Involuntary Retirement Recommended for Bishop

The big news this week in United Methodism (aside from episcopal elections) is the vote of the South Central Jurisdiction’s Committee on Episcopacy to involuntarily retire Bishop Earl Bledsoe. You can find the details in this report from The United Methodist Reporter. The committee is concerned about Bishop Bledsoe’s administrative abilities, even though, he insists, that the statistics show growth and vitality in the North Texas Conference during his time as bishop there. The South Central Jurisdiction will vote this afternoon on whether to accept the recommendation of the Committee on Episcopacy to involuntarily retire Bishop Bledsoe? This appears to be an unprecedented move that raises a variety of questions.
Does a Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy have the authority to involuntarily retire a bishop? Is this an implication of the General Conference vote to end guranteed appointment? How does this shape the future with regard to the accountability of bishops? What do you think? What other questions are raised by this action? How will this shape the future of United Methodism? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Involuntary Retirement Recommended for Bishop

  1. Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment. At the time I write this, the SCJ has accepted the committee recommendation to retire Bishop Bledsoe. I'd be very intereseted to hear your analysis of the whole thing. I am certainly sorry to hear that tone of the conference has been adversely affected.

    Thanks for reading,


  2. Interesting you should publish this post now. I am literally sitting in the SCJ Conference session in Oklahoma City, and the issue regarding Bishop Bledsoe and the involuntary retirement has come before the floor in the past few minutes. We are about to debate whether to adopt the Episcopacy Committee's recommendation for the retirement.

    This issue has been difficult for all involved, and I would want to stress that I think the Episcopacy Committee members have labored under a great deal of stress and have done so with integrity. I'm not sure what is going to happen (the bishop is about to take the podium), but it has certainly cast a pall over the conference as a whole.

    – Andrew C. Thompson


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