Bishop Joe Wilson
South Central Jurisdiction
Joe Wilson, a grandson descendent of one of the first circuit riders in East Texas, was born in Newton, Texas. His family moved shortly thereafter to Orange, Texas, where he completed high school. He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, receiving a B.A. degree, Perkins School of Theology at SMU, where he was awarded a Masters of Theology and Drew University, where he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree. His doctoral project was on "The Nurture and Spiritual Formation of the Laity through Care Ministry."
His first appointment upon graduation from seminary was the United Methodist Church in Calvert, Texas. He then moved to Tyler to pastor Asbury United Methodist where he led the congregation in the building of a new sanctuary. He served Rosebud UMC and Highlands UMC for three years each. In 1972 he was assigned to the League City United Methodist Church in Houston's Space Center, where he spent six years of ministry and built a new sanctuary. He moved to First United Methodist Church of Lake Jackson in 1978 and served this congregation for six years. Dr. Wilson then spent two years as the Texarkana District Superintendent before being appointed Area Provost (a cabinet position which included the responsibilities of Executive Director of the Annual Conference, Administrative Assistant to the Bishop and Chief Operations Officer of the United Methodist Center). In 1991-2 he was appointed Senior Pastor of Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas.
He has served on and chaired numerous conference, jurisdictional, general and world councils and boards, and has been honored with the distinguished Alumni Award from both Southwestern University and Perkins School of Theology.
Zoe Strickland and Joe Wilson were married in 1959. Zoe and Joe have two children -- Mari, who lives in Austin with husband Richard, and Paul, who lives in Georgetown. They have five grandchildren.
Joe Wilson was elected to the General and Jurisdictional Conference delegations of the Texas Conference in 1988 and 1992. He was elected bishop by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in 1992 and was assigned to the Fort Worth Area, where he served for eight years before retirement in September, 2000. Zoe and Joe now live in Georgetown, Texas, where he serves as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University, Texas' oldest university.