L. Jonathan Holston

Jonathan Holston

Resident Bishop, Columbia Episcopal Area
Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church
Columbia, South Carolina

Jonathan Holston is the resident bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He was elected to the episcopacy and consecrated in July 2012. At that time, he began his assignment in the Columbia, South Carolina, episcopal area.

Holston holds a master of divinity in biblical studies from the Interdenominational Theological Center, Gammon Theological Seminary, in Atlanta and a bachelor’s degree in religion from the University of Georgia. Prior to his appointment to St. James UMC, he served as superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District from 1997 to 2005, as associate director of the North Georgia Conference Council on Ministries from 1992 to 1997, as senior pastor of Clifton UMC (1986–1992), and as senior pastor of Marietta Street UMC (1983–1986).

In May 2015, Holston received an honorary doctor of divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University. In May 2016, he received a doctor of divinity (honoris causa) degree from Gammon Theological Seminary and an honorary doctor of humane letters (DHL) from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Holston has traveled extensively as a specialist in missions to Ecuador, Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, China, and Hong Kong. He has served on the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Catastrophic Disaster Response Team, and as the Church World Service disaster consultant in Georgia.

Holston serves as secretary of the Council of Bishops and as liaison to the Pan-Methodist bishops. He currently serves as chair for the Gammon Theological Seminary board of trustees, chair of the Coordinating Committee on Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, and director of the General Board of Global Ministries, and as a trustee for Lake Junaluska and Columbia College.

He is married to Felecia Brown Holston, and they have two adult children, Karlton Maurice and Brittany Jene’.   

He was elected trustee in 2020.