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Cassandra Heller

Former United Methodist Bishop Edward W. Paup passed away at the age of 66 on March 21.

Paup, former bishop, executive, dies at 66

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information on a memorial service.

The Rev. Edward W. Paup, a former bishop of The United Methodist Church and top executive of the denomination's mission agency, died March 21 after a long battle with a brain tumor.

"We know that through God, Ed was formed, called, ordained and commissioned - and now has been called to rest. As resurrection people, we hold fast to Jesus' promise that there will be for each of us an eternal home," said West Ohio Area Bishop Bruce Ough, president of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. March 31 at First United Methodist Church of Belen, N.M. Expressions of sympathy and memories of Paup can be posted on the Noblin Funeral Home website.

He served as bishop of the Portland (Ore.) Area from 1996 to 2004 and bishop of the Seattle Area until 2008, when he resigned from the episcopacy to become the top staff executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

He served only a year as the mission agency's general secretary before resigning from the position on Sept. 1, 2009, because of health concerns. At that time, Ough said Paup had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Born on Dec. 21, 1945, in Oil City, Pa., Paup graduated from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., in 1967 and was ordained a deacon in the United Methodist Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference in 1968. He transferred to the Rocky Mountain Conference a year later, where he was ordained an elder in 1970, the year in which he also earned a Master of Divinity degree from United Methodist-related Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

He served as a pastor in Colorado in 1970-89; was superintendent of the Utah/Western District in 1989-93 and was assistant to the bishop in 1993-96 before his own election as bishop in 1996. He was a general and jurisdictional conference delegate in 1988, 1992 and 1996.

Paup served on the General Council on Ministries in 1996-2004 and was its president in 2000-04. He was a member of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee in 1996-2001 and served on the United Methodist Commission on Communication in 1992-96. Prior to being elected to lead the Board of Global Ministries, Paup became a board director in 2004 and was president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

From 1996 to 2004, he was a board member at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska; Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and the Northwest House of Theological Studies in Salem. He also served on the board of trustees of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

Paup is survived by his wife, Carol; three daughters and five grandchildren.

"We keep his wife, family, and all who love and grieve over him in our hearts," Ough said. "May God grant them strength and assurance of God's promise and presence. We remember the words of Psalm 126, 'May those who go out weeping come home with shouts of joy.'"

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.