Rhymes Moncure Jr. elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church

The Rev. Rhymes Moncure Jr. of Columbia. Mo., has been elected a bishop by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Moncure, 54, senior pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church, was elected Thursday, July 13. He will fill one of the vacancies created in the denomination's jurisdictional College of Bishops by the retirements of four bishops.

The new bishops are being elected by 320 delegates attending the conference. Moncure will become one of 11 active bishops serving one of the episcopal areas of the 17 annual conferences that make up the eight-state jurisdiction. The South Central Jurisdiction is home to 1.8 million United Methodists in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

A consecration service for the four new bishops will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 15, at the Central United Methodist Church, at 1615 Copper Ave. N.E.

An episcopal assignment committee is already considering where Moncure and other active bishops will serve for the next four years. Their assignments will be effective Sept. 1.

Endorsed by the Missouri East and Missouri West Conference, he was elected on the first ballot, receiving 201 of the 319 votes cast. He received endorsement from the South Central Jurisdictional Black Methodists for Church Renewal and the Women's Leadership Coalition of the South Central Jurisdiction.

While the South Central Jurisdictional Conference is occurring, four other United Methodist jurisdictional conferences are meeting to elect nine other bishops.

For 33 years, Moncure has made making disciples for Jesus Christ a priority. In the past four years, the church has grown by 400 members, increasing the membership to more than 2000. Prior to his current appointment, he served six years as a district superintendent in St. Louis, Mo. and his years of ministerial service has included appointments in churches ranging from 50 to 2000 members in urban, suburban and cross-racial congregations and settings.

The son of a naval officer and schoolteacher mother, Moncure received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Baptist University. He completed graduate studies at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City with honors in Homiletics. He received a doctorate degree from the North Carolina University School of Theology.

Moncure is married to the former Jewel Lena Wells, a public school counselor, and is the father of two adult children, Jason and Roxanne.

A jurisdictional conference has the following power and duties:

  • To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary and benevolent interests of the church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries. The South Central Jurisdictional Conference institutions are Mt. Sequoyah, Fayetteville, Ark.; the Lydia Patterson Institute, El Paso, Texas and Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
  • To elect bishops.
  • To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliaries to the general boards of the church.
  • To determine the boundaries of annual conferences.
  • To make rules and regulations for the administration of the church's work within the jurisdiction.
  • To appoint a committee on appeals.

The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches. Methodists elected their bishops at one national gathering until 1940, when the jurisdictional system was instituted. Bishops in the EUB church were elected at one national gathering until 1968.

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