Episcopal Office

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The Episcopal Office for the Ohio West Area is located within the West Ohio Conference Center in Worthington. Here, the resident bishop and his executive secretary maintain an office.  Also serving on the bishop’s staff is the executive assistant to the bishop (a clergy under appointment) and an administrative coordinator. General inquiries regarding the bishop or the Episcopal Office can be directed to kcorbitt [at] wocumc.org (Karen Corbitt).
Episcopal Staff
Rev. Dr. Randy Stearns
wocbishop [at] wocumc.org (Bishop Gregory V. Palmer)
Resident Bishop
800-437-0028 ext. 215

bsholis [at] wocumc.org (Rev. Barb Sholis)
Executive Assistant to
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
800-437-0028 ext. 227

kpanovec [at] wocumc.org (Kay Panovec)
Director of Communications
800-437-0028 ext. 229

kcorbitt [at] wocumc.org (Karen Corbitt)
Executive Secretary to the Bishop
800-437-0028 ext. 215

tmccoy [at] wocumc.org (Tim McCoy)
Episcopal Office Administrative Coordinator
800-437-0028 ext. 227

agraham [at] wocumc.org (Amy Graham)
Welcome & Hospitality Coordinator
800-437-0028 ext. 201
Overview of the Bishop

Bishops are elders in full connection who are elected from the elders and set apart for a ministry of general oversight and supervision. The bishop is responsible for the work of ministry in an Episcopal area. An Episcopal area is composed of one or more conferences under the leadership of one bishop.  The West Ohio Conference is the only conference in the Ohio West Area.

Specifically the bishop leads the area by:

  • Making pastoral visits to the churches and districts in order to preach, teach, and to provide spiritual direction
  • Presiding over the meetings of the superintendents
  • Appointing the ministers of the conference to churches and to extension minister positions with the help of superintendents
  • Counseling ministers, ministers' families, and others
  • Supervising, with the help of the superintendents, the work of the ministers of the conference
  • Making occasional missionary journeys to other parts of the world, especially to third world countries
  • Seeing that the rules of The United Methodist Church are followed

In the conference, the Bishop serves as the president of the corporation of the annual conference, setting the tone, style and direction of its ministry. The bishop presides at annual conference sessions; appoints and supervises District Superintendents; and he makes appointments of all Elders, Deacons and Local Pastors. The bishop is also the spiritual and executive leader of the West Ohio Conference staff, which includes the district superintendents, and all West Ohio Conference teams, boards and committees. 

The bishop is a member of The Council of Bishops, which includes all of the bishops in United Methodism, which can adopt "Episcopal Initiatives” to address global, national, or church issues. The Ohio West Area bishop is also a member of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops, along with all bishops from the North Central Jurisdiction.

Please pray for wisdom as the Episcopal Office, Extended Cabinet & Staff strives to discern direction to assure the WOC accomplishes its mission and vision.

Pray for discernment for Bishop Palmer & the Cabinet as they discern pastoral gifts and graces to provide leadership to match the mission and ministry of the churches in the West Ohio Conference.

Pray for the Bishop as he is charged to lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of The United Methodist Church in the West Ohio Conference

Pray for the Episcopal Office staff:

  • for their growing discipleship with Jesus
  • for their family relationships
  • for their health

Pray for the Bishop’s walk with God as he prays daily for each church, each pastor, each congregation – all fall under his oversight.

Pray for strength for all members of the Episcopal Office as they deal with difficult issues on a regular basis.

Pray for our mission that we would truly be a conference in which every congregation is a healthy, growing, spiritually vital, risk-taking center for making and equipping disciples of Jesus for the purpose of transforming the world.