Richard B. Wilke, 1955 B.D.

2005Distinction in Ordained Ministry

United Methodist Bishop Richard B. Wilke created excitement in local churches with his books And Are We Yet Alive? and Signs and Wonders. With his wife, Julia, Wilke coordinated, designed, and wrote the DISCIPLE Bible study, a training for Christian leaders, with nearly two million graduates in more than 10,000 congregations in 30 denominations. The DISCIPLE series is now available in German, Korean, Spanish, and Chinese. Many DISCIPLE graduates have entered the ministry.

Elected to the episcopacy in 1984, Wilke served for 12 years in the Arkansas area. As bishop, he worked to emphasize church growth and evangelism, while maintaining a love for the local church. He served on boards of colleges, hospitals, and the United Methodist Church.

During his 30 years in the pastoral ministry, Wilke lead several United Methodist congregations in Kansas �in Scandia, Wichita and Salina �and served as district superintendent for the Winfield District. For nearly 11 years, he preached and initiated televised services from First United Methodist Church in Wichita, reaching out to all of central and western Kansas.

Well traveled, Wilke is widely known as a speaker and preacher, often serving as conference preacher and keynote speaker at regional and national meetings.

The Wilkes have four children and nine grandchildren. They make their home in Winfield, KS, where Bishop Wilke serves as bishop-in-residence at Southwestern College.