AC2016: Thursday, June 9 Recap


Recap of Thursday, June 9

Thursday morning began with the Laity Session at 8:30 a.m. in the John Hunt Auditorium and the Clergy Sessions at 8:30 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Conference Center.

Laity Session

Gloria Morgan, Conference Lay Leader, called the meeting to order.  Following the opening prayer by Robert Anderson, Northwest District Lay Leader, Jimmy Outlaw, South Central District Lay Leader, gave the greetings, welcoming lay members to Tifton for the 2016 Annual Conference.

John Ray, Northeast District Lay Leader, offered a devotional.

Bill Hatcher, Allison Lindsey, Larry Price and Carl Childs each told about their experiences at General Conference.

Allison Lindsey, Associate Director for Connectional Ministries, told laity about resources that Connectional Ministries offers to local churches, including webinars, trainings, consultations, conference website and much more.

Laity then heard a report from the United Methodist Women by Mary Exley, UMW President, and a report from the United Methodist Men by UMM President Johnny Hemingway. “As long as there are hungry people, as long as there are hurting people, UMW will have a job to do,” Exley said. “That is how we love people. That is how we serve.” After the UMM report, a $3,500 check was presented by the UMM to Andy Brubaker, vice president for Administration at Andrew College, from the Roy Lifsey Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Gloria Morgan gave a brief orientation to Annual Conference. Afterwards, she introduced each of the District Lay Leaders.

J. Knapp, Southwest District Lay Leader, gave the closing prayer.

Clergy Session

Bishop James R. King, Jr. convened the clergy session.  Dr. Rick Mitchell led the clergy in singing “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” accompanied by Rev. Tony Crosby on the keyboard. Rev. Anna Miller opened with a word of prayer. 

Bishop King welcomed all clergy and lay members of the Board of Ordained Ministry and clarified who could attend, speak, and vote at the clergy session. 

Bishop King asked the Historic Question regarding the character of all clergy.  The Bishop reported on the character of the District Superintendents.  The District Superintendents reported on the clergy under their supervision. The character of all clergy was approved.

Rev. Jimmy Towson gave the Board of Ministry Report. Rev. Scott Hagan then gave the Report of the Registrars. 

Rev. Paula Lewis offered the closing prayer.

Business Session

In the Business Session Thursday morning, the conference:  

  • was led in a teaching moment by Dr. Laceye Warner, Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Warner reminded the Conference members that we are all commissioned to evangelistic ministry by our baptism. “Evangelism is in our DNA,” she said.
  • heard the Board of Ordained Ministry report given by Rev. Jimmy Towson, chair.
  • recognized those clergy who faithfully serve beyond the local church in an extension ministry appointment.
  • received the clergy who have been elected into provisional membership and the clergy for reception into full conference membership. Bishop King asked the clergy the historic questions asked of clergy since the days of John Wesley.  The conference welcomed these clergy into their new relationship:

New Licensed Local Pastors: Candice Butler, David Cott, Ed Eschmann, Carroll Gay, Scott Harris, Tammy Humphries, Michael Jones, Thomas Kennison, Donald King, Clarence Knight, Ralph Long, Marie Rainge, Janet Sack, Gail Smith, Drew Thompson

Provisional Members:
Elders - Jeremy Alexander, Josh Gale, Kirk Hagan, Greg Harrison, Nate Lehman

Full Conference Member:
Elders - Paula Lewis and Chance Ward; Deacon - Anna Miller

  • heard about The Young Clergy Academy and its Intern Program, sponsored by the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, and the impact it is having to those  exploring a call to ordained ministry in the South Georgia Annual Conference.
  • heard three “Amplify” moments – short videos that share the fruits of our conference ministries through personal testimonies of those that have had or are having life transforming experiences through Jesus Christ and the work of these ministries – from Methodist Home, Magnolia Manor and Higher Education and Campus Ministry.
  • heard two South Georgia Conference history moments from Rev. Dave Hanson. In his first history moment, Rev. Hanson reminded us of the emphasis placed on rural ministries in the 1940s. In 1946, Rev. G. Ross Freeman was selected by Progressive Farmer Magazine as the Rural Minister of the Year, and the spotlight came on rural ministries in South Georgia. They were honored, celebrated, and came alive across the conference, and were an example around the nation. In his second history moment, Rev. Hanson shared the story of Epworth By The Sea, which was born out of a worthy idea South Georgia Methodists had in 1949. “Today when you drive through the gates of Epworth and see the beautiful expanse of lawns, buildings, and happy people, I believe that you will realize afresh that there’s no limit to what God can do when the Methodists of South Georgia unite behind a worthy idea.”
  • approved the Equitable Compensation Report presented by Dr. Derek McAleer, conference director of Administrative Services.
  • approved changes to the Standing Rules of the Conference, which creates a new task force on Hispanic Ministries, changes the name of New and Revitalized Congregational Development to Congregational Development, allows for the creation of task groups for Congregational Development, and directs the proceeds of abandoned or discontinued property to go first toward any unpaid debt to the South Georgia Conference for pensions and health benefits already paid by the conference on behalf of the discontinued church.

Memorial Service with Holy Communion

A Memorial Service for those faithful servants who have served in our Conference was held on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Don Adams gave a moving message as he remembered those who have gone before us.

“Each of these people responded to God’s ‘tap on the shoulder,’” Rev. Adams said. “We say thank you to Jesus for tapping these dear ones on the shoulder. And we say thank you to them for responding in faithful obedience. Many lives – many of our lives – are different today because they said yes.”

Those being remembered include:

Deceased Clergy

Leonard Martin Wildes
2/15/33 - 4/21/15

Walter Guy Parrish, Jr.
7/30/28 - 4/23/15

Alice Mizell Chancey
5/16/24 - 4/25/15

Samuel Q. E. Ghartey
4/25/36 - 4/30/15

Charles Edwin Zimmerman, Jr.
9/19/46 - 5/17/15

Charles Edison Rooks
3/12/27 - 5/24/15

James Pinson Hughes
4/15/33 - 7/4/15

Judy Varnadoe White
4/1/21 - 7/15/15

Julian Lester Tucker
5/16/33 - 8/11/15

Joel Paul Barrett, Jr.
6/6/43 - 8/20/15

Jonathan Scott Gates
6/3/71 - 10/4/15

Edward Cecil Felts
9/24/36 - 11/18/15

John Berrien Minter, Sr.
1/29/27 - 12/20/15

William Ether McTier, Jr.
8/21/34 - 12/24/15

Emory Carter Gilbert
7/21/26 - 1/1/16

Donald James Welch
4/9/31 - 1/22/16

Douglas Cecil Maloney
1/16/32 - 1/27/16

Deceased Clergy Spouses

Bobbie Vaughn Brown
3/27/32 - 7/17/15
Spouse of Sanford V. Brown

June Lindly Hill
6/10/22 - 7/20/15
Spouse of D. Merle Hill*

Ruthanne Shockley Key
3/5/26 - 8/25/15
Spouse of Thomas M. “Jack” Key

Eunice Partin Smith
6/24/1911 - 9/22/15
Spouse of William Park Smith*

Amy Parnell Griffin
6/27/28 - 12/11/15
Spouse of Clarence Griffin

Ruth Whiting Culbreth
6/24/31 - 12/17/15
Spouse of Charles A. Culbreth, Jr.*

Mabel Burns Harris
12/26/30 - 12/29/15
Spouse of Frank Henry Harris, Jr.

Janis Roberson Kenney
9/16/38 - 1/4/16
Spouse of James Calvin Kenney, Sr.

Allene Walker Maddox
12/3/25 - 1/27/16
Spouse of Eugene Matthew Maddox*

Glennis Lee Powers
12/1/53 - 1/30/16
Spouse of Donald Roger Powers*

Ferrell “Faye” Smith McCall
4/5/38 - 2/25/16
Spouse of Jackie Stanton McCall*

* denotes spouse is deceased


Business Session
In the Business Session Thursday afternoon, the conference:  

  • heard the report of the conference personnel committee given by Rev. Mike McAfee.
  • approved the Board of Pensions and Health Benefits report given by Mr. Robert Anderson and the HealthFlex report given by Mrs. Lauren Griner Isom.
  • were led in a second teaching moment by Dr. Laceye Warner, Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Warner led us in a study of the commission texts and statements within the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. “God’s already shown up,” she said. “It’s just how we’re going to see the miracles in our midst.”
  • heard an update on the new Conference Center from Dr. Hal Brady. “My hope for the South Georgia Conference is that we would soon get a home,” Dr. Brady said. “It would help us to glorify God in South Georgia.”

Buddy Greene Concert

On Thursday evening, June 9, conference members and guests were treated to a concert by musician Buddy Greene, best known for co-writing the Christmas favorite, “Mary, Did You Know?” and for touring with gospel greats Gloria and Bill Gaither.

The “Evening of Entertainment” honored Bishop James King and his wife, Mrs. Rose King, for their eight years of ministry with and to the South Georgia Annual Conference.

This event was co-sponsored by the South Georgia Conference and the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association.

A reception for the Kings, sponsored by the United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union, was held following the concert.

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