Bishop Gregory V. Palmer is appointing the Rev. Calvin Alston Jr. to serve as the Olentangy River District Superintendent effective July 1, 2024.  

“I have great confidence in Rev. Alston. He has faithfully served on the West Ohio Conference Cabinet since 2019. His experience and deep faith in Jesus Christ and The United Methodist Church will benefit the people of Olentangy River District, West Ohio Conference, and the next bishop” said Bishop Gregory V. Palmer. “I am grateful he and Sandra halted their plans to retire to serve one more year.”

Alston has served as a district superintendent since July 2019 first serving the Shawnee Valley until the 2023 annual conference established new district lines. He has since served in the same capacity in the Scioto River District. Prior to that time, he was pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, a multicultural and multiracial congregation on the East Side of Columbus. His other appointments include senior pastor of New Vision Church in Cincinnati and North Orangeburg Church and a four-point charge in Ehrhardt, South Carolina.

“It was truly my intention to retire in June of this year until Bishop Palmer extended this invitation. I was surprised and humbled he asked me to continue to serve for one additional year,” Alston said. “After prayerful consideration and discussing this opportunity with my family, I am looking forward to this upcoming year in the Olentangy River District. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to serve and will rely on the leading Holy Spirit to direct my path,” he concluded.

Alston earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science with a minor in political science from Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina; a Master of Divinity in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta; and a Doctor of Ministry in Christian education from Spirit of Truth Institute, Richmond, Virginia.

A United States Navy veteran, he has served The United Methodist Church on the local, district, annual, jurisdictional and general church levels. In the South Carolina Conference, he chaired the Board of Congregational Development, served as vice chairman of the conference credit union and was treasurer of Black Methodists for Church Renewal. In the West Ohio Conference, he was BMCR vice chairman. 

Alston is a recipient of the Denman Evangelism Award from the South Carolina Conference. He was a twice-elected General Conference delegate, in 2000 from South Carolina and in 2012 from West Ohio. He served as a cluster leader in the Ohio River Valley District, co-cluster leader in the Capitol Area South District and served on the Episcopacy Committee. He was a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Capital Area South District, the West Ohio Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and served on the Conference Relations Team.

Born in St. Stephen, South Carolina, Alston was the youngest of eight children born to Calvin Alston Sr. and Rosa Lee Alston. His parents are now deceased. He is married to Sandra Henegan, a clinical audiologist at Columbus Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They have five children and five grandchildren.