Concerning Your Bishops : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

In my denomination (COGIC) our Bishop not only oversee a Jurisdiction, but also pastor a local church. So my question is does your bishops pastor a church as well as preside over an episcopal district? If they don't, then do they have a church/cathedral that is their principal place of worship?

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2000


Unlike the bishops of the COGIC our bishops cover much larger geographical areas. Our bishops oversee 200+ churches in each district. They do not pastor a local church and there is not one church that serves as the epicenter of worship. Generally various churches in the Episcopal District host the annual conferences and district meetings.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2000

Thanks for your response. We have several Bishops whose jurisdictions exceeds 200+ churches. They have district superintendent, who are pastors as well as, who assist them in their ministry. These Bishop and district superintendents are required by "The Official Manual" to visit and preach in these churches at least twice of year. Besides all the legal and official duties of your Bishop, do they preach often and have opportunities to administer the sacraments?

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2000

Our bishops do preach quite often. They are "required" to preach once per annual conference, and they preside over 4-7 annual conferences. THe Annual Fonference is the first level of demarcation. Under this level are presiding elder districts, which support anywhere from 10-25 churches.

In addition to the "required" preachment, they are often sought after within their district, and in some cases around the world, to preach. Some bishops may preach 40-50 times a year.

I have quoted "required" above, because the bishop has the discretion to have someone else preach the closing sermon in his/her behalf. This may happen hen a bishop is very tired, or has been recovering from illness.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2000

It has been my experience in the "Terrific Third" District, that our bishops preach very seldom...sometimes that's not bad - but I digress :-)

I find it interesting that the COGIC District Supts and Bishops both serve as pastors as well. I'm not too sure that would work under our system. Most of our Presiding Elders do preach a lot - prob. every Sunday at least once as they travel through their districts..and this is how they are paid. Each congregation contributes to the support of teh PE...and he does not receive a parsonage or office. It also seems to me that the PE role is one that is in for some overhauling someday. It's an administrative layer that could be more effective than it sometimes is.

The United Methodist also has Dist. Supts., but I don't know if they also serve as pastors.

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2000

In my denomination (COGIC) there are basically "4 Overseers)...Presiding Bishop (heads the Genreal Church, is also a pastor and Jurisdictional Bishop), Jurisdictional Bishop (heads a Jurisdiction and is also a Pastor), District Superintendent(heads a district...all jurisdictions are divided into districts. They are also pastor. They serve mainly as a go between between the Bishop and the Pastor.) and the Local Pastor(Which like the Office of Bishop of the COGIC is a very powerful office). The founders being mostly from Baptist backgrounds, place a lot of Power in the Pastor's Hands. Our polity works very well. Though I believe we have too many Bishops...about 123+ that are jurisdictional bishops and some of those have aux. bishops to assist them in their work.

Unlike your Episcopal Districts, our Jurisdictions tend to overlap. Some states can have as many as 10 or more jurisdictions. Our largest congregation is in CAlifornia pastored by Bishop Charles Blakes.

Our Jurisdictions basically was develope by ordained elders of our church who went pioneer churches and missions and when they were organized into a jurisdiction that Elder usually was appointed the Bishop of the new Jurisdiction.

One more point, Bishops in my church are appointed base on the recommendation of the Board of Elders of the Jurisdiction to which the appointment is made. That person automatically becomes the Pastor of the Jurisdictional Headquarters Church (Bishop's Church). The only expection is that the Bishop set down from being Jurisdictional Bishop he retains his pastorship and the new Bishop remains in his current pastorship.

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2000


-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001

In response to Larry Clark regarding United Methodist district superintendents, their jobs are identical to our Presiding Elders. They do not pastor a church, but they are paid by the conference and have an office.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001

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