November 27, 2023
At its November 20, 2023, weekly meeting, The Global Methodist Church’s Transitional Leadership Council received the Rev. Dr. Edward W. Williamson as a clergy member in the new denomination and then immediately voted to confer upon him the title bishop emeritus. Williamson joins Bishop Emeriti Young Jin Cho, Robert Hayes, Jr., and Mike Lowry who have been granted the honorary title.
Launched a year and a half ago, the GM Church has welcomed over 4,000 local churches in Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and the United States. During its transitional season the TLC is guiding the denomination prior to its convening General Conference, scheduled for September 20-26, 2024. The Council designated Williamson as bishop emeritus in the light of his service as a pastor in The United Methodist Church, a bishop in the Evangelical Methodist Church, and for his steadfast proclamation of the Wesleyan expression of the Christian faith.
“It is a privilege to join faithful brothers and sisters in the Global Methodist Church as we seek to serve our Lord and Savior and fulfill the mission he has given us,” said Williamson. “I am also humbled and honored by the Transitional Leadership Council’s decision to bestow upon me the title of bishop emeritus. The GM Church has great promise, and I look forward to serving alongside laity, clergy, and episcopal colleagues to advance the Kingdom of God.”
Williamson served as UM Church pastor until 1984. During his tenure in the denomination, he was active with the Good News movement. In 1984, he was part of a group of conservative clergy and churches that departed from the UM Church to join the Evangelical Methodist Church.
In 1998, Williamson was elected bishop of the EM Church, and then re-elected every four years thereafter until 2018 when he retired. While an active bishop, he was instrumental in establishing EM Church conferences in Mexico, the Philippines, Myanmar, and among Congolese people in Africa, Canada, and Europe. In his retirement, he assists the staff of Covenant Church of Morgantown, West Virginia. He works as Senior Vice President at Large for One Mission Society and leads Every Community for Christ as Church Multiplication Facilitator for Myanmar. He was also a member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Other Wesleyans Task Force.
“I have worked personally with Bishop Emeritus Williamson for several years now,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, the GM Church’s Chief Connectional Officer. “His dedication to planting growing healthy local churches, his passion for worldwide missions, and his commitment to cultivating strong ecumenical ties in the Methodist family will serve the GM Church well as it grows and flourishes. The GM Church will be blessed by his presence and his service among us.”
Williamson completed his undergraduate studies at Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky), and then received advanced degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Hamilton, Massachusetts) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore). He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University School of Theology.
He currently serves as Founder Emeritus at Covenant Church, a church he planted in 1984. His son, Nathan, is now the congregation’s senior pastor. Covenant Church and its clergy staff recently joined the Global Methodist Church.
You can learn more about the Global Methodist Church by exploring its website.