Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Episcopal Area
P.O. Box 6006
Minerva Garza Carcaño was born in Edinburg, Texas. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Pan American, and then earned her Masters of Theology at Perkins School of Theology. Ordained in 1976 she has served congregations in Texas, New Mexico and California. In 1986, she became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a United Methodist district superintendent in the continental United States serving in West Texas and New Mexico. She was then appointed the lead pastor of the South Albuquerque Cooperative Parish Ministry from 1992 to1996. From 1996 to 2001, she served as the Director of the Mexican American program at Perkins School of Theology. In 2001, she assumed the appointment of District Superintendent to the greater Portland, Oregon area in the Oregon-Idaho Conference.
On a national level, she has served on the former General Board of Education, the General Boards of Global Ministry and Church and Society, and the United Methodist Publishing House. She both served on and chaired the National Cooperative Parish Ministry Leadership Team of the UMC, and was the lead clergy delegate to both the 1996 and 2004 General Conferences. She has a long history of committed involvement in ministries with immigrants and refugees, the poor and US/Mexico border communities. She has encouraged and led congregations to be active in community organizing and to work ecumenically believing that communities hold the experience and wisdom to create a world of justice and peace if they will but come together.
Minerva serves on the Board of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministries and the General Conference Study Committee on the Relationship Between The United Methodist Church and the Churches of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Minerva Garza Carcaño was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 by the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church, the first Hispanic female ever elected bishop. She was assigned to the Phoenix Area on September 1, 2004. After 8 years, she was assigned to the Los Angeles Area in 2012.
Minerva is married to Thomas Spaniolo, an immigration lawyer, and they are the parents of a teen-aged daughter, Sofia.