Jonathan D. Keaton

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Jonathan Doyle Keaton (born 30 March 1946) is an American Bishop of the United Methodist Church, elected in 1996.

Birth and Family[edit]

He is married to Beverly L. Keaton. They have three grown children: Jonathan Doyle Keaton, II, Tandreka Jamil Keaton, and Anaya Teshon Keaton; and one grandchild.


Jonathan earned the B.S. degree in Biology at Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR (1968), the M.Div. degree at Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL (1971), and the S.T.D. in Homiletics and the Sociology of Religion at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (G-ETS, 1979). He also served Graduate Teaching Assistantships in Communications, Ethics and Society, and Church and the Black Experience while at G-ETS. He was awarded the U.M. Crusade Scholarship in academics, 1976-78.


Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, Jonathan served in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference (NIC) of the U.M. Church. He was the Pastor of St. Luke U.M.C., Chicago (1970–79) and of Broadway U.M.C., Rockford, IL (1979 - September 1982). He served as Associate Council Director of the NIC (October 1982 to 30 June 1990), where his responsibilities included Church and Society, Ethnic Minority Local Churches (Native American, Asian, Hispanic, and Black), and Spiritual formation. He was appointed Superintendent of the Aurora District of the NIC (1 July 1990 to 31 August 1996). Upon his election, Bishop Keaton was assigned to the Ohio East episcopal area (1 September 1996 to 31 August 2004), and served the Michigan Area until 2012. He presently serves in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.

Denominational Responsibilities[edit]

Bishop Keaton has served as a member of the U.M. General Board of Global Ministries, as the President of the U.M. Development Fund, and as the Chairperson of Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century. Prior to his election as a Bishop, he served on the U.M. General Council on Ministries (1988–96), the Advance Committee for Christ and His Church (1988–92), and the Division on Conferences and Connectional Issues of National Black Methodists for Church Renewal. He was elected to Jurisdictional and General Conferences 1988-96. He has traveled extensively in support of the U.M. Church, including Mexico, Africa, the Philippines, Europe, and Israel. He is much in demand as a Preacher at national leadership events, for Annual Conferences, as Commencement Speaker at colleges and seminaries, and in other settings.

See also[edit]


  • The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church [1]
  • InfoServ, the official information service of The United Methodist Church. [2]

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
Linda Lee
Resident Bishop, Michigan Area episcopal area, United Methodist Church
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Edwin Charles Boulton
Resident Bishop, Ohio East Area, United Methodist Church
Succeeded by
John L. Hopkins