Dr. Mike McKee made Central Texas Conference history today as he became the first person elected as a United Methodist bishop from the conference.Until Dr. McKee's election to the episcopacy, he was serving as senior pastor at First Hurst UMC.
Mike, who fell less than 20 votes short of the required 60 percent during the final called vote Thursday night, July 19, was voted in on the 23rd total ballot of the jurisdiction’s quadrennial meeting in downtown Oklahoma City.
Dr. McKee was the third bishop elected by the 256 delegates made up of an equal number of United Methodist clergy and laity from the eight states that form the South Central Jurisdiction. Late in the evening, Friday, July 20, it was announced that Bishop McKee would be assigned as the episcopal leader of the North Texas Conference. His four-year term of service begins Sept. 1.
After the election of Dr. McKee to the episcopacy was announced, Bishop Lowry said, "It is with great joy that I welcome Mike McKee to the office of bishop in the United Methodist Church. With you, I offer praise and thanks to God for Mike's election and celebrate the leadership he offers to the larger church. This is a historic day for the Central Texas Conference and blessed day for the Conference to which he will be assigned. By the grace of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, Bishop McKee offers much to the larger leadership of the church in his passion to develop new leaders in the faith and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
Bishop McKee, nominated and unanimously endorsed by the Central Texas Annual Conference, will leave behind more giant shoes to fill than his role as senior pastor at FUMC Hurst. He currently serves as chair of the conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry and chair of long-range planning for the Texas Methodist Foundation. He has also served as a delegate to the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, and is a delegate to the 2012 South Central Jurisdiction.
His previous appointments include experience as an associate pastor Richland Hills United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth. He also served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Joshua (1982-87), Meadowbrook United Methodist Church in Fort Worth (1987-92) and Overton Park UMC (1992-97) before being appointed to the Hurst congregation in 1997.
He received a Founders Award from Trinity Area Habitat for Humanity in 2007, and the Bishop’s Award in Preaching from the Central Texas Conference in 2010. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.
Mike will be official consecrated as a United Methodist bishop at the SCJ consecration service scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. If you aren’t inspired to make the drive up I35, you can watch the ceremony live via webcast at the South Central Jurisdiction’s website (http://scj.umportal.org/main/article.asp?id=8808).
CTCUMC.org will have much more on Dr. Mike McKee’s election to the episcopacy, so please stay tuned. Until that time, please join the Central Texas Conference Service Center team in congratulating Bishop McKee and in prayers (today and ongoing) for his family and for the conference he goes to serve.