United Methodist Church

Bishop Michael McKee ’78 named 2017 Distinguished Alumnus by Perkins School of Theology

Bishop Michael McKeeMichael McKee, SMU trustee and resident bishop of the Dallas Area of The United Methodist Church, has been named the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. He will be honored during the annual awards banquet on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall.

Bishop McKee was selected for the award by the Perkins Alumni/ae Council for his demonstrated effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support and involvement in the goals of Perkins School of Theology and SMU, distinguished service in the wider community and exemplary character.

A native of Fort Worth, Bishop McKee’s service to The United Methodist Church, to Southern Methodist University, and to Perkins School of Theology has spanned almost five decades and has influenced the denomination at the local, regional, national, and global levels.

“Bishop McKee is an outstanding choice for the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Perkins Dean Craig C. Hill. “Throughout his ministry, he has been a faithful servant of both The United Methodist Church and Perkins School of Theology, and I — like so many others — have come to rely on his judgment and to count on his assistance.”

“There is no better partner in the work of our school,” Dean Hill said.

In his nomination letter, Dr. John Robbins — senior pastor of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston — cited Bishop McKee’s extraordinary and courageous leadership through the years.

“He served the local church with distinction with every congregation he led experiencing significant growth,” he said. “His strong leadership created an exceptional level of respect from his clergy colleagues, as well as countless lay people. He has never shied away from challenges or conflicts that might impede his ability to share the Gospel message through the spoken word and hands-on efforts,” Dr. Robbins said. “Because of that and many other accomplishments, he is more than deserving of this prestigious honor.”

A member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2012, he has been a member of the Perkins Executive Board since 2004 and currently serves as its chair. He was a member of the Perkins Dean Search Committee in 2016 and was co-chair of the successful Second Century Campaign, which increased financial aid and faculty chair endowments at Perkins School of Theology.

Bishop McKee is president of the Board of the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), a member of the Council of Bishops Executive Committee and is immediate past-president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. In addition to SMU, he serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Texas Methodist Foundation, Southwestern University, and Methodist Health System, Dallas

Elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church in 2012, he previously served for 15 years as senior minister of First UMC in Hurst, Texas. He was appointed as senior minister of Overton Park UMC, Meadowbrook UMC in Fort Worth, and First UMC in Joshua. Bishop McKee also served as associate pastor of First UMC in Fort Worth and Richland Hills UMC.

A clergy member of the Central Texas Annual Conference prior to his election to the episcopacy, he was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1979. He served as chair of the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry, was elected delegate to the General Conference in 2008 and 2012, and was an alternate delegate in 2004. In addition, he was a delegate to South Central Jurisdictional Conferences each quadrennium from 2004-2012.

Bishop McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1973), a Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University (1978), and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Texas Wesleyan University (2005). He is married to Joan (Craig) McKee and they have two adult children: Erin McKee Chidsey, son-in-law Darin, and grandsons Knox and Ford, Los Angeles, California; and Meredith McKee, who lives in Dallas.

> Buy tickets for the SMU Perkins awards banquet online

Texas churches help SMU mark its centennial with ringing of bells

United Methodist churches across Texas honored the SMU centennial by ringing their bells at noon on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 — the 100th anniversary of the first day of classes on the Hilltop.

The bells rang 10 times, once for each decade of SMU’s existence, followed by celebratory peals. In addition, members of SMU’s Carillon Guild performed 100 mathematical sequences from the University carillon in the cupola atop Fondren Science Building.

The commemoration ceremony began at 10 a.m. with a change ringing ceremony, a celebratory bell tradition that dates to the Middle Ages. In “change ringing,” the bells produce a series of mathematical patterns called “changes” rather than a conventional melody.

The following 30 United Methodist churches participated in the bell ringing:

  • Chinn’s Chapel UMC, Lewisville
  • Custer Road UMC, Plano
  • First UMC Celina
  • First UMC Coppell
  • First UMC Dallas
  • First UMC Frisco
  • First UMC Gainesville
  • First UMC Grand Prairie
  • First UMC Irving
  • First UMC Lancaster
  • First UMC Richardson
  • First UMC Sherman
  • First UMC Sulphur Springs
  • First UMC Terrell
  • First UMC Tom Bean
  • First UMC Wichita Falls
  • Forestburg UMC
  • Grace UMC, Sherman
  • Highland Park UMC
  • Lovers Lane UMC
  • New Covenant UMC, Mesquite
  • Paradise UMC
  • Pleasant Valley UMC, Sachse
  • Plymouth Park UMC, Irving
  • Poetry UMC, Terrell
  • Ridgewood Park UMC, Irving
  • Saint Jo UMC
  • Whitewright/Marvin UMC
By | 2015-10-02T10:57:02+00:00 October 2, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Dean Lawrence elected president of UMC’s 2012-16 Judicial Council

The United Methodist Church 2012-2016 Judicial Council - F. Belton  Joyner Jr., Jeanne Kabamba Kiboko, N. Oswald Tweh Sr., Katherine Austin Mahle, Ruben T. Reyes, Dennis Blackwell, Beth Capen, William B. Lawrence, and Angela Brown.

The United Methodist Church 2012-2016 Judicial Council, front row, left to right: F. Belton Joyner Jr., clergy (U.S.); Jeanne Kabamba Kiboko, clergy (U.S.); N. Oswald Tweh Sr., layperson (Liberia); and Katherine Austin Mahle, clergy (U.S.). Back row, left to right: Ruben T. Reyes, layperson (Philippines); Dennis Blackwell, clergy (U.S.); Beth Capen, layperson (U.S.); William B. Lawrence, clergy (U.S.); and Angela Brown, layperson (U.S.).

William B. Lawrence, dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, has been elected by the United Methodist Church’s 2012-16 Judicial Council to serve as its president. The election was held May 3, during the UMC’s 2012 General Conference.

Lawrence, who has been Perkins dean and professor of American church history since 2002, was first elected by the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church to serve as one ofnine members of the Judicial Council. Sometimes referred to as the denomination’s “Supreme Court,” the Council is the highest judicial body within The United Methodist Church.

Its responsibilities include determining whether acts or proposed acts of the General Conference, as well as Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences, conform to the Constitution and current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.

In addition to his service with the Judicial Council, Lawrence also has been elected by members of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS) for a one-year term as AUMTS President. The election was held April 24, at the spring 2012 meeting of the AUMTS. Created in 1933, AUMTS includes the deans and presidents of all 13 theological schools in the United States directly related to and supported by The United Methodist Church through the leadership of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

> Read more from SMU News

UMC jurisdiction approves Bush Library land lease

The South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church upheld permission granted SMU to lease land to the George W. Bush Foundation for the Bush Library, Museum and Institute at its quadrennial meeting July 17. In March 2007, SMU received permission for the lease from the Jurisdiction’s Mission Council, which conducts business in between quadrennial meetings. A petition presented to the conference by some delegates sought to overturn that permission, but was defeated.

Read the full statement.

By | 2008-08-08T12:28:19+00:00 August 8, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Dean Lawrence elected to UMC national council

SMU Theology Dean William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence, dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, was elected to the nine-member Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church during the quadrennial meeting of the General Conference in Fort Worth.

The Judicial Council is the highest judicial body or “court” of The United Methodist Church and determines the constitutionality of acts or proposed acts of the General, Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences. It also rules on whether acts of other official bodies of the denomination conform to The Book of Discipline, which outlines the Church’s doctrine and polity.

The General Conference, where the vote took place, is the top policy-making body of the denomination with nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world. The General Conference is meeting through May 2.

By | 2008-05-01T11:32:59+00:00 May 1, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , , |