Rev. Canon Heather Cook

Rev. Canon Heather Cook has been elected Bishop Suffragan of Maryland. (Chip Lee / Handout photo / January 23, 2014)

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland elected its first woman bishop Friday, narrowly voting for the Rev. Canon Heather Cook to hold the post of bishop suffragan.

Cook was among four candidates for the position — all of whom were women — and was elected after four rounds of voting among clergy and laymen at the diocese's convention in Ellicott City, according to a news release.

A bishop suffragan is akin to a vice-president and helps run the diocese with its bishop diocesan. The rest of the Episcopal Church's dioceses must consent to the election before Cook is consecrated.

Cook, who currently holds a position in the Diocese of Easton, which covers the Eastern Shore, said she was "profoundly moved" by the election.

"With gratitude for all who have helped shape me in ministry over the years, I look forward to crossing the Bay and exploring with you the proclamation of the life-giving Good News in a way that reaches across the generations," she said in a statement.

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, the top bishop in the diocese, said it was "a glorious day" when Cook was elected.

140 lay delegates and 164 clergy participated in the election. To succeed, a candidate must win a majority among both types of voter.

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