by Alli Newsom, Communications Director

The South Central Jurisdictional (SCJ) Special Called Conference will meet November 2-5, 2022 in Houston to address the business item of electing three new bishops and assigning active bishops. The SCJ is comprised of the following conferences: New Mexico, Río Texas, NWTX, Oklahoma/Oklahoma Indian Missionary, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Central Texas, North Texas, Great Plains and Louisiana.  

Several conferences are currently sharing bishops, including the New Mexico Conference. Bishop Schnase is the episcopal supervisor for both Río Texas and New Mexico. Bishop Nunn is covering Oklahoma, Oklahoma Indian Missionary and NWTX. Bishop Saenz is covering Great Plains and Central Texas. The bishops who will be retiring are Bishop Mueller from Arkansas, Bishop Jones from Texas and Bishop McKee from North Texas.  

Two members of the New Mexico Conference Delegation have chosen to be considered for the position of bishop in the SCJ: Rev. Dr. Eddie Rivera, Provost of the NMAC and Rev. Dr. Randall Partin, Senior Pastor of St. John’s UMC-ABQ. Our Delegation has endorsed both. Other candidates who have made their candidacy known thus far are: Rev. Laura Merrill, Rio Texas Conference; Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner, Texas Conference; Rev. Dr. David Wilson, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference; Rev. Dee Williamston, Great Plains Conference; Rev. Dr. Sherron Patterson, North Texas Conference, and Rev. Dr. David Gilmore, Missouri Conference. Additional candidates can decide to participate in the elections.

Since the Jurisdictional Conference has not met since 2016, our Episcopacy Committee Representatives remain Eddie Rivera and Sid Strebeck. However, the 2020 Delegates: Randall Partin, Sid Strebeck, Susan Brumbaugh and Pam Rowley will serve as our SCJ Conference Delegation. To email the delegation:

The SCJ Conference votes in the election of the candidates. The requirement to elect is 2/3 of those present. In 2016, the election of three new bishops required 35 ballots and two days to complete the sometimes difficult election process. Following the election of bishops, the Episcopacy Committee will meet to assign the newly elected and active bishops to nine conferences. Its recommendation must be ratified by the SCJ Conference in the last session of the Conference. Coverage for the tenth area will be assigned by the SCJ College of Bishops immediately following the adjournment of Jurisdictional Conference.