Kevin Thew Forrester, an Episcopal (ECUSA) priest since 1994, has served as Ministry Development Coordinator and since 2007 as Rector/Ministry Developer of St. Paul’s Church in Marquette, Michigan, and St. John’s Church in nearby Negaunee. Forrester served as bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan from February through July, 2009. He is the author of I Have Called You Friends: An Invitation to Ministry (Church Publishing, 2003). Forrester received the title Genpo circa 2004, a term signifies a commitment to meditation practice, and is also known as Kevin Genpo Thew Forrester.
Forrester was elected as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan by a special convention of the diocese in February 2009. Forrester was a controversial choice because of his changes to the baptism rite, his beliefs regarding salvation, and his practice of Zen Buddhism. In the Episcopal Church, confirmation of a bishop's election requires the consent of a majority of Episcopal Church bishops and diocesan standing committees. On July 27, 2009 the Episcopal Church of the United States announced that Forrester's election had failed to achieve this consent from a majority of the 110 diocesan standing committees. A majority of the 110 bishops also rejected his election. A press account stated that this was the first time in 77 years, since 1932, that the election of an ECUSA bishop was nullified. The last candidate rejected on strictly theological grounds was James DeKoven in 1875 for his high church practices.
Forrester cites Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and David Steindl-Rast as influences.