How Do You Get Rid of a Bishop?

(Soon to be former?) United Methodist Bishop Earl Bledsoe

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.”

via Bishop Bledsoe reverses course, says he’ll ‘fight like the devil’ to stay in post – The United Methodist Reporter.

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  • Well, you know what the Roundheads did with Archbishop Laud?

  • Tom

    Sorry, dude, but your boss felt you weren’t doing your job. You’re lucky they let you leave with the dignity of a retirement. You’ve lost all your dignity now by talking trash. What makes you think you’ll be welcomed back?

  • If you stop paying him and change the locks, that would probably do it.

  • Burt Palmer

    The South Central Jurisdictional Committee, not the North Texas Conference, addressd Bishop Bledsoe’s role as Episcopal leader. The SCJC is responsible for making the appointment of Bishops.

    Bishop’s Bledose comments, the very last thing said to the people before they returned home reflect the reason that so many conferences, including his own, feel that they are not able to follow his leadership. The SCJC ‘summomned’ him like they did every other Bishop, he was not singled out. He happened to be out of the country when the previous meeting was scheduled. The singular comment regarding race was spoken to the conference lay leader(who shared it with the Bishop) and he (Hearne, who is white) told the man he would not tolerate that comment. It was also shared to illustrate the point that the brokeness in the North Texas Conference is not relfective of issues of race, but issues of relationship. If one has to “fight like the devil” to stay, how does one lead?

    It seems easy to offer humorous commentary from a distance, but do, please, remember the people for whom this is painful, hurtful, and conflicting. And to any who lead in any position – “God will always agree with you when you talk to Him alone” SO, listen to the voice of God in the conversations of the people around you.