Published on Friday, August 25, 2017

Bishop Robert H. Spain Retires as Chaplain to The United Methodist Publishing House

NASHVILLE, August 24, 2017— Staff and special guests gathered at The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) on August 24 to celebrate the ministry and service of Bishop Robert H. Spain as their chaplain.

Bishop Spain came to the publishing house after his retirement as an active bishop in 1992 and stayed for the next 25 years, making his rounds of the UMPH offices, visiting staff in the hospital, praying and counseling, leading worship services, and writing a weekly reflection called Chaplain’s Corner.

Prior to his post-retirement chaplaincy at UMPH, Bishop Spain served as bishop in Kentucky and South Carolina, district superintendent of the Nashville District, and pastor at Brentwood UMC, Belle Meade UMC, and other appointments in the Tennessee Conference. He has served on numerous boards and agencies, including the General Board of Publication (now the Board of UMPH).

Bishop Spain served with grace and compassion the staff, family members, and board of the publishing house. He will retire—again—to spend time with his wife, Syble, and his children and grandchildren.

“We thank God and celebrate Bishop Spain’s long and faithful tenure at UMPH. His ministry here had a very significant impact which has helped us to remain focused on providing the church with resources for the Christian journey,” said Brian Milford, President and Publisher.


The United Methodist Publishing House is a publisher and distributor to Christian clergy and laity, with primary responsibilities for the publishing and distribution for The United Methodist Church. The Publishing House is a fully self-supporting agency and receives no general church funds.

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Author: Amy Smith

Categories: News