Leading SGAUMC Forward: A Bright Future with Hope

Bishop David Graves assigned to South Georgia

11/4/2022

Bishop David Graves has been assigned to the South Georgia Annual Conference and will serve as the Episcopal leader for the next two years. He will also continue giving oversight to the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. This announcement came on the final day of the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference held Nov. 2-4 at Lake Junaluska, NC. 

Bishop Graves was elected bishop in July 2016 by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Alabama-West Florida Conference in September 2016. In addition, he has been serving South Georgia since September 2021 following the retirement of Bishop Lawson Bryan.  

The SEJ Committee on the Episcopacy reported the following assignments of the Bishops within the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Rev. Don Adams and Mr. Bill Hatcher served as the South Georgia representatives on the committee. 

Episcopal Assignments

  • Alabama-West Florida - Bishop David Graves
  • Central Appalachian Missionary - Bishop Leonard Fairley
  • Florida - Bishop Tom Berlin
  • Holston - Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
  • Kentucky - Bishop Leonard Fairley
  • Mississippi - Bishop Sharma Lewis
  • North Alabama - Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
  • North Carolina - Bishop Connie Shelton
  • North Georgia - Bishop Robin Dease
  • South Carolina - Bishop Jonathan Holston
  • South Georgia - Bishop David Graves
  • Tennessee-Western Kentucky - Bishop Bill McAlilly
  • Virginia - Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
  • Western North Carolina - Bishop Ken Carter

These Episcopal Assignments will begin January 1, 2023.

Each jurisdiction’s college of bishops and committee on the episcopacy arrange coverage of the episcopal areas, with some assigning bishops - like Bishop Graves - to serve more than one episcopal area as 16 bishops have done over the past two years with General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference both postponed by the pandemic. 

All active bishops are eligible for reassignment at jurisdictional conferences.

Bishops are elected for life and serve in their assignment until retirement (required by the Book of Discipline to be the jurisdictional conference following their 68th birthday). Bishops are elected at Jurisdictional Conference and then are assigned to Episcopal Areas, which may include one or more Annual Conferences within that jurisdiction for a four-year term. Due to the pandemic and the rescheduling of the Jurisdictional Conference, delegates will meet again in July 2024.

During the 2022 SEJ Conference delegates from the 14 annual conferences within the Southeast gathered under the theme “This I Know.” They heard reports and voted on business matters and worshiped together. The delegates also elected three new bishops: Bishop Tom Berlin, Bishop Connie Shelton and Bishop Robin Dease. The conference concluded Friday morning, November 4, with a Service of Consecration for the newly elected bishops. 

Read more about the SEJ Conference at www.sejumc.org/sej-conference-2022.

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