CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (UMNS) -- The Rev. Robert Hayes of Houston has been elected a bishop by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Hayes, treasurer of the Texas Annual (regional) Conference, was elected Thursday, July 15. He will fill one of the four vacancies created in the denomination’s South Central Jurisdictional College of Bishops by the retirements of four bishops.
The new bishops are being elected by 340 delegates attending the July 14-17 conference.
Hayes will be one of 50 active U.S. bishops in the United Methodist Church. He will lead one of the episcopal areas of the 15 annual conferences that make up the eight-state jurisdiction. The South Central Jurisdiction is home to 1.8 million United Methodists in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
A consecration service for the new bishops will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 17 at First United Methodist Church.
An episcopal assignment committee is already considering where Hayes and other active bishops will serve for the next four years. Their assignments will be effective Sept. 1.
Endorsed by the Texas Annual Conference delegation to the General and Jurisdictional conferences, and Black Methodists for Church Renewal, South Central Jurisdiction, Hayes was elected on the third ballot, receiving 210 votes of 339 votes cast. The number of votes needed to elect was 203
While the South Central Jurisdictional Conference is electing four bishops, four other United Methodist jurisdictional conferences are meeting to elect 17 others.
A jurisdictional conference has the following power and duties:
- To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary and benevolent interests of the church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries.
- To elect bishops.
- To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliaries to the general boards of the church.
- To determine the boundaries of annual conferences.
- To make rules and regulations for the administration of the church’s work within the jurisdiction.
- To appoint a committee on appeals.
The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches. Methodists elected their bishops at one national gathering until 1940, when the jurisdictional system was instituted. Bishops in the EUB church were elected at one national gathering until 1968.
News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.