Local Bishops

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Has there ever been discussion of electing Bishops who would remain as pastors at their local church,i.e. a local bishop instead of an itinerant bishop? With the existence/evolution of AME mega churches the position of local bishop could attract pastors who may not be attracted otherwise.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2004


I don't know, but that would negate the office of the Bishop.

The Bishop is a pastor of pastors (according to my Bishop, John Bryant).

You can't serve in two fields. You either pastor the laity, or you pastor pastors.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2004

Hello Parson Foster -

Please pass on my best wishes to President Walter Massey and my old boss Dr. Willis Sheftall! I'm not clear on how the rise of AME mega churches negates the need for itinerant Bishops. Please explain. QED

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2004

We are not a “mega-church”. We are a Connectional Methodist Church. Therefore, we must always be governed by Methodist rules. Consult your Book of Discipline under General Conference. Under Rules of General Conference Restrictions this may not be done. You will also note that this answers a question posted earlier on the board as applies to the Articles of Religion being altered or changed.

Restrictions of the General Conference – Section H

The General Conference shall have the full power to make rules and regulations for the church, but shall not:

1.Repeal or Change the Articles of Religion.

2.Establish any new rules of doctrine.

3.Alter any rule of government to the effect of doing away with the episcopacy or general superintendency.

4.Do away with the privileges of our ministers or preachers of trial by trial committee of their peers and an appeal.

5.Do away with the privileges of our members of trial before the society of which they are members or by a committee, and of an appeal.

6.Revoke or change the General Rules of the United Societies.

7.Appropriate the surplus accruing from the sale of the Doctrine and Discipline, hymnals, etc., for any purpose other than the Department of Ministerial Annuities.

A majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the General Conference shall be sufficient to alter the seventh restriction, but none other.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2004

The model PRof. Foster suggests I believe is implemented in the AMEZ Church. The superintendent is general, butis undergirded by also being a pastor in a local charge. This has the effect of reducing salary load on the connectional AMEZ. Perhaps someone can post a link to their web site (if it's still there).

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2004


On last Saturday I attended a funeral at my church. One of the persons there was Bishop Allen of the United Methodist Church, who is still a retired member of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. He came as the former pastor of the wife of the deceased.

When Bishop Allen reached the age when the United Methodist Church said that he had to retire, He simply felt that he was not ready for it. He took a small congregation of fewer than 100 members in the community in which I grew up and pastored there for four or five years or more until he, rather than the church, decided it was time for him to retire.

-- Anonymous, January 03, 2004

I believe Bishop Hildebrand (retired AME bishop) is currently pastoring a congregation in Florida.

-- Anonymous, January 03, 2004

Upon further review -

Rev. Payne corrected my recollection about the AMEZ p[olity. Apprently, it was their rpesiding elders who also had a charge.

Yes, Bishop Hildebrand has pastored in Florida "post retirement", taking a rther small charge, as I understand it. Bill should have some deial for us. This had precedent as well, going back to Edward aters, the third bishop fo the church.

-- Anonymous, January 04, 2004


You are correct about Bishop Edward Waters. But his is slightly different from the rest, according to Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne.

Bishop Edward Waters never presided over an Annual Conference. He was only a slight looker-on assistant of Bishop Morris Brown. Although he sat in the Episcopal Chair from 1836 - 1844, he never ordained a single minister, not even a deacon. Also following his election, he only held charge of Elliott Mills Circuit and sometimes Bethel in Baltimore rather than the usual duties of a Bishop of the church.

The second year after his election he requested the Baltimore Annual Conference to locate him. In the eighth year of his episcopate, he resigned his Episcopal authority and though he was able to travel as Bishop, he returned to the rank of Elders until his untimely death.

Payne states that his death was caused by the "wickedness of some rude white men" who deliberately ran over him with their horse and buggy as he stepped from the curb. Although he survived this initial event, he never truly recovered from it and died a few weeks later in April of 1847 in Baltimore.

-- Anonymous, January 04, 2004

The Rt. Rev. Richard A. Hildebrand completed construction on the church he had come out of retirement to Pastor. He has since then left the Pastorate and is enjoying retirement.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2004

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