Bishop Bruce R. Ough is the resident bishop of the Ohio West Area of The United Methodist Church, where he is the spiritual leader for nearly 200,000 United Methodists in more than 1,100 congregations in 58 Ohio counties. He has served West Ohio since September, 2000.
Prior to his election and consecration as a bishop in July 2000, Bishop Ough served as the senior pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, a 2,800-member congregation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
His previous appointments included five years as district superintendent of the Cedar Rapids District of the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. During his tenure, the district began five new congregations and pioneered several effective revitalization models for existing congregations.
Bishop Ough also served as Director of the Iowa Conference Council on Ministries for seven years, following three years as Director of Oakwood Spiritual Life Center in the North Indiana Conference. He has also served as Council Director of the Dakotas Area and a camp program director for the North Dakota Conference. He was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1979 in the North Dakota Conference.
His work has included numerous training events, seminars, and retreats in the areas of spiritual formation, leadership development, and new church development. He served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS).
A 1973 graduate of North Dakota State University, Bishop Ough received the M.Div. degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1978. In addition, he has done graduate work at Northwestern University and completed the Upper Room’s two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation program, for which he also served on the Leadership Team.
Bishop Ough has received numerous awards, honors, and professional recognitions. In 2009, he was the recipient of the inaugural Social Justice Award from the Columbus Metropolitan Area Church Council. He has also published a number of professional and inspirational articles, including a thorough study of the small membership church, Independent, Courageous, Stubborn; devotional articles for The Upper Room Disciplines and for Weavings. Bishop Ough was a contributor to The Spiritual Formation Bible (Zondervan, 1999) and is co-editor of the book, The Future of the United Methodist Church: Seven Vision Pathways (Abingdon, 2010).
Bishop Ough was a delegate to the 1988, 1996, and 2000 General Conferences of The United Methodist Church and to the 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 North Central Jurisdiction Conferences. He has served as a member of several jurisdictional and general church agencies, most notably the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the General Board of Global Ministries, serving as the agency’s president from 2009 - 2012. He has served as the President of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops and chaired the Council of Bishops’ Plan Team on Missional Focus. He recently completed a term as President of the Ohio Council of Churches. He will chair the denomination’s Connectional Table for the 2012—2016 Quadrennium.
He is married to Charlene Ough, and they are the parents of three sons: Lance (with spouse Cathie in Wilmington, Virginia), Stuart (with spouse Christine in Indianapolis, Indiana), and Matthew (with spouse Jory in Green Bay, Wisconsin). They are the proud grandparents of Dashua Henning Ough and Cailum Isaac Ough, both born in 2006, Ethan James Ough, born in 2009, and Lillian Hannah Ough, born in 2012.