Rev. Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett, Lead Pastor of St. Luke UMC, Lexington, Ky., has received the unanimous support of the Kentucky Conference Delegation as an Episcopal Nominee for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The meeting and endorsement of the delegation follow the endorsement she also received at the Kentucky Annual Conference Session in June. In a follow-up email to the delegation Wallace-Padgett wrote, “It is both affirming and humbling to receive this endorsement.”
Wallace-Padgett will join nominees from other conferences under consideration for the episcopacy at this summer’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C. At least five new bishops will be elected in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
Wallace-Padgett is a graduate of Berea College (B.A. in Physical Education), Scarritt College and Graduate School (M.A. in Christian Education), Lexington Theological Seminary (M. Div.) and Asbury Theological Seminary (D. Min).
Wallace-Padgett has been in her current appointment as Lead Pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington for eight years. During her tenure, St. Luke has grown in membership, strengthened its infrastructure, built a Ministry Life Center and launched a multi-cultural worship service.
Her previous service to the church includes six years as District Superintendent of the Prestonsburg District, with two years as Dean of the Cabinet. Additionally she has served in a variety of roles in the Kentucky Conference as well as in Jurisdictional and General Conference levels. These include Board of Ministries, District Committee On Ministries/Local Pastors Team chair, Methodist Home Board chair, Kentucky Conference Education chair, Kentucky Episcopacy Committee chair, SEJ Episcopacy Committee member, GCSRW Board member and Human Resources chair (2004-20012), General Conference and SEJ delegate (2000, 2004, 2008). Wallace-Padgett was the first clergy elected in 2008 and in 2012.
She is married to Rev. Lee Padgett, a deacon in the United Methodist Church who serves as Executive Director of Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center. They have two teenage children, Leanndra and Andrew. Wallace-Padgett is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Frank Wallace. Reverend Wallace is a United Methodist elder.