Sudarshana Devadhar elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church

July 14, 2000    
 
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (UMNS) -- The Rev. Sudarshana Devadhar of the North Central New York Annual Conference has been elected a bishop by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.
 
Devadhar, the superintendent of the Ontario District, was elected Wednesday, July 14.   He will fill one of the vacancies created in the denomination’s Northeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops by the retirements of six bishops. The new bishops are being elected by 288 delegates attending the July 12-17 conference. 

Devadhar, a native of India, will be one of 50 active U. S. bishops leading the United Methodist Church and serving one of the episcopal areas of the 13 annual conferences that make up the 12-state jurisdiction. The Northeastern Jurisdiction is home to 1.5 million United Methodists in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. It also includes the District of Columbia.
 
A consecration service for the new bishops will be held at 11:15 a.m. July 16, at Syracuse (N.Y.) University.

An episcopal assignment committee is already considering where Devadhar and other active bishops will serve for the next four years. Their assignments will be effective Sept. 1.

Endorsed by the North Central New York Conference, the Western New York Annual Conference and the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, Devadhar was elected on the second ballot, receiving 169 votes of the 287 votes cast. The number of votes needed to elect was 165.
 
While the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference is electing six bishops, four other United Methodist jurisdictional conferences are meeting to elect 15 others.

A jurisdictional conference has the following power and duties:

  • To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary and benevolent interests of the church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries.
  • To elect bishops.
  • To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliaries to the general boards of the church.
  • To determine the boundaries of annual conferences.
  • To make rules and regulations for the administration of the church's work within the jurisdiction.
  • To appoint a committee on appeals. 

The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches. Methodists elected their bishops at one national gathering until 1940, when the jurisdictional system was instituted. Bishops in the EUB church were elected at one national gathering until 1968.
 
News media contact: Linda Bloom, Nashville, Tenn., (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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