South Central Jurisdiction Episcopal Assignments Announced

Bishop Mike Lowry has been assigned as the episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference for a second quadrennium by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference. The announcement came after 11 p.m. Saturday, July 21 and was met with great excitement, thankfulness and relief by both Bishop and Mrs. Lowry as well as the close to fifty members of the Central Texas Conference (CTC) in attendance as delegates and guests.
“This has been a hard, hard Jurisdictional Conference – full of hard lows and tremendous highs,” said Bishop Lowry as he met with members of the CTC after the announcement that he would return as bishop to the conference. “This is definitely a high point though for it is with much thanksgiving and praise to God that Jolynn and I return to the work we’ve begun with the good, good people of the Central Texas Conference.”
Dr. Chris Hayes, senior pastor, Keller UMC and member of the Central Texas delegation simply stated, “This day could not have turned out better.”
While a huge part of Chris’ excitement was due to Bishop Lowry’s reassignment as Bishop to the Central Texas Conference, it was also the announcement of Bishop Mike McKee as the episcopal leader of the North Texas Conference that also served to buoy the spirits of the CTC team.
Rev. Dr. Mike McKee had made history a few hours earlier by becoming the first bishop elected out of the CTC. The news that he would be serving our next door neighbor conference was just icing on the cake to a delegation and extended team that had worked so hard for so long.
“While I am, of course, thrilled and humbled to be elected bishop, I am happiest for all of you [the CTC delegation and support team],” said Bishop McKee a few moments before the recommended assignments were announced. “The hard work of so many and especially the leadership of Tom [Harkrider] and Tim [Bruster] was and will be a source of inspiration. This is a big day for the people of the Central Texas Conference and I am proud to have been a part of it.”
Please check back to for more from Bishops Lowry and McKee in the coming days and weeks. Following is a complete list of episcopal assignments for the South Central Jurisdiction for the 2013-16 quadrennium (Sept. 2012 - Sept. 2016) as affirmed by the delegates in plenary session at the SCJ Conference in Oklahoma City.
  • Arkansas: Bishop Gary Mueller (new)
  • Central Texas: Bishop Michael Lowry
  • Great Plains (newly unified Nebraska, Kansas West, and Kansas East Annual Conferences): Bishop Scott Jones
  • Louisiana: Bishop Cynthia Harvey (new)
  • Missouri: Bishop Robert Schnase
  • New Mexico/Northwest Texas Area: (Open*)
  • North Texas: Bishop Mike McKee (new)­
  • Oklahoma Area (Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and Oklahoma Annual Conference): Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr.
  • San Antonio Area (newly unified Rio Grande and Southwest Texas Annual Conferences): Bishop James Dorff
  • Texas: Bishop Janice Riggle Huie

*Given the episcopacy committee’s decision to retire Bishop Bledsoe effective Aug. 31, this open slot will be filled by the college of bishops on an interim basis until following the appeal of the committee’s decision, should Bishop Bledsoe decide to go that route