Lloyd Christ Wicke
was an American Bishop
of The Methodist Church
and the United Methodist Church
, elected in 1948. When he died in 1996 he was the oldest of the 117 active and retired U.M.
Bishops at that time, as well as the last one elected during the decade of the 1940s.
Birth and Family
Lloyd was born 22 May 1901 in Cleveland, Ohio
, the son of John and Katherine Christ Wicke. Lloyd married Gertrude Jane Allen of Waterville, New York
in 1924. Mrs. Wicke died 2 January 1978 in Fort Myers, Florida
after a long illness. The Wickes had taken up residence in Fort Myers following the Bishop's retirement
in 1972. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Wicke was survived by their two daughters (of Basking Ridge, New Jersey
and Fort Wayne, Indiana
, respectively), and by a sister, Mrs. Charles McClean of Waterville. Mrs. Wicke was interred
in the Waterville Cemetery
In 1979 Bishop Wicke married Eunice LeBourveau Ensley, the widow of fellow U.M. Bishop F. Gerald Ensley. She graduated from Boston University in 1932 and taught school before marrying Francis Gerald Ensley. He died in 1976. She was President of the Methodist Council of Bishops' Wives at one time, as well as active in the Alpha Phi and P.E.O. sororities. She was a member of the North Broadway U.M. Church in Columbus, Ohio when she died 11 July 2002. She was survived by four children and their spouses: Frederick and Jean Ensley, Philip and Cynthia Ensley, Elizabeth and Roger Grime, and Charlotte and Robert Linville; by a stepdaughter, Elaine Wicke Cowan; and by eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial serivce celebrating her life was held 18 July 2002 at the Westminster Thurber Retirement Community in Columbus.
Lloyd earned the B.A.
degree in 1923 from Baldwin Wallace College
, Berea, Ohio
. He then earned his B.D.
degrees from The Theological School
at Drew University
, Madison, New Jersey
Following college graduation
, the Rev. Wicke served two years in the Central German Annual Conference
of the Methodist Episcopal Church
as a Pastor
in Terre Haute, Indiana
and in Chili, Ohio
. During his final year of seminary, Rev. Wicke served the East Side Terrace Church in Paterson, New Jersey
. Following seminary
graduation, he was ordained
in the Newark
Annual Conference. Between 1926 and 1943 he served churches in Lafayette
, and Leonia
, New Jersey
. He was appointed Superintendent of the Jersey City
District, 1941-43. Then he was appointed to the Mt. Lebanon
Methodist Church in the Mt. Lebanon suburb of Pittsburgh
The Rev. Dr. Lloyd Christ Wicke was elected to the Episcopacy
of The Methodist Church by the 1948 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. He was assigned to the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area
, where he served until 1960. During the time of his episcopacy, the Pittsburgh Area included the western third of Pennsylvania
and most of the State of West Virginia
. In 1960, Bishop Wicke was assigned to the New York
Area, serving until his retirement
in 1972. During the time of his episcopacy, the New York Episcopal Area included the Troy
Annual Conference in northeastern New York, and the entire State of Vermont
Bishop Wicke served as President of the General Boards of Church and Society and of Global Ministries of the U.M. Church at different times during his episcopacy. He was the President of the Methodist Council of Bishops, 1964-65.
One of the highlights of Bishop Wicke's career was chairing the committee
of The Methodist Church that drew up the proposal
leading to the 1968 denominational merger
with the Evangelical United Brethren Church
(E.U.B.). During the uniting service in Dallas
, Wicke symbolically clasped hands with E.U.B. Bishop, Reuben H. Mueller, across a table bearing the Plan of Union.
As they did, they prayerfully said together:
- Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and in the United Methodist Church.
This prayer was then repeated, in turn, by two children
of each denomination, two adolescents
, two adults
, six clergy
representing the two Churches around the world
, and finally by the 1,200 delegates
to the Uniting Conference from fifty Nations
, who stood and joined hands as they voiced this same declaration
Bishop Lloyd Christ Wicke died 29 December 1996 in Columbus, Ohio
at the age of ninety-five. He was survived by his wife, Eunice Ensley Wicke; by his two daughters, Shirley Jane Shoaf and Elaine Nalda Cowen; and by seven grandchildren
, twelve great grandchildren
, four stepchildren
and eleven step-grandchildren.
- Howell, Clinton T., Prominent Personalities in American Methodism, Birmingham, Alabama: The Lowry Press, 1945.
- Obituary, United Methodist News Service, 6 January 1997.
- Mrs. Gertrude Wicke, Obituaries from the "Hamilton County News," 1978.
- The Rev. Lloyd C. Wicke, Obituaries from the "Record Delta Newspaper," 1996 (published in Buckhannon, Upshur County, West Virginia).
- Eunice Ensley Wicke, Obituaries, Boston University School of Theology Focus, Spring 2003