Bishop Laura Merrill Appoints Rev. Zach Roberts as Northeast District Superintendent

Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Bishop Laura Merrill has announced her intention to appoint Rev. Zach Roberts as superintendent of the Northeast District of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2023. Rev. Roberts is the current pastor of First United Methodist Church in Blytheville, where he has served nearly six years. 

Roberts stated, “I am grateful that Bishop Merrill has given this opportunity to me. I’m convinced that the Northeast District is God’s country. I currently serve on the Northeast District Committee on Ordained Ministry, and I hear our district’s stories of God at work through clergy and laity, filling their communities with the love of Christ. I don’t think that God has run out of good news, and I am looking forward to great stories to come.”

Bishop Merrill shared, “It gives me great joy to appoint Zach Roberts to the Cabinet as the Northeast District District Superintendent. He will bring a fresh voice to our work and extensive experience in the northeast part of the state. We will need creative, hopeful leadership for the United Methodist connection as we move into the future, and I trust that Zach will bring that skill and spirit to our conference team.” 

Roberts was born in southern Arkansas, where he grew up on a small farm between Pine Bluff and Rison. He graduated from Watson Chapel High School, Hendrix College (B.A. 2001), and Duke Theological Seminary (M.Div. 2004). He has served churches in San Antonio, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Norphlet UMC; Paragould First United Methodist Church: Hot Springs First United Methodist Church; and most recently, Blytheville First United Methodist Church as the senior pastor. 

Rev. Roberts is married to Beth Roberts, and they have two children, John (14 years) and Lauren (11 years).

“I give thanks for the work of those who have served before me,” Roberts remarked. “Rev. J.J. Galloway welcomed my family to the Northeast District with love and support.  Rev. John Fleming will always be a close friend and mentor. Rev. Rodney Steele and Rev. Phil Hathcock are going the extra mile for the Arkansas Conference. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from them, Bishop Laura Merrill, and the rest of our conference cabinet.”

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