William T. McAlillyCandler School of Theology alumnus William T. McAlilly has been elected bishop in The United Methodist Church (UMC). McAlilly, who received a Master of Divinity degree at Candler in 1981, was one of five bishops elected by the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC at its quadrennial meeting July 18-21 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. In all, United Methodists elected 11 new U.S. bishops during jurisdictional meetings this month.

McAlilly has been assigned to serve the Nashville Episcopal Area, which includes the Memphis and Tennessee conferences, effective Sept. 1. ­

From 1978 to 2006, McAlilly served churches in Georgia and Mississippi, including a small membership church, newly organized congregations, and a large membership church. In 2006, he was appointed to serve as superintendent of Mississippi’s Seashore District in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Under his leadership in the Seashore District, many homes and churches were rebuilt and restored. He also worked to create a partnership between the district and the Methodist Church of Nicaragua, which is now a mission emphasis for the Mississippi Conference of the UMC.

McAlilly has been married to his wife, Lynn, for 33 years. They have two adult children, Chris and Laura. Chris McAlilly is also a Candler graduate; he received his Master of Divinity in 2010 and serves as a pastor in the Mississippi Annual Conference.

The United Methodist Church has 46 active bishops overseeing more than 7 million U.S. members. In coming months, United Methodists also will elect or re-elect bishops in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. The denomination has 13 million members worldwide.