The Rev. Leonard Fairley, superintendent of the North Carolina Conference Capital District, has been selected by the conference delegation to the General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences as their nominee to be elected a bishop in The United Methodist Church.
“Selected by the delegation, following the process approved by the Annual Conference, the delegation is delighted to offer Leonard as our episcopal nominee. He is a man of great gifts and profound spiritual depth,” said Gray Southern, chair of the delegation, in announcing the nomination.
Fairley is in his first year as the Capital District superintendent where he has supervisory, mentoring, and coaching responsibilities for 89 charges. He served as the district superintendent for the Rockingham District from 2005-2012.
Fairley has served on numerous boards and agencies of the conference including Conference Vitalization Consultant, Chair of Congregational Development, Task Force on Lay Academy, Vice Chair of Conference Finance & Administration, Vice-Chair of Conference Board of Church and Society, the NC Conference Transition Team, the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and the NC Conference Episcopacy Committee. He has enjoyed participating on mission work teams to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Zimbabwe, Haiti and the Appalachian Service Project.
There are 15 conferences in the jurisdiction within 10 southern states. The elections will take place July 13-16, 2016 at Lake Junaluska.
Fairley received a B.A. in religion and philosophy from Pfeiffer College and an MDiv. from Duke Divinity School. In addition to being a district superintendent, Fairley has served the Sanford Circuit, St. Peter UMC (Hamlet), Soapstone UMC (Raleigh) and St. Francis UMC (Cary).
Leonard was married to his lifelong soul mate, Priscilla Ann Russell, before she joined the church triumphant in August, 2013. He is the proud father of two adult children, two grandchildren, and is joyously awaiting the arrival of another grandchild.