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Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño has been assigned by the 2012 Western Jurisdictional Conference to be the Resident Bishop in the Los Angeles Episcopal Area beginning September 1, 2012. The Resident Bishop provides leadership to the California-Pacific Annual Conference, which includes southern California, Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific Ocean.
In 2004, Bishop Minerva Carcaño became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Today, she is one of 50 bishops leading more than eight million members of her denomination. She currently serves as Bishop of the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, and is the official spokesperson for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration. Bishop Carcaño is a 1975 graduate of the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, TX, and received a Masters of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University in 1979.
Previous appointments have included Emmanuel UMC in Lubbock, TX, and La Trinidad UMC in San Jose, CA, in 1979. She then served positions in Crystal City, Carrizo Springs UMCs, as well as in Hebbronville, McAllen in the early ’80s. In 1986 she became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a United Methodist district superintendent, serving in that capacity until 1992 in West Texas and New Mexico and later in Portland, OR.
Bishop Carcaño next spent four years (1992-1996) as the organizing pastor, South Albuquerque Cooperative Ministry. She moved next to a position as director of the Mexican American Program of Hispanic Studies Program at Perkins School of Theology until her call to serve in the Oregon-Idaho Conference.
A native of Edinburg, TX, Bishop Carcaño spent her early years aspiring to make a difference in the lives of persons who faced poverty and discrimination. Not forgetting her roots and early hopes, her ministry has always involved work with the poor, with farm workers, immigrants, and refugees, even as she encourages congregations to work ecumenically and to be active in community organizing. Of her tireless work, she has said, “The road of ministry has not always been easy, but it has always been an incredible blessing, and it has always been home.”
This biography is courtesy of The California-Pacific Conference.