Retired Bishop James M. Ault, a prominent educator, ecumenical advocate and episcopal leader in The United Methodist Church, died at the age of 90 on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008 at the Midcoast Senior Health Center in Brunswick, Maine.

An active bishop from 1972 until his retirement in 1988, he served as president of the Council of Bishops from 1986-87 and president of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries from 1985-89. Prior to his election as bishop, he taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York and served as professor and dean at the School of Theology of Drew University, Madison, N.J.

The bishop was a leader in ecumenical affairs, representing The United Methodist Church in both the National and World Council of Churches. A member of the World Council of Churches Central Committee, he was active in promoting economic sanctions to oppose apartheid in South Africa.

He was born on Aug. 24, 1918, in Sayre, Pa. - UMNS