Goodpaster named Candler's next bishop-in-residence

By Claire Asbury Lennox | Dec. 1, 2015


Laurel Hanna

Elaine Justice

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Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster. Credit: UMNS/Mike Dubose.

The Rev. Dr. Larry M. Goodpaster, resident bishop serving the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, will join Emory University's Candler School of Theology in the fall of 2016 as the school's next bishop-in-residence.

As bishop-in-residence, Goodpaster will teach courses, preach and preside at chapel worship and ceremonial occasions, and offer counsel to students, particularly those seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church.

Current Bishop-in-Residence Woodie W. White will retire at the end of the 2015-16 academic term, but will continue to be part of the Candler community and assist with various programs.

"Bishop Goodpaster is a long-standing and highly accomplished leader in The United Methodist Church and the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church,” says Candler Dean Jan Love. “He is well known for his pastoral presence, his leadership acumen, his powerful preaching, and his dedication to the church and higher education. We at Candler are honored that he has agreed to be the bishop-in-residence.”

"I consider it a distinct honor to have been invited to return to my alma mater as bishop-in-residence,” says Goodpaster. “It will be a joy to join this outstanding faculty, administration and student body as we work together to shape the future life and mission of the church. I look forward to sharing in the preparation of leaders who will not only make a difference in the church, but in the world at large.”

Goodpaster earned both master of divinity (1973) and doctor of ministry (1982) degrees from Candler.

Ordained as an elder in The United Methodist Church, he served as a pastor and district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2000 and assigned to serve the Alabama-West Florida Conference, where he served for eight years before moving to serve the Western North Carolina Conference in 2008.

Goodpaster has accrued an impressive record of conference and general church leadership, contributing his pastoral and administrative talents to such institutions as the Council of Bishops, Methodist Health Systems and 14 boards of trustees. He was president of the Council of Bishops from 2010–2012.

A frequent lecturer, Goodpaster speaks internationally on topics of social and religious significance, and is the author of books and of numerous denominational publications. He has received honorary doctor of divinity degrees from Birmingham-Southern College, Huntingdon College and Millsaps College. In fall 2014, he was one of 56 recipients of Candler's Centennial Medal, recognizing extraordinary service to the school, the church and society.