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United Methodist Bishop Carl Sanders dies at 94

By United Methodist News Service
March 9, 2007

Bishop Carl J. Sanders

Retired United Methodist Bishop Carl J. Sanders, 94, died March 7 at Fairhaven Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., after a brief illness.

Elected to the episcopacy in 1972 by the denomination’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, Sanders served the Birmingham area for eight years before retiring. At the time of his election, he was the only episcopal candidate elected on the first ballot in the history of the jurisdiction.

Born in Star, N.C., on May 18, 1912, he attended Wofford College, where he graduated in 1933, and received a bachelor’s degree in divinity from Candler School of Theology in 1936. He was ordained an elder in 1938 and joined the Virginia Annual Conference, serving a variety of appointments at churches through 1955. From 1955-71, he was district superintendent for the Petersburg, Richmond and Norfolk districts.

Sanders was president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, vice president of the Board of Global Ministries from 1972-76 and was a member of the board of trustees of various colleges and universities. He also served as a delegate to the United Methodist General Conferences of 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1972. He was an accredited visitor to the first World Council of Churches assembly in Amsterdam in 1948.

He was active in Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. An oil portrait of Sanders hangs in the Scottish Rite Architects Hall of Honor at the House of the Temple in Washington.

Sanders was married in 1935 to Eleanor Lupo, who died in 1995. He is survived by Billie Jo (Perry), who he married in 1997; two daughters, Lundi Martin and Eleanor Kasler; two stepdaughters, Elizabeth Perry and Judith Shipp; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one brother, Charles Sanders.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on March 12 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond, Va. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 11 at the church.  Burial will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Richmond. 

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. March 15 at First United Methodist Church, 2416 W. Cloverdale Park, Montgomery, Ala.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Article

Obituary: Bishop Carl Julian Sanders


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