Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.
Resident Bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church
Ken Carter was elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church, consecrated as a Bishop and assigned to the Florida Conference on July 18-20, 2012. He provides spiritual and administrative oversight for almost 700 churches, campus ministries and outreach initiatives in a region that stretches from Tallahassee and Jacksonville to Miami and the Florida Keys, and beyond in covenant relationships with Cuba, Haiti and East Angola.
A native of Georgia, Bishop Carter earned degrees from Columbus College, Duke Divinity School, The University of Virginia and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also been awarded honorary degrees from The United Methodist University of Liberia and Bethune-Cookman University.
Prior to his ministry in the Florida Conference, Carter served as a pastor for twenty-eight years in North Carolina, most recently as senior pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte. His ministry there was described by American Religious Historian Diana Butler Bass in her book, Christianity for The Rest of Us. He also served as Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District, which included sixty-nine churches in the seven westernmost counties of North Carolina, all within the region of Appalachia. In the Western North Carolina Conference he chaired the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Committee on the Episcopacy, and was a delegate to five jurisdictional conferences and three general conferences, leading the WNCC delegation in Tampa in 2012.
In the denomination, he is currently the president-designate of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and he will serve as president during 2018-2020. He has been a member of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry from 2004-2012, and served as Vice-President and Chair of Ordained Ministry from 2008-2012. He has served on three Ministry Study Commissions (2004-2016), and was co-author of the Commission's Report to the 2012 General Conference. He is a member of the Committee on Faith and Order (2008-2016) and the University Senate (2012-2016), and is Vice-Chair of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry (2012-2016). He has chaired the Task Force on Human Rights and Investment (2012-2014), the Study of Online Communion (2013-2014) and the Council of Bishops' Holistic Strategy for Evangelism in Latin America and the Caribbean (2012-2016).
Bishop Carter has preached at Duke University Chapel, Emory University's Cannon Chapel, Boston University's Marsh Chapel, the Asbury Seminary Orlando Chapel, the Upper Room Chapel, in prison chapels, camp meetings and synagogues, and in congregations ranging in size from small mountain parishes to megachurches. He has also preached in Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Palestine, Haiti, Cuba, Liberia, England, Russia, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. His sermons have been published in Christian Century and the Abingdon Preaching Annual, and broadcast on Day One/The Protestant Hour. As Resident Bishop he preaches extensively in churches across the Florida Conference.
The bishop presently serves as a trustee of Bethune-Cookman University and Florida Southern College. He was previously a member of the board of visitors of Duke University Divinity School, a trustee of Brevard College and a member of the Institutional Review Board of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro and Leadership Winston-Salem, and is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International.
He is the author of nine books on subjects related to the practice of ministry, among them stewardship, intercessory prayer, spiritual gifts, baptism and the means of grace. He was a contributor to the Wesley Study Bible and the Feasting of the Word series. His editorials have appeared in the Charlotte Observer, the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times. He communicates on Twitter @bishopkencarter and on Facebook, and his blog is hosted on the Conference website: www.flumc.org. In his tenure as a bishop he has offered extended reflection on a more inclusive mission with the LGBTQ community, the significance of immigration reform for a church in a dynamically multicultural state, the movement of the Holy Spirit in Cuba, Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, and the need for a consistent ethic of hospitality that includes the unborn.
The bishop is married to Rev. Pam Carter. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Pam serves as a minister of missions (part-time) at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland and as President of the Haiti Mission Foundation. She has a deep involvement in God's mission in Haiti, where she co-founded a primary school and a microcredit initiative, and where she often leads pilgrimages. Most recently she has helped to establish an Institute of Preaching in Haiti as a partnership between the Florida Conference and Emory University's Candler School of Theology. In the Carters' first years in the Florida Conference she has led initiatives that packaged 1.7 million meals through Stop Hunger Now and collected $20,000 for young adult missions through the resale of jewelry.
The Bishop's hobbies are watching baseball (spring training and regular season) and Duke basketball, listening to roots music, eating Florida seafood and sharing meals with friends, reading, traveling with Pam and enjoying their mountain cabin.
The Carters have been blessed with two young adult daughters: Liz is a Chinese analyst, author and PhD. student at U.C.L.A, and Abby is a recent graduate of Duke Divinity School who serves as a youth minister in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011