WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bishops of The United Methodist Church will gather in a virtual meeting April 29 to May 1 to celebrate new leadership and to discuss plans for episcopal supervision brought on by the disruptions and postponements due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The April/May meeting of the Council of Bishops will also hear leadership reports regarding immigration, ecumenical relations, racism, disaster relief, and other mission and ministry work around the global denomination.

“We are living in unprecedented times in the life of The United Methodist Church. These times call for even more transformative, evangelical and prophetic leadership from us, as bishops of the church,” said Bishop Ken Carter, the outgoing president of the Council of Bishops.

The 2020 General Conference and the Jurisdictional and Central Conferences have been postponed to the latter part of 2021.

New COB officers

Bishop Carter of the Florida Area, who has led the Council of Bishops (COB) since 2018, will be presiding, offering a final presidential address and handing over the gavel at the end of this meeting to Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area.

Bishop Harvey, who has served as president-designate, was elected president at the November 2019 meeting of the bishops. Other new COB officers are Bishop Tom Bickerton of the New York Area, who will be the president-designate; and Bishop Tracy Smith Malone of the East Ohio Area who will be the secretary.

Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakota and Minnesota Area, and Bishop Sally Dyck of the Chicago Area, will be taking over from Bishop Marcus Matthews and Bishop B. Michael Watson as COB Executive Secretary and COB Ecumenical Officer, respectively, on September 1.

The first and third days of the COB meeting (Wednesday, April 29 and Friday, May 1) will be livestreamed to the public on the COB website (www.unitedmethodistbishops.org) and the COB Facebook page (www.facebook.com/umcbishops/) starting at 9:00 am Eastern time each day.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Communications – Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church