By Melissa Lauber
Bishop Marcus and Barbara Matthews say thank you to colleagues, staff and loved
In an evening filled with tributes, music, thanksgiving, praise, and insights (more in a moment), the Baltimore-Washington Conference said farewell to Bishop Marcus Matthews. The BWC’s episcopal leader for the past four years, Matthews is retiring Aug. 31 after 42 years in ministry.
Tributes flowed in from people at the podium and via video, from bishops around the connection to his own family members and grandchildren.
“Marcus, you have excelled at every task given you by the church,” Bishop White wrote. “I was privileged to offer a charge at your installation in 2004, which charged you to be a good bishop. But above all else, be God’s bishop.”
Marci Matthews, daughter of Bishop and Mrs. Matthews, speaks during the celebration.
Other bishop tributes were offered by Bishops James King Jr., Felton Edwin May, Sandra Steiner-Ball, Joseph Yeakel, and Gregory Palmer.
A highlight of the evening was the news from Charlie Moore (who expressed surprise that one of the bishop’s guilty pleasures was watching “Dancing With the Stars”), who announced that the conference had raised $300,000 in a love offering that will go to build a new health and fitness center at Africa University. The bishop had asked that no personal gifts be given he and Barbara on their retirement, but that gifts go to the United Methodist-related school in Zimbabwe. Bishop Matthews, along with other leaders, will be leaving for Africa University next week for its commencement exercises, and for the ground-breaking of the center.
The Rev. Maidstone Mulenga, the bishop’s assistant for the past four years, thanked the bishop for first hiring him in the Upper New York Conference and bringing him here. “May the
Bishop Matthews, speaking with Barbara by his side, thanked his family, his mother, his uncle, and many others. “Let me also thank this conference,” he said. “The BWC has been good to me. I never thought I had a bad appointment. Every appointment I had was the very best.”
The bishop thanked his staff and his Cabinet, especially the episcopal office staff of Debbie Albrecht, Joyce King, and Mulenga.
As the Rev. Edgardo Rivera played “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” conference members were left to bask in the glow of a celebration for a man of humility, deep faith, and passion for young people.
Thank you, Bishop Matthews. Thank you.