Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Roy I. Sano Executive Secretary
100 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 547-6270

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  
May 10, 2006 

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 742-5411 office
(615) 456-4710 cell                                                            
sdrachler@umcom.org

Houston Bishop Janice Huie Begins Term as United Methodist Bishops’ President

WASHINGTON – Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of Houston today took the gavel as president of The United Methodist Council of Bishops.

Outgoing president, Bishop Peter D. Weaver of Boston, passed the gavel to Huie during a worship service in the chapel of the United Methodist Building, just across the street from the U.S. Capitol. The Council of Bishops office is in the United Methodist Building.

“This is a humbling experience, and an awesome responsibility,” said Huie, the second woman to lead the council. “I have placed my trust in God to give me strength and wisdom. I pray for God to lead us to make disciples, and to focus our ministry on what is truly important, reaching out to the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned around the world.”

The Council of Bishops is comprised of 163 active and retired bishops in the U.S. Europe, Africa, and the Asia. Active bishops have voice and vote on council affairs. Retired bishops have voice, but no vote.

Huie’s two-year term will end in May 2008 at the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The General Conference is The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body.

A native of Beeville, Texas, Huie was elected bishop in 1996, and presided over the Arkansas Area until being assigned to Houston in 2004. The Houston Area has 713 congregations and more than 290,000 members. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin; her master’s in theology from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas; and her doctor of ministry degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

The passing of the gavel is a tradition among the members of the Council of Bishops. It usually takes place during the Council’s spring meeting. Because the 160-member council is meeting in Mozambique, Africa, in November, it cancelled its spring meeting.

With Huie’s installation, Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer of Des Moines, Iowa, becomes the president-designate.

(A photo of Bishop Huie is available at: /interior.asp?ptid=2&mid=904)

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