AKRON, Ohio – The North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church announced Thursday afternoon, July 19, during its conference in Akron, the assignment of Bishop Michael J. Coyner to Indiana for his third term as Bishop of the Indiana Area.
Coyner, who during the past eight years, lead in uniting the former North and South Indiana conferences of the church into the new Indiana Conference, will remain in Indiana based at the Indiana Conference Center of the church located in Indianapolis.
The announcement was good news to the 36 lay and clergy delegates of Indiana who asked the NCJ Conference Episcopacy Committee to return Coyner to Indiana. Bishops serve four-year terms; however, they are usually moved after two terms in one area. They can be permitted to serve a third term by the jurisdictional conference at the recommendation of the 20-member NJC Episcopacy Committee.
Other assignments in the North Central Jurisdiction include:
The number of bishops per jurisdiction has changed at this jurisdictional conference. Each of the five jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church was mandated by the 2008 General Conference of the church to assign one fewer bishop per jurisdiction. With the retirement of Bishop Linda Lee of Wisconsin, no election was held to replace her position as a bishop. This also meant one fewer episcopal areas.
The former Minnesota and Dakotas episcopal areas will be a new episcopal area but the two conferences will remain separate. However, they do plan to work more closely together since their ministries will be under the same bishop.