Debra Wallace-Padgett

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett


United States

Southeastern Jurisdiction

Birmingham Episcopal Area

Holston Episcopal Area


Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett is the Resident Bishop of the Birmingham Episcopal Area. She was elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and assigned to the North Alabama Conference (Birmingham Episcopal Area) effective September 1, 2012.

As of September 1, 2021, Bishop Wallace-Padgett will also serve as the Interim Bishop of the Holston Episcopal Area. 
At the time of her election as a Bishop, she was the lead pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky — an appointment she served for eight years. During her tenure, St. Luke UMC grew in membership, strengthened its infrastructure, built a $4.5 million Ministry Life Center and launched a multi-cultural worship service. Her previous service in the Kentucky Conference includes six years as District Superintendent, three years as pastor of Paris First United Methodist Church and 11 years on staff at Lexington First United Methodist Church.
She is a graduate of Berea College (B.A. in Physical Education), Scarritt College and Graduate School (M.A. in Christian Education), Lexington Theological Seminary (M. Div.) and Asbury Theological Seminary (D. Min.).
She has served in a variety of roles in the Kentucky Annual Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction and the General Church including:

  • Kentucky Conference Board of Ministries Methodist Home Board chair
  • Kentucky Conference Education chair
  • Kentucky Episcopacy Committee chair
  • District Committee On Ministries / Local Pastors' team chair
  • Primary Task Team Children and Poverty Board
  • Delegate, General Conference, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000
  • Delegate, Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000
  • Delegate, World Methodist Council
  • Director, General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, 2004-20012
  • Member, Southeastern Jurisdiction Episcopacy Committee
  • President General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, 2012-2016
  • Member of the Commission on a Way Forward, 2016-2019

She currently the chair of the standing Committee on Evangelism for the World Methodist Council and a member of the Council of Bishops’ Executive Committee as Council Life Chair.
Bishop Wallace-Padgett is married to Rev. Lee Padgett, a retired deacon in the United Methodist Church. They are the parents of two young adult, Leanndra and Andrew.