Bishop Paul L. Leeland
Bishop Paul L. Leeland was assigned as the Resident Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church in July 2016 and began his duties on September 1.
He was elected to the episcopacy in 2008 and served as the bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference for eight years.
Bishop Leeland born in Washington, D.C. is a graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan (B.A.), Duke Divinity School (M.Div. and Th.M.), and North Carolina State University (Ed.D.). He was ordained by Bishop Robert Blackburn in 1976.
Prior to his 2008 election to the episcopacy, Leeland served as the superintendent of the Goldsboro District, Director of Ministerial Services and Assistant to the Bishop in the North Carolina Conference. As a member of the North Carolina Conference for 40 years, he served small, medium and large membership churches.
Leeland was elected as a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference beginning in 1988 and consecutive years through 2008. He was elected as a delegate to General Conference in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Red Shoe Award, presented by clergywomen of the North Carolina Annual Conference for “encouragement and support of women in ministry through advocacy, appointment, mentoring and friendship.” Leeland has served general conference boards and agencies in a variety of areas: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, General Board of Church and Society, and Wespath Benefits and Investments.
In 1968, Janet Elaine Dowell and Paul Lee Leeland were married in Washington, DC. They have three married children: Rebekah, Nora and Paul Andrew, and have six grandchildren.