Bishop L. Jonathan Holston became resident bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference on Sept. 1, 2012. The most favored episcopacy candidate in the elections at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, he was overwhelmingly elected on the first ballot. He was reassigned for a second quadrennium in 2016.
Bishop Holston is married to the former Felecia Brown. He and Felecia have two grown children: son Karlton and daughter Brittany.
Bishop Holston earned his master of divinity in biblical studies from the Interdenominational Theological Center at Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga., in 1983. He also holds a bachelor of arts in religion from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
Coming to South Carolina from the North Georgia Conference, Bishop Holston served as senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Atlanta for seven years before his episcopal election. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District from 1997 to 2005.
Bishop Holston possesses extraordinary knowledge gained by his presence throughout the years on numerous boards and committees of The United Methodist Church at the conference and general church level. He has served as chairperson of the General Conference Finance and Administrative Legislative Committee and as a member of, among other noted roles:
- General Council on Finance and Administration
- United Methodist Board of Global Ministries
- Southeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy
- Hinton Rural Life Center
- Appalachian Development Committee
- Southeastern Jurisdictional Association for Native American Ministries
Bishop Holston’s love for missions has taken him around the world and gained him recognition as a mission specialist in the North Georgia Conference Council of Ministries. In his work as conference disaster relief coordinator, Bishop Holston served as a:
- Member of the United Methodist Committee on Relief
- Member of the Catastrophic Disaster Response Team
- Disaster consultant for Church World Service in Georgia
He has traveled extensively as a specialist in missions to Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, China and Hong Kong.
Bishop Holston was a delegate to General Conference in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. He served as a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. In 2001 and 2005, he was a delegate to the World Methodist Conference.
Previous appointments include:
- Associate director of the North Georgia Conference Council on Ministries (1992-97)
- Senior pastor of Clifton UMC (1986-92)
- Senior pastor of Marietta Street UMC (1983-86)
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