“The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble
task.” 1 Timothy 3:1
Right out of high school, I worked on the pipeline crew for Florida Gas out of the Fort Lauderdale office. We had a foreman who oversaw the work at local job sites from Fort Pierce to Turkey Point south of Miami. Sometimes he came out, gave us guidance, and watched to make certain the job was done right. Other times he sent us out to do work, trusting us to do the job right.We were accountable to him. He was accountable to the superintendent up the line of the company.
In the early church Paul and others realized the need for organization and accountability. Elders (pastors) were put in charge of congregations. Bishops (episcopos in Greek meaning overseer) were put in charge of all the pastors in a city and the surrounding area. John Wesley copied the New Testament church structure with bishops overseeing elders overseeing congregations Bishops came to have too many pastors to supervise directly. For example, Bishop Carter in the Florida Conference has more than five hundred pastors to supervise. So, another office was created – the district superintendent oversees pastors in a district on behalf of the bishop.As of July 1, our District Superintendent is Rev. Debbie Allen who oversees about 80 clergy in the South West District. We are privileged that she is our District Superintendent.