By Kara Witherow, Editor
Summer is a time of transition for many ministries across the Annual Conference. The Office of Connectional Ministries is no exception, as it welcomed three new associate directors following the 2016 Annual Conference session.
Rev. Earnestine Campbell joins the Connectional Ministries team as associate director after having served as associate pastor of South Columbus United Methodist Church for the past two years.
A passionate teacher and preacher, Rev. Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Troy University in Troy, Ala. and worked in human resources management prior to entering full-time ministry. She is currently pursuing a master’s of divinity degree from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.
Rev. Campbell’s ministry focus is on the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, missions and will work with the Advocacy Team, as well as other responsibilities
Following a change to the Conference’s Standing Rules during the 2016 Annual Conference session, as of July 1 Hispanic Ministries falls under the Connectional Ministries portfolio, and Rev. Daniel Medina and Rev. Felipe Ricardo have joined the staff as associate directors of Hispanic Ministries where they will continue to develop programs and foster leadership development within the Hispanic communities. Both positions are part time and Rev. Medina and Rev. Ricardo will continue in full-time ministry in their pastoral appointments.
A former architect and second-career pastor, Rev. Medina comes from a family of faithful and active United Methodists. His father was a district superintendent who retired in 1996 from the North Central Conference of the Methodist Church of Mexico.
Born in México City, Mexico, Rev. Medina has been with the South Georgia conference since 1994, serving Hispanic congregations in Bainbridge, Arlington, Sale City, and Brunswick. In addition to serving as associate director of Connectional Ministries, he currently serves Nueva Vida United Methodist Church in Macon and the Hispanic congregation at Warner Robins First United Methodist Church.
Rev. Felipe Ricardo, who has served as the associate pastor of Hispanic Ministries at Cordele First United Methodist Church since 2001, is originally from Cuba, where he was one of the most prominent pastors in the Methodist church.
He received his bachelor’s degree in theology from Seminario Evangélico de Teología in Matanzas, Cuba, where he also took several courses toward his master’s degree in theology and also served as a seminary professor. He received his first pastoral appointment at 20 and served nine churches in Cuba, in addition to serving as a district superintendent.
“I am honored to welcome Rev. Daniel Medina, Rev. Earnestine Campbell, and Rev. Felipe Ricardo to the Office of Connectional Ministries,” said Rev. Denise Walton, assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. “As they join the dedicated and faithful staff, we celebrate the gifts each of them brings to assist local churches as they seek to make disciples for the transformation of the world.”