Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe

Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe remembers as an eighth-grader driving for hours from Georgetown to his family’s new home in Levelland, where his father was appointed to serve as pastor of St Luke Methodist Church. Bledsoe graduated from Levelland High School and attended South Plains College. In 1970, he moved to Canyon where he received a degree in English, with a minor in Spanish, from West Texas State University (now West Texas A &M University).

Bledsoe worked as program director for the North Central YMCA in Amarillo; later, he became the executive director. He attended Wyatt Memorial United Methodist Church. During an event for the UMCA at Ceta Canyon Methodist Retreat and Camp Center, Bledsoe received his call to ministry. “It was a powerful moment of change,” he said. As a result, he believes in the power of Christian camping and those settings that renew and inspire the soul.

Bledsoe continued working with the YMCA while serving as a part-time local pastor at Wyatt. Eventually, he moved and went into full-time ministry. In 2008, Bledsoe was nominated and elected to the episcopacy, and was appointed to the North Texas Conference. He began his appointment to the Northwest Texas/New Mexico Conferences on Jan 1, 2013. Bledsoe and his wife, Leslie, will reside in Albuquerque, NM.

“I have fond memories of West Texas,” Bledsoe said. “I grew up during a time of great change (racial desegregation and integration). I remember the people working together and helping one another through the struggle. The experience helped to shape the person I am today.”

“New Mexico is different from Northwest Texas–different people, focus and priorities. We are who God called us to be,” Bledsoe said. He wants each conference to be what God meant it to be, not what the bishop thinks it should be. He knows everyone will have to work together to pursue God’s plan and mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

“I am a collegial person, yet I am focused and intentional about results. I’m looking forward to the challenge (of working with two conferences),” Bledsoe states. “I approach this appointment with a sense of gratitude and appreciation. I look forward to the opportunity to discover where the Spirit of God is leading in the future.”