Bishop William T. McAlilly

Bishop Bill McAlilly, resident bishop of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

William T. (Bill) McAlilly is the bishop of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference (previously the Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, including the Tennessee & Memphis Conferences)

He was elected to the episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2012 and was assigned as the resident bishop of the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences beginning September 1, 2012. He was given the task of merging these two conferences to form the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church which was overwhelmingly adopted December 4, 2021.

A native of Mississippi, Bishop McAlilly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS (1978) and a Masters of Divinity, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA (1981).

He was ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1979 and ordained elder in 1982. In the spring of 2017, Bishop McAlilly received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Rust College in Holly Springs, MS.

McAlilly has served in a wide variety of ministry settings in Georgia and Mississippi–a small membership church, a new congregation, a county seat church, a newly organized congregation, and a large membership congregation. Likewise, he has served in a variety of roles including youth minister, associate minister, and lead pastor.

In 2006, he was appointed to serve as the District Superintendent of the Seashore District of the Mississippi Conference in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worked closely with Disaster Response and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

He served in many capacities in the Mississippi Annual Conference including the Millsaps College Board of Trustees; Mississippi Methodist Foundation; Board of Ordained Ministry; Design Team for the Residency in Ministry Program; and Development of the Transitions Seminar for Moving Pastors.  He has been a delegate to four Jurisdictional Conferences and three General Conferences.

He led the Council of Bishops’ Leadership Team on Leadership Development and serves on the Leadership Discernment Team from 2016-2024. He also led in 2023 the Quadrennial Orientation for New Bishops.   

He served as president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops in 2016-17 and continues to serve on the Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Coordination & Accountability. He served as Chair of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) from 2016-2021.

Bishop McAlilly currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Emory University, Atlanta, GA and previously served on the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Board, Memphis, TN.  

A lover of books, music, and movies, Bishop McAlilly also enjoys writing, golf, grilling, and travel. He and his wife Lynn have been married since 1978. They have two married adult children: Chris McAlilly and Laura McAlilly Paulk, and five grandchildren.

Compassion for the least and last has been at the heart of his emphasis on missions throughout his ministry—locally in the communities in which he has served and globally in Mexico, Nicaragua, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Under McAlilly’s leadership, the Nashville Episcopal Area built the Mama Lynn Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Named after Lynn McAlilly, the Mama Lynn Center is a sanctuary for women to receive care and find restoration. It provides space for women to get medical attention, counseling, and faith-centered nurture to address problems related to what they have experienced and helps them recover self-respect, dignity, and a sense of joy.  

In retirement, Bishop McAlilly will be engaged in coaching and consulting next level leaders and congregations. 

Bishop McAlilly has a pastor’s heart with a vision for the reign of God.

Bishop McAlilly’s Blog: Greater Things Are Yet To Be Done 

Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference Staff