Bishop Joe Wilson - Recipient of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Founder's Award

Date Posted: 2/7/2012

The TCADP Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following 2012 TCADP Annual Award Winner, who will be recognized at the 2012 TCADP Annual Conference - Seizing the Momentum... Creating the Climate for Change, on February 18, 2012 at the University of the Incarnate Word Sky Room.

Bishop Joe Wilson, retired Bishop of the United Methodist Church, is a persistent voice for justice on multiple issues who works to raise awareness and advocate for change. Bishop Joe Wilson expressed concern about Karla Faye Tucker's scheduled execution in 1998, and then again in 2000 to then-Governor George Bush about the high number of executions in Texas.  He has been a steadfast supporter of TCADP for many years and can always be counted on to participate in clergy-focused efforts.


On February 16, 2011, Bishop Joe Wilson represented nearly 100 faith leaders who joined a sign-on letter calling for mercy for Timothy Adams, who was executed by the State of Texas on February 22, 2011. Bishop Wilson participated in a press conference at the Capitol, along with members of the Adams' family, attorneys, and clergy, and eloquently spoke on behalf of the religious leaders around the state who believed that Tim Adams deserved clemency.  His presence and participation in that event provided great comfort and kindness to the Adams' family.


As the result of his involvement in this effort, Bishop Wilson wrote an op-ed, "Why Must a Good Man Die," which was published by the Georgetown paper and shared with many others.


Bishop Wilson also stayed with TCADP staff and members for more than 9 hours at the Capitol on March 29, 2011, when the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee conducted a hearing on HB 819, the abolition bill. His testimony on the death penalty from a faith perspective was critically important for the committee members to hear.


Bishop Wilson's assistance with the Timothy Adams' clemency campaign was invaluable and his participation in the HB 819 committee hearing went above and beyond the call of duty.


Bishop Joe Wilson is a graduate of Southwestern University (‘59).  He spent his years of ministry as a Pastor in the Texas Conference prior to being elected Bishop and serving as Bishop to the Central Texas Conference.  Bishop Wilson currently serves as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.