Becoming a Diocese
As the missionary endeavors faithfully established and nurtured a growing number of Episcopal congregations west of the Catawba River, in 1895, the Missionary District of Asheville was founded. The Diocese of Western North Carolina was formally organized into an independent entity in 1922. The first bishop of both the Missionary District and the Diocese of Western North Carolina was The Rev. Junius Horner. Since Horner’s consecration in 1898, there have been six other Episcopal Bishops of Western North Carolina: Robert E. Gribbin (1934–1947); Matthew George Henry (1948–1974); William Weinhauer (1975–1990); Robert H. Johnson (1990–2003); G. Porter Taylor (2004–2016); and Bishop José A. McLoughlin (2016–present), the seventh Episcopal Bishop of Western North Carolina.