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Bishop Best joined Faith CME Church in 1978 after graduating from college and locating to Charlotte where his new job landed him. He preached his initial sermon at Faith in 1980 and served as local preacher for six years, assisting and was trained by three pastors, Rev. Robyn Gool, Rev. Anthony Williams and Rev. Willie J. Sturgess.
Bishop Best has a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, (1979), a Masters of Divinity degree from Duke University, Durham, NC (1991), a Doctorate of Ministry degree from the Interdenominational Theology Center (Phillips School of Theology), Atlanta, GA (2006) where he was an honor graduate.
Bishop Best was ordained Deacon in 1986, Elder in 1988 and went into Full Connection in 1990 in the Carolina Annual Conference by one of his mentors and friend, Bishop Oree Broomfield, Sr. Bishop Best was also mentored and prepared for Episcopal Ministry by Bishop Charles Helton and Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr., his Episcopal Father in the ministry.
Bishop Best has pastored six churches in three episcopal districts in his 28 years of pastoral ministry. His pastoral assignments include Brooklyn CME Church, Chesnee, SC (1986-1988), Young Missionary Temple CME Church, Raleigh, NC (1988-1992), Broomfield CME Church, (1992-1996), St. John CME Church, Winston-Salem, NC (1996-2006), Greater Cleaves Memorial CME Church, Oklahoma City, OK (2006-2010) and Metropolitan CME Church, Houston, TX (2010-2014).
His ministry can be characterized by Evangelism, Christian Education, Prayer, Stewardship and Community Service. He has served as Director of Youth, Director of Young Adult, and Director of Evangelism for the Carolina Region for 14 years. Bishop Best has chaired the Joint Board of Finance for the Oklahoma Region and served as Treasurer for the Southeast Texas Region. Bishop Best has conducted many worships throughout our great Zion on stewardship, evangelism and officers training.
During his ministry in Gastonia, NC, Bishop Best was the founding President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Vice President of Drug and Crime Task Force, and Adjunct Chaplain at Gaston Memorial Hospital, as well as on the Medical Bioethics Board-Gaston Memorial Hospital, founding Co-chair of Advocate for Healthy Citizens (school linked healthcare center) and Myrtle Community Spirit Man of the Year-1995.
In Winston-Salem, Bishop Best served on the following boards: Infant Mortality Reduction Board, Today Woman Health & Wellness Center, Crisis Control Ministries, YMCA, Urban League, AIDS Care Services, North Carolina Council of Churches and Commission on Religion in the Appalachia (CORA). Honors bestowed upon Bishop Best include Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission, Humanitarian Award (2000), Phillip School of Theology (ITC) Distinguished Award for Ministry (2004). Best also served as a tutor at Kimberly Park Elementary School in reading for 3rd graders.
In Oklahoma, Bishop Best was a member of Oklahoma Conference of Churches and he tutored and mentored 3rd through 5th graders weekly in math and reading at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in Oklahoma City, OK and as part of his church’s One Church One School ministry.
In Houston, Bishop Best was a member of Harris County Council of Organizations and the NAACP. He served and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees at Texas College. He was honored for outstanding community service by Congressman Al Green at a social justice rally held at Metropolitan CME in 2013.
Bishop Best is a lifetime member of Omega Phi Psi Fraternity, is presently a member of the Tau Tau Chapter in Los Angeles, CA.
Bishop Bobby R. Best is the husband of 35 wonderful years to Jacqueline Howard Best, the proud father of Brandon Girard Best and Bridgette Michelle Best, and the loving grandfather of Brandon Girad Best, Jr. (BJ) and Cameron Jamie Best (CJ)
Bishop Bobby R. Best was elected the 61st Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on the first ballot on July 1, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Bishop Best is the eighth of nine children and the sixth son, born April 9, 1956 in Wilson NC to AD and Helen Summerville Best. He is a 1974 graduate of Ralph L. Fike Senior High School. It was obvious to all around that Bishop Best had a call on his life for ministry. He was a happy child that loved the Lord and spent much time in church services, Bible Studies and Sunday Church School. He accepted Christ in 1967
Bishop Bobby R. Best
Presiding Prelate, Ninth Episcopal District