J. Michael Lowry

Bishop J. Michael Lowry


United States

South Central Jurisdiction


Bishop J. Michael Lowry is a retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2008-2021.  

Prior to his retirement, Bishop Lowry was the resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church/Fort Worth Episcopal Area, where he was the spiritual leader for approximately 154,000 United Methodists in 320-plus congregations and developing new faith communities.

At the time of his election and consecration as bishop in July 2008, he was serving as executive director of New Church Development and Transformation in the Southwest Texas Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to that, he was senior pastor at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, which grew from 4,800 to 5,700 members during his tenure. His previous appointments include United Methodist Churches in Austin, Corpus Christi, Harlingen and Kerrville and, while a student, serving Plymouth Park in Irving, Texas. Mike began his ministry with the Society of Friends (Quakers) sharing in pastoral leadership for Rich Square Friends Meeting.

Bishop Lowry was awarded the B’nai B’rith Award in Social Ethics by Perkins School of Theology (1976) and the Harry Denman Evangelism Award from the Central Texas Conference-Foundation for Evangelism (2015).  Churches under his leadership have received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Habitat for Humanity Award (2004), the President’s Award from Huston-Tillotson University (2004), the Churchmanship Award from the San Antonio Community of Churches (2003), and the Moore Award Evangelism Award three times.

He served as a delegate to General Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1996, 2004, and 2008, as well as a delegate to the South-Central Jurisdictional Conference of United Methodist Church in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.  Bishop Lowry has served the larger connection of The United Methodist Church on the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops (2012-2016), Presiding Bishop for Path One New Church Development (Discipleship Ministries 2009-2016), and President of the South-Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops (2010-2011).  He is currently serving as a member of the United Theological Seminary Board of Trustees, the Texas Methodist Foundation Board, the Texas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees, and the Texas Health Resources Board of Directors.  Past service includes the United Methodist Publishing House Board of Directors, the Perkins School of Theology, S. M. U. Executive Board, the Board of Trustees for Southwestern University, and the Methodist Children’s Home Board of Trustees, among others.

Prior to his election, Mike Lowry held numerous offices including Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Chair of the Board of Global Ministries’ Committee on Church Extension, and Chair of the Council on Church Revitalization and Church Extension. While serving as the Executive Director for New Church Development and Transformation in the Southwest Texas Conference, he led a successful conference capital campaign to fund new church starts. 

Bishop Lowry is a regular blogger at “This Focused Center” http://www.bishopmikelowry.com/.  Other publications include: