February 03, 2022 | by Rev. Dr Maidstone Mulenga
Former United Methodist Church Council of Bishops President retired Bishop Woodie W. White was recently honored by the state of Georgia with the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Civil Rights Award. The award was given during the State of Georgia’s 37th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration of Service.
The Rev. Lowery Civil Rights Award is named in honor of the iconic United Methodist minister who was the founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, serving as its president, later chairman of the board. He died March 27, 2020. The Rev. Lowery Civil Rights Award is given annually to an outstanding individual or organization in recognition of their unwavering advocacy for leadership development in the fight for civil rights.
Bishop White served as United Methodist bishop from 1984 until his retirement in 2004. In 1996, he became the president of the Council of Bishops and served a one-year term. Before he was elected bishop in the North Central Jurisdiction, he served as the first General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race from1968 to 1984.
After election, he was assigned to the Illinois Area (1984-1992) and later to the Indiana Area in 1992, and he retired there in 2004.
Bishop Woodie and Jennie May “Kim” Tolson White have four daughters: Kimberly Yvette, Hope Angela, Valerie Elizabeth, Sharon Denise; one son, Bryan Michael, and eight grandchildren.