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The Reverend Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett was elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church at the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.
At the time of her election, she was the lead pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky – an appointment she served for eight years. During her tenure, St. Luke grew in membership, strengthened its infrastructure, built a $4.5 million Ministry Life Center and launched a multi-cultural worship service.
Her previous service to the church includes six years as District Superintendent, three years as pastor of Paris First UMC and 11 years on staff at Lexington First UMC and two years as Director of Christian Education at Epworth UMC. She served in a variety of roles in the Kentucky Annual Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction and General Conference. She is currently the chair of the standing Committee on Evangelism for the World Methodist Council. She previously served as a member of the Commission on a Way Forward, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops Executive Committee.
She is a graduate of Berea College (Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education), Scarritt College and Graduate School (Master of Arts in Christian Education), Lexington Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Doctorate of Ministry),
Bishop Wallace-Padgett is married to Rev. Lee Padgett, a retired deacon in the United Methodist Church. They are the parents of two adult children, Leanndra Thompson (Alexander) and Andrew Padgett and two granddaughters (Crindalyn Thompson and Raylena Mildred Thompson).