Southeastern Jurisdiction

In an episcopal election that saw several firsts, the Rev. Delores Williamston (left), the first Black female bishop elected to the South Central Jurisdiction; the Rev. David Wilson (right), the first Native American bishop in The United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Laura Merrill stand during their consecration service. The South Central Jurisdiction’s service of consecration was Nov. 5 at Houston First United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Conference via Facebook.

Jurisdictions see shift in bishops, more cooperation

Even as The United Methodist Church faces mounting disaffiliations, those who plan to remain United Methodist are working together more across jurisdictional lines. Jurisdictional conferences also elected more women and more people of color as bishops.
Newly elected Bishop Connie Shelton thanks the delegates of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference after her election Nov. 2. Shelton, a district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference, was elected on the 12th ballot with 213 votes. Her husband, the Rev. Joey Shelton, stands behind her. The Southeastern Jurisdictional delegates are meeting Nov. 2-4 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Photo by Ben Smith, UM News.

Southeastern Jurisdiction elects Shelton as bishop

The Rev. Connie Mitchell Shelton, district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference, was elected Nov. 2 on the 12th ballot.
The Rev. Tom Berlin speaks to delegates at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference meeting in Lake Junaluska, N.C., following his election as a bishop in The United Methodist Church. Delegates met Nov. 2-4 in Lake Junaluska, N.C., for the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, with the purpose of electing new bishops, assigning bishops to regions of supervision and doing other business. Photo by Ben Smith.

Southeastern Jurisdiction elects Berlin as bishop

The Rev. Thomas M. Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, was elected Nov. 2 on the fourth ballot.
The Virginia Conference’s Bishop Sharma D. Lewis (upper right corner) leads the devotional during the April 30 session of the United Methodist Council of Bishops spring meeting. The bishops maintained that no elections of bishops or agency board members would be held this year, despite some delegates urging otherwise. Screengrab courtesy of the Council of Bishops via ZOOM by UM News.

Bishops: No episcopal elections until 2022

United Methodist bishops declined General Conference delegates’ calls for episcopal elections this year but opened the door to a vote on new leaders in 2022.

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