Robert Hoshibata

Bishop Robert Hoshibata


United States

Western Jurisdiction


Bishop Robert Tsugio Hoshibata was elected to the episcopacy in 2004. He was the Resident Bishop of the Phoenix Area in the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church before he retired on October 1, 2021.  

A sansei, or third-generation Japanese-American, Bishop Hoshibata was born and raised in Hawaii. He learned to know Jesus Christ and grew to love the church through the ministry of Wahiawa United Methodist Church in the plantation town of Wahiawa.

Following graduation in 1973 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, with a B.A. with high honors, he studied at the Claremont School of Theology where he graduated with a D.Min. degree in 1977. While in seminary, Bob was named a Crusade Scholar and ordained deacon in 1974. After graduating from seminary, Bob was appointed to serve the North Gardena United Methodist Church and was ordained elder in 1979. After 7 years at North Gardena, Bob moved to the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in 1984. For 14 years, he served as senior pastor for the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington.

At the invitation of Bishop Elias G. Galvan, Bob was appointed Seattle District Superintendent until his election to the episcopacy in July of 2004 by the Western Jurisdictional Conference. Upon election to the episcopacy, he was assigned to the Portland Area (2004-2012), and in 2012 was assigned to the Phoenix Area (Desert Southwest Conference) then reassigned in 2016.

Bob has served as a member of the World Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, and as a board member of the General Council on Ministries for two quadrennia. His general church assignments have included the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (2004-2008); and the General Board of Church and Society (2008-2012, president 2012-2016). Currently he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Claremont School of Theology.

Bob and his wife, Greta were married in 1974 and have three adult children.