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Wofford College trustee Will Willimon elected bishop

Thursday, July 15, 2004

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. Will Willimon, a Wofford College graduate and trustee of the college, was elected bishop by the 2004 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As is tradition, the bell in Wofford College’s Main Building tower rang out at noon today (July 15) to celebrate the election of a graduate as bishop. Willimon is the 11th Wofford graduate to become a bishop.

Willimon, dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., was elected on the fourth ballot of the conference on Wednesday, July 14. He was endorsed by the South Carolina delegation to the conference.

Willimon, a 1968 graduate of Wofford, has served as professor to generations of pastors at Duke Divinity School, guiding the leadership across the connection of the United Methodist Church.

A member of the South Carolina Annual Conference, Willimon has served on a wide array of conference boards and agencies.

Willimon is the author of 40 books on subjects as diverse as prayer, Bible study and church renewal. His church school and confirmation materials are used throughout the church. His “Worship As Pastoral Care” was selected as one of the Ten Most Useful Books For Clergy by the Academy of Parish Clergy in 1980 and in 2003, his book for clergy, “Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership,” was selected as another “most useful books for clergy” by the academy.

He has served as pastor of several congregations in South Carolina and Georgia, where he is known as a gifted teacher, an energetic administrator and popular Bible teacher and theologian.

Willimon and his wife, the former Patsy Parker, have two married children, children, William of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Harriet of Durham, N.C., both of whom are Wofford graduates.