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From the Bishop
December 20, 2023

The Rev. Leyla King Joins the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas as Canon for Mission in Small Congregations

Bishop Coadjutor, the Rt. Rev. Dr. David G. Read of The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas is pleased to announce the Rev. Leyla King as the Canon for Mission in Small Congregations. The Diocese of West Texas is composed of 86 congregations and one church plant spread across 60 counties, with many small congregations located in both urban and rural locations.  

King will join the diocese on January 22. In this role, she will assist Bishop Read in encouraging, resourcing, and leading efforts that help small church congregations within the diocese to thrive.

Bishop Read states, “We are elated to have King in this newly created position. Our small congregations are served by faithful clergy and lay leaders who wear many hats. This role was created to support these congregations as they explore new ways to build engagement within their communities. King’s background and passion make her the ideal person to lead our mission to lift and grow the small churches in our diocese.”  

King brings great experience to the role as an Episcopal priest and a passionate supporter and advocate of small churches everywhere. For thirteen and a half years, she served as Rector of Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN. As a founding member of the Small Churches Big Impact Collective, King has worked with friends and colleagues nationwide to identify and amplify the beauty and grace of small congregations. In addition to serving small churches, she has vocations as a writer (, an educator and a mother. A proud Palestinian-American, she feels called to provide a particular voice for Palestinian Christians in The Episcopal Church.  Ordained as a priest in 2009, King previously earned her M.Div. from Harvard University, her B.A. from Dartmouth College and completed Arabic Language studies at the Arabic School of Middlebury College. She resides in Austin with her husband, Ben, and their three children. 

“I am thrilled to join the Diocese of West Texas in its continued mission to and among small churches”, said King.  “From my work with the Small Churches Big Impact Collective, I know that this diocese is already at the forefront of understanding that "success" is very rarely defined by numbers alone and I'm excited to work with Bishop Read and the many other skilled leaders throughout the diocese to make West Texas an example to the rest of the Church of how to do small church ministry exceedingly well.” 

About the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas (DWTX) is a community of 26,000+ persons gathered in 87 congregations spread across 60 counties in Texas and is a part of The Episcopal Church, a community of 2.4 million members in America and abroad. The current Bishop, the Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, oversees DWTX and is supported by Bishop Coadjutor the Rt. Rev. Dr. David G. Read.

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