Five new bishops blaze trails for The United Methodist Church
The following is a series of profiles on the first-elected bishop in each U. S. jurisdiction. The elections were held July 13-16, 2016. Read more about the 2016 Episcopal Elections.
Bishop Sharma Lewis
Bishop Sharma Lewis initially aspired to a career in medicine but ended up as a trailblazer in United Methodist ministry, most recently becoming the first African-American female bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The bishop, whose vocation changed from healing bodies to healing souls, now has the opportunity to help heal a strained denomination.
Read her profile "Being first means lifting others up."
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
North Central Jurisdiction
Raised and molded in the United Methodist faith, Bishop Tracy S. Malone was destined to lead in times such as this, according to those who know her well. Bishop Malone was elected at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference and now leads the East Ohio Conference.
Read her profile "New bishop heard call to ministry at 13."
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi
When Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi speaks from the pulpit as a newly elected bishop in The United Methodist Church, the voice of her great-grandmother — who sang in a racially segregated choir — echoes in a place deep in her heart. When she was younger, the new bishop questioned why her family stayed in a church that didn’t fully welcome them. Moore-Koikoi, elected bishop in July, now leads the Western Pennsylvania Conference.
Read her profile "New bishop recalls questions about segregated church."
Bishop Karen Oliveto
Born in Babylon, New York, on Good Friday in 1958, elected and consecrated United Methodist bishop in 2016, Bishop Karen Oliveto sees her life just rolling out the way God intends. Oliveto, the denomination’s first openly gay bishop, now leads the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone conferences.
Read her profile "God has been in control."
Bishop Ruben Saenz
South Central Jurisdiction
Ruben Saenz Jr. was a successful jewelry store owner when he answered the call to ministry. Two decades later, the bilingual native of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley is a new United Methodist bishop, assigned to the Great Plains Conference.
Read his profile "Ministry is 'a great work'."