Bishop Leonard Fairley currently serves as the Bishop for the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Bishop Fairley was assigned to The Louisville Area effective September 1, 2016. He was nominated by the North Carolina Conference and was elected July 13, 2016 on the seventh ballot during the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.
Bishop Fairley had served the North Carolina Conference since 1984 and his last appointment in North Carolina was serving as the District Superintendent of the Capital District. The Capital District is the largest district in the North Carolina Annual Conference.
Bishop Fairley graduated from Pfeiffer College and Duke University’s School of Divinity. He served at St. Peters in Hamlet, NC and Soapstone in Raleigh before becoming the Rockingham District Superintendent. After serving as a District Superintendent for seven years he returned to the local church in 2012 as Lead Pastor at Saint Francis in Cary, NC.
Bishop Fairley has served on numerous boards and agencies in the NC Conference including:
- Conference Vitalization Consultant
- Chair of Congregational Development
- Task Force on Lay Academy
- Vice Chair of Conference Finance & Administration
- Vice Chair of Conference Board of Church and Society
- NC Conference Transition Team
- Conference Board of Ordained Ministry
- NC Conference Episcopacy Committee
- General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegate
He has also participated in Mission Work Teams in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Honduras, Serbia and the Appalachia Service Project.
Bishop Fairley has published a book of poetry, “Who Shall Hear My Voice.” He also was a contributing writer to “The Day the Earth Moved Haiti: From Havoc to Healing.”
He was married to his lifelong soul mate, Priscilla Ann Russell, before she died in 2013. In January 2018, God answered a prayer for new love; and, in September of the same year, Bishop Fairley married Dawn Sparks. Dawn also lost her soul mate, David, in 2015 to cancer. She has two adult children, son, Luke Sparks, and daughter, Megan Bracken, as well as three grandchildren. From his marriage with Priscilla, Bishop Fairley has two adult children, son, Joshua Fairley, and daughter, Elizabeth Galbreath, as well as four beautiful grandchildren.
Bishop Fairley will serve as the speaker for the Saturday Morning, Saturday Evening and Sunday Morning Sessions at Pilgrimage 2019.