Between July 12-17, a new fleet of bishops to the United Methodist Church joined the denomination’s council of bishops with the commission to “lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs?of the church and to “lead the church in its mission of witness and service in the worlds.?
The addition of 21 new bishops from across five geographic conferences now brings the total number of Methodist bishops to 50. Each of these bishops will lead an Episcopal area of at least one of 63 regions in the United States.
Following the historic diversity of the UMC, the delegates of the church elected three African-American men, one Hispanic woman and five white women as part of the new fleet. Additionally, the new leaders include Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, who is a native of India, Bishop Jeremiah Park and Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, who are Korean-Americans and Bishop Robert Hoshibata, Japanese-American.
A total of 1,600 United Methodist delegates elect the new bishops across five geographic conferences.
There were 556 delegates in the nine-state Southeaster Jurisdictional Conference in Lake Junaluska, N.C. These delegates elected: Rev. Alfred Gwinn, Kentucky Conference, the Rev. James Swanson, South Georgia Conference; the Rev. Richard J. Wills Jr., Florida Conference; the Rev. William H. Willimon, South Carolina Conference; the Rev. Hope Morgan Ward, North Carolina Conference; and the Rev. Mary Virginia “Dindy?Taylor, Holston Conference.
“I am looking forward to the adventure,?said the Bishop William Willimon, Durham, N.C., following his election by the Southeastern Jurisdiction to the United Methodist News Service. “I have done a lot of thinking about what the church should do, and now I have a chance to do it,?he said.
In the 13-state Northern Jurisdictional Conference, 288 delegates met in Syracuse, N.Y., and elected: the Rev. Marcus Matthews from the Baltimore-Washington Conference; the Rev. Sudarshana Devadhar, North Central New York; the Rev. Jeremiah J. Park, Greater New Jersey; the Rev. John R. Schol, Eastern Pennsylvania; the Rev. Jane Allen Middleton, New York; and the Rev. Thomas J. Bickerton, West Virginia.
In the eight-state South Central Jurisdictional Conference, which met in Corpus Christi, Texas, some 340 delegates elected: the Rev. Robert Hayes Jr., Texas Conference; the Rev. Robert Schanse, Southwest Texas; the Rev. Scott Jones, North Texas; and the Rev. Charles Crutchfield, New Mexico.
The fourth district, the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, met in Davenport Iowa. The 328 delegates from the nine-state jurisdiction elected the Rev. Hee-Soo Jung of the Wisconsin Conference; the Rev. Deborah Kiesey, Iowa; and the Rev. Sally Dyck, East Ohio.
The Western Jurisdictional Conference ?known to be the most liberal of regions ?elected the Rev. Robert Hoshibata, Pacific-Northwest Conference and the Rev. Minerva Carcano, Oregon-Idaho Conference, to lead their 12-state jurisdiction. Some 88 delegates voted for the two members at the San Jose, California meeting.
Carcano, a Hispanic clergywoman who was among the two elected, said “I want to thank you for creating a table large enough, that has a place even for me and the people of my birth, my language, my culture.?
Bishops in the United Methodist Church are elected for life, but are assigned to serve four0year terms as active administrators of their respective geographic areas. Additionally, the bishops are required to retire from their active posts following their 66th birthdays.
The UMC, with over 8 million members in the United States, is the second largest non-catholic denomination in North America. The historic denomination was created in 1968 by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches, and has 18 active bishops overseeing some 2.5 million members out of the country.
The following is the list of assignments of all 50 active United Methodist bishops serving in the States, as listed by the United Methodist News Service:
(In the list below, ** designates newly elected bishops, and *designates new assignments for continuing bishops.)
Continuing bishops and six pastors elected as bishops during the July 12-16 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Syracuse received assignments. The Northeastern Jurisdiction is home to 1.5 million United Methodists in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. It also includes the District of Columbia.
The assignments are:
Bishop Susan Morrison -- Albany Area, which includes the Troy and Wyoming annual (regional) conferences, covering northeast Pennsylvania, eastern upstate New York and Vermont.
*Bishop Peter Weaver -- Boston Area, New England Conference (Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire).
**Bishop Jane Allen Middleton -- Harrisburg Area, Central Pennsylvania Conference.
**Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar -- New Jersey Area, Greater New Jersey Conference.
**Bishop Jeremiah J. Park -- New York Area, New York Conference (southern New York state and Connecticut).
Bishop Violet Fisher -- New York West Area, North Central New York and Western New York conferences.
**Bishop Marcus Matthews -- Philadelphia Area, Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware conferences.
**Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton -- Pittsburgh Area, Western Pennsylvania Conference.
**Bishop John Schol -- Washington Area, Baltimore-Washington Conference.
*Bishop Ernest Lyght -- West Virginia Area, West Virginia Conference.
North Central Jurisdiction
Continuing bishops and three pastors just elected as bishops during the July 14-17 North Central Jurisdictional Conference in Davenport, Iowa, received assignments. The jurisdiction, home to 1.5 million United Methodists, includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The assignments are:
**Bishop Hee-Soo Jung -- Chicago Area, Northern Illinois Conference.
**Bishop Deborah Kiesey -- Dakotas Area, Dakotas Conference (North Dakota and South Dakota).
Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher -- Illinois Area, Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
*Bishop Michael J. Coyner -- Indiana Area, North Indiana and South Indiana conferences.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer -- Iowa Area, Iowa Conference.
*Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton -- Michigan Area, Detroit and West Michigan conferences.
**Bishop Sally Dyck -- Minnesota Area, Minnesota Conference.
*Bruce John L. Hopkins -- Ohio East Area, covering the East Ohio Conference.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough -- Ohio West Area, covering the West Ohio Conference.
*Bishop Linda Lee -- Wisconsin Area, Wisconsin Conference.
South Central Jurisdiction
Continuing bishops and four pastors just elected as bishops during the July 14-16 South Central Jurisdictional Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, assignments. The jurisdiction is home to 1.8 million United Methodists in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The assignments are:
**Bishop Charles Crutchfield—Arkansas Area, Arkansas Conference.
*Bishop Rhymes H. Moncure, Jr.-- Dallas Area, North Texas Conference.
Bishop Ben Chamness--Fort Worth Area, covering the Central Texas Conference.
*Bishop Janice R. Huie-- Houston Area, Texas Conference.
**Bishop Scott J. Jones-- Kansas Area, Kansas East and Kansas West conferences.
Bishop William W. Hutchinson-- Louisiana Area, Louisiana Conference.
**Bishop Robert C. Schnase -- Missouri Area, Missouri Conference.
*Bishop Ann B. Sherer -- Nebraska Area, Nebraska Conference.
Bishop D. Max Whitfield -- Northwest Texas-New Mexico Area, New Mexico and Northwest Texas conferences.
**Bishop Robert Hayes-- Oklahoma Area, Oklahoma and Oklahoma Indian Missionary conferences.
Bishop Joel Martinez -- San Antonio Area, Rio Grande and Southwest Texas conferences.
Continuing bishops and six pastors just elected as bishops during the July 14-17 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C. received assignments. The jurisdiction is home to 2.9 million United Methodists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The assignments are:
Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster -- Alabama-West Florida Area, Alabama-West Florida Conference.
**Bishop William H. Willimon--Birmingham Area, North Alabama Conference.
*Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey -- Charlotte Area, Western North Carolina Conference.
**Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor-- Columbia Area, South Carolina Conference.
Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker -- Florida Area, Florida Conference.
**Bishop James Swanson, Sr. -- Holston Area, Holston Conference.
Bishop James R. King Jr.-- Louisville Area, Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary conferences.
**Bishop Hope Morgan Ward -- Mississippi Area, Mississippi Conference.
**Bishop Richard J. Wills, Jr. -- Nashville Area, Memphis and Tennessee conferences.
Bishop Lindsey G. Davis -- North Georgia Area, North Georgia Conference.
**Bishop Alfred Gwinn -- Raleigh Area, North Carolina Conference.
*Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer -- Richmond Area, Virginia Conference.
Bishop B. Michael Watson -- South Georgia Area, South Georgia Conference.
Continuing bishops and two pastors just elected bishops during the July 14-17 Western Jurisdictional Conference in San Jose, Calif., received assignments. The Western Jurisdiction has 427,000 United Methodists spread across the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. It also includes Guam and Saipan.
The assignments are:
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. --Denver Area, Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone conferences.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson -- Los Angeles Area, California-Pacific Conference, which includes Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.
**Bishop Minerva Carcano -- Phoenix Area, Desert Southwest Conference and the Korean Mission.
**Bishop Robert Hoshibata -- Portland Area, Oregon-Idaho Conference.
Bishop Beverly J. Shamana -- San Francisco Area, California-Nevada Conference.
*Bishop Edward W. Paup -- Seattle Area, Alaska Missionary and the Pacific Northwest conferences.
Sharon Zimmerman Rader, Wisconsin
C. Joseph Sprague, Chicago
Woodie W. White, Indiana
Susan Hassinger, Boston
Neil Irons, Harrisburg, Pa.
S. Clifton Ives, West Virginia
Alfred Johnson, New Jersey
Hae-Jong Kim, Pittsburgh
Felton May, Washington
South Central Jurisdiction
Bruce Blake, Oklahoma
Fritz Mutti, Kansas
Alfred Norris, Houston
William Oden, Dallas
Kenneth L. Carder, Mississippi
Ray W. Chamberlain Jr., Knoxville, Tenn.
Marion M. Edwards, Raleigh, N.C.
Robert E. Fannin, Birmingham, Ala.
William Morris, Nashville, Tenn.
Joe E. Pennel Jr., Richmond, Va.
William W. Dew, Jr. Phoenix
Elias G. Galv?, Seattle