Bishop Goodpaster was assigned to serve as the Resident Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church in July, 2008, and reassigned in 2012. He was elected to the episcopacy in 2000 and served for eight years as the bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference in Montgomery, AL. Prior to his election as a bishop, Goodpaster served as a pastor and district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference. His pastoral experience included a five-church rural charge, a new congregation, and several large membership churches.
He has taught in a variety of settings and has written articles appearing in various denominational publications. His book, There’s Power in the Connection, was published in 2008 by Abingdon Press.
For two years (2010-2012) Goodpaster served as President of the Council of Bishops, which includes United Methodist bishops from around the world. In that role, he preached at the opening worship service of the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, FL, and then presided over the opening session.
Bishop Goodpaster earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, and both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, GA. He has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Huntingdon College (Montgomery, AL), Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL), and Millsaps College (Jackson, MS).
He has been married to the former Deborah Cox of Quincy, FL since 1971. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.