Bishop Bruce Ough, bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, today became president of the Council of Bishops of the 12.3 million member global United Methodist Church.
Bishop Ough assumed the presidency of the Council from Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., of the San Francisco Episcopal Area with a ceremonial passing of the gavel ceremony during a meeting of the General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body that is gathered for its quadrennial meeting.
The Council of Bishops provides spiritual leadership for The United Methodist Church, which is in mission in more than 135 countries. The council voted Ough into his new role during its meeting in Germany in May 2015.
Bishop Ough told the gathering of bishops today that the church must tell its story, preach it, model it and live it. “Collectively, we need to articulate how God is working through The United Methodist Church -- a church that is vibrant and is changing lives.”
“My vision is that we become that movement of God that is clear about inviting persons into a relationship with Jesus and also equips them to be vital disciples who are in the world to make a difference,” said Bishop Ough.
Ough is a graduate of North Dakota State University and earned a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was ordained deacon and elder in the former North Dakota Conference and then moved into ministry roles in Iowa, including district superintendent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and adjunct faculty member at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He also served as bishop of the West Ohio Area for 12 years before assuming his current role overseeing more than 600 churches in the Dakotas-Minnesota area in September 2012.
About the Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12.3 million-member church and its mission throughout the world. The bishops are the top clergy leaders of The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. The Council of Bishops is made up of all active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church, and comprises 45 active bishops in the United States; 20 active bishops in Europe, Asia and Africa; plus 87 retired bishops worldwide.