Bishop Ruben Saenz
South Central Jurisdiction
Dallas Episcopal Area
Fort Worth Episcopal Area
Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. is a native of South Texas and a lifelong United Methodist. He was elected bishop in 2016 at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference.
July 2016 - Resident Bishop, Great Plains Conference, Great Plains Episcopal Area.
January 1, 2022 - Coverage Bishop, Central Texas Conference Fort Worth Episcopal Area.
January 1, 2023 - Resident Bishop, Central Texas Conference, Fort Worth Episcopal Area.
January 1, 2023 - Resident Bishop, North Texas Conference, Dallas Episcopal Area.
In his role as an episcopal leader in Kansas and Nebraska, Bishop Saenz led three former conferences through a unification process that began in 2014. Under his leadership, the conference focused on the four pillars of a robust ministry and witness for Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan tradition: Love God; proclaim Christ; serve others, especially the poor; and seek justice.
Bishop Saenz is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and a former high school teacher, high school football coach, and businessperson. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. As a pastor, he focused his ministry on intentional spiritual practice and formation, developing a lay apostolate, and giving people the tools and encouragement to move out of generational poverty. He served congregations in East Dallas, Oak Cliff Dallas, El Paso, and Edinburg, Texas. El Buen Pastor—The Good Shepherd—in Edinburg, Texas, was the largest Hispanic-American United Methodist Church in the country during his pastoral tenure.
In 2010, he was appointed to serve as the Southwest Texas director of congregational and new church development, and he helped start 11 new churches before being named director of the conference connectional ministries and executive director of the Rio Texas Conference’s Mission Vitality Center in January 2015. In that role, he oversaw the conference’s missional strategies and objectives for congregational vitality, starting new churches, clergy and lay leadership vitality, uniting people, and transforming communities.
Bishop Saenz has been married to Maye since 1981. They have four children and ten grandchildren.