master’s in divinity degree from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2003, and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Arizona.

In Arizona, Susan served as a curate and then as an associate rector in churches in the Phoenix area. In 2006, the bishop of Arizona called her to plant a church in the northern suburbs of Phoenix and Scottsdale. From 2006 to 2017, she served as the church planter, vicar, and then rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale, leading it during a process of growth to a program-sized parish and through a building process that created a permanent home for the vibrant congregation. Susan is passionate about evangelism – proclaiming the good news of Jesus – and about developing thriving churches that transform lives in their communities.

Susan is the author of God Gave the Growth: Church Planting in the Episcopal Church, and the co-editor with Adam Trambley of Acts to Action: The New Testament’s Guide to Evangelism and Mission. She has served in a number of church leadership positions, including as an elected member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church (2012-18) and chair of its local ministry and mission committee (2015-18) and budget committee (2012-15). She has been a member of the Diocese of Arizona’s diocesan council and chair of the board of its Chapel Rock camp and conference center. She is a founder of the Acts 8 Movement, a group dedicated to proclaiming resurrection in the Episcopal Church, including leadership in evangelism, mission, and prayer. In 2018, she was appointed by the presiding bishop to a six-year term on the board of Forward Movement.

Susan has been married for over 30 years to her husband, Tom Snook, and they have two grown daughters, Sarah and Julia.

Following the election, the Bishop-Elect spoke to the delegates at the convention by live-stream and expressed her appreciation to the delegates and said she was looking forward to her new ministry and joining us in Fearless Love.

Pending consent of a majority of the bishops with jurisdiction and the diocesan standing committees, Susan Brown Snook will be ordained and consecrated on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego.


The author gratefully acknowledges the Diocese of San Diego for assistance with biographical content for this article.

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Jim Duke is the Public Information Volunteer for St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Palm Desert. In this role, he is Editor-in-Chief of St. Margaret's News, Podcast Creator and Host of "St. Margaret's in a Minute," coordinator for local media relations and assists with the management of St. Margaret's social media accounts.