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The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

CME Church Episcopal Office

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Bishop Othal H. Lakey

Retired Bishop

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Bishop Othal Hawthorne Lakey is the 44th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected on May 9, 1982 after serving pastorates in Pasco, WA, Portland, OR, Shreveport, LA and Dallas, TX. From 1974 to 1982 he was the Editor of The Christian Index, the official publication of the CME Church. From 1982 – 1994 he was the Presiding Bishop of the Second Episcopal District. The General Conference of 1994 assigned him to the Sixth Episcopal District.

At the 2010 General Conference held in Mobile, Alabama, Bishop Lakey was honorably retired.

Born April 6, 1936, the 7th of 11 children to Clarence and Zandree Ashley Lakey in Shreveport, LA, the future bishop migrated with his family to San Pedro, CA at an early age. He grew up in that city, a product of the public school system of Los Angeles. He received the BA degree from Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, the M.Div. degree from the Theological School of Drew University, and the Master of Sacred Theology degree from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. The Interdenominational Theological Center and the Phillips School of Theology of Atlanta, GA conferred upon Bishop Lakey the degree of Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) in 1990, and Lane College conferred the same degree in 1994.

Bishop Lakey served as the Chair of the Department of Christian Education of the CME Church, Chair of the Commission on History and Archives, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Congress of Black Churches, and Chair of the Commission on Merger with the AME Zion Church. For several years of Bishop Lakey was a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated television program, The American Religious Townhall. Bishop Lakey is the author of The Rise of Colored Methodism: A Study of the Background and Beginnings of the CME Church (1972), The History of the CME Church (1985), and God In My Mama’s House: the Women’s Movement in the CME Church (1994).

He is married to Dr. Elfreda Lakey; and they are the parents of two adult sons, James O. and Bryan, two adult daughters, Rachel McRae and Millicent McRae, and have three grandchildren.

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Bishop Othal H. Lakey
Retired Bishop

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