UMC's first Asian American bishop, Wilbur Choy, dies at 103

Wilbur Wong Yan Choy, the first Asian American to be elected as a United Methodist bishop in the United States, died December 28, 2021. He was 103.

Choy, who was born in Stockton, California, was ordained in 1946. In 1954, he was appointed to his first pastorate at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Stockton. In 1967, Choy served as the chaplain to the California Senate.

He was elected to the episcopacy in 1972 and spent eight years serving the Seattle area and then four years serving the San Francisco area. He served as presi­dent of the UMC Council of Bishops from 1983 to 1984, after which he retired.