Felton May

Bishop Felton May


United States

cob_hs_may-150x225.jpg Felton Edwin May was born in Chicago. After receiving a B.A. from Judson College, he was ordained deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference by Bishop Charles Wesley Brashares. He served two appointments in Chicago: St. James Church and Maple Park Church, a new church start. He then transferred to the Peninsula Annual Conference where he served as associate executive director of the Methodist Action Program in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1970, he was ordained an elder by Bishop John Wesley Lord after receiving an M. Div. Degree from Crozer Theological Seminary. In the Peninsula Conference, he also served as pastor of Ezion-Mt. Carmel Church, Wilmington, superintendent of the Easton District and director of the Conference Council on Ministries.

He was a delegate to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference from 1972 to 1984, and a delegate to General Conference from 1976 to 1984. After his election to the episcopacy in 1984, he was assigned to the Harrisburg Episcopal Area where he served until 1996. In 1996, he was assigned to the Washington Episcopal Area. After retirement in September 2004, he accepted the position of Dean of the Harry R. Kendall Science and Health Mission Center at Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 1990, he served as Bishop-on-Special Assignment to organize and coordinate the United Methodist Bishops' Initiative on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Violence in Washington, D.C. Bishop May has served as a member of the General Council on Ministries, the General Board of Global Ministries, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. He has also served as chair of the National Shalom Zone Committee, the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence, the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation, the General Board of Global Ministries' Finance Committee, the Northeastern Jurisdiction Board of the Multi-Ethnic Center, the Advance for Christ and His Church Committee, and the Council of Bishops' Emerging Issues Committee.

In 1999, Bishop May served as a member of the White House Presidential Mission on Children Orphaned by AIDS, which traveled to Africa. The mission's study of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa led to a Clinton Administration recommendation that U.S. spending in response to the crisis of AIDS worldwide be increased by $100 million. He was also a participant in the White House's Faith Leaders for One America Initiative, the UN Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, and the Camp David Presidential Retreat Interfaith Chapel Committee.

Bishop May's articles have appeared in the New York Times, Christian Social Action and Parents Magazine as well as other publications and curriculum. He has received honorary degrees from Lebanon Valley College, Lycoming College, Wesley College and Rusk College.

Phyllis Henry and Felton Edwin May were married on June 22, 1963. They have two children, Daphne Endrea Snead and Felton May II and eight grandchildren.