David Graves

Bishop David Graves


United States

Southeastern Jurisdiction

Alabama-West Florida Episcopal Area

South Georgia Episcopal Area


Bishop David Graves was elected to the episcopacy by the Southeastern Jurisdiction in 2016. He is the Resident Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Area, which includes the Alabama-West Florida Conference in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.

As of September 1, 2021, Bishop Graves is also the Interim Bishop of the South Georgia Episcopal Area.

As a district superintendent, Bishop Graves implemented a district strategy that empowered both clergy and laity with leadership tools for effective and vital ministry. This strategy revitalized several churches that experienced growth in worship attendance and membership; Sunday School and small group discipleship; missional giving and professions of faith. On Christmas Eve 2014, through a district offering, the Kingsport District generously gave more $230,000 for the District Partnership with Giru, South Sudan. 

Bishop Graves previously served as the Senior Pastor of Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to Church Street, he served six years as the district superintendent for the Kingsport District of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 2011 and 2012, he served as Dean of the Cabinet. He has been an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church for over 27 years and previously served as Senior Pastor of Ooltewah United Methodist Church, a large-membership church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for 11 years. Prior, he served as pastor of two Kingsport area churches, St. Matthew and Mountain View United Methodist. He was on staff and was given his first appointment at Hixson United Methodist Church in the Chattanooga area where he served for 11 years.

Bishop Graves is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, with a Master of Divinity. 

He has shared 36 years of marriage with his wife, Nancy, and they have two children, Casey and Gregg. Casey is married to her husband Bryan, and they reside in Kingsport with their son Brooks and daughter Lucy. Bishop Graves' and Nancy’s son, Gregg, lives and works in the Chattanooga area.