Bishop Frederick Wertz died yesterday, October 16, 2013, less than two weeks after celebrating his 97th birthday. At the time of his death, Bishop Wertz was the longest-serving surviving bishop, having been elected to the episcopacy in 1968.
Bishop Wertz was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on October 5, 1916, son of Jesse Price and Ada Barratt Wertz. Ordained deacon in 1940 by Bishop Edwin Holt Hughes and elder in 1942 by Bishop Adna Wright Leonard, he joined the Central Pennsylvania Conference and held the following pastoral appointments: Doylesburg (1940-43); Stewartstown (1943-46); Camp Curtin Memorial, Harrisburg (1946-49); Allison Memorial, Carlisle (1949-53). For two years he was District Superintendent of the Williamsport District and in 1955 he became President of Lycoming College. He was a delegate to the General Conferences of 1964 and 1968.
In 1968, D. Frederick Wertz was elected to the episcopacy by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the West Virginia Area which he administered for twelve years. In 1980 he was assigned to the Washington Area. He retired in 1984 and served as Pastor Emeritus at Allison United Methodist Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1990 he was re-activated in order to serve for one year as the Bishop of the Harrisburg Area.
Bishop Wertz was a trustee of several institutions and a recipient of a number of honorary degrees. From 1972-1976 he was the President of the Commission on Religion and Race. In 1976-80 he was President of the General Board of Global Ministries.
Bishop Wertz was preceeded in death by his spouse, Betty Jean Rowe. He is survived by his four children: Robert Gary, Joanne Rowe, Donna Jean and Elizabeth Barratt.
Thanks be to God for this good and faithful servant of Christ Jesus.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño