The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith has served as the diocesan bishop for Southwest Florida since 2007. Before his election as bishop coadjutor, Smith was the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans. Most notably, Smith was an influential leader in the Episcopal Church’s outreach efforts to the people of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Outside of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, Smith serves on the Board of Regents for the University of the South and on the Standing Commission for the Mission and Evangelism of the Episcopal Church. Smith also sits on the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice by virtue of his office as the Vice President of Province IV.
Over the course of his episcopate, Smith has not made any significant changes to the structure or operation of the Diocese of the Southwest Florida and has not been vocal in the conversations surrounding the Taskforce to Reimagine the Episcopal Church. Smith has dedicated his energy to mission, encouraging college and Latino ministries.
Many questions remain about Smith’s potential leadership for the future Episcopal Church; a future which will require a visionary leader to make difficult decisions. At this time, it is yet to be seen if Smith can provide such bold leadership. For instance, Smith has publicly wrestled with the issue of same-sex blessings since 2012 and has yet to offer any clear decision for his diocese.