With a handshake and passing of a new, official Council of Bishops’ gavel, President Bruce R. Ough transferred leadership to Bishop Kenneth H. Carter as the next President of the Council of Bishops.
During a special evening celebration of leadership and passing of the gavel in Chicago May 3, 2018, Bishop Ough said it brought him great pleasure to pass the mantel of presidency to Bishop Carter and said the Council of Bishops was in good hands.
“Ken has a keen mind, matched with a collaborative leadership style and a deep love for Jesus and the Church,” said Ough. “His intimate knowledge of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, as one of its moderators, will benefit this Council and the entire United Methodist Church as we move from this place to the Special Session of General Conference in February, 2019 and then on to the regular session of General Conference in May, 2020.”
A humble Bishop Carter said he was honored and grateful to serve in this new role in his ministry journey. “When I became a bishop, it was very clear to me that we really do this work for others,” said Carter. “We are all set aside by God for a particular season in our lives to do a very particular work and that is to be spiritual leaders of this church that we love. I am blessed to know Jesus Christ and I am blessed to be a part of The United Methodist Church.”
Bishop Carter thanked Bishop Ough for his spiritual leadership and gifts of preaching, shepherding, and administration over the last two years as president. “Bishop Ough was the face and voice of this council. He carried the stress of this council and the conflict of the whole church,” said Carter.
Ough thanked everyone for their abundant grace and support that he and his wife Char received during their walk leading the Council. “Specifically, I want to thank you for your trust, tireless labor and sacrifice as we have sought to find a way forward for our denomination,” Ough said to the bishops and spouses gathered.
The council also offered special thanks to Bishop Cynthia F. Harvey of the Louisiana Area for serving as the Council of Bishops secretary (2016-2018) and gave her blessings as the elected president-designate. Her two-year term begins at the conclusion of the 2020 General Conference.