History was made on Wednesday, Nov. 2, when the Rev. Héctor Burgos, a superintendent in the Greater New Jersey Conference, was elected as a bishop in The United Methodist Church’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference (NEJ). He becomes the first Hispanic/Latino bishop elected in the jurisdiction and was endorsed by MARCHA, the UMC’s national Hispanic/Latino caucus.
History was also made twice on Wednesday at the South Central Jurisdictional (SCJ) Conference, meeting in Houston, Texas. The Rev. David Wilson, of the Oklahoma and Oklahoma Indian Missionary conferences, was elected as the denomination’s first Native American bishop. And the Rev. Delores “Dee” Williamston, of the Great Plains Conference, was elected as the first Black female bishop in the SCJ.
The Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, who heads the denomination’s programmatic oversight body, the Connectional Table, also made history on Wednesday when the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana, made her the first bishop to be elected during this historic day of episcopal elections across the five U.S. jurisdictions. She was also the first bishop to be elected on the first round of voting within the jurisdiction’s history.