Alvarez withdraws name as episcopal nominee

November 03, 2022
By Alan Wild

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Rev Dr. Iosmar Alvarez, Kentucky’s nominee to the episcopacy, withdrew his name from consideration Thursday morning, just as the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference was preparing for the 13th ballot.

As Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson of North Georgia was opening the ballot, Alvarez asked for permission to address the delegates.

Alvarez, a native of Cuba who has forged a reputation as a bridge-builder during his years in ministry, said repeatedly during meetings with the delegations Tuesday that he believed the United Methodist Church was big enough to accommodate everyone, regardless of political and social stance.

“Today, I have been awakened that the tent so far is not that big, and I hope in future elections we do a better job,” Alvarez said. He said he will return to Kentucky to continue mobilizing disciples for Jesus Christ and will continue working to plant disciple-making churches.

 “I pray we do a better job next time to make sure we include everyone. God bless you,” he said, drawing a standing ovation from the delegation.

“We pray God’s riches on your ministry,” Haupert-Johnson told him.

Alvarez is superintendent of the Lexington District. His wife, Rev. Zulayne Alvarez, is senior pastor of Fuente de Avivamiento in Lexington.

The SEJ delegates elected two bishops Wednesday. Yet to come Thursday is the assigning of bishops to conferences.