Emerson Stephen Colaw
(born 13 November 1921
) is a retired American Bishop
of the United Methodist Church
, elected in 1980. Emerson distinguished himself as a Methodist Pastor
, a member of Annual Conference
and General U.M. Agencies
, a Bishop, and a U.M. Seminary Professor
and Acting President
Birth and Family
Bishop Colaw was born in Chanute, Kansas
. He married Jane Elizabeth Curry of East McKeesport, Pennsylvania
on 27 August 1942. They have four children: Prudence, Deborah, Marcella, and David.
Colaw earned the B.S.
degree in 1944 from the University of Cincinnati
. He earned the Bachelor of Divinity
degree, magna cum laude,
in 1947 from Drew Theological Seminary
. He has done graduate work at Union Theological Seminary
in New York City
, and at Lutheran School of Theology
. Bishop Colaw received honorary doctorates
from five different institutions.
a Deacon in 1945 by Bishop H. Lester Smith, and an Elder in 1947 by Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, Rev. Colaw became a Member in Full Connection of the New York Annual Conference
of the Methodist Church
in 1947. That fall, however, he transferred to the Northern Illinois
Annual Conference, where he served three different pastorates over a fourteen year period. In 1961 Rev. Colaw was appointed to the Hyde Park
Community Church (Methodist) in Cincinnati, Ohio
Annual Conference). It was from this appointment Rev. Colaw was elected to the Episcopacy
by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the U.M. Church
, July 1980.
Rev. Colaw was a Jurisdictional and General Conference delegate 1968-80. He also was a member of the General Conference Commission on Doctrine and Doctrinal Standards.
The Rev. Emerson Stephen Colaw was elected to the Episcopacy
by the 1980 North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the U.M. Church
. As a Bishop he served on the General Board of Discipleship, the General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and as Chairperson
of the Commission to Study the Mission of the Church during the 1984-88 quadrennium.
Bishop Colaw has been the recipient of numerous ecumenical awards. He retired in 1988. He then became Professor of Homiletics and Christian Ministry at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, 1988-99. He also was the Acting President of the Seminary, 1995-96. Upon his second retirement he became Bishop in Residence at the North Naples United Methodist Church, Naples, Florida during winters. He also relaxes with golf, reading, and for many years was active in Rotary International. He was also active in Freemasonry.