Come Honor Bishop McKee as Perkins’ Distinguished Alumnus

Bishop McKeeThe bishop of the North Texas Conference will receive the award at a Nov. 13 banquet

Michael McKee, bishop of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, is the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He will be honored during the annual awards banquet at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in the Great Hall of Highland Park UMC in Dallas.

Bishop McKee was selected for the award by the Perkins Alumni/ae Council for his demonstrated effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support and involvement in the goals of Perkins School of Theology and SMU, distinguished service in the wider community and exemplary character.

Bishop McKee’s service to The United Methodist Church, to Southern Methodist University and to Perkins School of Theology has spanned almost five decades and has influenced the denomination at the local, regional, national and global levels.

“Bishop McKee is an outstanding choice for the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Dean Craig C. Hill. “Throughout his ministry, he has been a faithful servant of both The United Methodist Church and Perkins School of Theology, and I — like so many others — have come to rely on his judgment and to count on his assistance.

“There is no better partner in the work of our school.”

In his nomination letter, Dr. John Robbins, senior pastor of Memorial Drive UMC in Houston, cited Bishop McKee’s extraordinary and courageous leadership through the years.

“He served the local church with distinction, with every congregation he led experiencing significant growth,” he said. “His strong leadership created an exceptional level of respect from his clergy colleagues as well as countless lay people. He has never shied away from challenges or conflicts that might impede his ability to share the Gospel message through the spoken word and hands-on efforts.”

A member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University since 2012, he has been a member of the Perkins Executive Board since 2004 and currently serves as its chair. He was a member of the Perkins Dean Search Committee in 2016 and was co-chair of the successful Second Century Campaign, which increased financial aid and faculty chair endowments at Perkins School of Theology.

Bishop McKee is president of the board of the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration, a member of the Council of Bishops Executive Committee and is immediate past-president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. In addition to SMU, he serves on the boards of trustees of the Texas Methodist Foundation, Southwestern University and Methodist Health System, Dallas.

Before he was elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in 2012, he previously served for 15 years as senior minister of First UMC in Hurst, Texas. The Fort Worth native was appointed as senior minister of Overton Park UMC, Meadowbrook UMC in Fort Worth and First UMC in Joshua. Bishop McKee also served as associate pastor of First UMC in Fort Worth and Richland Hills UMC.

A clergy member of the Central Texas Annual Conference prior to his election to the episcopacy, he was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1979. He served as chair of the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry, was elected delegate to the General Conference in 2008 and 2012, and was an alternate delegate in 2004. In addition, he was a delegate to South Central Jurisdictional Conferences each quadrennium from 2004-2012.

Bishop McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1973), a Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University (1978) and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Texas Wesleyan University (2005).

He is married to Joan Craig McKee, and they have two adult children. His daughter Erin McKee Chidsey lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Darin, and sons Knox and Ford, and daughter Meredith McKee lives in Dallas.

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017