From the Worldwide Faith News archives

SCJ episcopal election

Date 13 May 1996 14:23:27

"UNITED METHODIST DAILY NEWS" by SUSAN PEEK on Aug. 11, 1991 at 13:58 Eastern,

Note 2956 by UMNS on May 13, 1996 at 15:40 Eastern (4681 characters).

SEARCH: SCJ, jurisdiction, bishops, area, annual, conference,
episcopal, election

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the United Methodist Church, with offices in Nashville, Tenn., New
York, and Washington.

CONTACT: Linda Green                   242(11-14-18-21SC-71){2956}
         Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470              May 13, 1996

Delegates to South Central Jurisdictional 
Conference will elect one new bishop

                 by United Methodist News Service

     United Methodist delegates from eight south central states
will gather in Kansas City, Mo., July 14-18 to elect one bishop
and assign 10 others to geographic areas for the next four years.
     A United Methodist bishop is elected for life and normally
serves no more than eight years in the same episcopal area. 
     The episcopal election in the South Central Jurisdiction
(SCJ) will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Bishop
Richard Wilke, 65, of the Arkansas Area -- by jurisdictional
conference, he will be 66.
     The jurisdiction is comprised of 17 annual (regional)
conferences and 11 episcopal areas. 
     The current presiding bishops and their annual conferences
are: William B. Oden, 60, Louisiana; Dan E. Solomon, 59, Oklahoma
and Oklahoma Indian Missionary; Raymond H. Owen, 64,  Rio Grande
and Southwest Texas; Ann B. Sherer, 54,  Missouri East and
Missouri West; A. Frederick Mutti, 58, Kansas East and Kansas
West; Joel L. Martinez, 56, Nebraska; Wilke, North Arkansas and
Little Rock; Alfred A. Norris, 58, New Mexico and Northwest Texas;
Bruce P. Blake, 58, North Texas; Joe A. Wilson, 58, Central Texas;
and Woodrow J. Hearn, 65, Texas.
     Completing eight years in their present episcopal assignments
will be Blake, Oden and Solomon. The others were assigned to their
current areas in 1992.
     According to the Rev. L. Ray Branton, jurisdictional
conference secretary, two terms of four years is the standard
period for a bishop to serve an episcopal area, though a bishop
can be assigned to an area for an additional term for "missional
     Bishops are charged by the church's Book of Discipline 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 world."  
     The 332 conference delegates will include an equal number of
clergy and laity with additional reserves elected in 1995. They
will represent 1.8 million United Methodists of the eight state
     The jurisdictional conference will convene at the downtown
Marriott Hotel at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 14 and adjourn by noon
Thursday, July 18. This meeting and four other jurisdictional
conferences will be held simultaneously to elect 17 new bishops
and assign all active U.S bishops to their geographic areas
effective September 1.
     Ordained elders may be elected a bishop without any
endorsement but usually they are supported by their respective
delegation, annual conference or some other group in the
     Receiving endorsements by their respective conference
jurisdictional delegations are:
     * the Rev. William C. Crouch, 63, superintendent of the
Dallas Northeast District of the Texas Conference;
     * the Rev. William Hutchinson, 52, pastor of Central United
Methodist Church, Albuquerque, N.M.;
     * the Rev. Donald Pike, 61, pastor of First United Methodist
Church, Arlington, Texas;
     * the Rev. Rhymes Moncure Jr., 51, superintendent of the St.
Louis South District, Missouri East Conference;
     * the Rev. Janice Riggle Huie, 49, superintendent of the San
Angelo District, Southwest Texas Conference;
     * the Rev. Richard D. Turner, 62, executive director of
ministries for the Nebraska Conference; and
     * the Rev. Donald Cottrill, 51, pastor of Aldersgate United
Methodist Church, Slidell, La.;
     * the Rev. Thom White Wolf Fassett, 54, general secretary of
the churchwide Board of Church and Society.
     Huie was endorsed by the clergywomen of the South Central
Jurisdiction. She and Moncure also received endorsements from the
Coalition for an Inclusive Episcopacy in the SCJ. Fassett, not a
member of the South Central Jurisdiction, was endorsed by the
Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, in the hope that he will
become the church's first Native American bishop.
                              #  #  #
NOTE:  United Methodist News Service will operate a news room at
the site of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference July 14-18
in Kansas City, Mo.


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