About 200 faithful came out Saturday afternoon to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Bakersfield to welcome the newly elected Bishop Provisional of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
David C. Rice, formerly Bishop Assistant, was called from New Zealand along with his wife, Tracy, in order to serve in the San Joaquin Valley.
Before Rice walked into a packed church on 17th Street, his wife gave him a congratulatory kiss and hug in the warm sunshine in front of the church.
Several friends and colleagues were on hand from New Zealand taking photos and glady being a part of the event.
Rice, who was born and raised in North Carolina, served as a Methodist pastor for eight years prior to his ordination in the Anglican Church of New Zealand. He served in parishes and as dean of Dunedin Cathedral in the Diocese of Dunedin, before his 2008 election as Bishop of Waiapu, according to a news release from The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
David and Tracy have two college-age children.