Timothy Whitaker

Timothy W. Whitaker was born in Vicksburg, Miss., on Oct. 5, 1948. He is married to Melba J. Jarvis of Brandon, Miss. They have two sons, Scott and Eric. Scott is married to Michele Wrobleski of Buffalo, NY.                                                                          

Bishop Whitaker attended public school in Warren County, Miss., and he is a graduate of Warren Central High School in Vicksburg. He received an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Jr. College, and he was graduated summa cum laude from Millsaps College in 1970. He was graduated summa cum laude from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in 1973. He has been awarded numerous academic honors including being admitted into Phi Alpha Theta, a history honorary society, and Theta Phi, a theology society. He received the Award for Academic Excellence from Candler School of Theology in 1973. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Bethune-Cookman University in 2001 and Florida Southern College in 2002.

The bishop was ordained deacon in the Mississippi Conference in 1971 and elder in the Mississippi Conference in 1974. He transferred to the Virginia Conference in 1975. In the Virginia Conference, he served as pastor of rural, small town, suburban and center city churches. He was the Superintendent of the Norfolk District when he was elected to the episcopacy on Feb. 27, 2001 and assigned to the Florida Conference. He was appointed a third, four-year term in the Florida Conference during the Southeast Jurisdictional Conference on July 18, 2008.

As an elder in the Virginia Conference, Bishop Whitaker served on many conference committees. He was President of the Board of Discipleship, Vice President of the Board of Global Ministries, and Chair of the Division of Elders of the Board of Ordained Ministry.

During his ministry, Bishop Whitaker was involved in a number of community service agencies, including Hospice, sheltered workshops, a soup kitchen and tutoring inner-city children.

Occasionally, he has published articles in magazines and newspapers, including The Christian Century, Circuit Rider, Lectionary Homiletics, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

A student of patristics and the history of the early church, Bishop Whitaker is interested in recovering the living tradition of the Christian church for equipping the contemporary church to fulfill its mission in a pluralistic and secularized society.

Personal interests include reading modern American poetry and cycling.

Blog Posts


Farewell! - published on 6/19/2012


2012 Annual Conference - published on 6/6/2012


The Holy Trinity and Christian Experience - published on 5/31/2012


General Conference Needs an Aldersgate Experience - published on 5/24/2012


Eucharist and Earth - published on 5/14/2012


Run Aground at Tampa Bay: A Reflection on the 2012 General Conference - published on 5/8/2012


The Names of Jesus: an Easter Reflection - published on 4/16/2012


A Prayer for General Conference - published on 4/11/2012


Statement of Support for the Martin Family and Call for Just Prosecution - published on 3/23/2012


The Death and Resurrection of our Lord - published on 3/20/2012


Controversy over Religious Freedom - published on 3/2/2012


Reading the Bible in Lent - published on 2/21/2012


Something Wonderful to Do Together - published on 2/10/2012


Divine Providence and the Decline of the Churches - published on 2/1/2012


A Big Year for the UMC - published on 1/13/2012


The Gospel in the Geneology of Jesus - published on 12/15/2011


A Ridiculous Birth - published on 12/12/2011


High Christology and Prophetic Witness - published on 12/8/2011


The Divine Name - published on 11/29/2011


Grace and Gratitude - published on 11/9/2011


Remembering the Reformation - published on 10/20/2011


Steve Jobs and the Secular Gospel - published on 10/10/2011


Together! For Kids and Camps - published on 9/29/2011


Local Church Program for Creation Care - published on 9/22/2011


Keeping Faith in Your Ministry - published on 9/13/2011


What have we learned since September 11, 2001 - published on 9/1/2011


Being Church in an Age of Anxiety - published on 8/23/2011


Peeking into Ultimate Salvation - published on 6/10/2011


Why Discontinue Congregations? - published on 5/18/2011


What should Christians think about the execution of Osama bin Laden? - published on 5/10/2011


Salvation from what? - published on 4/14/2011


Children in Poverty in Florida - published on 4/11/2011


Planning for the Florida Conference - published on 3/25/2011


Ash Wednesday - published on 3/9/2011


Deeper Spiritual Reading - published on 3/1/2011


Life in the Body - published on 2/25/2011


Creation Spirituality - published on 2/4/2011


The Temptations of the Messiah - published on 1/24/2011


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - published on 1/18/2011


In the Immediate Presence of God - published on 1/14/2011


Evangelical and Catholic - published on 1/11/2011


Victory for Florida Farm Workers - published on 12/3/2010


The Dogma is the Drama - published on 11/24/2010


Strategic Leadership Team - published on 10/28/2010


Remembering the Reformation - published on 10/26/2010


Do Science and Religion Have Anything to Say to Each Other? - published on 10/15/2010


Protestantism Without Reformation? - published on 9/15/2010


Humbug in Gainesville - published on 9/8/2010


Faith in Place - published on 8/26/2010


Why I Hope Christopher Hitchens Does Not Convert - published on 8/17/2010

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