Bishop Leeland to Serve as Bishop in Western North Carolina Through 2021


May 27, 2020

The SEJ College of Bishops announces the plan for episcopal supervision for the Southeastern Jurisdiction until the 2020 postponed session of Jurisdictional Conference in November 2021. This plan was developed in consultation and dialogue with the SEJ Committee on Episcopacy, and the Council of Bishops has affirmed the actions of the SEJ College of Bishops to provide coverage in each episcopal area.

The assignments for the jurisdiction are:
1. Alabama-West Florida – Bishop David Graves
2. Florida – Bishop Ken Carter
3. Holston – Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor (postponing retirement)
4. Kentucky and Red Bird – Bishop Leonard Fairley
5. Memphis and Tennessee – Bishop Bill McAlilly
6. Mississippi – Bishop James Swanson (postponing retirement)
7. North Alabama – Bishop Debbie Wallace-Padgett
8. North Carolina – Bishop Hope Morgan Ward (postponing retirement)
9. North Georgia – Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
10. South Carolina – Bishop Jonathan Holston
11. South Georgia – Bishop Lawson Bryan (postponing retirement)
12. Virginia – Bishop Sharma Lewis
13. Western North Carolina – Bishop Paul Leeland (postponing retirement)

The current SEJ Committee on Episcopacy will continue to work with the College of Bishops to support the episcopal leaders and the conferences they serve.

In Christ,
Bishop Leonard Fairley

We celebrate Bishop Leeland’s extended ministry in Western North Carolina and express gratitude for his continued faithfulness in leading our Conference.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.