South Georgians elected to serve on general church boards


Two South Georgia United Methodists, Dr. Brad Brady and Kelly Roberson, have been nominated and elected to serve on general church agency boards by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.

Dr. Brady, senior pastor at Perry United Methodist Church, has for a second quadrennium been elected to serve on the Connectional Table. Established by the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries, and resources across the denomination. The purpose of the Connectional Table is to discern and articulate the vision for the church and the stewardship of the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church as determined by General Conference and in consultation with the Council of Bishops.

Dr. Brady has served in various capacities in the South Georgia Conference since 1980. In 2008 he was elected to serve as the 2009-2012 Jurisdictional Conference Secretary, with primary responsibilities being the planning and implementation of the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Session.

“I am surprised and humbled to be the only incumbent returning to the Connectional Table from the Southeastern Jurisdiction,” Dr. Brady said. “The Connectional Table will have two major priorities this quadrennium. First, to support and evaluate the general agencies as they work collaboratively around the four areas of focus and vital congregations. Second, to respond to the General Conference’s mandate to work on legislative proposals to modify our existing general agencies for a more authentic global expression of The United Methodist Church.

“In spite of other significant challenges swirling around us, from this vantage point I am blessed to be able to see so many positive benefits of our worldwide connection as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, which is the heartbeat of the church.”

The Connectional Table includes 60 members who are elected from U.S. jurisdictional and overseas conferences in Africa, Asia, and Europe and are composed of: clergy and lay representatives; a bishop selected by the Council of Bishops; general agency top executives and most presidents; one youth and one young adult from the Board of Discipleship’s Division on Ministries with Young People; and members from the denomination’s racial and ethnic caucuses.

“Dr. Brady was one of our excellent members who served on our missional collaboration group on the worldwide nature, and he had a lot of ideas and contributions about what it meant to be a worldwide church,” said Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker, executive secretary of the Connectional Table. “I think his experience as a director of Connectional Ministries really contributes to helping us continue to focus on how we organize. I’m not sure exactly where he wants to passionately give his leadership skills (this quadrennium), but he brings a lot of skills that will bless us in many ways as a Connectional Table, so I’m looking forward to working with him again. He’s awesome.”

Roberson, the Conference’s director of communications, was elected to serve on the General Commission on Communications. The General Commission on Communications (United Methodist Communications) provides resources and services to local churches and annual conferences. United Methodist Communications also has a consultative relationship with all general agencies of the Church and with any structure for communication and public relations at the jurisdictional, Episcopal area, annual conference, district, or local church level.

“I have been so fortunate to live out my ministry calling as a communicator within the very Church that has nurtured me in my faith,” said Roberson, a member of Leesburg United Methodist Church. “In my position as conference communications director I have been able to witness the hand of God at work at all levels of the Church – local, conference, jurisdictional, and general church.

“I am excited to now have the opportunity to serve on the General Commission on Communications, which is charged with the task of meeting the communication, public relations, and marketing needs of the entire Church, reflecting the cultural and racial diversity within The United Methodist Church.”

The Southeastern Jurisdiction nominated and elected a total of 47 people to serve on general church boards and agencies. Rev. Don Adams and Gloria Morgan represented the South Georgia Conference on the nominations committee.

“The jurisdictional nominations process is closely governed by equitable quotas with regard to both the annual conferences and the membership of the various denominational boards and commissions,” Rev. Adams said. “Only 47 open positions were available. The South Georgia Conference was allowed to fill just two of those positions. In addition to that limitation there were varying restrictions with regard to categories such as: clergy, laity, male, female, African- American, Native American, disabled, youth, younger adult, adult, and older adult. The nominating process was like putting together a puzzle and everyone shared in the frustrations of the various requirements. Gloria Morgan, who did the challenging work of secretary for the committee, and I were thankful to get Brad Brady returned to the very strategic Connectional Table and Kelly Roberson on the Commission on Communications (Kelly is clearly respected in our jurisdiction). Obviously, our greatest frustration was the limited opportunities for persons in our conference to be placed. Our only comfort was the reality that everyone else shared in those same frustrations.”

With Roberson’s and Dr. Brady’s elections, there will be a total of three South Georgia United Methodists serving at the general church level. During the denomination’s General Conference session, one South Georgia lay person was elected to serve on the general church level of The United Methodist Church. South Georgia Conference Chancellor Warren Plowden, a member of Macon’s Vineville United Methodist Church, was again elected as a lay alternate to The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council, the denomination’s highest judicial body.

Several from the South Georgia Conference were elected to serve at the jurisdictional level. Dr. Bob Moon, senior pastor of Valdosta First United Methodist Church, will return to serve a second quadrennium on the Southeastern Jurisdiction’s Council on Finance and Administration. Rev. Denise Walton, assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries, was nominated and elected to serve on the SEJ’s Committee on Coordination and Accountability (CCA). Anne Packard, director of the Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum, was nominated and elected to serve on the SEJ’s Commission on Archives and History. Dr. Nita Crump, superintendent of the Southwest District, was nominated by the College of Bishops and elected by the SEJ to serve on the Committee on Investigation. Kelly Roberson was also nominated by the College of Bishops and elected by the SEJ to serve on the Committee on Appeals.