Well, it seems that the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church decided to “involuntarily retire” their bishop, Earl Bledsoe. The problem is, Bledsoe has decided not to go. Now they’ve got a kerfuffle on their hands.
PLANO, TEXAS – Bishop Earl Bledsoe announced last Friday that he was retiring voluntarily, but late Tuesday afternoon reversed the decision in dramatic fashion, telling members of the North Texas Conference that he was being pushed out and had decided not to stand for it.
“With your help we’re going to fight like the devil to claim the ministry that is here in North Texas,” he said at the close of Annual Conference, drawing applause from many and a standing ovation by some. “And we ain’t going nowhere unless somebody forces us to go.”
Bishop Bledsoe, in his fourth year of leading the North Texas Conference, told conference members that he was recently “summoned” to a meeting of the South Central Jurisdiction’s episcopacy committee. He said he was told that he was not wanted back by the North Texas Conference and that his leadership was “so bad” that no other conference in the jurisdiction would have him.
“So with that in mind, I asked, ‘What are my options?’” he recalled. “The committee said I could either take voluntary retirement or they would vote involuntary retirement.”