Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath 

Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath was elected the 128th bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in July 2008 at the denomination's quadrennial session meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Leath was the first of three elected from a field of about 40 candidates.  He was then assigned a four year term in the 19th District of the church which encompasses 5 provinces of the Republic of South Africa.  Leath's last assignment was at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the founding congregation, where he served for fifteen years.

In addition to the 225 pastors supervised by Bishop Leath, his duties include oversight of a small community college, a school of religion (for training pastors) and an emerging housing project. Jeffrey spends a cumulative time of about eight months annually in South Africa.  When he is not in his Johannesburg office, he is visiting churches which extend therefrom about a seven hour drive in every direction.  The A.M.E. Church, founded in 1787 (Philadelphia, PA) has maintained a ministry in South Africa for over 100 years.

A struggling educational system and high unemployment are among the daunting social challenges Leath confronts.  He has been inspired by the courage and hope of the people of South African as they face these issues along with the scourge of HIV/AIDS.