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Bishop Kenneth Carter moves from the Florida Conference

Bishop Kenneth Carter moves from the Florida Conference

Denominational News Leadership

Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, whose leadership helped guide the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church through a season of change, turbulent times of a pandemic, and controversy over the role of gays and lesbians in the denomination, will move full-time to Western Carolina Conference.

Newly confirmed Bishop Tom Berlin will assume Bishop Carter's duties in the Florida Conference starting Jan. 1, 2023.

The moves were announced Friday morning as the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference concluded at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Bishop Carter leaves after ten years as the Florida Conference’s resident bishop, although he also served as the interim bishop in Western Carolina since 2021. Under his leadership, the Florida Conference and its more than 800 member churches were noted for the growth of fresh expressions, campus ministries, and inclusion.

Bishop Kenneth Carter

Bishop Carter helped guide the Conference through recovery efforts from two Category 4 hurricanes (Irma in 2017 and Ian in September of this year) and the Surfside condominium collapse in 2021.

He provided leadership following the 2016 murders of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and the 2018 Parkland massacre in Miami..

After Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated parts of the Florida panhandle in the Alabama-West Florida Conference in 2018, Bishop Carter urged churches in the Florida Conference to take up a special offering for victims of that storm.

He wrote, “We know all too well the shock and helpless feeling hurricane survivors are left with when the storms pass. After a weather event of this magnitude, there are many ways to help, but monetary donations are crucial in the immediate aftermath.”

Bishop Carter served as the president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church from 2018-2020 and became a leading voice for inclusion. He was one of three moderators of The Commission on a Way Forward from 2016 to 2018.

In addition to his responsibilities with The Florida Conference, he serves as the bishop in residence for the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. He also is a consulting faculty member at the Duke University Divinity School.

Bishop Carter is the author of 18 books, including a memoir, “God Will Make a Way” (Abingdon, 2021). He has preached in 20 countries on four continents and served as a local church pastor for 28 years.

He earned degrees from Columbus College, Duke Divinity School, the University of Virginia, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Bishop Carter and his wife Pam have been married for more than 40 years. Pam has served as an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, most recently in disaster recovery.

Bishop Tom Berlin

Bishop Berlin is a native of Winchester, Va, and a graduate of Virginia Tech University and the Candler School of Theology. 

Bishop Tom Berlin

As he noted on his website, he has served as the Lead Pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Va., since 1997. It is a multi-site congregation with vital mission partnerships in Northern Virginia and around the globe.

SEJ delegates chose him as the first of three bishops they elected this week.

“You all have been such a great blessing to my life and to be elected as a bishop is a singular honor,” Berlin said after his election.

He added, “Thank you. It is oddly humbling to stand before you and to accept this special assignment.”

UM News reported that “Berlin increasingly has taken on denominational leadership roles in efforts to help The United Methodist Church cross its deep divisions over LGBTQ inclusion. The Council of Bishops appointed Berlin to serve on the Commission on a Way Forward that developed proposals for the special 2019 General Conference intended to resolve the decades-long debate.”

He and his wife, Karen, have four daughters.

Joe Henderson is News Content Editor for

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