Bishop LaTrelle Easterling is the episcopal leader of the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences. She was assigned to serve the BWC in September 2016, becoming the first woman to lead this historic conference. She became bishop of Pen-Del in September 2021, when the two conferences were affiliated.
Prior to being elected, she served as superintendent of The Boston Metro District, the most diverse and inclusive district within the New England Annual Conference. She was also selected to serve as Dean of the Cabinet. Easterling was elected a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2012 and 2016.
Easterling was ordained an Elder in 1997, serving as lead pastor of three churches in Massachusetts beginning with Pearl Street UMC in Brockton, Old West Church, UM, in Boston, and Union UMC in Boston’s historic South End, becoming the first woman to lead that church in its 190-year history.
Easterling is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. The child of Mary and Walter Miller, she grew up attending University UMC. As an active United Methodist, Easterling sang in numerous choirs, and served as a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher. Upon moving to Denver, Colorado, she joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she heard the call to ordained ministry. In living out her call, Bishop Easterling is committed to homiletical excellence, servant leadership and transformative justice.
A strong proponent of education, Easterling received a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Political Science from Indiana University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law. She graduated summa cum laude in 2004 with a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. In 2020, she was named a Distinguished Alumna of that school for her work in justice and advocacy, as well as her leadership within The United Methodist Church.
Prior to entering full-time ministry, Bishop Easterling served as an associate attorney in a leading law firm, as a prosecuting attorney for a municipality and as a human resources executive.
Easterling currently serves as chair of The Council of Bishop’s Anti-racism Leadership Team, President of the National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministries, and President of the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops. She serves on the Council of Bishop’s Immigration Task Force, the Justice and Reconciliation Leadership Team, and The Leadership Discernment Committee. She also serves on the Boards of Directors for Wesley Theological Seminary and American University, the Board of Child Care and The Jane Robinson Bancroft Foundation. Easterling also serves on The Boston University School of Theology Dean’s Advisory Council and the Anna Howard Shaw Center Board. Upon arriving in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, she founded the Seeds of Security ministry, or SOS, which benefits people in crisis who are seeking to leave abusive relationships.
Easterling is a much sought-after speaker, preacher, poet and writer. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2017 Rainbow Push Trombone Award for Faith in Action, presented by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
She is married to the Rev. Marion Easterling Jr., pastor of Locust UMC in Columbia. They have two grown sons, Garrett and Miles.
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