The Rio Texas General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation has released the following announcement regarding their endorsement of a candidate for the episcopacy:
We are excited to announce that the newly formed Rio Texas Conference delegation has wholeheartedly endorsed the Rev. Dr. Ruben Saenz, Jr. for the episcopacy. We completed a three-step process filled with much prayer and discernment of God’s will to ensure we were bringing forward an excellent candidate for consideration by the jurisdiction.
Ruben is well-known across the denomination as a bridge-building church leader, speaker, and preacher. He is currently effectively serving the Rio Texas Conference as the Director of Connectional Ministries / Executive Director of the Rio Texas Mission Vitality Center. During the four years in his previous position as the Southwest Texas Director of Congregational and New Church Development, Ruben successfully implemented the Healthy Church Initiative, resourced districts to start 11 new faith communities, and helped change the conference culture to make reaching out to new people a missional priority. If chosen by the jurisdiction for the episcopacy, Ruben would be eligible to serve for four terms. We joyfully lift up Ruben for consideration by the jurisdiction, and we look forward to sharing more information about him as we draw closer to Jurisdictional Conference.
We also celebrate that MARCHA has affirmed Rev. Eradio Valverde, Jr. as an episcopal candidate. Eradio aptly serves as the District Superintendent of the newly formed Coastal Bend District in the Rio Texas Conference, and previously of the Corpus Christi District of the Southwest Texas Conference.
San Antonio Episcopal Area Bishop James E. Dorff released the following statement after the endorsements were announced today:
I was delighted to hear that the Rio Texas Annual Conference delegation to the Jurisdictional Conference next July has endorsed the Rev. Dr. Ruben Saenz, Jr. as a candidate for Bishop in the United Methodist Church.
Dr. Saenz brings a deep commitment to Christ and the church. He also has a proven track record of fruitful ministry in the local church, the annual conference and the general church. In addition, Dr. Saenz has an inquisitive mind and heart which allows him to work with others in discerning the will of the Spirit for the church and world. He has and will continue to actively look for ways to reach new people in new places for the spreading of the Good News.
It was also great to hear that the Rev. Eradio Valverde, Jr., Superintendent of the Coastal Bend District, has been endorsed for the Episcopacy by MARCHA, the Hispanic Caucus of the UMC. He, too, brings a fruitful ministry over many years to our conference and the church.
The Rio Texas Annual Conference continues to lift up capable and faithful leaders for service to Christ's church. I pray for these two fine leaders and for the Jurisdictional Conference.