Delores J. Williamston

Bishop Delores J. Williamston


United States

South Central Jurisdiction

Louisiana Episcopal Area

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Bishop Delores  J. Williamston is a newly elected bishop of The United Methodist Church, assigned January 1, 2022, to the Louisiana Conference / South Central Jurisdiction. 
Early Life
Bishop Williamston was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and grew up in Topeka Kansas. Her home church is Asbury Mt. Olive UMC where the influence of the church members and pastors provided a powerful witness to her engagement in the church and community life.  Bishop Williamston is a second career elder and served twenty-two years (1982-2004) in the Kansas Army National Guard before entering ministry in the United Methodist Church. She retired at the rank of Sargent First Class (SFC) and served in military pay and accounting (1988-2000). She eventually became the Chief Supervisor of Finance and Accounting at the United States Property and Finance Office (2000-2003) in Topeka Kansas.  
Education and Ordination                                                     
Bishop Williamston received her General Education Diploma in 1982. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan Christian College (2000); a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Saint Paul School of Theology (2007) specializing in Evangelism and Black Church Ministries. She is completing her Doctoral studies at Phillips Theological Seminary in 2023. She was ordained an elder in June of 2010 in the former Kansas East Conference, which later became the Great Plains Conference in 2013.

Ordained Ministry
Bishop Williamston began her pastoral ministry serving as a part-time associate licensed local pastor in Topeka Kansas until she graduated from Saint Paul School of Theology 2002-2007. Upon graduation, she served as pastor of Mentor UMC in Mentor, Kansas from 2007-2010. She was the pastor of Mentor-Quayle from 2009-2010 in Mentor and Salina Kansas. She was appointed to serve as the pastor of Independence UMC in Independence Kansas from 2010-2014. She was appointed to serve as a district superintendent from 2014-2021 in three districts. In 2021 she was appointed to serve as the Director of Clergy Excellence and Assistant to the Bishop in the Great Plains Conference. She was serving in that position when she was elected to the episcopacy in 2022.
In 2014, Rev. Williamston was appointed District Superintendent of the Salina District in Kansas. In 2017 she was appointed to serve an additional portion of the Hays District serving both the Salina and Hays Districts in Kansas. In 2020-2021 she was reappointed to serve both the Salina and Hutchinson districts in Kansas before being appointed to serve as the Director of Clergy Excellence and Assistant to the Bishop 2021-2022.
Rev. Williamston was elected bishop of The United Methodist Church on November 2, 2022, by the South Central Jurisdiction on the first ballot. She was elected first of three on the one and only ballot and the first Black woman elected in the South Central Jurisdiction as bishop. She is currently assigned to serve the Louisiana Episcopal Area.
In 2018 Rev. Williamston served as a delegate to the Christian Communities Together Ecumenical Concerns (COB). In 2019, she was elected a 2020 General Conference delegate. 
Bishop Williamston has one son Jerome Jr., daughter-in-law Mercedes and seven grandchildren. Her interests include movies, reading, bike riding, walking, painting, crochet, traveling and host of other interest. She enjoys playing with her grandchildren and pet Shih Tzu.