Bishop Julius C. Trimble Named General Secretary of General Board of Church and Society

Bishop Julius C. Trimble has been elected as the General Secretary for the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church, effective September 1. 

GBCS is dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace. The board is called to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns – to fulfill the mandate of:

  • relating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Church, communities, and the world in which they live
  • bringing the whole of human life into conformity with the will of God 
  • showing that reconciliation involves personal, social, and civic righteousness

“I look forward to working with an incredible staff of professionals who join ecumenical and interfaith partners as well as other United Methodist Boards and agencies in the work of amplifying the voice and vote of those who often are not represented in the decisions that benefit the favored few,” said Bishop Trimble. 

The General Board has headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. 

“The United Methodist Building stands across the street from the Capitol and the United States Supreme Court Building,” said Bishop Trimble. “It is a witness to The United Methodist Church’s commitment to an ethic of love that requires responsible political action along with our prayers aimed at the betterment of society and promotion of the common good across the world.”

Addressing more than 30 social issues on which The United Methodist Church has claimed a position, Church and Society communicates with policymakers and leaders around the world with the mission of transforming the world. Their top priorities are poverty, climate, health, peace, and civil and human rights. 

“This is no time for The United Methodist Church to press the mute button on our prophetic witness for a more just and humane world. I will encourage our churches to speak out boldly on social issues from the solid theological and biblical foundation of our Church’s Social Principles,” said Bishop Trimble. “To be a United Methodist is to care about the whole person as well as creation and the contemporary challenges that seek to drag us back from progress made toward civil and human rights.”

About Bishop Trimble

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble has served The United Methodist Church for over 40 years. Ordained clergy as a deacon and later elder in the Northern Illinois Conference, he has served local congregations, as a district superintendent, and as a bishop since he was elected in 2008. 

Bishop Trimble will retire as an active bishop at the North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in July. A graduate of Illinois State University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Bishop Trimble received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.

Before his election as a bishop, he served as adjunct Instructor at United Methodist-related Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, where he taught courses on the African American religious experience and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bishop Trimble married First Lady Racelder Grandberry-Trimble, a professional counselor and graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio, in May 1979. The couple has three adult children: Cameron C., Candiace R. (Herman Wake), and Julius Thomas. In June 2018, the Trimbles celebrated the birth of their first granddaughter, Corrine.

Bishop Trimble has preached throughout the United States, Africa, and the Holy Land. He is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1998 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the 2007 Bishop James S. Thomas Social Action Award from the Methodist Federation for Social Action at Lakeside, Ohio, the Iowa MFSA Social Action Award in 2015, and a Doctor of Divinity from United Seminary in 2017 for work in social justice in recognition of his exceptional spiritual leadership, compassion for all people, and powerful witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Ohio-based seminary noted his engagement in faith-based work to address social justice issues, as well as his work of advocacy for the United Methodist Global Health Initiative, especially in the efforts to make the world malaria and AIDS-free. 

As a bishop, he continues to promote faith-based responses to domestic violence and trauma in communities, as well as encourages the establishment of mental health ministries at the local church and Conference level. He is also an active advocate for social justice, faith-based initiatives to address gun violence, as well as immigration reform. In 2015, his book, “A Faithful Church, and a Healthy World: Reflections and Poems,” was published by the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church to support The United Methodist Church’s ongoing initiative Imagine No Malaria. His latest book, “10 Reasons I am a Methodist” was published in 2022 by Popular Truth Publishing.

Bishop Trimble’s mission statement is “To encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential,” or “Be Encouraged” for short. 

Trimble currently serves on the Africa University Board of Directors and chairs their Advisory Development Committee and the Development Committee. He chairs the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee (UMGAC), chairs the Council of Bishops’ Justice & Reconciliation Committee, serves on the IU Health Board of Directors, the University of Evansville Board of Trustees, the DePauw University Board of Trustees, and the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees.

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3 NRSV). 

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