Bishop Lewis at her consecration.

Bishop Lewis at her consecration.

The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) meeting this week in Lake Junaluska, NC, elected five bishops before dinner on Wednesday.  This is a very fast election, with only 10 ballots taken.  Sharma D. Lewis was elected on the first ballot, making history as the first African American woman to be elected a bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.  Also elected were David Graves, Leonard Fairley, Lawson Bryan, and Sue Haupert-Johnson.

Assignments to episcopal areas were made on Thursday evening, and Bishop Sharma D. Lewis was assigned to the Virginia Conference beginning September 1, 2016.  The Virginia delegation, including Pastor Beth, greeted Bishop Lewis at a reception late that night.  She immediately brought energy and passion into the room!

You may click here to read more about Bishop Lewis on the Virginia Conference Facebook page, and view an impromptu welcome video from Thursday night.