Announcing the Appointment of Assistant Bishop for West Texas
The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas, is delighted to announce the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr. as Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. Bishop High has served as the Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth and as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Texas. Following his retirement in 2015, he has continued ministry as an Assisting Bishop to the Diocese of Fort Worth. His appointment in West Texas will begin on Monday, February 1, 2021.
“Bishop High brings with him a wealth of experience and wisdom to the life and ministries of the Diocese of West Texas,” shares Bishop Reed. “He has deep roots in this Diocese and has been a longtime friend and supporter of West Texas. When Bishop High learned of the impending departure of the Bishop Suffragan, he was quick to offer his encouragement, prayers, and assistance in any way he could. He made several visitations last fall, then again in early 2020 until COVID-19 guidelines suspended in-person gatherings. He has been well-received everywhere and loved being with our congregations.”
“Bishop High has a pastor’s heart, and an abiding enthusiasm for congregational life. As Suffragan in the Diocese of Texas, he spent a great deal of time working with family size churches in small towns, and he’ll have plenty of opportunity to use those gifts in West Texas.”
After spending his childhood in Houston, Bishop High received his undergraduate degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. As he wrestled with a call to ministry and what path to pursue after graduation, he confided in his priest, the Rev. Stanley F. Hauser, Rector of St Mark’s, Houston, who recommended him to the Rt. Rev. Everett H. Jones, 4th Bishop of West Texas. Bishop Jones directed the postulant to Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, as his sending parish. He served as rector in two Diocese of West Texas parishes, then as rector of a parish in the Diocese of Texas, a total of 32 years before becoming Canon for Pastoral Ministries in Texas.
Pat Mosley High, Bishop High’s wife of 50 years, died in 2015 prior to his retirement from the Diocese of Fort Worth. Their family included three children and six grandchildren.
On August 12, 2017, Bishop High and the Rev. Dr. Canon Ann Normand married at St. Paul’s, Waco, where they both previously served. Together, they have eleven adult children, 14 grandchildren, and Bishop, their yellow lab. A retired Canon to the Ordinary who served alongside Bishop Andy Doyle in the Diocese of Texas, Ann remains active in her own ministries as a dynamic teacher, supporter of lay ministry leaders, and mentor to active clergy. She will accompany Bishop High as he visits congregations. The Highs will live in the San Antonio area throughout this appointment.
Bishop High sends greetings to the Diocese of West Texas, saying “Returning to the Diocese in 2021 will make my journey in ordained ministry full circle. It was here that it all began, with Bishop Everett Jones’ affirmation of my call in 1963 and his ordaining me to the Diaconate in 1966. His actions set me on the path to serve Christ and his Church; now Bishop Reed’s crozier pulls me back. It is here that I will continue my service to our Lord. Ann and I are thrilled beyond belief to be in the Family of the Diocese of West Texas!”
As Assistant Bishop of West Texas, Bishop High will serve three Sundays each month, in addition to his work in and through the diocesan office. His responsibilities will include Sunday visitations, meeting with vestries and bishop’s committees, collaborating with diocesan staff, and assisting with pastoral care for clergy and clergy families.
Regarding the creation of the office of Assistant Bishop, the 116th Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas unanimously approved Resolution 2020-1 on Friday, February 21, 2020, authorizing the Office of Assistant Bishop for the Diocese of West Texas and allowing Bishop Reed to appoint an Assistant Bishop for a period not to exceed three years. The search for Assistant Bishop was suspended temporarily when the diocese adjusted its 2020 budget as part of the relief response to West Texas congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included the cancellation of April 2020 apportionment payments.
Messages of welcome and greeting for Bishop Rayford High and the Rev. Dr. Ann High may be directed to Melissa Soderberg, Executive Assistant to the Bishop’s Office, at email@example.com.