Bishop Marcus Matthews

Rev. Dr. Marcus Matthews
Resident Bishop, Upper New York Area

Biographical Information

At the 2008 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, Bishop Marcus Matthews was assigned to serve as the episcopal leader of the New York West Area effective Sept. 1, 2008. On July 1, 2010,  Bishop Matthews became the Resident Bishop of the newly formed Upper New York Episcopal Area.  He is also currently serving as President of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Rev. Dr. Marcus Matthews was elected bishop on July 14, 2004, during the first ballot taken at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference held in Syracuse, New York. He was assigned to serve the Philadelphia Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church (Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences) effective September 1, 2004.
Bishop Matthews is originally from Florence, South Carolina, where his home church, Cumberland UMC, was a pivotal influence in his life. He graduated from South Carolina State College in 1968. In 1969, he was employed by Cumberland UMC as a community developer in the first wave of the Black Community Developers program of the General Board of Global Ministries.
In 1970, Marcus was selected by the Ford Foundation’s Leadership Development Program to conduct a year-long study of religious institutions such as the Delta Project in Mississippi, The UMC General Commission on Religion and Race, and a project with juveniles in Syracuse, NY.
He enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary in 1971 and served as a student intern at Douglas Memorial UMC for a year. He became an assistant pastor at Asbury UMC in Washington, where he continued as associate for two years after his graduation from Wesley.
From 1976 to 1982, he served as pastor of Jones Memorial UMC in Washington, DC, where he oversaw the building of a new sanctuary and established a community development program. In 1981, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary. He was pastor of Epworth Chapel UMC in Baltimore, from 1982 to 1986, when, during his pastorate, Epworth received 272 new members.
In 1986, he became District Superintendent of the Baltimore East District and in 1991 was named Conference Council Director, a position he held until being named Washington West District Superintendent in 1999.   
During his ministry, Bishop Matthews served on the General Commission on Religion and Race, General Board of Global Ministries, Connection Process Team, General Council on Ministries, Africa University Development Committee, World Methodist Council Executive Committee, and the Northeast Jurisdiction Multi-Ethnic Center Board. In 2004 he was elected Co-Chair of the Endorsing Committee of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The UMC. He is a member of Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

In 2005, Bishop Matthews was elected to the Board of Directors of Africa University and he is currently serving as Vice Chair of  the Africa University Board of Trustees. Bishop Matthews served as President of the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops from February 2006 to 2007. In his role as  President of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Bishop Matthews chairs GBHEM’s Executive Committee and serves on the Personnel and Policies Committee.

Bishop Matthews is married to Barbara Walker Matthews and they have two children, Jaime S. Matthews and Marci Michael, and five grandchildren. His other interests include movies, reading, jogging, and playing with his grandchildren.