Plambeck wins bishop post in North Central

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Retired Bishop Sharon Rader gives newly elected Bishop Lanette Plambeck her episcopal pin following her election to the United Methodist episcopacy at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Nov. 2. Photo by Kaitlyn Winders Photography.
Retired Bishop Sharon Rader gives newly elected Bishop Lanette Plambeck her episcopal pin following her election to the United Methodist episcopacy at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Nov. 2. Photo by Kaitlyn Winders Photography.

The Rev. Lanette Plambeck, the only endorsed candidate for bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference, was elected on the third ballot at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. She received 102 votes of the 167 ballots cast. She needed 101 to be elected (60% of valid votes).

“I love our God, and I love The United Methodist Church,” Plambeck said. “I wasn’t born in it but was called to it, and I believe to the very depth of who I am and that our very best years are ahead of us, right here, right now.”

The North Central Jurisdiction consists of 167 delegates, an equal number of United Methodist clergy and laity, from the nine states forming the North Central Jurisdiction. The assignments of bishops in the North Central Jurisdiction will be announced later in the week. 

Plambeck has been serving as the assistant to the bishop and director of clergy and leadership excellence in the Iowa Conference. 

Ordained an elder in the Iowa Conference in 2005, Plambeck earned her B.A. from Morningside University in religious studies and political science. After serving as an intelligence analyst in the Army, she worked as an executive and therapist for person-centered agencies. In 2001 she completed her master of divinity degree with an emphasis on evangelism at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, then received a doctor of ministry in church leadership excellence in 2013 from Wesley Theological Seminary.

Before being on staff at the Iowa Conference, Plambeck was the lead pastor for Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs, First United Methodist in Atlantic, Manning United Methodist Church in Manning and Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Granger, all in Iowa. She also served as the chaplain at Morningside University.

In The United Methodist Church, bishops are ordained elders who are called to “lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of The United Methodist Church.” Bishops, in consultation with district superintendents, are responsible for appointing clergy. They also preside at annual, jurisdictional, and General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly.

“Glory be to God. We dreamed it. We envisioned it, and it came to be,” said Iowa delegate the Rev. LaTonya Calderon. “Amen!”

Plambeck and other new bishops are coming aboard as the denomination deals with the continuing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising congregational disaffiliations amid a denominational splintering. 

“We are so proud that Lanette was elected to bishop not only because she’s from Iowa, but she is the right person at the right time for our jurisdiction, and we are so happy,” said Iowa delegate Rev. Chad Jennings. “Praise be to God.”

Winders is director of communications for the Iowa Conference. 

Find all of UM News’s coverage of the 2022 episcopal elections of The United Methodist Church on our landing page.


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