George Purnell '71 Appointed District Superintendent of Indiana United Methodist Church
October 18, 2010
October 18, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — George A. Purnell, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Bloomington, Indiana, and 1971 graduate of DePauw University, has been named superintendent of the Southwest District of the United Methodist Church's Indiana Conference. The appointment is effective February 1, 2011.
"George Purnell is a gifted leader in the Indiana Conference who will bring great skills to the role of district superintendent and to the cabinet table," states Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner. "He is a native of Vincennes, and he has previously served in Evansville, so he is familiar with the Southwest District and personally knows many of the pastors and churches in that district. I look forward to having George’s help in leading the Southwest District and the Indiana Conference as a whole."
A political science major at DePauw, Purnell also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity Degree (summa cum laude) from Christian Theological Seminary at Indianapolis. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from DePauw in 2008.
[Download Video: "Rev. George A. Purnell '71" - 7819kb] "The faculty here prepared me to think critically," Rev. Purnell said as he was honored by DePauw in May 2008. "They prepared me to be an engaged and informed citizen. The faculty here did not let me settle for being a critic of social policy and public leadership alone; they required me to propose solutions, to propose answers to the many myriad problems our culture faced, not be content to complain." He added, "I have been very proud of being a DePauw graduate. I can't imagine that any other institution of higher learning in the United States more effectively equips its students to be responsible and engaged citizens of the world."
Purnell was ordained an Elder in the former South Indiana Conference in 1989. He has held his current appointment since 2003 and also has served Pittsboro UMC (1987 to 1995) and Evansville Aldersgate UMC (1995 to 2003). Before entering the ordained ministry, he served the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
DePauw University was founded in 1837 (as Indiana Asbury) by the Methodist Church.Back