Bishop Tracy S. Malone Makes History as First Black Woman President of United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops

by Gee NY
Bishop Tracy S. Malone

Bishop Tracy S. Malone has etched her name into history as she becomes the first Black woman to hold the esteemed position of President of the Council of Bishops (COB) within the United Methodist Church.

This significant appointment marks a pivotal moment for the denomination sd it symbolized progress and inclusivity within its leadership ranks.

Taking the reins from outgoing President Bishop Thomas Bickerton, Bishop Malone graciously accepted the mantle during a momentous gathering of nearly 800 delegates and observers at the General Conference on April 30.

Expressing her gratitude and sense of duty, Bishop Malone embraced the sacred responsibility bestowed upon her, acknowledging the challenging yet hopeful times facing the United Methodist Church.

During the conference, Bishop Malone outlined her vision for the future, emphasizing the importance of unity and divine guidance as the denomination navigates through transformative periods.

Her two-year term as president, set to conclude in May 2026, positions her as a beacon of steadfast leadership during these critical times.

Introducing her esteemed Episcopal colleagues, Bishop Malone underscored the collective effort needed to shepherd the United Methodist Church into its next phase, highlighting Bishop Ruben Saenz as the new president-designate and Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, who begins his second term as secretary.

The executive team, further bolstered by Bishop Gregory V. Palmer as the new executive secretary, and retired Bishops Hope Morgan Ward and Rosemary Wenner as co-ecumenical officers, reflects a commitment to fostering relationships and collaboration both within and beyond the denomination.

Accepting her new role with humility and resolve, Bishop Malone expressed readiness to leverage her gifts, wisdom, and experience in guiding the United Methodist Church forward.

Her official election as president during the COB meeting in November 2023 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the denomination’s journey toward inclusivity and progress.

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