Retired Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks dies at 96

The Council of Bishops regrets to announce the death of Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks, retired United Methodist Bishop, who passed away today June 19, 2019 at age 96.

His death was announced by Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was bishop in residence.

“We give thanks for the long and faithful life of Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks, who was an instrument of God in sharing the gospel of peace in his own episcopal areas, in Cuba and in Nicaragua,” said Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops. “We pray especially for his family in this loss, even as we claim the promise of resurrection and eternal life.”

Bishop Hicks was born June 18, 1923, in LaHarpe, Kansas. He received his A.B. degree from York College and his Th.M. from Iliff School of Theology. He served as a member of the Evangelistic Crusade to Cuba in 1957 and a Peace Delegate to Nicaragua in 1985 and 1989.

Ken Hicks was ordained deacon by Bishop Dana Dawson and elder by Bishop Glenn R. Phillips and joined the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference at which time he was appointed to Northern Avenue Church in Pueblo. He went on to become Associate Pastor at St. Paul Church in Omaha, Nebraska, then the Alliance and Norfolk churches in the Nebraska Annual Conference. Later he was named District Superintendent of the Central District and after that was appointed to Trinity Church in Grand Island.

He was a member of the International Evangelistic Crusade in Cuba in 1957. He served as a Peace Delegate to Nicaragua in 1985 and 1989. A delegate to the General Conferences of 1972 and 1976, he served as chairperson of his Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for six years. His hobbies are hiking and Frontier Western History.

The South Central Jurisdictional Conference elected Kenneth Hicks to the episcopacy in 1976 and he was appointed to the Arkansas Area. He was Resident Bishop for the Kansas Area from 1988-1992. He was a trustee of a number of institutions. He holds honorary doctorates from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Westmar College, Hendrix College, Philander Smith College, and Baker University and was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Iliff School of Theology, 1987. He served as President of the National Division of the General Board of Global Ministries from 1984-1988, and member of the World Division from 1988-1992.

Bishop Hicks retired from the episcopacy in 1992.

He is survived by his wife Elaine, daughters Linda and Debra and grandchildren Kiley and Spencer.

A Celebration of Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks’ life was held at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock, AR.