Marjorie Matthews

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Marjorie Swank Matthews)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Marjorie Matthews
ChurchUnited Methodist Church
Personal details
BornJuly 11, 1916
Onaway, Michigan
DiedJune 30, 1986(1986-06-30) (aged 69)

Marjorie Swank Matthews (July 11, 1916 – June 30, 1986) was an American bishop of the United Methodist Church and the first woman to serve as a Methodist bishop.

She was born 11 July 1916 in Onaway, Michigan, to Jesse Alonzo and Charlotte Mae (Chapman) Swank.[1] She married young and divorced after World War II. She had one son, William Jesse Matthews.


Matthews earned a B.A. degree from Central Michigan (1967) and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School she earned an M.A. in Religion and a Doctorate in Humanities from Florida State University(1976).

Ordained Ministry[edit]

Matthews was ordained an elder in 1965 at the age of 49. She served small churches in Michigan, New York, and Florida. She was the second female district superintendent in the United Methodist Church.

Episcopal Ministry[edit]

Although she says she never intended to be a bishop, her election was endorsed by three annual conferences. After twenty-nine ballots, two bishops were elected by acclamation on the thirtieth ballot at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference on July 17, 1980. She was the first woman to become a bishop of the United Methodist Church. Matthews served the Wisconsin Area for four years, retiring in 1984. She died from cancer on 30 June 1986.


  1. ^ "Background info". Archived from the original on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2009-04-10.

External links[edit]

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

See also[edit]