· Leadership Development, Church Renewal


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.

Southeastern Jurisdiction

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.

South Central

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.

Western Jurisdiction

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.

North Central

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.

Bloom is a United Methodist News Service multimedia reporter based in New York. Follow her at https://twitter.com/umcscribe or contact her at (615)742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org



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