Home > Our World > News > News Archives by Date > News Archive 2008 > July 2008 > News - July 2008
Southeastern United Methodists assign bishops

The Rev. Paul Leeland (center) and his wife, Janet, are congratulated following his election as bishop as Bishop Alfred Gwinn looks on.
UMNS photos by Cathy Farmer.

July 19, 2008 | LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS)

The new United Methodist bishop in the Southeastern United States has been assigned to the denomination’s Alabama-West Florida Area for the next four years.

Bishop Paul L. Leeland will oversee the Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference, which encompasses southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

The assignments for 13 episcopal areas were announced July 18 during The United Methodist Church’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and will take effect Sept. 1. The conference, which began July 16, concludes July 19 with a consecration service.

Four other active Southeastern bishops who have served in their current locations for at least four years have received new assignments. They are:

  • Bishop Lindsey Davis, Louisville Area (covering the Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary conferences). He is moving from North Georgia.
  • Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, Charlotte Area (Western North Carolina Conference); moving from Alabama-West Florida.
  • Bishop James R. King Jr., South Georgia Area (South Georgia Conference); moving from the Louisville Area.
  • Bishop B. Michael Watson, North Georgia Area (North Georgia Conference); moving from South Georgia.

The Rev. Paul Leeland reacts as his election to the episcopacy is announced July 17 at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference meeting in Lake Junaluska

Eight bishops in the jurisdiction will return to their areas for the next four years. In most instances, a bishop is assigned to an area for no more than eight years, although she or he may be assigned for 12 for "missional reasons."

  • Bishop Alfred W. Gwinn Jr., Raleigh Area (North Carolina Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop Charlene Payne Kammerer, Richmond Area (Virginia Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop James E. Swanson Sr., Holston Area (Holston Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, Columbia Area (South Carolina Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Mississippi Area (Mississippi Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker, Florida Area (Florida Conference); third assignment.
  • Bishop William H. Willimon, Birmingham Area (North Alabama Conference); second assignment.
  • Bishop Richard J. Wills Jr., Nashville Area (Memphis and Tennessee conferences); second assignment.

The Southeastern Jurisdiction is home to United Methodists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The Southeastern is one of five U.S. jurisdictions along with seven central conferences that serve United Methodists around the globe.

The jurisdictional conferences are held every four years with the primary purpose of electing and assigning bishops.

News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville,  615-742-5470 , or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Articles

Paul Leeland elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church


Southeastern Jurisdicton

Episcopal Elections

Ask Now

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add this address to your list of approved senders.

Would you like to ask any questions about this story?ASK US NOW

Original text