MARQUETTE - United Methodist Church Michigan Area Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton appointed Rev. Elbert P. Dulworth, to serve as Superintendent of the Marquette District, effective July 1. Dulworth is replacing Rev. Grant R. Lobb, who has been serving the Marquette District for the past seven years.
Bishop Keaton explained that beyond a competent and experienced Elder, the Marquette District wanted a superintendent who understands the culture of the Upper Peninsula, who was physically able to travel the length and breadth of the district and wants to be in the Upper Peninsula.
"Elbert is an excellent match to the district profile, and he and his wife, Dawn, will make invaluable contributions to the ministry of the Marquette District," said Bishop Keaton.
Rev. Elbert Dulworth
The assignment to the Marquette District, which encompasses Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a portion of the state's northern Lower Peninsula, represents a return trip for Dulworth, who served churches in the district from 2000-2006. Dulworth's first appointment was to Crystal Falls Christ and Amasa Grace UMCs from 2000-2004 and was followed by a call to serve as an intentional interim pastor at Marquette First UMC from 2004-2006. He was appointed to Laingsburg UMC in 2006, where he served until his appointment as district superintendent.
"Going back to the Marquette District is exciting," Dulworth said. "I loved the people and culture of the Marquette District while we were up there, and I love the closeness and the sense of family among the people and churches. Dawn and I are looking forward to returning to the beauty of the district and our family and friends.
"I have always enjoyed being a part of a team wherever I've served, in local churches or elsewhere, and I'm looking forward to working with the bishop and cabinet as part of a team," Dulworth said while reflecting on his transition from serving the local church. "I also enjoy being a part of the connection. When I was in Marquette, the sense of connection was important as I served conference agencies and brought that back to the local church. In a sense, I'm continuing to live within the connection in a new way. Before it was as a pastor, now it will be as a superintendent, and I'll still be connecting local churches with the connection. The sense of connection is one of the gifts that we bring as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and it's why I love being a United Methodist."
A native of Eastpointe, Mich., Dulworth received his bachelor of arts degree from Adrian College in 1997, majoring in religion and Spanish. He also received his master of divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2000 and was ordained as an Elder in 2003. The Dulworths have been married since 1997, and Dawn most recently served as the interim executive director at Looking Glass Community Services, a United Methodist-related agency in Laingsburg.
The Marquette District is one of the largest geographical districts in The United Methodist Church and consists of 58 churches that are organized into 36 charges.
An installation service and welcome celebration are planned for Rev. Dulworth and Dawn on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Marquette. Rev. Dulworth will be formally installed by newly assigned Bishop of The Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Deborah L. Kiesey.