MANTECA — Minerva G. Carcaño is being installed today as the bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The installation is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 910 E. North St., Manteca.
She becomes the spiritual leader for 360 churches with 78,000 people in congregations from Kern County to the Oregon border and northern Nevada.
In 2004, Carcaño made history by becoming the first Latina to be elected bishop in the United Methodist church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
She is one of 69 bishops serving 12 million congregants worldwide.
Before coming to Northern California, Carcaño served four years in Los Angeles, overseeing churches in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. Before that she served in Arizona for eight years.
According to a news release, she believes in working with the poor, farm workers, immigrants, refugees, and those advocating for the full rights of the LGBTQ community.
Her ministry has included serving as Director of the Mexican American Program at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Texas, her native state.
She is married to Thomas L. Spaniolo, a lawyer who practices immigration and criminal law.
Although the installation is occurring today, Carcaño has been serving as the resident bishop of the region since Sept. 1.