Bishop Robert E. Fannin, a 1958 FSC graduate and former senior minister of First United Methodist Church of Lakeland is the Bishop in Residence of Florida Southern College.
Following completion of his master’s and doctoral studies at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Fannin served in the Florida Annual Conference of UMC in Lake Alfred, Gainesville, Stuart, Lakeland and Miami, where he was district superintendent of the Miami district. He was involved there as a member of the Hispanic Social Services board of directors; trustee of the South Florida Center for Theological Studies and the Haitian Advisory Council; and member of the coalition of Religious Leaders in Miami. To honor his work, Metropolitan Dade County declared June 9, 1991 Dr. Robert E. Fannin Day. Upon election to the Episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July 1992, Fannin was assigned to the Birmingham area.
Fannin was a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conference in 1984, 1988 and 1992, and to the World Methodist Conference in 1986, 1992, 1997 and 2002. He serves as vice-chair of World Evangelism of the World Methodist Council; he has previously served as vice-chair of General Council on Finance and Administration; vice-chair of Emory University Board of Trustees; and president of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Court of Appeals. He has served as a board member of several national boards and agencies of UMC including the General Council on Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministry; as a member of the board of trustees of Birmingham-Southern College, Bethune-Cookman College and Huntingdon College. He is a past president of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council.