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 Monday 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:
Rev. James E. Hamlin
Rev. W. Carl Howard
Rev. Samuel P. Lamback
Rev. E. Jarrell Lillard
Clergy recognized for 50 Years in Ministry, from L to R: Flo Sapp Martin, member of the Archives & History Committee, Sam Lamback, James Hamlin, W. Carl Howard,Jarrell Lillard, and Anne Packard, director of the Methodist Museum
Clergy honored for retiring this year:
Rev. Paul Royce Buckhiester
Rev. Marcia Jane Cochran
Rev. Ron W. Dixon
Rev. James W. Giddens, Jr.
Rev. Gerald B. Goodman
Rev. William Ode Harris
Rev. Sally Luanne Kemper
Rev. Bernard N. Khaw
Rev. Donald J. King
Rev. Glenn Allen Martin
Rev. Wayne Edward Moseley
Rev. Randy Jerome Mosley
Rev. J. Reese Nelson
Rev. R. Vance Riggins
Rev. Donna Sue Roberts
Rev. William Thomas Roe
Rev. Charles Benjamin Varnell
Rev. Edwin Leon Willis
2018 Class of Retirees present at the 2018 Annual Conference Session, from L to R: (bottom) Randy Mosley, Donna Sue Roberts, Marcia Cochran, and Benjy Varnell; (top) Jim Giddens, Edwin Willis, Ron Dixon, Wayne Moseley, and Glenn Martin
"This conference session had so many inspiring moments, and the celebration of retiring clergy was certainly one of the highlights,” said Dr. Brad Brady, Conference Relations Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry and senior pastor at Perry United Methodist Church. “Each retiree expressed appreciation to the churches they have served and the lay persons and clergy with whom they were privileged to develop deep relationships.
“It was moving to hear these clergy persons share personal aspects of the bold faith it took for them to respond to God's unanticipated call to ministry. Each shared how God blessed their faithfulness beyond anything they could have imagined,” said Brady.
Eight people were ordained or commissioned at the 2018 Annual Conference Session: L to R: Alaina Harrison (full deacon), Shannon Baxter (provisional deacon), David Cott (provisional elder), Susan Beverly (provisional elder), Thomas Anderson (provisional elder) Debora Richards (provisional elder), Jamie Bone (provisional deacon), Grace Guyton (full deacon).
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 (Deacons) Alaina Harrison and Grace Guyton. Elected into provisional membership were: Deacon track - Shannon Baxter, Jamie Bone; Elder track - Thomas Anderson, Susan Beverly, David Cott, Debora Shinhoster Richards.
Others highlighted during the Board of Ministry report were:
New Certified Candidates: Drew Anderson, Kim Dixon, Tammy Fincher, Dan Harper, Wayne Morrow, Michael Powell, Tillford Thomas, Brandon Tolle, Stephen Waite, Jill Willingham
2018 Licensing School Students: Dwight Dunn, Tammy Fincher, Dan Harper, Wayne Morrow, Michael Powell, Tillford Thomas, Brandon Tolle, Stephen Waite, Jill Willingham
New Licensed Local Pastors: Adam Balduff, Tammy Fincher, Brandon Tolle, Michael Powell, Tillford Thomas, Jill Willingham, Dan Harper, Wayne Morrow, Jr.
Course of Study Graduates: Jean Watson, John Harrington
2018-2019 Young Clergy Academy Interns: Allison Williams, Pierce Chapel UMC, Caroline Peavy, Pittman Park UMC, Katy Smith, Mulberry St. UMC, Jorge Gonzelez, Cordele First UMC, Will English, Gateway UMC
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."