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Meeting Bishop Escobedo-Frank: Introduction

Before the assignments of bishops in the Western Jurisdiction were announced on November 5, 2022, a team of WJ Communicators conducted video interviews with the three newly elected bishops. Among the them was Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank.

“I’ve always worked from the ground,” said Bishop Escobedo-Frank. “Every church I’ve been in, I’ve worked in the neighborhood. Everywhere I go, I look at what’s happening in the town, the neighborhood and the community. I won’t be a bishop who sits in Zoom meetings all the time – I hope. I still will need to be out with the community to see what’s happening on the ground.”

She has served as both a rural and big-city church pastor in the Desert Southwest Conference, supervised churches as a district superintendent and helped advance immigration initiatives throughout her ministry.

“Immigration – I can’t separate it from myself. It is who I am.” She was raised along the border in Nogales, both on the U.S. and Mexican sides.

Bishop Escobedo-Frank’s family has a rich history in the Methodist tradition, with her mother’s grandfather serving as a circuit rider in the early church in Oklahoma and Kansas. Her grandmother crossed the Rio Grande while in labor with her father to find religious freedom.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and what would become The United Methodist Church, often talked about moving “onto perfection.” As Bishop Escobedo-Frank interprets his words, that means being more loving.

“When we have dinner with someone who doesn’t believe or vote like we do, or look like we do, then suddenly our divisions take a back seat and our love takes a front seat.” she said.

“I believe the church has a lot to offer the world right now, in this time post-Covid, in this time of political division,” she said. “We can show the antithesis to that. Methodists have this long history of working together across theological ideas.”