W. Maynard Sparks was granted a Quarterly Conference License to Preach at the age of thirteen! This was followed by a permanent license. Later, he entered the ministry of the Allegheny Annual Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (i.e., New Constitution). He served as the Pastor of churches in Pennsylvania, as a Conference Superintendent, and as Assistant Professor of Religion and Chaplain at Lebanon Valley College. He was elected a delegate to the 1946 Uniting Conference, which joined the Evangelical Church and the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (i.e., New Constitution).
Sparks was elected to the Episcopacy of the E.U.B. Church in 1958. As a Bishop he supervised his denomination’s Western Area. Among the highlights of his ministry, Bishop Sparks represented the E.U.B. Church in 1961 at independence ceremonies for the African nation of Sierra Leone, where he later also presided over several annual conference sessions. The E.U.B. Church had engaged in missionary activities in that Nation for many years.
Following the 1968 merger of the E.U.B. and Methodist Churches, Bishop Sparks was assigned to the Seattle Episcopal Area, serving there until his retirement in 1972. While in Seattle, he also served for approximately eighteen months as interim Bishop of the Portland, Oregon Area following the death of Bishop Everett W. Palmer in January 1971.
Bishop Sparks died 17 August 1999 at his home in Sacramento, California, at the age of 92. At the time of his death he was one of only two surviving Bishops of the former E.U.B. Church, the other being Bishop Paul W. Milhouse of Franklin, Indiana. At the time of the 1968 E.U.B.-Methodist merger, there were one retired and seven active E.U.B. Bishops. A memorial service for Bishop Sparks was held 25 August 1999 at 10:00 a.m. at the Faith United Methodist Church, 3600 J. Street, Sacramento, CA 95816.