By Allison Kennedyakennedy@ledger-enquirer.com
The first African-American bishop to serve the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church was assigned late Friday to this conference.
Bishop James King, 60, will have oversight of the nine districts in South Georgia. The Conference takes in Columbus, Macon and Savannah and all towns south. He will move from Kentucky, where he's been the bishop since 2000.
“It is extremely important for us to feel like we are where God wants us to be. From the bottom of our hearts and from the depths of our being, we feel like God has been at work preparing us for this moment," King said in a statement e-mailed to the Ledger-Enquirer.
“We are excited to be where God wants us to be. God has been at work preparing us to come to South Georgia.”
The outgoing South Georgia bishop, Michael Watson, was assigned to the North Georgia Conference, which includes Atlanta and points north and east, including Augusta. In United Methodism, bishops cannot serve for than eight years in one Conference, though there can be exceptions.
The election of one bishop and re-assignments of others took place at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, held every four years in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
“I think that God has some exciting plans for us under the leadership of Bishop James King and his wife Rose," the Rev. Hal Brady of St. Luke said in a statement e-mailed to the Ledger-Enquirer.
"South Georgia is fortunate to have them and they will prove to be a blessing to all of us. He will lead us well.”