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We Have a New Bishop!

We in the Greater Northwest Episcopal area have been assigned a new bishop! Beginning January 1, 2023, newly elected Bishop Cedric Bridgeforth will begin serving as our bishop.

Bishop Bridgeforth was elected by the Western Jurisdiction delegates on Nov 4, 2022. He was elected on the 18th ballot taken at the Western Jurisdiction meeting receiving 73 out of 93 ballots cast. He needed 63 ballots to be elected.

Bishop Bridgeforth is the first openly gay, African American man to be elected as bishop in The United Methodist Church.  

He comes to the Greater Northwest Area as an Elder from the California-Pacific Conference. Most recently, he served as the Director of Innovation and Communication for the Cal-Pac Conference. He has been in that role since 2021. Bishop Bridgeforth’s other ministry experience includes serving as lead pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, a historically Black congregation in Los Angeles and lead pastor of Santa Ana United Methodist Church, a multi-ethnic congregation.

He also served as director of academic programs and outreach for the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies at the University of La Verne and District Superintendent in the Cal-Pac Conference from 2008-2015. While serving as a District Superintendent, Bishop Bridgeforth served as Dean of the Cabinet from 2011-2015.

Bishop Bridgeforth has also chaired the Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the denomination’s official Black Caucus, served as a board member for The United Methodist Church’s pension agency, and written three books which include a memoir, a book on prayer, and a book on leadership.

He is a native of Decatur, Alabama, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. His degrees include a bachelor’s degree in religion from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, a Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont CA, and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.

According to an article on The Western Jurisdiction website, “In The United Methodist Church, bishops are ordained elders who are called to “lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of The United Methodist Church.” Bishops, in consultation with district superintendents, are responsible for appointing clergy. They also preside at annual conferences, jurisdictional conferences and General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly.”
Click here to Read MORE about our new Bishop.

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