S. Clifton Ives

Bishop S. Clifton Ives


United States

Northeastern Jurisdiction


Bishop S. Clifton Ives is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 1992-2004.

He was born in Farmington, Maine, and as the son of a United Methodist minister. He graduated from the University of Maine and from Boston University School of Theology, with both a Master of Divinity degree and later the Doctor of Ministry in Church and Society.

S. Clifton Ives was ordained both deacon and elder by Bishop James K. Mathews. He served for thirty years in the Maine Annual Conference, including pastorates at Cape Elizabeth, Bangor, Waterville, and Westbrook. Cliff was Director of the Conference Council on Ministries from 1973-76 and Superintendent of the Southern District from 1986-92.

Cliff was first elected to General and Jurisdictional Conference in 1972 and then to successive General Conferences 1976-92. From 1984-88 he served on the Board of Directors of the General Board of Discipleship. For ten years Cliff was a member of the World Methodist Council, and at the time of his election to the episcopacy he was a member of the Anna Howard Shaw Center Committee and the Advisory Board of Habitat for Humanity, as well as President of Spiral Arts Urban Ministry in Portland, Maine.  He served as Vice-President and President of the General Commission on Religion and Race, 1992-2000. In 2000 he was elected President of the General Board of Church and society.

S. Clifton Ives was elected to the episcopacy by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 1992 and assigned to the West Virginia Area. Upon his retirement in 2004, Cliff and Jane returned to Maine, now living in Portland. He enjoys running, gardening, swimming, sailing, skiing, carpentry, and mountain climbing. His special interest in world missions has led him twice to Haiti as a volunteer in mission, as well as to Russia, Africa, and Argentina.

Cliff and his wife, Jane, have three grown children (Bonnie Marden, Stephen, and Jonathan), and seven grandchildren.