South Central elects Jimmy Nunn as bishop

After leading the vote for 17 previous ballots, the Rev. James “Jimmy” Nunn has been elected a bishop by delegates at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in Wichita, Kansas.

Nunn, 59, the director of mission and administration for the Northwest Texas Conference, was selected on the 21st ballot with 126 of the 418 votes cast by the delegates, equally comprised of clergy and laity. Delegates voted for two candidates on the ballot because two positions remained to be elected at the time.

“I listened and prayed,” Nunn said of the wait for the election. “I didn’t keep a tally of where things are.

“Being anxious over a series of ballots was not helpful to me.”

His episcopal area assignment will be announced following the election of one final bishop positions in the jurisdiction, which includes the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana.

“This is where I need to be, where I need to invest my life,” Nunn said of his call to the position.

Nunn had been the top vote-getter since the fourth ballot, the first following the election of the Rev. Ruben Saenz Jr. of the Rio Texas Conference.

Nunn has been mission and administration director of the Lubbock, Texas-based conference since 2011, serving for two years before that as the Northwest Texas Conference’s director of church development.

As director of mission and administration, Nunn has led efforts to plant new churches and recruit young and diverse clergy, as well as developing new leaders.

He had previously served as pastor of three different churches in Lubbock and as a district superintendent.

A native of Lubbock and a pastor since 1981, Nunn earned his bachelor’s degree from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and his master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Nunn was a delegate and chair of the Northwest Texas delegation to the United Methodist General Conference in 2008 and 2016, and he served as an alternate in 2004. He has served on the General Conference’s committees on higher education and ministry, and finance and administration. This year, he has also served as a delegate to the World Methodist Conference. He has been a four-time delegate to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference.

He and his wife, Mary, a piano teacher with her own studio, are the parents of two grown children.

A consecration service for the new bishops will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church in Wichita. The ceremony can be watched live on the Great Plains Conference’s website at www.greatplainsumc.org/livestream.

Contact David Burke, communications coordinator, at [email protected]


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