Bishop Cunningham pictured at his and Mrs. Cunningham’s 25th Wedding Anniversary.

I regret to inform you that Bishop Ronald McKinley Cunningham, the 53rd Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, died this morning, June 2, 2020.

Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as available; Black and Clark Funeral Home (2517 E. Illinois Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75216; 214-376-8297) is in charge of arrangements.

Bishop Cunningham was elected bishop in 2002 in Atlanta, Georgia, and retired in 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. 

He served the Tenth and Eighth Episcopal Districts before retiring.  Then, In March 2011, he was recalled to serve the Eleventh Episcopal District until the 2014 General Conference. Prior to his election, he had served 16 years as General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education, and had been professor at Lane College and pastor of several congregations.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. (“Lady”) Clarice Cunningham; a daughter, Ms. Bridgette Cunningham; and a son, Ronald M. Cunningham, Jr.  Condolences can be sent to Mrs. Cunningham and the Family at 200 Big Bend, DeSoto, Texas  75115 (901-338-4978).   Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick    


  1. DR.EMMANUEL OPOKU ANIM,BA,MA,PHD on June 2, 2020 at 6:58 pm


  2. Robert Akpan on June 2, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Can’t forget the man who ordained me a Rev in full connection. I will miss him. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen

  3. Vivian a. Wright on June 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about the 🙏 passing of Bishop Cunningham. I have known him sense I was a little girl. He will be deeply missed by me this is Sis.vivian A. Hickerson Wright from Nashville ,Arkansas. Love you Sis. Cunningham and the family praying for all. May God keep his loving Arms around you. I know because I lose my loving husband Charles Wright on March 23 2020

  4. James B. Singleton on June 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Condolences from Pastor James B. Singleton and the Tabor’s Chapel church family! Our hearts and prayers go out to the Cunningham family

  5. Rev.Enetus Silas Ukut on June 2, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    May his gentle soul rest in peace.

    • Irma R. Gore on June 3, 2020 at 5:03 am

      The Mighty 4th Episcopal District, will miss him.

  6. Terrilyn Hooks on June 2, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Condolences and prayers to the family. Bishop Cunningham was my Religion Instructor while attending Lane College.

  7. Carlotta Smith on June 2, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    My prayers are with the family. He taught me at Lane college, I also would attend Mother Liberty CME Church in Jackson, Tn where he pastored.

  8. Orenthia Mason on June 2, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    I always called Bishop Cunningham, a gentle giant with a warm smile. He had a love and devotion for his wife, Lady Clarice, that is unmatched. Praying for the family.

  9. Thurman Miles on June 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    So sorry to hear of Bishop Cunningham’s passing. He was a great Bishop.

  10. Rev. Rene McKay - Pelham AL on June 2, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Mrs Cunningham our prayers are with at this difficult time. My time with Bishop goes all the way back to his serving Shady Grove CME, Fairfield AL. Be strong in the Lord is my prayer for you and the family.

  11. Belinda McCain on June 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Prayers and Condolences to the Cunningham Family and Praying for the Comforter to comfort all hearts in the name of Jesus.
    Rev. Belinda McCain

  12. Ms. Frankie Walker on June 2, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. May the Lord comfort you is my prayer.

  13. Juliana Hosey on June 2, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    My condolences to Clarice Cunningham for the loss of not only your husband but your friend. Someone who I considered a friend as well as you. God hold you at this time.
    Rev. Juliana Hosey

  14. Sher'ron Lyons on June 2, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Bishop C, was a awesome minister a leader and always had a smile for all. He loved his wife the beautiful stories he shared. He will be missed.

    God Bless you all
    My prayers are with you all

    Sister Sher’ron Lyons
    Elizabeth Chapel CME Church

  15. Donna Manuel on June 3, 2020 at 12:24 am

    My condolences go to his beautiful wife and his family my name is Donna Manuel rebel manual of my of the Houston district which Cunningham was a great man and will be greatly missed

  16. Rev. Brenda Geter on June 3, 2020 at 12:26 am

    So very sorry to hear if the passing of Bishop Cunningham. He and his wife were always a joy to be around at the Carolina Conference when he visited. Our thoughts and prayers will be with the family.

  17. CHARLES L FREEMAN, on June 3, 2020 at 1:13 am

    Uncle Doc. Uncle Bishop. The uncle you grew up knowing you’d be taller than. The one who taught me how to drive on his 1967 Olds Toronado. The one who called me “Charlie” all my life.
    Rest in Heaven Uncle Ron. You are at eternal peace now.

  18. Donna Gives on June 3, 2020 at 1:55 am

    We are saddened by hearing of the passing of our Beloved Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham. We will be lifting up Mrs. Cunningham and the family in prayer.
    Rev. Tillman and Donna Gives, Batesburg, South Carolina

  19. Marcus Johnson on June 3, 2020 at 2:10 am

    My condolence to the family of this great bishop and to the CME church in general he was a father to many, especially when he served as bishop of the tenth Episcopal district. As he go home to rest may his soul rest in peace.

  20. HM Crenshaw on June 3, 2020 at 2:33 am

    Prayers to the family of Bishop Cunningham! Always the same all the years I have known him. RIH Dr.
    Helen M. Crenshaw and the Birmingham Region Lay Ministry. 🙏

  21. Beatrice Anderson on June 3, 2020 at 2:46 am

    I am sorry for the passing of Bishop Cummingham. You’re in my prayers.

  22. Bishop Leonard O. Holt on June 3, 2020 at 3:04 am

    God bless the Cunningham family. I still remember my school days in seminary at Claremont School of Theology. Those mornings at breakfast with my wife, Connie and I in our apartment on campus. I had the honor of following Bishop Cunningham as pastor of Amos Temple Riverside California. He was a great inspirational friend and brother.

  23. Llonda Toney on June 3, 2020 at 4:41 am

    You’ll be missed but never forgotten.

  24. Irma R. Gore (Collins) on June 3, 2020 at 4:58 am

    I grew up under Bishop Cunningham. He was over the Christian Department for the CME church. He made sure all the youth had what we needed to attend the next Youth and Young Adult Conferences! His leadership will be missed, but not forgotten! Thank you and RIH!

  25. Michael and Marchia Williams on June 3, 2020 at 10:42 am

    So very sorry to hear of the Bishop’s passing. He will be remembered fondly, I pray his love ones are comforted with peace and love of Our Father Jesus Christ. Our sincere condolences.

    Michael and Marchia Williams
    Porter Memorial CME Church
    San Antonio, Texas

  26. Valerie Woods on June 3, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    So sorry for your loss. He had great wisdom, insight and compassion. A very charming man.

  27. Kieree Cunningham on June 3, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Bishop Cunningham, you will forever be missed. My sympathy and prayers go out to the family

  28. Carolyn Mitchell on June 3, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    My Deepest Sympathy for the passing of your love one. Praying for the family.

  29. Gregory E Lewis Sr on June 3, 2020 at 11:48 pm



  30. Rev. Zethelyn Johnson on June 3, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    My sincere condolences, may God give the family peace and comfort, you are in my prayers.

  31. Roslyn Porter on June 4, 2020 at 2:55 am

    Extending my regret for the Cunningham Family loss. I’m praying for everyone that God continues to Comfort and give you each Strength during your time of grief.

  32. Eloise Bryant Smith on June 4, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    The Bryant ,Buchanan and Smith family send our condolences to you and the Cunningham family. Our prayers and God continuous bless be with you.

  33. Johnetta Jamison Carver on June 8, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    My heartfelt prayers for Bishop Ronald Cunningham’s family. Lady Clarice the children his niece Janice and entire family. He was pastor of Dyer CME church in Dyer, Tennessee on his spiritual journey and beloved friend of Johnnie and Alberta Jamison family. We loved him dearly. He was a great and respectful person

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