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May 12, 2000          GC-079

Bishops’ salaries to begin at consecration

CLEVELAND (UMNS) – The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church ruled that the General Conference could vote to start bishops’ salaries at the time of consecration in July rather than Sept. 1, when their assignments to areas begin.

By a close vote, 448 to 428, delegates to the church’s highest assembly approved the change May 11. A delegate then questioned the constitutionality of the action and asked for a referral to the denomination’s supreme court. The request received the necessary votes for referral.

The council’s May 12 decision affirmed the constitutionality of the vote on salaries. 

In a short memorandum, the council pointed out that the General Conference is mandated to make plans for the support of the bishops. The council also noted that such a proposal was congruent with one of its previous decisions. Without a subsequent change in the church’s rules and procedures, the decision has not been negated, the council said.

The church's bishops have a 2000 salary of $91,321.

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-- Joretta Purdue

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