Bishop SaenzBishop Ruben Saenz Jr. serves as resident bishop of the Central and North Texas Conferences of The United Methodist Church, assigned in January 2023. Before these assignments, Saenz served as the interim bishop of the Central Texas Conference (2022) and resident bishop of the Great Plains Conference (2016-2022).

As the episcopal leader in Kansas and Nebraska, Bishop Saenz notably led three former annual conferences to complete a unification process that began in 2014. Under his leadership, the Great Plains Conference embraced a unified vision grounded in four pillars: Love God. Proclaim Christ. Serve Others. Do Justice. 

In 2023, he began similar unification work for the Central, North and Northwest Texas Annual Conferences, casting a vision and laying the groundwork for a new, unified conference that will harness and direct resources and efforts to reach a rapidly growing and diversifying mission field.

Before his election to the episcopacy, Saenz served as director of conference connectional ministries and executive director of the Rio Texas Conference’s Mission Vitality Center, overseeing the conference’s missional strategies and objectives for congregational vitality, new church starts, clergy and lay leadership vitality and community transformation. He also served as the Southwest Texas director of congregational and new church development, helping to start 11 new churches.

As a pastor, Saenz focused on intentional spiritual practice and formation, developing a lay apostolate and giving people the tools and encouragement to move out of generational poverty. He has served congregations in East Dallas, Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood, El Paso, and at Edinburg’s El Buen Pastor, the largest Hispanic American United Methodist Church in the country during his tenure.

Saenz is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and a South Texas native. Before his call to ministry, he worked as a high school teacher and football coach, as well as in the business world. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He now serves on the boards of Perkins School of Theology, the Texas Methodist Foundation and the Methodist Health System. Saenz is also the President Designate for The United Methodist Council of Bishops.

Bishop Saenz and Mayé have been married since 1981. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.


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