Thomas Bickerton

Bishop Thomas Bickerton


United States

Northeastern Jurisdiction

New York Episcopal Area


Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference.  Bishop Bickerton is currently the Resident Bishop of the New York Area, which includes the New York Conference in the Northeastern Jurisdiction. 

In addition to his episcopal assignment:
2020 - COB President-Designate, two-year term 
2022 - COB President on April 29, 2022, two-year term


Thomas J. Bickerton was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia. He is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College (B.A. degree in Sociology/Psychology), a graduate of Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.), and a graduate of United Theological Seminary (D.Min.).

Tom was ordained elder in the West Virginia Annual Conference by Bishop William Boyd Grove in 1985. Following seminary, he served the Perry Memorial UMC in Shady Spring, West Virginia, for six years. During his time there the congregation grew from an average worship attendance of fifteen to one hundred fifty. He then spent the next nine years serving as the Senior Pastor of Forrest Burdette Memorial UMC in Hurricane, West Virginia. During his tenure there, the congregation grew from 575 members to nearly 1,400. In 1998, he became the District Superintendent of his home area, the Northern District. He had just begun his seventh year as District Superintendent when the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference elected him to the episcopacy in 2004.

Tom was first elected to Jurisdictional Conference at the age of 30 in 1988 and again in 1992. He was first elected to General Conference in 1996 and then to successive General Conferences in 2000 and 2004. He twice served as the Head of the West Virginia delegation. He served on the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (1976-1980), the General Commission on Archives & History (1980-1988), and the General Commission on United Methodist Communications (2000-2004).

He enjoys golf, movies, professional baseball/football, college basketball, and travel opportunities with his family.

Sally Forbes and Tom Bickerton were married on August 16, 2003. They have four children: Elizabeth Anne, Thomas James II ("T.J."), Ian Robert, and Nicholas Bruce.