Photo by Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. is consecrated July 16, 2016, as a new bishop in the South Central Jurisdiction during a ceremony at Wichita First United Methodist Church.
U.S. bishops begin new assignments on Sept. 1
By Linda Bloom
July 18, 2016 | NEW YORK (UMNS)
Most of the 15 United Methodist clergy elected as new U.S. bishops last week will be packing their bags to move to a new home within their region.
After the elections, the denomination’s five U.S. jurisdictional conferences announced assignments for bishops in all 46 episcopal areas, effective Sept. 1. Fifteen bishops are retiring and another 22 are remaining in their current assignment areas for another four years.
New bishop Bob Farr will remain in the Missouri Conference, where he has been the director of congregational excellence.
The 2016 elections of new U.S. bishops sparked both interest and controversy.
Western Jurisdiction delegates meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, elected the denomination’s first openly gay bishop, Bishop Karen Oliveto, despite a prohibition against gay clergy in the United Methodist Book of Discipline.
Reaction to her election has ranged from jubilation to disappointment to concern over how to uphold the current church doctrine.
At Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the Southeastern Jurisdiction elected its first African-American woman as bishop when the Rev. Sharma Lewis was elected on the first ballot.
That vote helped propel The United Methodist Church into electing the most women in any new class of bishops in this denomination or its predecessor bodies. In total, jurisdictional delegates elected seven women, four of whom are African American.
Here are the episcopal assignments for the next four years, by conference. The names of new bishops are in bold.
Alabama-West Florida: Bishop David Graves
Florida: Bishop Ken Carter
Holston: Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor
Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary: Bishop Leonard Fairley
Mississippi: Bishop James Swanson
Tennessee and Memphis: Bishop Bill McAlilly
North Alabama: Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
North Carolina: Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
North Georgia: Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
South Carolina: Bishop Jonathan Holston
South Georgia: Bishop Lawson Bryan
Western North Carolina: Bishop Paul Leeland
Virginia: Bishop Sharma Lewis
The Southeastern Jurisdiction includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Arkansas: Bishop Gary E. Mueller
Central Texas: Bishop J. Michael Lowry
Great Plains: Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.
Louisiana: Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
Missouri: Bishop Robert “Bob” Farr
North Texas: Bishop Michael McKee
Northwest Texas and New Mexico: Bishop Earl Bledsoe
Oklahoma and Oklahoma Indian Missionary: Bishop James G. “Jimmy” Nunn
Rio Texas: Bishop Robert C. Schnase
Texas: Bishop Scott J. Jones
The South Central Jurisdiction includes the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Pacific Northwest, Oregon-Idaho and Alaska Missionary: Bishop Elaine Stanovsky
California-Nevada: Bishop Minerva Carcaño
California-Pacific: Bishop Grant Hagiya
Desert Southwest: Bishop Robert Hoshibata
Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone: Bishop Karen Oliveto
The Western Jurisdiction includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Dakotas-Minnesota: Bishop Bruce Ough
Ohio East: Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Illinois Great Rivers: Bishop Frank Beard
Indiana: Bishop Julius Trimble
Iowa Area: Bishop Laurie Haller
Michigan Area: Bishop David Bard
Northern Illinois: Bishop Sally Dyck
Ohio West: Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Wisconsin: Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
The North Central Jurisdiction includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Baltimore-Washington: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling
Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware: Bishop Peggy A. Johnson
Greater New Jersey: Bishop John R. Schol
New England: Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
New York: Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton
Susquehanna: Bishop Jeremiah J. Park
Upper New York: Bishop Mark J. Webb
West Virginia: Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball
Western Pennsylvania: Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi
The Northeastern Jurisdiction includes the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.