The Bishop of Llandaff, Barry Morgan, is to be the new Archbishop of Wales.
Barry Morgan, the new Archbishop of Wales
The decision was made by an electoral college of the Church in Wales meeting in Llandrindod Wells, mid Wales on Monday.
It took the 42-strong college just over an hour to decide that Dr Morgan, 56, a Welsh-speaking golf enthusiast, should be the man to succeed Dr Rowan Williams, who has become the Archbishop of Canterbury and the leader of Anglicans worldwide.
Dr Morgan said he was overwhelmed by the news and grateful to his fellow bishops for their support.
In a statement issued by the Church, he said: "I am privileged to have been elected to this post but at the same time I am very well aware of the challenges which face the Church in Wales.
"Society is changing very quickly and the church needs to explore ways in which it can continue to conduct its ministry and mission in 21st Century Wales."
Currently in charge of the Llandaff diocese in Cardiff, he was the favourite to follow Dr Williams into the Archbishop of Wales post.
He is older and less controversial than his predecessor but nevertheless has had his own share of troubles, both during his time at the diocese in Cardiff and in his previous job as Bishop of Bangor.
Last month he was forced to apologise on behalf of the church when Canon Lawrence Davies was jailed for sexually abusing two boys who later became priests themselves.
While he was in charge at Bangor, he had to sack Clifford Williams, a priest who was found guilty of having an adulterous affair with a parishioner.
Supporters say Welsh-speaking Dr Morgan also shows great understanding of human frailty.
All five other diocesan bishops took part in Monday's vote.
As the church's leader, Dr Morgan will face a financial crisis, with insufficient income to maintain all its churches, and to fund the current number of full-time priests.
Dr Williams became the first Welsh bishop to become Archbishop of Canterbury for more than 1,000 years when he was enthroned back in February.
Previously, he courted controversy as Archbishop of Wales with his insistence on speaking his mind.
Many church traditionalists were outraged, for instance, at his liberal views on homosexuality.
Dr Williams, 52, also made clear his opposition to war with Iraq, and his support for the ordination of women priests.