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Addendum to United Methodist Bishops Quiz


Bishop Thomas Coke

1. Who was the first Methodist bishop?

The correct answer is Thomas Coke. John Wesley sent Thomas Coke to America in 1784 as a general superintendent, a position considered on par with a bishop. Coke later chose to use the term bishop despite Wesley’s objections. Coke and Francis Asbury then set about to ordain deacons and elders in the United States. Coke played a major role in the development of Methodism in America by traveling far and wide to spread the denomination.

Methodist History: Thomas Coke
228 years of bishops in Methodist tradition

Bishop Leontine Kelly2. Who was the first female African American bishop?

The correct answer is Leontine Kelly. She was a teacher until the day she was called by God to the pulpit. After her ordained husband died, Kelly was asked to pastor the church. She responded to the district superintendent by saying, “You and the bishop can appoint but only God can call me to ministry.” A few months later, God did, and Kelly was elected bishop in 1984.

Methodist History: Leontine Turpeau Current Kelly
Women in ministry find shoulders to stand upon

Bishop Prince Taylor3. He shares a name with a famous musician. Who was the first African American bishop to lead the Council of Bishops?

The correct answer is Prince Taylor. The Rev. Prince Taylor was ordained in 1931 and served as a pastor in the North Carolina Annual Conference. He was elected to the Episcopacy in 1956 by the Central Jurisdiction, a racially segregated unit that existed in the predominantly white denomination from 1940 to 1968. He served for ten years before becoming the first African American president of the Council of Bishops.

United Methodist Bishops Firsts
Who we are: Council of Bishops

Meet some of our current bishops in the podcast series Get your Spirit in Shape!

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner4. Who was the first female bishop elected in a conference outside the U.S.?

The correct answer is Rosemarie Wenner. Rosemarie Wenner began serving as bishop of the Germany Central Conference in 2005. She was the first woman to be elected bishop in a conference outside of the U.S. and became the first woman elected as president of the Council of Bishops in 2012. She served as president until 2014 when Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. was elected.

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner
Wenner, Brown win election to lead bishops

Bishop Henry Bidleman Bascom5. Which Methodist bishop served as chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives?

The correct answer is Henry Bidleman Bascom. Henry Bidleman Bascom traveled across a wide territory, preaching in settlements as a circuit rider. He was elected bishop by the Ohio Annual Conference. He made a salary of roughly $12.00 before he was chosen as chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served Congress 1824-1826.


Bishop Gilbert Haven6. Which Methodist bishop was a well-known abolitionist and friend of Frederick Douglass?

The correct answer is Bishop Gilbert Haven. Elected to the episcopacy in 1872, Gilbert Haven was a graduate of Wesleyan College and active abolitionist. He served as a Methodist bishop until 1880. A large collection of 1,000 letters, written to and by Gilbert Haven, have been collected by the General Commission on Archives and History. The letters tell of Haven’s relations with famous figures in U.S. history.

Methodist History: Bishop fought slavery
Methodist history mixed on abolitionism

Bishop Harald Rückert7. This bishop serves the Germany Central Conference and previously studied food industry technology.

Bishop Harald Rückert was elected bishop by the Germany Central Conference in 2017. He was born in 1958 in Nuremberg, where he grew up. After passing his university entrance examinations, he studied Food Technology at the TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan in Munich, before finding his way to pastoral ministry in The United Methodist Church.

Bishop Harald Rückert
Get your spirit in shape: Meet Bishop Harald Rückert
The United Methodist Church in Germany

Bishop Richard Allen8. Who is a founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church?

The correct answer is Richard Allen. Allen became a Methodist after buying his own freedom from slavery in Philadelphia. He was ordained by Francis Asbury and became a preacher at historic St. George’s United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. Allen organized the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816 and was consecrated as the first bishop.

Methodist history comes alive at St. George's
Methodist history: Richard Allen

9. Who was the first Hispanic American to be elected bishop?

The correct answer is Elias Galvan. He was born in San Juan Acozac, Puebla, Mexico and grew up in a Methodist parsonage. He was elected to the episcopacy in 1984 as the first Hispanic American bishop. He became the first Hispanic to serve as president of the Council of Bishops in 2001. Elias Galvan was a very active representative of MARCHA, the national Hispanic Methodist caucus, before retiring in 2004.

Bishop Elias G. Galvan
What MARCHA meands to United Methodists

10. True or false, John Wesley, a founder of Methodism, never joined the episcopacy.

The answer is true. Though John Wesley founded the denomination, he never became a bishop. The British Methodist Church does not have bishops. When Wesley named Thomas Coke the first U.S. general superintendent of the church, he assigned Coke the responsibility of ordaining deacons and elders in the United States.

228 years of bishops in Methodist tradition
Methodist history: John Wesley