Born in 1970, Poulson Reed grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where his mother was a church musician. A lifelong Episcopalian, he graduated from Saint Christopher’s, an Episcopal school for boys in Richmond. He then attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 1992 with a double major in English and Religion. His academic studies continued with an M.F.A. in 1994 from the University of Utah in Creative Writing, studying with former Poet Laureate of the United States, Mark Strand, and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in 1997.
Before ordination, he worked as an English teacher in Connecticut, and was active in his local Episcopal church as a choir member, altar server, Daily Office leader, and Eucharistic visitor. During his ordination process, he served a year as a full time hospital chaplain resident at Saint Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut (2000-01) and an academic year as a chaplain intern at Brent House (the Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Chicago) and ministry intern at Grace Church, Oak Park in the Chicago area (2001-02).
Ordained a deacon in June of 2002 at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, he served at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado (where he was ordained a priest in January of 2003) for more than seven years as Curate, Canon, and eventually as Sub-Dean. At Saint John’s, he helped found an alternative, seeker-friendly Sunday evening Eucharistic community called “The Wilderness,” and worked with the Sudanese community as they became a special congregation of the diocese and a Jubilee ministry.
Poulson Reed began serving as Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona in August of 2009. As Rector, he was the spiritual leader of both a large church and a day school of over 500 students in pre-K through 8th grade. During his time as Rector, All Saints’ strengthened their financial health, purchased and developed property to expand their campus, healed rifts between the church and school, began a community music school and chorister program for children and youth, and reached out to the vulnerable through new ministries with Perryville women’s prison, and Saint Paul’s Church and School in Haiti.
On December 14th, 2019, in Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City, Poulson Reed was elected the sixth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. He was consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor on May 30th, 2020 at the cathedral, at a small ceremony in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was seated as the Bishop Diocesan on August 8th, 2020 (the Feast of Saint Dominic), succeeding the Right Reverend Edward Konieczny. As Bishop of Oklahoma, he oversees a diocese that includes 68 congregations, 5 Episcopal Schools, 2 college chaplaincies, 2 senior care centers, and a camp and conference center.
Throughout his ministry, he has had a passion for inviting others into discipleship: deepening our transformative relationship with Jesus Christ through the ancient practices of praying, learning, serving and connecting. He is a member of the Order of the Ascension, an Episcopal religious community in the Benedictine tradition of lay people, deacons, priests, and bishops from around the country.
As a 2015 recipient of a Piper Fellowship from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Reed received a grant for leadership development that included continuing education at Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy, and Saint George’s College in Jerusalem. He has certificates in both nonprofit leadership and management from the Lodestar Center at Arizona State University.
In 2020, he received an honorary doctorate from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.
He has been married since 2004 to Megan Reed, a classically trained tuba player and music teacher. They have three boys: David, Thomas and Matthew.
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