The Diocesan Staff consists of both office staff in Charleston as well as others with specialized ministries around the Diocese.
See our listing below for individual contact information.
The Rt. Rev. Matthew D. CowdenVIII Bishop Diocesan
The Right Reverend Matthew Davis Cowden is the eighth Bishop of West Virginia. He was consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor on March 12, 2022, and became Bishop Diocesan on October 14, 2022.
With family roots in West Virginia, Bishop Cowden was born and reared in northern Virginia and then spent his teenage years in Miami, Florida. Raised with contemplative practices as a Quaker in the Religious Society of Friends, Bishop Cowden eventually found the Episcopal Church in his twenties. While pursuing a BFA and MFA in the performing arts, he combined his study of classical theater with that of liturgy and religion.
After an early career as a college theater professor, he followed his joy to pursue ordained ministry and received his Master of Divinity degree at Virginia Theological Seminary. Bishop Cowden was ordained deacon and priest in 2006. He served parishes in the Dioceses of Virginia and Northern Indiana. As a Trainer in Congregational Development ministries, Bishop Cowden has led rural and suburban congregations in developing a shared vision for implementing new ministry.
He is married to Melissa Cowden, his best friend and partner in ministry. Melissa is an early childhood educator with a master’s degree in multicultural education. They have three young-adult children: Meghan, a nurse; Nicholas, a ballet dancer; and Joshua, a computer science major. Bishop Cowden loves hiking, running, making memorable meals, folklore, and storytelling.
Staff Based Outside of Charleston