By Jessica Brodie
Hundreds from around the region gathered Friday, November 4, for the final session of the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church, which handled a few remaining business items before announcing much-anticipated episcopal assignments and holding a Service of Consecration of the SEJ’s three newly elected bishops.
Cheers resounded through Stuart Auditorium after Steve Furr, chair of the SEJ Committee on Episcopacy, announced the assignments they had worked on until 2 a.m. the night before.
“They are tired, but they are joyous,” said presiding Bishop Kenneth Carter, applauding their hard work.
The SEJ’s newest bishops are Rev. Tom Berlin (Virginia Conference, elected on Ballot 4), Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton (Mississippi Conference, elected on Ballot 12), and South Carolina’s Rev. Dr. Robin Dease (elected on Ballot 25).
The assignments are as follows:
- Alabama-West Florida: Bishop David Graves
- Florida Conference: Bishop Tom Berlin
- Holston Conference: Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
- Kentucky and Central Appalachian Missionary Conferences: Bishop Leonard Fairley
- Mississippi Conference: Bishop Sharma Lewis
- North Alabama Conference: Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
- North Carolina Conference: Bishop Connie Shelton
- North Georgia Conference: Bishop Robin Dease
- South Carolina Conference: Bishop L. Jonathan Holston
- South Georgia Conference: Bishop David Graves
- Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference: Bishop Bill McAlilly
- Virginia Conference: Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
- Western North Carolina Conference: Bishop Ken Carter
Assignments begin January 1, 2023 through the next SEJ Conference in July 2024.