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First Hand Experience: Fran Deaner

February 16, 2012

I was honored to be elected to the Jurisdictional Conferences of 2004 and 2008. It’s always very interesting to be part of the process of the election of Bishops for our church! It was even more interesting to have clergy from Wisconsin who were endorsed by our delegation as a part of the process. The election of Bishop Hee-Soo Jung in 2004 was a very exciting experience. Having someone elected from our delegation was truly memorable.

Marjorie Matthews served WI as the first female Bishop in the UMC

I also served as a volunteer page at the 1980 Jurisdictional Conference in Dayton, Ohio. I had just transferred to the Wisconsin Annual Conference a year before but was embraced by the delegation and included in many “strategy” sessions. It was then that I learned that the Wisconsin Conference is a very open and inclusive conference. At that time at least one fourth of the clergy had transferred in from other conferences. The highlight of the 1980 Jurisdictional Conference was the election of Bishop Marjorie Matthews, the first woman Bishop in the United Methodist Church! It was even more exciting to have Bishop Matthews assigned to Wisconsin that year, receiving the first woman Bishop to serve among us.

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