Main Menu

Hundreds welcome Bishop Carter

Hundreds welcome Bishop Carter

Rideout girls with Bishop Carter
Natalie and Meredith Rideout of First UMC, Winter Park, present the paten and chalice as episcopal gifts to new Bishop Ken Carter as Dr. Bob Bushong, center, looks on.

On behalf of the congregations and the people, we receive you, Bishop Carter, with joy and thanksgiving, as our bishop and our pastor. We pledge to you our prayers, our loyalty, and our support as you lead us in the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us all. – Response of the people following The Covenant Service

LAKELAND – About 500 people attended a worship service and received communion Saturday at First UMC as part of the official installation of Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Carter Jr. as resident bishop of the Florida Conference.

Many more watched the proceedings by live webcast. A video of the service is available on the conference home page.

Carter came to Florida from the Western North Carolina Conference, where he was a district superintendent and chaired the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Committee on the Episcopacy. He also has served on General Church boards.

He was elected bishop in July at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, where he later was appointed to fill the office of retiring Bishop Timothy Whitaker.

On Saturday, the bishop preached a sermon entitled “Connection, Relationships and the Mission of God.”

Other worship leaders included Rev. David McEntire, host pastor at First UMC; Dr. Bob Bushong, chairperson of the Conference Committee on the Episcopacy; Russ Graves, lay leader; Dr. Sharon Austin, South Central superintendent and dean of the Cabinet; along with pastors from several local churches.  

Pam Carter, Bob Bushong, Ken Carter
Dr. Bob Bushong, center, introduces Bishop Ken Carter, right, and the bishop's wife, Pam, at an installation service Sept. 15.

The Winter Park Folk Trio from First UMC, Winter Park, opened the ceremony, and First UMC of Lakeland’s Chancel Choir and Clarion Brass led additional musical worship.

Presenting gifts symbolic of the Episcopal Office were Rev. Bill Fisackerly III, retired; Dr. Anne Kerr, president of Florida Southern College; Walter Dry Sr. of First UMC, Spring Hill; Natalie and Meredith Rideout, First UMC, Winter Park; Jetro Jeune of St. John UMC Haitian Mission, Boynton Beach; Rev. Vance Rains, Florida State University Wesley Foundation; Rev. June Edwards, First UMC, Lakeland; and Rev. Matt Horan, Hyde Park UMC, Tampa.

A reception for Carter and his wife, Pam, followed the installation service.

Click Here to watch the full installation service or Bishop Carter's sermon video