|Bishop Alfred Norris to lead North Texas
Sept. 13, 2006
Bishop Alfred L. Norris
DALLAS (UMNS) — Bishop Alfred Norris has been assigned to lead the North
Texas Annual Conference through August 2008, completing the term of the late
Bishop Rhymes H. Moncure Jr.
Norris, who retired from the active episcopacy in 2004, will return to
active service effective Nov. 1, announced Missouri Area Bishop Robert
Schnase, president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops.
Moncure died Aug 19 of complications following neurosurgery.
In a letter to conference members, Schnase said, “I hope you will join
with me in giving God thanks for the gifts of ministry that Bishop Norris
and his wife, Mackie, bring to the United Methodist churches of the North
He also praised the ministry of the late Bishop Moncure, who served as a
pastor in the Missouri Conference before being elected to the episcopacy in
2000. Moncure served in Nebraska for four years before being appointed to
the North Texas Conference (Dallas Area).
“Bishop Moncure blessed us all with his life and ministry, and his death
has been painful for everyone,” he wrote. “I thank the pastors and lay
members of the conference for your prayers, faithfulness and understanding
during this time of grief and transition.” On Sept. 16, United Methodists in
the Missouri Conference will participate in a memorial service for Moncure
at Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia.
Why is a retired bishop being assigned to serve instead of the
jurisdiction holding a special election for a new bishop?
The Council of Bishops is the agency responsible for filling episcopal
vacancies when bishops die, retire from office, resign, face judicial action
or take on special assignments, according to Paragraph 408 of the 2004
United Methodist Book of Discipline.The jurisdictional college of
bishops recommends to the council names to fulfill the vacancy, following
consultation with the jurisdictional committee on episcopacy, which makes
assignments to annual conferences of the jurisdiction. Paragraph 519.2 says
the committee may recommend the reassignment of one or more previously
|A UMNS photo courtesy of the North Texas Annual Conference
Bishop Alfred Norris preaches for the ordination service at the 2005 North Texas Annual Conference.
Norris, 68, was elected to the episcopacy in 1992 and served eight years
as bishop of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas conferences and four years
as bishop of the Texas Conference (Houston Area). He is currently bishop in
residence at Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta.
Born in Bogalusa, La., Norris is a graduate of Dillard University, New
Orleans, and Gammon Theological Seminary. He has four honorary degrees, two
of which were awarded by his alma maters. He served four pastorates in the
Louisiana Conference and was New Orleans District superintendent before
becoming director of recruitment, and later, president of Gammon.
He was elected a delegate to five United Methodist General and
Jurisdictional conferences, beginning in 1976. He was also appointed a
delegate to six World Methodist Conferences. Norris served three United
Methodist general agencies, including the General Board of Publication
(1980-92); Board of Discipleship (1992-96); and General Council on Finance
and Administration (1996-2004). He was a member of the University Senate in
The global church has been one of Norris’ great interests, and his
travels have included Africa, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, South
Korea, Israel and England. For several years, he chaired the Africa
University Development Committee, helping to raise funds for the United
Methodist-related school in Zimbabwe. He has served on boards of trustees
for several institutions of higher learning, including Gammon, Southwestern
Methodist University and Wiley College.
Committed to community service, the bishop has served on community boards
and agencies in Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico and Texas. He was the first
president of the Louisiana Council for the Adoption of Minority Youth and
president of the Greater New Orleans Federation of Churches.
*The above story was adapted from a release from Joan LaBarr, director of
communications for the North Texas Annual Conference.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or
Bishop Rhymes Moncure dies of complications after surgery
Bishop Schnase announces assignment (PDF)
North Texas Annual Conference
Gammon Theological Seminary
Council of Bishops