The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church met on Saturday, 16 November 2013, to consider filling the vacancy of the presiding bishop of the Sixteenth Episcopal District created by the recent death of Bishop Sarah Frances Taylor Davis, 126th Bishop.
After hearing the requests from the representatives of the Sixteenth Episcopal District, the Council prayerfully deliberated and selected the successor leadership by ballot.
The newly assigned bishop of the Sixteenth Episcopal District is Bishop John Franklin White, 130th Bishop. Bishop White will also continue to preside over the Eighteenth Episcopal District.
We invite the prayers of our Zion for Bishop & Mrs. White and the 16th & 18th Districts. May God bless the Davis Family, and those of us who still mourn, with an anointing of comfort and encouragement.
The acting President of The Council of Bishops is Jeffrey N. Leath (128th Bishop), and Bishop Julius H. McAllister, Sr. (129th Bishop) now assumes the responsibilities of Secretary of the Council of Bishops.
Bishop John Franklin White
The Sixteenth Episcopal District and The Eighteenth Episcopal District
Bishop John F. White serves as the 130th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was assigned to the Eighteenth Episcopal District comprising the countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland by the 49th Session of the General Conference, July 4, 2012. On November 16, 2013, he was assigned by the Council of Bishops to preside also over the Sixteen Episcopal District (Barbados, The Dominican Republic, France, Great Brittain, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, The Netherlands, Suriname, Trinidad, Tobago, and The Virgin Islands). He also serves as the denomination’s Chairperson of the Commission on Christian Education.
Bishop White is a native of Boynton Beach, Florida, and a graduate of Carver High School, Delray Beach, Florida. He is the recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree from Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida; Master of Education from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida; Master of Divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia; and the Doctorate of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Bishop White has also served as an educator in Florida’s Duval and Palm Beach County School districts, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Edward Waters College, and as a member of the ITC Continuing Education faculty. He has pastored churches in Florida and Georgia.
Throughout his ministry, Bishop White has dedicated himself to kingdom building. In 1977, he led the St. John A.M.E. Church of Eatonton, Georgia, in the building a new church edifice. While at Greater Grant Memorial A.M.E. Church, Jacksonville, Florida, he led the congregation in the burning of the church’s mortgage and the building of a new parsonage. During his 13½ – year tenure at Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church in Miami, (January 1988 – October 2001), he established the B.A.M.E. Development Corporation of South Florida Inc.; a Legal Assistance Program in collaboration with St. Thomas University Law School; the Agape Academic Enrichment Center, an after-school tutorial program for children in the Overtown community of the inner city Miami; the Wilbur F. Ellison Scholarship Fund; the Mattie B. Koonce Computer Lab; the Bethel Investment Club; and a new model for church growth, one church in two locations, planting a Bethel A.M.E.C. (Miami) satellite worship center at Silver Lakes Elementary School, Miramar, Florida. He also led the Overtown community in building the Jefferson Reaves Health Center and 211 units of tax credit residences, Miami River Apartments.
Bishop White began providing spiritual leadership in October 2001 to Mount Hermon A.M.E. Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During his tenure, Mount Hermon experienced an unusual amount of spiritual growth. Bishop White created the Mount Hermon Development Corporation of South Florida, Sons of Allen Men’s Ministry, the Mount Hermon Summer Camp, Back-to-School Explosion, a separate youth church, and he hired several full-time employees, an Associate Pastor, Youth and Young Adult Minister, custodian, and Minister of Music. He led Mount Hermon in the building of a 17,000-sq.-ft. Family Life /Assembly Hall with a multi-purpose room, classrooms and an administrative suite. The cost of this project was $4 million.
Bishop White is married to Penny Hartsfield White, a native of Tallahassee, Florida. They are the proud parents of five lovely children: Tenner, John II, Alfred, Byron and Candace. They have two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and nine grandchildren, Erica, Dwayne, Alisha, Kya, John III, Byron Ealie, Ashton, Doriana and Joseph.