Morningside University joins the United Methodist Church in honoring Resident Bishop of the Iowa Area of The United Methodist Church Laurie Haller as she prepares to retire at the end of 2022. Haller has served as an ex-officio member of the Morningside University Board of Directors since June 1, 2016, and was the recipient of a Doctor of Humane Letters from the University in 2021.
Haller has faithfully served The United Methodist Church for more than four decades. She was elected to her current position in 2016 and also became the interim bishop of the Dakotas Annual Conference in 2021.
Bishop Haller is a talented musician, an endurance athlete, a prolific speaker, and an engaging writer whose essays and articles have appeared in publications throughout the country and world. She is also the author of two books, Recess: Rediscovering Play and Purpose and Wandering in Grace: A Journey of Discovery and Hope.
Haller holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and a Master of Music degree in organ performance from the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music, and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School.
Prior to her election as resident bishop, Haller served within The United Methodist Church for more than three decades in the Michigan area. She was senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham in the Detroit Annual Conference; spent six years as district superintendent of the Grand Rapids District in the West Michigan Conference; was a co-senior pastor for 13 years at First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids; was pastor of Hart United Methodist Church along with her husband, Gary; associate pastor of Ludington United Methodist Church, and served as pastor of Ogdensburg United Methodist Church in Traverse City.
Bishop Haller and her husband have three children and two grandchildren.
United Methodists and ecumenical friends across Iowa are invited to celebrate the ministry of Bishop Haller on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Details and ways to honor Bishop Haller are included here.
All of us at Morningside University wish to thank Bishop Haller for her service to Morningside and the United Methodist Church, and we wish her well in her new chapter.