Cesar Dacorso

First Brazilian Methodist Bishop

Cesar Dacorso, Filho (which means ‘junior’) was born to a French-Italian father and a Portuguese-Brazilian mother in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state in 1892. He attended the Methodist mission Sunday school in Santa Maria and was educated at Instituto Granbery and Dom Pedro College. Dacorso entered the South Brazil Conference in 1916 and was ordained deacon by Bishop John M. Moore in 1918. He became one of the most effective of the Brazilian preachers, serving as pastor and presiding elder in the early part of his ministry.

Later he returned to Instituto Granbery as professor of religion. For most of his career, his fellow preachers elected him to be the annual conference secretary. In 1934, the Brazilian Methodist Church elected the unsuspecting Dacorso to be its first Brazilian-born bishop. It was said that he had to borrow a ‘preacher’s coat’ from a brother minister in order to be properly attired for his ordination.

Dacorso’s spirituality, his energy, and his leadership skills produced remarkable results in church growth. The Brazilian church elected bishops for only a five-year term, but it re-elected Dacorso several times. Respected as a world leader of Methodism, Dacorso died in 1966.

Taken from Robert W. Sledge, “Five Dollars and Myself”: The History of Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1845-1939. (New York: General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 2005), p. 384.


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