Bishop of Florida
The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese in May of 2003 and instituted as bishop of the diocese on January 29, 2004. In addition to his responsibilities at the Diocese of Florida, Bishop Howard is also the current Chancellor of the University of the South through 2018.
From 1997 through 2003, Bishop Howard served as vicar of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, where he assumed a leadership role in the city following the events of September 11, 2001. Prior to moving to New York, he served as rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and as assistant to the rector of Holy Comforter Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, Bishop Howard was ordained in 1989. Before becoming a priest, he practiced law in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1976 through 1986, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney and Lead Attorney of the Federal Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In 1985, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appointed him as the founding Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Bishop Howard also previously served as an attorney on the staff of the United States Senate Commerce Committee.
The North Carolina native is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and of the Law School of Wake Forest University. He and his wife Marie have two sons; Augustus, a graduate of Duke University Law School who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, and Charles, a doctoral student at the New York Institute of Fine Arts.