Celebrating Ministry Milestones and Achievements at Annual Conference


The 2017 Class of Retirees

Annual Conference is a special time to celebrate ministry milestones and achievements, from those just entering the ministry to those taking the next step of their journey into retirement.
On Tuesday morning the South Georgia Annual Conference celebrated with those clergy who have served in ministry for 50 years and those who are entering into a retired relationship with the Annual Conference.
Clergy recognized for having served 50 years in ministry include:
Jack G. Atkinson
Richard G. Aultmann
Roy L. Dial
C. Grayton Helms
Ronnie O. Howell
Ronnie Wills 
Clergy honored for retiring this year:
Larry Bird
Dwight Bishop
Don Black
Andy Brownley
Mark Carter
Roland Fall
Rick Holt
John Irwin
David Johnson
Wesley Kaylor
Bill Lee
Jim McIlrath
Cecile Mitchell
Randy Nease
Joyce Payne
Leigh Ann Raynor
Woody Roberts
Jennifer Sherling
Kenneth West
"It is always a highlight when the Annual Conference pauses to celebrate those who are retiring," said Dr. Brad Brady, Conference Relations Chair of Board of Ordained Ministry. "To hear each retiree speak about the honor of serving their various appointments, and the many ways they have experienced God's faithfulness is so inspiring."
During the Board of Ordained Ministry report on Monday morning, individuals were also recognized for achieving milestones and achievements.
Received into their new relationship with the conference were Full Conference Members (Elders) Jonathan Fitts Fuller and James Clayton Varnell. Elected into provisional membership were Gerald Ray Akin, Jr., John Pierce Grantham, Eric Kyle Mayle, and Scott Dozier Stanfill.

Others highlighted during the Board of Ministry report were:

New Certified Candidates: Joseph I. Carter, Damon Hubert, Haynes Martin, Royce Johnson, Pamela Johnston, James Owens, Rachel Paul, Larry Rader, Betty Lee Scott, Larry Stricklin, Jeremy Wilson
2017 Licensing School Students: Claire Bookhoop, Eloise Green, Damon Hubert, Royce Johnson, Ben Lee, Jared Middleton, Larry Rader, Betty Lee Scott, Larry Stricklin, Doug Tolson, Jeremy Wilson
New Licensed Local Pastors: William Rushton Black, Claire Bookhoop, Joseph Carter, Damon Hubert, Royce Johnson, Benjamin Lee, Jared Middleton, Larry Rader, Jeremy Wilson
Course of Study Graduates: Gary Griffin, Freddie Smith, Jean Watson (July)
Professional Certification in Christian Education and Children’s Ministry: Elisa Reece
The United Methodist Church sets a high standard for persons in vocational ministry, said Rev. Scott Tucker, chair of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
“Each of these milestones represents a point where a candidate has revisited her story of salvation; stretched himself through prayers, study, and self-awareness; and then invited others to help decide how a call from God matches up with a call from the Church,” Rev. Tucker said. “While we experience the call as individuals, we don't get to keep our call to ourselves.
“We offer our call to the Church, and the Church challenges us, tests us, and teaches us to be more mature disciples so that we can be more effective ministers for Christ."

From L to R: John Grantham (Provisional Elder), Eric Mayle (Provisional Elder), Jonathan Fuller (Full Elder), 
Jack Varnell (Full Elder), Scott Stanfill (Provisional Elder), Jerry Akin (Provisional Elder)