Bishop John Franklin White
Presiding Bishop, Sixteenth and Eighteenth Episcopal Districts
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Bishop John F. White serves as the 130th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was assigned by the 49th Session of the General Conference, July 4, 2012, to the Eighteenth Episcopal District, comprising the countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.
After the passing of Bishop Sarah F. Davis, the Council of Bishops assigned Bishop White to the Sixteenth Episcopal District, comprising the countries of Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, France and England.
Bishop White also serves as the denomination’s Chairperson of the Commission on Christian Education. He is a member of the World Council of Churches’ Executive Committee and WCC Central Committee.
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 (ITC), 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 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.