Bishop Leonard Fairley is the episcopal leader of the Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary Conferences.
Before going to Kentucky, Bishop Fairley served the North Carolina Annual Conference since 1984. His last appointment was serving as district superintendent of the Capital District.
Bishop Fairley graduated from Pfeiffer College and Duke University’s School of Divinity. He served at St. Peters in Hamlet and Soapstone in Raleigh before becoming the Rockingham district superintendent. He served in that role for seven years before returning to the local church in 2012 as lead pastor at Saint Francis in Cary.
He has participated on mission work teams in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Honduras, Serbia and with the Appalachia Service Project.
Bishop Fairley has published a book of poetry, “Who Shall Hear My Voice.” He also was a contributing writer to “The Day the Earth Moved Haiti: From Havoc to Healing.”
He was married to his lifelong soul mate, Priscilla Ann Russell, until her death in 2013. In January 2018, God answered a prayer for new love; and in September of that year, Bishop Fairley married Dawn Sparks. Dawn had lost her soulmate, David, to cancer in 2015.
He has two adult children, Joshua Fairley, and Elizabeth Galbreath as well as four grandchildren. Dawn has two adult children, Luke Sparks, and Megan Bracken, as well as three grandchildren.
Learn more about Bishop Fairley at kyumc.org.