published Friday, July 20th, 2012

Taylor is first female bishop of United Methodist Church's Holston Conference

The Rev. Mary Virginia “Dindy” Taylor, who once served as co-pastor of Chattanooga’s Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, has been assigned as bishop of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, an area that includes Southeast Tennessee.

She becomes the first female bishop of the regional conference and the first pastor with Chattanooga ties to serve as bishop in the conference since the denomination was created in 1968.

Taylor, 62, was assigned Thursday night at the denomination’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Lake Junaluska, N.C.

She was superintendent of the church’s Cleveland (Tenn.) District when she was elected a bishop in 2004 and assigned to the South Carolina Conference.

Bishop James Swanson, who served the Holston Conference as resident bishop for eight years after his 2004 election, was assigned to the Mississippi Conference.

Ordained a deacon in 1974 and an elder in 1976, the Washington, D.C., native who was raised in the Atlanta area served as co-pastor at Wesley Memorial with her husband, the Rev. James Russell “Rusty” Taylor, from 1989 to 1996.

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