Annual Conference Reminders - March 2016


Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders,
I hope you are getting excited about our 2016 Annual Conference Session set for Wednesday, June 8, through Saturday, June 11, at the UGA Tifton Campus Center in Tifton, Ga. To keep you informed, we want to update you from time to time with the latest updates and reminders for Annual Conference.
You have already been made aware of some of this year’s highlights:

  • Celebration of our 150th Session of the South Ga. Annual Conference
  • Our Conference Theme: “Testify and Multiply”
  • Night of Entertainment Honoring our Episcopal Family, the Kings
  • A Retrospective of our 8 Years with Bishop King

Here are some other highlights:

  • Special Offering Announced: General Board of Global Ministries (which is moving to Atlanta)
  • Mission Outreach emphases announced
  • We’re taking pictures for a new Clergy Pictorial Directory!
  • Annual Conference Overview Webinar: Tuesday, May, at 7:00pm
  • Guest Preacher and Teachers Announced:
    • Wednesday: Rev. Dr. Winston Worrell, Director of World Methodist Evangelism Institute
    • Thursday: Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner, Duke Divinity School, Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism & Methodist Studies
    • Friday: Rev. Dr. Michael McQueen, Sr. Pastor, St. James UMC, Alpharetta
    • Saturday Ordination: Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, North Alabama Episcopal Area

Below are some details that you will find helpful. Additional information can always be found on the conference website,

Please note that the Book of Recommendations and Reports will be available for clergy and lay members on May 1. This annual publication will be able to be purchased through as a professionally bound book, or downloaded as a PDF file for free from the conference website. An email notification will be sent to all clergy and lay members when the publication is ready.

Also, if there has been a change in the lay member(s) representing your charge, please login to your church dashboard,, and make the change in the "My Church's Leaders" section. Additionally, please share the change with your district office.

Thank you.

Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary

Annual Conference Details

Special Offering - General Board of Global Ministries 
The 2016 Annual Conference Special Offering will go to the General Board of Global Ministries for missions and ministry as a welcoming offering. Every congregation is encouraged to collect an offering prior to Annual Conference. It will then be presented during the Opening Worship service.
 Global Ministries has been located in New York City for 200 years and will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia in the Fall of 2016.  The move to Atlanta - a catalyst for envisioning new ways to connect the church in mission - is a pivotal moment in the life of Global Ministries and the people with whom they serve. Material to help you promote the special offering, including a bulletin insert and video, can be found at

Thursday Night Evening of Entertainment Honoring Bishop James and Mrs. Rose King featuring Buddy Greene in Concert
 On Thursday evening, June 9, we will have an Evening of Entertainment honoring Bishop James and Mrs. Rose King. Joining us in concert for the evening will be musician Buddy Greene. This free event is open to the surrounding community. All are encouraged and welcome to attend. 
Through touring with the Gaithers and appearing on their Homecoming video series, as well as continuing to write and record his unique brand of gospel music, Buddy has built a solid reputation as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and talented performer with a distinct southern flavor. His virtuosity on the harmonica has distinguished him as an instrumental force to be reckoned with. Buddy’s songwriting has also gained him recognition, especially as the co-writer of the Christmas favorite, “Mary, Did You Know?” recorded by many of today’s top recording artists. Buddy’s outstanding performances have taken him from Macon, GA to Billy Graham crusades, music festivals, concert halls, churches, pickin’ parties of every kind, and even Carnegie Hall.

Mission Outreach Emphasis
 Agencies within the bounds of our Annual Conference are changing lives. They are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as they help to meet the most basic of needs. We are grateful for their work and want to show our gratitude. Each of the agencies listed below will have a collection box in the lobby. They have selected an item that will help them in their day-to-day operation. So choose one or choose several, and let’s help fill up their boxes! 

  • Magnolia Manor: large print word search/crosswords, adult coloring books, crayons/colored pencils, Classic movie/TV show DVDs (Examples: Andy Griffith, Leave it to Beaver, Gunsmoke, etc.)
  • Methodist Home: school supplies, hygiene items
  • Open Door: travel size toiletries, white washcloths
  • Vashti: $5 gift cards from McDonalds
  • Wesley Community Centers: Baby Wipes
  • Wesley Glen: Flushable Wipes, pocket Kleenex

Annual Conference Overview Webinar | Tuesday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m.
The Annual Conference Session can be daunting for those attending for the very first time. What’s the Book of Recommendations and how do I use it? How do I prepare? Will I have to vote on anything? What do I need to report back to my local church? If you have attended Annual Conference before, this year promises new highlights to celebrate ministries within South Georgia along with honoring Bishop King's legacy as he retires this year. This webinar, led by Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary, will help you navigate the 2016 Annual Conference Session and assist you in making the most of your role as a delegate.  To register for the free webinar and to view documents that will be used during our Annual Conference Session visit

Clergy Directory  Directory photographs for the new South Georgia Clergy Directory will be taken during the 2016 Annual Conference Session. Anyone serving under the appointment of the South Georgia Conference as well as retired clergy will be included in the directory.  This includes all levels of lay, local, and ordained pastors.  This year’s directory will include a single picture of the clergy member. An additional photo of the clergy and their spouse may be taken optionally. Photos will be taken Wednesday from 10:00am - 5:00pm, Thursday from 8:00am – 5:00pm and Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm.  Look for the Lifetouch Booth at the UGA Tifton Conference Center.

Meeting Details & Logistics

Schedule  The 2016 Conference Session will begin with the First Plenary Session on Wednesday afternoon, June 8. Conference will conclude with the Sending Forth Service on Saturday, June 11. Below is a tentative schedule of events. A more comprehensive and final schedule will be provided in the Spring of 2016.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
 10:00 AM               Registration Begins
    2:00 PM              First Plenary Session
    5:00 PM              Dinner Break
    7:00 PM              Opening Worship Service
Thursday, June 9, 2016
   8:00 AM               Registration Reopens
   8:30 AM               Laity Session
   8:30 AM               Clergy Session in Ballroom
 10:00 AM               Plenary Session
 12:00 PM               Lunch Break
   2:00 PM               Memorial Service
   5:00 PM               Dinner Break
   7:00 PM               Evening of Entertainment

Friday, June 10, 2016
   8:30 AM                Plenary Session
 11:00 AM                Retiree Recognition
 12:00 PM                Lunch Break
   2:00 PM                Plenary Session
   5:00 PM                Dinner Break
                                 Free Night

Saturday, June 11, 2016
  9:00 AM                 Ordination/Commissioning Service
10:30 AM                 Plenary Business Session
11:30 AM                 Fixing the Appointments/Sending Forth Service
12:00 PM                 Adjourn

Venue  All conference business and worship services will be held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The conference center is located off of I-75 at Exit 64 at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 41 N.  The physical address is 15 RDC Road / Tifton, GA 31794.  A map with alternate routes to the Conference Center will be made available on the conference website.
Registration The registration fee for all pastors and lay members to Annual Conference is $20. Retired clergy not serving a church are exempt from this fee. You will pay when you register at Annual Conference.            
Voting Rights—Who’s a delegate? 
Lay Members of the Annual Conference:  Lay membership shall be composed of the Lay Members elected by their charges, at-large delegates of the district selected by their district superintendent, the Conference Lay Leader, Conference President of United Methodist Men, Conference President of United Methodist Women, Conference President of the Council on Youth Ministries, Lay Delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference, Diaconal Ministers, Lay Staff of the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries, Lay Chairpersons of Conference Committees, Commissions, Councils, Teams or Boards, District Lay Leaders, District Presidents of United Methodist Men, District Presidents of United Methodist Women, District Presidents of United Methodist Youth, and one youth and one young adult by each District.

Clergy members of the Annual Conference:  Clergy delegates include Full Elders, Full Deacons, Associate Members, Provisional Deacons, Provisional Deacons, Full-time Local Pastors, Part-time Local Pastors, Retired Elders, Retired Deacons, Retired Associate Members, and Retired Provisional Members who retired before 2013. The Discipline does not allow Retired Local Pastors to be clergy delegates or vote (¶320.5); however, Retired Local Pastors who have been serving under appointment leading up to Annual Conference can serve as clergy delegates and vote. All clergy delegates and lay members of the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) may attend the Clergy Session, but only ordained clergy in full connection and lay members of the BOM may vote at the Clergy Session.
Expenses / Per diem  Clergy and lay delegates who represent a local church shall have their expenses (including registration) paid by the local church (this includes retired clergy who are serving a church).  Lay delegates who represent an organization and Extension Ministers shall have their expenses paid by the organization they represent.  Retired clergy not under appointment and clergy on disability shall receive a per diem of $65 per day for each day attended.  Lay members who do not represent a local church or conference organization shall receive a per diem on the same basis.  Retired local pastors who are not serving a church are not clergy according to the Discipline, and so do not qualify for a per diem.
Childcare Childcare will be available for infants through elementary age students at Tifton First UMC Children’s Building. Infant through pre-school childcare will be held for all worship services and business sessions.  Elementary age childcare will be available for business sessions only. Pre-registration is REQUIRED by May 27 so we know how to plan for staffing, crafts, materials, snacks and lunch.  For more information and to register visit or contact Allison Lindsey at
Banquets  If you have a group that would like to plan a banquet or special event, contact Sissy Martin at Tifton First UMC, 229-382-6100 (church), 229-848-5016 (cell) or Banquets must be pre-paid by May 27.
Displays Display spaces are available to groups and agencies related to the South Georgia Conference. Display space costs $50.The display policy as well as the registration form to reserve booth space can be found at Reservations for the space must be made prior to the conference.

Hotels  The following Tifton area hotels have rooms blocked for our conference. Please reserve your room now to ensure availability.  Ask for the South Georgia United Methodist Church group rate when booking.

Comfort Inn & Suites
320 South Virginia Ave
Rate: 80.00

Country Inn & Suites
310 South Virginia Ave
Rate: 80.00

Days Inn & Suites
1199 U.S. Highway 82 W  
Rate: 65.00

Econo Lodge
1025 West 2nd St
Rate: 59.99
Fairfield Inn & Suites
806 West 7th Street
Rate: 99.00

Hampton Inn & Suites  
720 US Hwy 319 S
Rate: 129.00

Hilton Garden Inn
201 Boo Drive
Rate: 119.00

Holiday Inn Express
814 West 7th Street
Rate: 85.00
Microtel Inns & Suites
196 South Virginia Ave. 
Rate: 65.95

Quality Inn
1104 King Rd
Rate: 64.99

Super 8
1022 West 2nd Street
Rate: 53.99



For questions regarding the business of Annual Conference, please contact Dr. Jay Harris at For questions regarding local arrangements or any general questions, please contact Kelly Roberson at 912-270-6172 or