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Bishop Emerson S. Colaw

United States

Phone Number
(513) 247-1854

Email Address
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Emerson Colaw was born in Chanute, Kansas. He attended the University of Cincinnati, receiving his B.S. degree. He received a B.D., magna cum laude, from Drew Theological, an M.A. from Northwestern University, and has done graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from five different institutions.

Ordained deacon by Bishop H. Lester Smith and elder by Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, Emerson Colaw became a full member of the New York Annual Conference. That fall, however, he transferred to the Northern Illinois Annual Conference where he served three different pastorates over fourteen years. In 1961 he was appointed to Hyde Park Community Church in Cincinnati in the West Ohio Conference and was serving there at the time of his election to the episcopacy in July 1980 by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Minnesota Area where he served for eight years, until his retirement.

Dr. Colaw was a General Conference delegate 1968-80 and was a member of the General Conference Commission on Doctrine and Doctrinal Standards. He has served on the General Board of Discipleship, the General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and was chairperson of the Commission to Study the Mission of the Church during the 1984-88 quadrennium.

Author of several books and pamphlets and more than forty magazine articles, Bishop Colaw has been the recipient of numerous ecumenical awards. He relaxes with golf, reading, and for many years was active in Rotary International.

Bishop Colaw is retired and served as professor of Homiletics and Christian Ministry at United Theological Seminary in Dayton from 1988 until 1999. He was also Acting President in 1995-96. Currently he spends the winter as ABishop in Residence@ at the North Naples United Methodist Church in Florida.

On August 27, 1942, Jane Elizabeth Curry and Emerson S. Colaw were married. They have four children: Prudence, Deborah, Marcella, and David.