Bishop Moore-Koikoi Leads GCORR



Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has been elected President of the board of the United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Religion and Race. The vote took place during a July 11 virtual meeting. 

As she took office, Bishop Moore-Koikoi acknowledge the opportunity and the challenge now before GCORR and The United Methodist Church: 

“George Floyd’s cries of ‘I can’t breathe’ have brought us to an inflection point in the centuries-long quest for justice for people of African descent living in the United States and all around the world,” she said. “I commit to do all in my power to ensure that we do not let this harvest pass.”
The General Commission on Religion and Race, she noted, “is poised to resource the church to accept the freedom and unparalleled power God has given us to dismantle racism and press on to freedom.

“It is indeed an honor and awesome privilege to have been elected to lead GCORR’s board as we empower and challenge the church to ensure that this truly is an inflection point and not just another typical point in our denomination’s troubled history with racism and white privilege,” said Bishop Moore-Koikoi. 

“Mr. Floyd’s cries have ignited a movement,” she explained. “Therefore, I commit to lead the board to:

  • Help ensure systemic and relational equality within United Methodism for all of the races represented in our beloved denomination 
  • Help raise consciousness regarding the intersectionality of all systems of oppression, racism, tribalism and religion, and 
  • Resource the denomination to dismantle racism and press on to freedom as we simultaneously create a more nimble board in order to address the rapidly evolving realities of our global culture.”
As a leader in the denomination’s new Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom effort, Bishop Moore-Koikoi emphasized that "we have been here before, and this time...we need it to be different!  

“I will not lead or participate in another effort full of ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing,” she said in the video announcement of that was broadcast on“The lives of my people, of all people of color who have been systematically disrespected, disregarded and extinguished by the sin of racism are too important to settle for anything … less than uncompromising action in dismantling racism!”

Before she was elected a Bishop in 2016, Bishop Moore-Koikoi served as District Superintendent in Baltimore and played a key spiritual role during unrest that followed the 2015 death of another black man, Freddie Gray, while in police custody. She helped to organize United Methodist churches to open their doors and minister to children and families whose schools were closed, and to help meet other basic needs. She became the face of the United Methodist Church and walked with church volunteers in red T-shirts through city neighborhoods, praying for and ministering to people, including police. 

Since then, resources offered by GCORR have been used in many churches or small groups to spur conversations about the sin of racism. But recent events bear witness to the need for all people of faith to do more.

"Many people are upset at the abuses black people suffer. Something stirs up in their spirit, but then they’re not sure what to do," she recently told UM News. Through GCORR and the EndRacism effort, she added, “we’re going to provide folks with resources on an ongoing basis.”

In accepting her new role, Bishop Moore-Koikoi acknowledged the work of Bishop Earl Bledsoe and others who served before her in leadership roles at GCORR.

“We do live in hope,” she said. “We do believe that there will be a day when we will dismantle racism.”