The South Georgia Conference delegation to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences has endorsed the Reverend Robert Beckum as their episcopal nominee (nominee to be elected as a bishop in the United Methodist Church).
Rev. Beckum will join nominees from other conferences under consideration for the episcopacy at next summer’s Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C.
Rev. Beckum is the Senior Pastor of St. Luke United Methodist in Columbus, appointed there in June 2011. He has been a delegate to three General and Jurisdictional Conferences and will lead the 2012 South Georgia delegation.
“Robert walks as a person of Christian character, competence and conviction,” said Dr. Bob Moon, Senior Pastor of Valdosta First United Methodist Church and member of the 2012 delegation. “As a friend, I see his heart for God and God’s people. As a pastor, I see the fruit of his ministry.
“His excellent leadership grows out of his follower-ship as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We need servant leaders like Robert Beckum,” said Dr. Moon.
Prior to being appointed to St. Luke, Rev. Beckum was the vice president of Church Relations and Development for Magnolia Manor in Americus, Ga. for seven years. Magnolia Manor is the South Georgia Conference’s ministry to older adults, providing a loving Christian environment and ensuring the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of residents and their families.
Rev. Beckum has also served the following congregations: Albany First United Methodist Church; Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins; Douglas First United Methodist Church; Mt. Olivet and Midway, both near Savannah; and as associate at Grace United Methodist Church in Savannah.
In addition to pastoral responsibilities, Rev. Beckum has served as the Chair of the South Georgia Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Conference Council on Ministries and the Conference Personnel Committee.
"I am humbled and more than a little overwhelmed at the decision of the South Georgia delegation to endorse me for the Episcopacy,” said Rev. Beckum. “Our denomination finds itself in challenging times, but I am confident that the promises of God's Word and the power of the Holy Spirit will both sustain us and equip us as we seek to embrace the future God has for our church.
“I truly appreciate the spirit of prayer and discernment by which our delegation arrived at their decision. It will be in that same spirit of prayer and discernment that our delegation will continue to prepare for General and Jurisdictional Conferences in the year ahead," said Rev. Beckum.
Rev. Beckum received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Georgia Southern University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has done further work towards a Doctor of Ministry from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Rev. Beckum was ordained an elder in 1978.
Rev. Beckum is originally from Louisville, Ga. and is married to Mary Pat (Jones) Beckum. They have been married 33 years. Mary Pat is an elementary school educator. They have one son, Jonathan, who is a senior at Georgia Southwestern State University.
Bishops will be elected next July when the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) will hold its quadrennial gathering for the primary purpose of selecting bishops to serve conferences in the SEJ.