|Rev. Dr. Bob Gibbs|
LAKELAND, FL – The Rev. Dr. Robert McCoy Gibbs will become the new superintendent of the North West District in July, according to Florida Conference Bishop Timothy Whitaker. “The grandson and son of ministers who served as district superintendents, Bob knows the Florida Conference well,” said Bishop Whitaker.
The current District Superintendent, Rev. Antonio Fernandez, is retiring this summer.
“The North West District has been served well by the Rev. Antonio Fernandez for the last seven years,” Bishop Whitaker said. “He and his spouse, Maria, have traveled across the district and gotten to know the people of the churches. He has attended to the needs of the district, and he has contributed to the work of the Cabinet. I wish Tony and Maria the best as Tony retires, and they move to Staunton, Virginia.”
Bishop Whitaker observed that Gibbs’ experience in ministry and his temperament will enable him to be a contributing member of the Cabinet. “As a former pastor of John Wesley UMC in Tallahassee, he knows and loves the area,” according to Bishop Whitaker. “As the chair of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (BHECM), he will be equipped to provide support to campus ministry in the district. Bob and his spouse, Brenda, are looking forward to serving with the people of the North West District.”
A native Floridian, Gibbs was born in Gainesville, and grew up in Orlando, Leesburg and Jacksonville. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Southern College, earned his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology and his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.
Gibbs’ ministry career in the Florida Conference has included appointments as Associate Pastor, First UMC, Ocala; Campus Minister for the Orlando area (University of Central Florida, Rollins College and Valencia Community College); and Senior Pastor at John Wesley, Tallahassee; First, Miami; Englewood; First, Lakeland; and St. Andrew’s, Brandon.
In addition to serving as the current chair of BHECM, Gibbs’ Annual Conference experience includes serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry. He has also served as chairperson for two other conference level agencies: the Committee on Christian Faith and Human Sexuality and the Task Force on the Conference Center. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethune-Cookman University.
Gibbs’ work in the communities in which he has served have involved him as a board member of the United Way in Marion Country, the YMCA and Englewood Hospital in Englewood and Volunteers in Medicine in Lakeland. He currently serves as co-president of the Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality, a faith-based community justice organization.
Bob is married to the former Brenda Hamlin, who is a teacher in a drug and alcohol prevention program in Hillsborough County Schools. His daughter, Dr. Beth Gibbs, is the Director of Choral Music at Florida Southern College, and his son, Rob, is a musician in Nashville, Tennessee.