Women Bishops of The United Methodist Church

Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit

Book - Paperback
Women Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Paperback ISBN: 9781501886300
$19.99 Show Buy
E-Book ISBN: 9781501886317
$19.99 Show Buy

Published April 2019

A collection of true stories about the first women in the Church elected to the office of the episcopacy.

Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader and Dr. Margaret Ann Crain interviewed the women bishops of The United Methodist Church, the first denomination to elect women to the episcopacy. Through the stories they collected, they learned what enabled these women to persevere, claim authority, define leadership in their own ways, and rise to the episcopacy. Their stories reveal how these clergywomen changed the church, blazing leadership trails both before and after their elections.

This book shares inspirational stories and pivotal moments that illustrate how these women managed the complexities of family, faith, and authority. Through their histories, women bishops have made––and will continue to make––both realized and unrealized differences in The United Methodist Church.

About the Authors

Margaret Ann Crain

Margaret Ann Crain was ordained in 1997 and is a deacon in full connection in the Northern Illinois Conference. She served churches in Missouri and North Georgia before joining the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where she taught Christian education and qualitative research. As Director of Deacon Studies, she created a program that supported, advocated for, and trained many deacons when the new order was created in 1996. Crain retired as Professor Emerita. Her most recent book is The United Methodist Deacon: Ordained to Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sharon Zimmerman Rader

Sharon Zimmerman Rader was ordained deacon in the Detroit Conference and elder in the Northern Illinois Conference. She transferred to the West Michigan Conference where she was a local church pastor, member of the Conference Staff, and District Superintendent. She was elected to the episcopacy by the North Central Jurisdiction in 1992 and assigned to the Wisconsin Area. She retired in 2004 and then served as the first executive for the Connectional Table, as Council of Bishops Ecumenical Officer, and as Bishop in Residence at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.