Celebrating Women's History Month in the WNCC: Bishop Charlene Kammerer
March 8, 2022
By: Jim Pyatt, WNCC Archivist & Historian
Bishop Charlene Payne Kammerer
Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer is the first (and to date, the only) woman to serve as Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference, serving as our Bishop from 1996-2004. She is the first woman elected to the Episcopacy in the Southeastern Jurisdiction (in 1996). Bishop Kammerer is a graduate of Wesleyan College (A.B.), Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (M. Div.), and United Theological Seminary (D. Min.). She was ordained as a Deacon in 1975 and as an Elder in 1977 and was the first woman to attain Full Connection status in the Florida Conference. Prior to her election to the episcopacy, Bishop Kammerer served as a pastor in Jacksonville, Clearwater, Fort Myers, and Tallahassee in the Florida Conference. She also served as District Superintendent of the Tallahassee District (making her the first woman to serve as a District Superintendent in the Florida Conference) and as Associate Minister to the University and as Acting Minister to the University at Duke University. Following her service in the Western North Carolina Conference, Bishop Kammerer served as Bishop of the Virginia Conference from 2004-12.
Bishop Kammerer served the larger UMC at various times as a member of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, as a member of the General Board of Global Ministries (and as Chairperson of UMCOR), as a member of the General Commission on Religion and Race, as a member of the General Conference Committee on Our Theological Task, and as a member of numerous boards and agencies.
Be sure to read the other biographies written by WNCC Archivist & Historian Jim Pyatt:
Mrs. Margaret Dixon, the first woman to be appointed a pastor to a Methodist congregation within the bounds of the present Western North Carolina Conference.
Mrs. Jettie Morrison, a significant figure in the integration and merger of The United Methodist Church 1968.
Rev. Dr. Dolores Queen, the first female to serve as a District Superintendent in the Western NC Conference.
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.
Mr. Clarence Winchester, a leader in the North Carolina Conference (Central Jurisdiction) and in the WNC Conference.
Dr. Isaac Miller (September 26, 1920-November 1, 2008), a leader in Higher Education and in the United Methodist Church.