Bishop Tracy S. Malone has appointed the Rev. Bruce Hitchcock as superintendent of the Ohio Valley District. He succeeds the Rev. Jim Winkler, who is appointed as lead pastor of Mayfield UMC (Western Reserve District). Both appointments are effective July 1.
“Rev. Bruce Hitchcock is a visionary leader, a strategic thinker and one who brings many learnings and experiences from serving in a variety of ministry settings. He has a deep faith and has demonstrated throughout his ministry a strong commitment to discipleship, evangelism, and mission,” Malone said.
Hitchcock is pastor of Geneva United Methodist Church (Western Reserve District). Prior to being appointed to the church in July 2011, he was executive director of the Urban Mission in Steubenville for nine years.
“I celebrate the opportunity to return to the Ohio Valley. The pastors and congregations of the district are wonderful, and deeply committed to loving God and serving neighbor,” Hitchcock said.
Ordained a Deacon in 1987 and an Elder in 1989, Hitchcock has served churches across the State of Ohio during his ministry. While earning a Bachelor’s degree from Malone College, he also was pastor of Pleasant Grove UMC in Carroll County. He then served State Road UMC in Germantown in the West Ohio Conference while attending United Theological Seminary, where he earned his Masters of Divinity.
Upon graduation, Hitchcock served East Rochester-Bayard UMC (1989-1993), East Sparta UMC (1993-1996), and Huron UMC (1996-2002) before accepting the position at the Urban Mission.
Hitchcock is chair of the Western Reserve District Committee on Ordained Ministry, and is chair of the Conference Commission on Pastoral Care, a position that places him on the Conference Personnel Committee.
He and wife Melissa are the parents of two sons and a daughter.