COB approves episcopal supervision recommendations for SCJ

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 03, 2021

The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church has approved episcopal supervision recommendations for the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ), due to the retirement of two bishops.

The recommendations were made by the SCJ College of Bishops following consultation with the Jurisdictional and respective Annual Conference Committees on Episcopacy. 

The two bishops who have requested vocational retirement under paragraph 408.2b of The Book of Discipline effective January 1, 2022 are:
  • Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe of Northwest Texas-New Mexico Episcopal Area (New Mexico Conference and Northwest Texas Annual Conference)
  • Bishop J. Michael Lowry of the Fort Worth Episcopal Area (Central Texas Conference)
Under Paragraph ¶407 of the Book of Discipline, the Council of Bishops has authority to fill a vacancy for presidential/episcopal supervision of an episcopal area due to death, retirement (¶ 408.1, .2, .3), resignation (¶ 408.4), judicial procedure (¶ 2712), leave of absence (¶ 410.1), or medical leave (¶ 410.4).

After much prayer and discernment, the bishops have approved the following recommendation for episcopal supervision in SCJ:
  • Bishop James G. Nunn will supervise the Northwest Texas Conference in addition to his role as resident bishop of the Oklahoma Conference and Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.
  • Bishop Robert C. Schnase will supervise the New Mexico Conference in addition to his role as the resident bishop of the Rio Texas Conference.
  • Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. will supervise the Central Texas Conference in addition to his role as the resident bishop of the Great Plains Conference.
The new roles are effective January 1, 2022 and will continue until new bishops are elected in the SCJ. The SCJ Committee on Episcopacy will make the assignment of bishops once the new bishops are elected.

The COB previously approved episcopal supervision recommendations for the Northeastern,  North Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions.

Media Contact:

Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Communications - Council of Bishops

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(202) 748-5172 (Office)