First Woman to Be Methodist Council of Bishops President
For the first time in the history of the United Methodist Church, the top two officers of the Council of Bishops will be women. Bishop Sharon A. Brown Christopher of the Illinois Area became the first woman to assume the office of president on May 3, and Bishop Sharon Rader of the Wisconsin Area continues as secretary, an office she has held since 1996. The president normally serves for one year and presides at all meetings of the council and the executive committee. She also represents the council at official functions and serves as the spokeswoman after the body has acted. The council comprises nearly 150 active and retired bishops from the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.