GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS CHAPTER III, GENERAL GOVERNMENT, G.The General Superintendents (above 306)
G. The General Superintendents*
*(The general superintendents fulfill for us the episcopal office referred to as bishops in other Wesleyan/Methodist denominations)
FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
1. When Phineas Bresee used the term general superintendent, he understood that it was the Methodist term for bishop. The term was used to describe the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in their Discipline, and was used by Wesley for Coke and Asbury. They understood the terms to be interchangeable. Nevertheless, this footnote would provide a more clear understanding when relating to other denominations.
2. This footnote does not change our use of the term general superintendent. However, it does provide a more biblical and traditional term that can help us understand our current term, which is often found in the corporate, rather than ecclesial world. It may also help us to realize that the “general” in general superintendent is a geographical term relating to the scope of the superintendency, rather than a title of (military type) rank.
3. This footnote changes nothing at all concerning the duties and powers of the general superintendents.