Robert T. Hoshibata

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Denomination The United Methodist Church
Current posting
Judicatory Phoenix Area, Desert Southwest Conference
Title Bishop
Period in office 2012–present
Consecration July 17, 2004 [1]
Predecessor Minerva G. Carcaño
Religious career
Ordination as Elder 1979
Previous Episcopal Office Oregon-Idaho Conference (2004–2012)
Previous post District Superintendent, Seattle District
Date of birth (1951-10-11) October 11, 1951 (age 64)
Place of birth Honolulu, HI, United States

Robert Tsugio Hoshibata (born 11 October 1951) is a Bishop of The United Methodist Church (UMC),[2] the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2004. His first assignment was as Bishop of the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the UMC. He currently serves as Bishop of the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference for the UMC.[3]

Birth and family[edit]

Hoshibata was born 11 October 1951[4] in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Wahiawa, Hawaii. He married Greta Goo on 10 August 1974.[5] They have three children: Courtney, Lauren and Blake.[2]


Hoshibata earned a B.A. degree in 1973 from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, graduating with high honors. He was a Crusade Scholar (1974–77) while pursuing his D.Min. degree from Claremont School of Theology, graduating in 1977.[2] He also completed post-graduate study at the Pacific School of Religion (1979) and the Vancouver School of Theology (1984).[5][6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Hoshibata's first position was as the youth minister of the First Congregational Church of Portland, Connecticut (1970–71). He then served as a Ministerial Intern at Kahalu'u U.M.C., Parker U.M.C. and Palolo U.M.C. in Hawaii (1974–75). He was the Youth Minister of the North Gardena U.M.C. in Gardena, California, (1973–74, 1975–77), then appointed as Senior Pastor of the same congregation (1977–84).[5][7] He served 1984-98 as Senior Pastor of Blaine Memorial U.M.C., Seattle, Washington. He was appointed Superintendent of the Seattle District of the U.M.C., a position he held until elected to the Episcopacy.[2][3] Dr. Hoshibata also served as Co-superintendent of the Tacoma District.[1] He served as the Dean of the Cabinet of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference (2002–04).[5]

Episcopal election and service[edit]

Bishop Hoshibata was the first of two Bishops elected in 2004 in the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the U.M. Church, meeting in San Jose, California. He was assigned to the Portland Episcopal Area (the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference), from 2004 through 2012. In 2012, he began his episcopal service to the Phoenix Area (Desert Southwest Conference.)[3]


In early 2011, he endorsed a call by a group of retired bishops for ending the United Methodist Church’s ban on homosexual clergy:

… in the context where I am doing ministry, there are many persons that I know – gay and lesbian and transgender – who are good people, good Christians, who the church is neglecting or turning away from.[8]

In December, 2012, Bishop Hoshibata visited over a dozen offices in the United States Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., in support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and as part of the UMC's Imagine No Malaria campaign.[9]

In May, 2013, Bishop Hoshibata was also was signatory to a letter advocating immigration reform to Arizona's Senators.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Hoshibata elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church". Nashville, TN: United Methodist Church. 2004-07-16. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Robert Tsugio Hoshibata". Nashville, TN: United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  3. ^ a b c "Robert Tsugio Hoshibata". Phoenix, AZ: Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Bishops' Bios: Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata". Nashville, TN: United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Our Bishop Bob". Portland, OR: Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  6. ^ Adamski, Mary (2004-07-17). "Former islander elected Methodist bishop". Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, HI: Oahu Publications Inc. (Subsidiary of Black Press Ltd.)). Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  7. ^ Advertiser Staff (2004-07-17). "Ex-Hawai'i pastor elected bishop". The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, HI: Black Press). Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  8. ^ Hahn, Heather (2011-02-20). "Bishops react to homosexuality statement". Jackson, MS: Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  9. ^ "Bishop Hoshibata shapes vision for malaria fight". Nashville, TN: UMC - Imagine No Malaria. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  10. ^ "[letter advocating immigration reform to Arizona's Senators]" (PDF). Washington, DC: Refugee Council USA. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 

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