Bishop Lawson Bryan has announced the projected appointment of Rev. Stephen Grantham as the Northeast District Superintendent, effective June 2021.
Bishop Bryan previously announced that Rev. Jimmy Cason would serve in that capacity as an interim Superintendent, but with the further delay of General Conference and more pastoral moves this year than expected, he and the Cabinet felt it possible to make a regular appointment now.
“I am deeply grateful to Jimmy Cason for his outstanding leadership in South Georgia and for his willingness to serve the Annual Conference as an interim District Superintendent,” Bishop Bryan said. “Rev. Stephen Grantham’s record of effective pastoral leadership has already been a blessing to local churches. I welcome him to this new opportunity for expanded service to our Annual Conference.”
Rev. Grantham, who is completing his fifth year as senior minister of Moultrie First United Methodist Church, has served in the South Georgia Conference since 1983, pastoring churches in Covington, Davisboro, Warner Robins, Cordele, Statesboro, Reidsville, Jesup, Rincon, and Centerville.
A second-generation United Methodist pastor, Rev. Grantham graduated from LaGrange College and Candler School of Theology of Emory University. Ordained a Deacon in 1983 and an Elder in 1986, he recently finished his fourth unit of Clinical Pastoral Education and is now a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Board Certified Clinical Chaplain through the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. He and his wife, Sheri, have been married for 35 years and have two grown daughters and one grandson.
“It is with great humility and a tremendous honor that I accept my appointment to the Northeast District of the South Georgia Annual Conference,” Rev. Grantham said. “I am grateful to Bishop Bryan for placing his trust in me. I am honored to use the gifts for ministry God has given me and the experience of 39 years of ministry to help give pastoral and administrative leadership to the churches, pastors and their families in the Northeast District. I also look forward to working with the other members of the South Georgia Cabinet. I covet the prayers of all for this move and a transition to a new area of ministry.”
The other five district superintendents currently serving will be reappointed to serve in their respective districts. Rev. David Thompson will continue as the Coastal District Superintendent; Rev. Craig Hutto will continue to serve as the North Central District Superintendent; Rev. Steve Patton will continue serving as the Northwest District Superintendent; Rev. Paula Lewis will continue to serve as the South Central District Superintendent; and Rev. Doreen Smalls will continue serving as the Southwest District Superintendent.
Bishop Bryan and the Appointive Cabinet continue their work to prayerfully discern the pastoral appointment changes.
The Bishop and Cabinet originally announced April 18, 2021, as the intended date for the release of this year’s projected appointments. However, they needed additional time in order to intentionally and thoroughly complete the process. While appointments were not released on April 18, they will be released publicly as soon as possible on the conference website.
“As the annual process of appointment making continues, the Appointive Cabinet and I are grateful for the many expressions of prayerful support received from clergy and laity throughout the Annual Conference,” Bishop Bryan said. “We ask for your continued prayers as we follow the discernment process for appointment-making described in The Book of Discipline (¶426-430).”
All appointments are considered firm projections pending the official announcement at the conclusion of the virtual one-day Annual Conference session on June 7.