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NCJ retains same number of bishops

The North Central Jurisdiction reviewed membership statistics and demonstrates there will still be nine bishops in the region for the coming quadrennium.

The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) notified the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) in September that because of the reported membership numbers, the Book of Discipline formula for bishops indicated the General Conference could determine there would be one less bishop for the area.

During the vetting process, the Data Services department of GCFA provided an opportunity for all annual conferences to review and update the number of members in new church starts not previously reported and to account for members of the annual conference secretary general membership rolls.  When the NCJ appropriately accounted for these members, GCFA determined the jurisdiction does actually have enough members to meet the Disciplinary formula requirements to retain nine bishops for the next quadrennium.

Bishop John Hopkins, president of the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) College of Bishops said “I appreciate the joint efforts of [General Secretary] Moses Kumar, [the staff of] GCFA, the NCJ College of Bishops, [the] Episcopacy Committee, and the conference statisticians who worked together to ensure that all disciples of Jesus Christ in the jurisdiction are represented in the latest membership statistics.  While we will maintain our current nine episcopal areas next quadrennium, we need to continue working to expand our ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Michael Coyner, president of GCFA said “We applaud the efforts of the North Central Jurisdiction to review their reported membership numbers.  We understand processes are in place moving forward to assure that all professing members of The United Methodist Church are accounted for in the statistical reports of the jurisdiction, conference, district and local churches.  This news is exciting because it represents the people who are a part of new church initiatives within the jurisdiction…letting us all know that United Methodists are still committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ.”

With the new information, the board of directors of GCFA will not make any recommendations to the General Conference for a review of the number of bishops for the North Central Jurisdiction.

Hopkins adds, “Today’s news is good but the reality is that we could find ourselves below the threshold prior to NCJ 2020. So as we look to the start of a new quadrennium, it’s important that we each consider new ways that we can offer the love of Christ to those in need in our communities.”