Earl Boyea, Jr. was born April 10, 1951 in Pontiac, Michigan, as the eldest of the ten children of Earl and Helen Boyea, Sr. He was raised in Waterford and attended Our Lady of the Lakes Church and the parish school. He studied at Sacred Heart Seminary High School and College from 1965 to 1973, obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in History. He studied at the Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Gregorian University from 1973 to 1977 in Rome.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph Imesch on May 20, 1978. He served as associate pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Monroe, Michigan until 1979. Fr. Boyea was associate pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Trenton until 1984. In 1986, he was named Temporary Administrator of St. Christine Parish in Detroit.
Fr. Boyea obtained his PhD in Church History from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1987. Subsequently, from 1987 to 1999, he served as a weekend assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Lake Orion, Holy Family Parish in Novi, and Sacred Heart Parish in Auburn Hills. From 1988 to 1999, he was also the chaplain of Camp Sancta Maria, a Catholic boys’ summer camp in Gaylord, Michigan.
In July, 2002, Msgr. Boyea was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Siccenna by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September from Cardinal Adam Maida. During his tenure as an auxiliary, Bishop Boyea served as Regional Bishop for the South Region (2002–2003) and for the Northeast Region (2003–2008) of the archdiocese.
Pope Benedict XVI named him the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing on February 27, 2008. Bishop Boyea was formally installed as Lansing’s ordinary on April 29, 2008.