From the Worldwide Faith News archives

United Methodist Bishop Dies

Date 01 Jul 1996 15:06:55

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

Note 3042 by UMNS on July 1, 1996 at 16:01 Eastern (3198 characters).

SEARCH: Dixon, bishop, episcopal, San Antonio

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Produced by United Methodist News Service, official news agency of
the United Methodist Church, with offices in Nashville, Tenn., New
York, and Washington.

CONTACT: Thomas S. McAnally                    328(10-31-71){3042}
         Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470              July 1, 1996

Bishop Ernest Dixon 
dead at 73

                 by United Methodist News Service

     Retired United Methodist Bishop Ernest T. Dixon Jr., 73,
former president of the church's Council of Bishops (1988-89),
college president and educator, died June 29 at the Methodist
Hospital in San Antonio of a yet to be determined cause.
     The funeral service will be held July 3 at University United
Methodist Church, San Antonio, with burial in Edna, Texas.
     Dixon had been a patient at Methodist Hospital and was
looking forward to his upcoming discharge and a planned trip, said
the Rev. Jerry J. Smith, assistant to Bishop Roy Owen, San Antonio
Area. "This was sudden and unexpected," he said. 
     In 1972 Dixon was elected bishop by the eight-state South
Central Jurisdiction, the first African American ever elected by
that regional unit of the church.  He served eight years as
episcopal leader of the Kansas area and 12 years in the San
Antonio Area before he retired in 1992. Since retirement, he made
his home in San Antonio. 
     Prior to his election as bishop, Dixon had served as pastor
of churches in Texas, New York and New Jersey, director of the
Religious Extension Service at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama,
executive Secretary of the West Texas Conference Board of
Education, president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock,
Ark., staff member of two churchwide agencies: the former
Methodist Board of Education in Nashville and the former United
Methodist Program Council in Dayton, Ohio; and a member of the
executive committee of the World Methodist Conference.
     While serving as president of the church's Council of Bishops
in 1988-89, Dixon joined other religious leaders for a meeting
with President Bush at the White House, and visited Poland where
he preached in Warsaw on Christmas Day. 
     Born in San Antonio, received his BA degree from Samuel
Houston College (now Houston-Tillotson College), Austin; his B.D.
degree from Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N.J.; and several
honorary doctorates.
     He is survived by his wife Ernestine Gray Clark Dixon and
four children: the Rev. Freddie B. Dixon Sr., of Austin Texas;
Leona Louise Thomas and Muriel Jean Dixon, both of San Antonio;
and Sherryl Dianne Blue of Washington, D.C.  His first wife, Lois,
died of cancer in 1977. A son, Ernest Reese Dixon, died in 1990.
     Smith, a former member of Dixon's cabinet, remembers the
bishop as a "distinguished" and "dynamic" and "much loved" leader
who rose from humble beginnings on the east side of San Antonio to
become a religious leader of the entire city. "We are proud that
he came to serve the place of his birth."  
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