Bishop Leeland Announces Retirement

May 11, 2021

Bishop Paul L. Leeland has announced his intent to retire, effective September 1, 2021.  We express gratitude for Bishop Leeland and his faithfulness in guiding Western North Carolina for the past five years – the four years of the quadrennium plus one additional year due to the postponement of General and Jurisdictional Conferences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conference has benefitted from Bishop Leeland’s emphases on collaboration, clergy leadership development, anti-racism efforts, and the planting of new churches. A celebration of Bishop Leeland’s ministry will be held during the virtual Annual Conference on June 12, 2021.

Bishop Leeland was elected to the episcopacy in 2008 and served as the Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference for eight years. His home conference is the North Carolina Conference where he served for 40 years prior to being elected as Bishop. Bishop Leeland shares that his ministry can be summarized with the word gratitude: “gratitude for the leadership and laity of the church whose generosity and encouragement provided opportunities to acknowledge my call and desire to serve Christ through the church.”

In retirement, Bishop Leeland and his wife Janet look forward to more time with their children, grandchildren, and friends.  They have three married children: Rebekah, Nora, and Paul Andrew, and have six grandchildren.

The Annual Conference 2021 Offering is being collected in honor of Bishop Leeland and his wife, Janet, with gratitude for all they have done during their time of ministry with the Western North Carolina Conference. Visit the Annual Conference 2021 Offering Page to make a gift in their honor.

The Council of Bishops has announced that Bishop Ken Carter will serve as the resident bishop of Western North Carolina Conference (Charlotte Area), in addition to his role as resident bishop of Florida Conference (Florida Area) beginning on September 1, 2021 upon Bishop Leeland's retirement. We look forward to welcoming Bishop Carter home to Western NC and fruitful ministry together. Read a message from Bishop Carter here.