Celebrating Black History Month in the WNCC: Mr. Clarence Winchester

February 23, 2022

By: Jim Pyatt, WNCC Archivist & Historian

​Mr. Clarence Winchester

Mr. Clarence Winchester was a leader in the North Carolina Conference (Central Jurisdiction) and in the WNC Conference.  A member of St. Matthew’s UMC in Greensboro, he provided leadership in his church, in the conference, and in the denomination.  He served as the second Chair of the WNC Conference Council on Ministries from 1973-80, following Bishop Earl Hunt, who served as Chair of this Council during its inaugural year.  In this position, he led much of the programmatic ministry of the conference during an important time of transition in the life of the conference.

Mr. Winchester served as Lay Leader of the North Carolina Conference (CJ) from 1958-64, as Lay Leader of the North Carolina-Virginia Conference (CJ) from 1964-68, and as Associate Conference Lay Leader of the Western North Carolina Conference from 1968-76.  He was elected as the Lay Delegate from the North Carolina Conference (CJ) to General Conference in 1956, 1960, 1964, and the Lay Delegate from the North Carolina-Virginia Conference (CJ) in 1968.  He was part of the Western North Carolina Conference’s delegation to the Jurisdictional Conference in 1972 and was part of the WNC Conference’s delegation to General Conference in 1976 and 1980.

Be sure to read the other biographies written by WNCC Archivist & Historian Jim Pyatt:
Bishop L. Scott Allen (May 4, 1918-September 18, 2004), the first (and to date, the only) African-American to serve as Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference.

Mrs. Effie Miller (September 17, 1930-September 1, 2008), a leader in the Western North Carolina Conference and the United Methodist Church, especially with regard to the United Methodist Women.

The Rev. Dr. J. C. Peters (July 10, 1925- July 2, 1998)the first African-American to serve as a District Superintendent in the Western North Carolina Conference.

Dr. Isaac Miller (September 26, 1920-November 1, 2008), a leader in Higher Education and in the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Sophia Joyce East (January 25, 1906-May 4, 1996), the first African-American woman to serve as a pastor in the WNC Conference.

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