D. Max Whitfield

Bishop D. Max Whitfield


United States

South Central Jurisdiction


Bishop David Max Whitfield is a Retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2000-2012.

He was born in Izard County, Arkansas. His educational background includes a BSA from Arkansas State University, an M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist and a D.Min. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from McMurry University.

He entered college with a determination to work in agricultural business and earned his bachelor's degree in that field. While still in college, he heard and responded to God's call to enter ordained ministry. Upon finishing his seminary degree, he returned to his native state of Arkansas to carry out his ministry. He served congregations in Eureka Springs, St. Paul's Parish in Harrison, Cherry Valley-Vanndale change, First UMC, Bella Vista, First UMC, Russellville, and First UMC, Springdale before being appointed District Superintendent in the North Arkansas Conference.

He married Judy Leonard in 1967. From their union came three children: Kevin L., Rodney C., and Karen D. (Maleare). Judy died in August of 1991. Max met Valerie Vaughn and they were married on June 18, 1993, and they incorporated their children into one family.

D. Max Whitfield was elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdiction to the Episcopacy in 2000, and was assigned to the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Area. He served on the Board of Directors of the General Board of Global Ministries, General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Discipleship. He has also served on the Board of Directors of numerous institutions.