15 new bishops to take office Sept. 1


Delegates and alternates to the five U.S. jurisdictional conferences elected 15 new bishops, including four African-American women in balloting conducted July 13-16.

In the Southeastern Jurisdiction, United Methodist delegates made history July 13 by electing the jurisdiction’s first African-American woman bishop. Sharma Lewis (North Georgia Conference) was the first of five bishops elected, followed by David Graves (Holston), Leonard Fairley (North Carolina),  R. Lawson Bryan (Alabama-West Florida) and Sue Haupert-Johnson (Florida). All five bishops were elected in a single day of voting.

In the North Central, four bishops were elected – Tracy Smith Malone (Northern Illinois) and Frank J. Beard (Indiana) were both elected on the sixth ballot; David Bard (Minnesota) on the 10th ballot and Laurie Haller (West Michigan) on the 13th ballot. The Illinois Great Rivers Conference hosted this year’s gathering for the first time in 48 years at the Peoria Civic Center.

The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi (Baltimore-Washington) was elected as a bishop in The United Methodist Church on the 11th ballot of the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. The Rev. LaTrelle Easterling was elected bishop on the 17th ballot, providing two of the four African-American women bishops.

The South Central Jurisdictional Conference elected three new bishops – Rev. Ruben Saenz, Jr. (Rio Texas); Rev. James “Jimmy” Nunn (Northwest Texas) and the Rev. Robert "Bob" Farr (Missouri). Farr’s election came on a jurisdictional record 35th ballot, getting the nod over Rev. David Wilson of Oklahoma, who, if elected, would have become the first Native American bishop elected.

The Western Jurisdiction’s lone election was the Rev. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of San Francisco’s Glide Memorial UMC (see related story...)

Episcopal assignments

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 William 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 Conference – Bishop Sharma Lewis.

North Central Jurisdiction -- Dakotas/Minnesota -- Bishop Bruce Ough; East Ohio -- Bishop Tracy Smith Malone; Illinois Great Rivers -- Bishop Frank J. Beard; Indiana -- Bishop Julius Trimble; Iowa -- Bishop Laurie Haller; Michigan -- Bishop David Alan Bard; Northern Illinois -- Bishop Sally Dyck; West Ohio -- Bishop Gregory V. Palmer; Wisconsin -- Bishop Hee Soo Jung.

Northeastern Jurisdiction – Baltimore-Washington, DC — Bishop LaTrelle Easterling; Eastern Pennsylvania — Bishop Peggy A. Johnson; Greater New Jersey — Bishop John R. Schol; New England — Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar; New York — Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton; Peninsula-Delaware -- Bishop Peggy A. Johnson; Susquehanna — Bishop Jeremiah J. Park; Upper New York — Bishop Mark J. Webb; West Virginia Conference — Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball; Western Pennsylvania — Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi

South Central Jurisdiction – 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/New Mexico – Bishop Earl Bledsoe; Oklahoma/Oklahoma Indian Missionary -- Bishop James G (Jimmy) Nunn; Rio Texas -- Bishop Robert C. Schnase; Texas -- Bishop Scott J. Jones

Western Jurisdiction – Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest-- 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