Monday, 05 March 2012 13:31
The Northwest Texas Conference will receive a new episcopal leader Sept. 1.
For 12 years, Bishop D. Max Whitfield has served the Northwest Texas / New Mexico area. He will retire as an active bishop Aug. 31 and go on to serve as Bishop in Residence at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
Northwest Texas Conference delegates to General and Jurisdictional conference have been engaged in the process for electing new episcopal leadership for the South Central Jurisdiction.
Ron Enns and Jimmy Nunn serve on the South Central Jurisdictional Committee. The committee met with current bishops in the jurisdiction Feb. 6-7. Four bishops, including Bishop Whitfield will be retiring this year. The jurisdiction will reduce the number of bishops by one, so three new episcopal leaders will be elected at Jurisdictional Conference in July 2012.
The entire NWTX delegation met in Lubbock with the New Mexico Conference delegation Feb. 10-11 to interview nine persons who have been endorsed by annual conferences or others for the episcopacy. Episcopal candidates were required to submit written answers to questions that were created by the jurisdictional committee prior to the interview.
Each member of the delegation will vote for episcopal candidates at Jurisdictional Conference. Members of the delegation are in prayer and request your prayers as the process unfolds.
The Rev. Jeff Lust, clergy delegate and district superintendent from the New Mexico Conference previously had been endorsed for the episcopacy by the New Mexico and Northwest Texas delegations. Lust recently withdrew his candidacy and offered the following statement: “I regret to inform you that I have chosen to withdraw from consideration as a candidate for election for Bishop due to family concerns. This has been a very difficult decision to make, but has been made with much prayer and conversation with very trusted friends and mentors. I am deeply appreciative of the endorsement by the New Mexico and Northwest Texas delegations.”
The Northwest Texas Conference has chosen not to endorse any other candidate as a body.
Once the three new episcopal leaders are elected in July, all the bishops will be assigned to their area by the Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy. A bishop may be assigned to an area for as many as 12 years. The jurisdictional committee studies the gifts and graces of each bishop and weighs the opportunities and needs of each episcopal area in making assignments.
Newly elected bishops are consecrated and episcopal assignments are announced at Jurisdictional Conference. Jurisdictional Conference will be July 18-21 in Oklahoma City, Okla.