Bishop Jane Allen Middleton

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton has been assigned by the Council of Bishops to serve as Interim Resident Bishop of the New York Annual Conference from January 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. She was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 and assigned to the Harrisburg area where her focus as a bishop was on empowering churches for their ministry to make disciples of Jesus Christ; equipping clergy and laity for transformational leadership; and energizing the conference for mission near and far to bring hope and healing to the hungry, homeless, and marginalized.

Bishop Middleton first served the Central Pennsylvania Conference and in 2010 led the Conference through the creation of the Susquehanna Conference which included that conference and the Pennsylvania churches of the former Wyoming Conference. She retired in 2012.

She was born in St. Louis and spent the years through young adulthood in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Bishop Middleton graduated from Oklahoma State University where she was secretary of the freshman class, president of the junior class, president of the Student YWCA, managing editor of the daily college newspaper and was inducted into Mortar Board, the senior women’s honorary society. She taught English, Speech and Journalism at Sumner High School in St. Louis.

Prior to entering seminary she was treasurer of the Amity Regional School Board, a member of the board of the Yale Information and Counseling Center for Women, a member of the League of Women Voters, and was active in the Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven.

A 1978 graduate of Yale Divinity School, Bishop Middleton was ordained deacon in 1977 and elder in 1980 by Bishop Ralph Ward in the New York Annual Conference and served churches in Simsbury, Naugatuck, and New Canaan. Leadership positions in the Conference included chairing the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Council on Ministries. She was elected as head of the clergy delegation to General Conference four times from 1992 to 2004. As Conference Associate Program Director from 1987 to 1991 she was responsible for Spiritual Life programming for clergy, laity and local churches. She was District Superintendent from 1999 until her election by the Northeastern Jurisdiction in 2004.

While District Superintendent of the Connecticut New York District she led the district in establishing the Bolivian Mission which has resulted in over 150 individuals participating in VIM journeys, contributions for construction of almost 200 houses which protect Quechua people from Chagas disease, support of micro finance in two churches, construction of three church buildings, and the sale of well over $100,000 worth of goods sewn by the women of the churches.

Bishop Middleton was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches and of the Lower Fairfield County Council of Churches and Synagogues from which she received recognition as Clergyperson of the Year. She was also a Member of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist General Commission on Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Encounter with Christ, the Permanent Fund for ministries in Latin America and the Caribbean which has funded over 600,000 of projects for health, education, women and children, and relief from poverty. The Sierra Leone Conference of the United Methodist Church has named a secondary school in Freetown, the Bishop Jane Middleton School.

She represents the Council of Bishops on the Pan Methodist Commission which includes, in addition to the UMC, the AME, AME Zion, UAME, AUMP and CME denominations.

Bishop Middleton has been an adjunct faculty member at Yale Divinity School and New York Theological Seminary, trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and leads retreats and conferences on spiritual life. She has published articles on spiritual formation and on leadership.

She and her husband Jack have been married for 53 years and have traveled widely in support of missions, peace, and mutual understanding. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. 

 

Bishop Middleton can now be reached at the New York Area Episcopal Office at 914-615-2221 or bishop@nyac.com.