Rev. Anthony Tang

Ethnic Background: Asian-American

Conference: Desert Southwest

Probationary Date: 06/22/1996

Full Membership Date: 06/23/2001

Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 4.5

Executive Master of Business Administration, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (2003)

Master of Divinity, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL (1997)

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (1993)

Ministry Experience:
General Church Ministry Experience:

General Council on Finance and Administration (2016–Present)
Chairperson, Committee on Personnel Policies; Chairperson, Committee on Personnel Policies and Practices; and Member, Coordinating Committee (2022–Present)

General Conference – Second Elect (i.e., First Reserve) (2012, 2016, 2019, and 202?)

General Commission on Archives and History (2012–2016)
Chairperson, Committee on Archives and Library; and Member, Executive Committee (2012–2016)

Western Jurisdiction Ministry Experience:

WJ Committee on Appeals (2012–Present)
Elected Vice-Chairperson (2012–2016)
Presiding Officer, Court of Appeals (2015)

WJ Asian American Coordinating Committee (2014–Present)

Jurisdictional Conference – Second Elect (2012, 2016, and 2022)

WJ Korean Ministry Council (2015–2017)

WJ Mission Cabinet (2014–2017)
Elected Chairperson, WJ Directors of Connectional Ministry (2016–2017)

WJ Committee on Programs and Arrangements (2014–2016)

WJ Committee on Episcopacy (2013–2016)

WJ Committee on Nominations (2012)

Annual Conference Ministry Experience:

Director of Connectional Ministries for Desert Southwest Conference, Phoenix, AZ (2014–2017)
Member, Extended Cabinet (2014–2017)

Throughout my ministry, I have served on the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, Clergy and Lay Leadership Development, Council on Finance and Administration, Council on Youth Ministries, Covenant Council (DSC Administrative Board), Foundation Board, Healing Conference Culture Task Force, Hispanic Ministries, Native American Ministries, North District Committee on Ordained Ministry, Religion and Race, Sessions Committee (planning Annual Conference), and Spiritual Formation.

Local Church Ministry Experience:

Desert Mission UMC, Scottsdale, AZ (Lead Pastor, 2017–Present)

City Square UMF, Phoenix, AZ (Charge, ¶344.3, 2014–2017)

University UMC, Las Vegas, NV (Lead Pastor, 2009–2014) and First Filipino-American UMF, Las Vegas, NV (Pastor, 2011–2012)

Family Leave (Dad and Husband, ¶353.2.b, 2008–2009)

Light of Hope UMF, Chandler, AZ (Pastor, 2002–2008)

Dayspring UMC, Tempe, AZ (Associate Pastor, 1997–2002)

Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
Ryle Faith Leaders’ Public Policy Institute, Valley Interfaith Project (2020)

North Scottsdale/Cave Creek/Carefree interdenominational clergy organized by the Foothills Caring Corps (2017–2020)

North Scottsdale Interfaith Thanksgiving worship leader participant (2017 and 2018)

Nevadans for the Common Good (2012–2014)

Other Relevant Experience:
Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders, Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (2017)

Planning Team Member, UMC Lead Conference (2011–2015)

Denominational Leadership Training Program, Duke Divinity School (2014)

Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
In Exodus, God called Moses to lead people out from forced labor—slavery—into the promised land of freedom.

When Jesus came, times had changed, but the struggle had not. The community’s religious leaders would “tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others” (Matthew 23:4, NRSVUE). Instead, Jesus set people free—people like the woman at the well, the Gerasene man, and the seventy disciples.

Today, the struggle continues, but new leadership models are finally turning away from masters and commanders who rule with iron fists. Instead, new leadership models more closely resemble the work of Moses and Jesus: emancipating people.

Emancipating people is not the chaos of everyone doing their own thing. Emancipating people creates, protects, and maintains a framework where everyone can give their best to faithfully move us wherever God leads us.

The role of those in authority is to facilitate shared vision, expectations, principles, boundaries, values, priorities, and structure (which, in practice, is easier said than done). The role of everyone else is to use the unique gifts and perspective God has given them to solve problems by collaborating, communicating, and creating new possibilities. The goal is to create space where everyone contributes and sees their best ideas come to fruition.

If leaders are busy solving problems and telling everyone what they should be doing, instead of freeing people and letting them thrive, they take power away from the people and perpetuate the struggle.

I offer to lead as a bishop by working with others (with you!) to nurture the conference like a garden, creating a space where all of our laity, our clergy, and our ministries may thrive.

To learn more details of my leadership style, my family, and me, please visit my website at:

Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
Throughout my ministry, I have worked to develop volunteerism and participation; to encourage every member into leadership; and to cultivate a space that gives honor and respect to every individual.

As the international pandemic finally hit at home, we, too, wondered what would happen to our community.

When church leadership met to form a pandemic strategy, I presented the challenge: “I think we could do worship over Zoom, but most of our members have no idea of how to do that.”

This is when our laity were freed to do and be their best. One said, “We know how to use Zoom; pastor, you worry about working with our staff, we’ll take the responsibility of calling every member and making sure they can get online if they want to.” And they did! As the pandemic went on, they continued initiating creative ideas to keep the church connected.

Our church didn’t need me as their pastor to solve all of the problems. My job was to cultivate the church like a garden and to provide resources so that everyone could thrive. Once the pandemic hit, it was our members who solved the problems and could shine.

Their great work not only affirmed to me the importance of my focus on culture and structure, but it also helped me let go of needing to be in control. I don’t see myself as invincible as I once did. Now I listen more to my body and ask for help more often. I’m learning to trust more, and as I practice less doing and more being, I find myself more able to embrace wisdom and patience. I’m not perfect, but I’m still learning and I look forward to each new day.

Learn more about my leadership style, my family, and me at:

Endorser: Names and titles are listed below endorsement and are included within the 200 word limitation.

Relationship to Candidate: Desert Mission UMC Church Council.

We, the leaders of Desert Mission UMC, believe Pastor Anthony creates a space where all of us can lead, learn, and be in ministry.

Pastor Anthony created an organization that promotes volunteerism, leadership opportunities, and a healthy emotional environment to grow and take chances.

Church members are free to offer ideas and lead. We requested a Spiritual Gifts assessment and focus and Pastor Anthony created a sermon series about the Holy Spirit and our spiritual gifts. All members of the church are now able to access the evaluation and learn their spiritual strengths. We can comfortably offer our ideas without fear or ramifications and it benefits all.

We own our beliefs, our church, and our relationships with everyone.

We are able to openly disagree, including disagreeing with Pastor Anthony. This fosters personal and spiritual growth.

Thank you Pastor Anthony for fostering the love of God in all of us in our own way. We highly recommend Pastor Anthony Tang as Bishop.

Shelley Arnold, Trustee

Annette Barnard, Lay Leader

Martelle Chapital Smith, Annual Conference Member

Barbara Davis Hines, Church Council Chair

Mark McDanell, Finance Chairperson

Dave McMurtry, SPRC Chairperson

Heather Morgan, Treasurer

Mike Pfannenstiel, Annual Conference Member

Diane Scheidt, Trustee Chairperson

Endorser: Names and titles are listed below endorsement and are included within the 200 word limitation.

Relationship to Candidate: Desert Southwest Conference office staff members who worked with Pastor Anthony Tang while he was DCM.

With great enthusiasm, we are offering our most affirmative endorsement for Rev. Anthony Tang as an Episcopal candidate for the Western Jurisdiction.

As our former Director of Connectional Ministries, he shared innovative resources and visioning that could rebuild our denomination into the ecumenical force it once was. His project & organizational management skills are unparalleled. Rev. Tang’s ability to speak truth to power will be pivotal in the College and Council. A faith leader at his core, he balances conflict well, along with humor that can make the toughest challenges manageable. In any period of disagreement, Rev. Tang is open to discussion with the goal of working through conflict to achieve mutual understanding and a path moving forward.

Throughout his tenure, Rev. Tang appreciated his employees and made sure we knew that. Opinions were valued; all were included in conversations. Beyond his attributes, we knew him to be kind, appreciative, and protective of staff’s best interests. We share in the belief that Rev. Tang will help so many people and will be a great bishop. Elect!

Submitted by DSC staff:

Ms. Lorena Davalos, Administrative Assistant

Ms. Billie K. Fidlin, Director of Justice & Outreach

Ms. Cynthia Satchel (retired) Human Resources

Endorser: Names and titles are listed below endorsement and are included within the 200 word limitation.

Relationship to Candidate: Desert Southwest Conference committee chairpersons that worked with Pastor Anthony Tang while he was DCM.

Anthony sparks robust movement towards the highest potential for the conference and individuals. While serving as Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM), he created excitement around a hopeful vision during a time of turmoil.

Anthony’s guidance encourages leaders. He gracefully calls people in when they’re not living up to their full potential. By offering loving accountability, he honors our gifts. He cares deeply about people he works alongside. It’s evident with every interaction.

Anthony’s cultural competence empowers, rather than tokenizes, our ethnic communities. He engaged the DSC Pacific Island Community to share their culture with our annual conference. Rather than treating this as routine planning, Anthony immersed himself into the culture, willing to listen and learn. Our Pacific Island Community was treated not just as entertainment, but honored for its cultural experiences.

We joyfully support Anthony Tang for Episcopacy. As the DCM, he showcased his strong vision. His compassionate leadership is a gift to the Western Jurisdiction.

Ms. Janessa Chastain, Chairperson, Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (2016–2019)

Mr. Gary Long, Chairperson, Committee on Native American Ministries (2012–2016)

Rev. Timote Piukala, Chairperson, Ethnic Local Church Concerns (2022–Present)

Ms. Julie Yarrow, Chairperson, Clergy and Lay Leadership Development (2016–2020)

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