Roy Sano

Bishop Roy Sano


United States

Western Jurisdiction

sano.jpeg Bishop Roy Sano is a Retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 1984-2000.

In 1995, he became the President of the Council of Bishops to serve a one-year term.

Roy Sano was born in Brawley, California. His parents had emigrated from Japan, and were converted to Christ upon the death of their third child. When Roy was eleven years old, after the start of World War II, the family was sent to the Poston Relocation Center. The family moved to Pennsylvania, under the sponsorship of a Quaker family. It was during this time that Roy felt a call to the Christian ministry and accepted Christ. After World War II, the Sanos returned to California, and their family was reunited after the war. One brother served in the U. S. Armed Forces in the Pacific. Another brother, who had been adopted by a maternal uncle in Japan, served in the Japanese Imperial Army and was imprisoned in Siberia, before returning the U.S.

Roy Sano's education includes a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City, an M. Th. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and a Ph. D. from the Claremont Graduate University.

He served in student pastorates, and upon his ordination he served in Loomis, San Jose, and Los Angeles. Later, Roy was the chaplain and taught at Mills College, Oakland, CA, and served on the faculty of Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA. From 1972-78 Roy was Director of the Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies in Berkeley.

Bishop Sano was elected to the Episcopacy in 1984, and served the Denver and Los Angeles Areas, until his retirement in 2000. He was assigned to several Boards and Agencies of the UMC. He was a delegate to five plenary session of the Consultation on Church Union, and to three Assemblies of the WCC. He was the President of the Council of Bishops, 1991-92; COB Liaison to Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, 2000-04; and served as the first Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops from 2004-2008.

He is married to Kathleen Thomas-Sano and his children are Topaz, Timothy, and Barton who is married to Sharon King, with grandchildren, Evan and Kira.