Vital Signs moments highlight ways Conference is alive


From L to R: Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye and Rev. Carrie Myers
share a Vital Sign moment about the ministry foci of the Conference Advocacy Team.

A highlight of this year’s Annual Conference session were the Vital Signs moments. These brief, interactive snapshots of ministries showed the various ways we are Alive Together in Christ in the South Georgia Conference through our various agencies, ministries, and people.
  • Rev. Jonathan Smith, Campus Minister at the Georgia Southern Wesley Foundation, interviewed Jordan Mimbs, 2016-2017 Young Clergy Academy Intern at Gray UMC, about cultivating a culture of call in the life of our Annual Conference.
  • Rev. Michael McCord, Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry, interviewed Caroline Peavy, a student at the Georgia Southern Wesley Foundation, and Drew Thompson, campus pastor at the Coastal Wesley Foundation, about the impact campus ministries are having on our college campuses.  
  • A Vital Sign moment highlighted the work of Congregational Development. Rev. Jay Hanson, director, presented the 2017 Kingdom Builders Innovation in Ministry Trailblazer Award to Rev. Jim Cowart and Mrs. Jennifer Cowart of Harvest for the example they and the Harvest congregation have set in sustained church growth. Rev. Hanson also introduced Rev. Joe Buck of Shoreline Church, a new church start in Valdosta. He recognized Debbie Hudgins, a member of White Bluff UMC, with the 2017 Kingdom Builders Innovation in Ministry Gamechanger Award for her work with the Gateway Pooler and White Bluff UMC congregations as they work together. They were joined by Sam Martin, Rev. Matt Hearn, and Damon Hubert from Gateway Pooler.
  • Another Vital Sign featured the ministry foci of the Conference Advocacy Team: Hispanic Ministries, Servant Leadership/Persons with Disabilities, celebrating the gift of diversity, SBC21, ONE Campaign (initiative for issues of extreme poverty), prison ministry, Pan-Methodist campaign, and small church leadership and vitality. Leading this time were Rev. Denise Walton, Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries; Rev. Daniel Medina, Associate Director of Hispanic Ministries; Rev. Carrie Myers, pastor, Ashburn/Sycamore; Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries; and Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye, Advocacy Team Chair.
  • A Vital Sign celebrated through video how the following agencies and ministries are alive together in Christ (click to view videos from each):
  • A Vital Sign moment highlighted churches who are working towards or have already reached their 10 percent growth challenge. Rev. Jay Hanson was joined by Rev. Jim Morrow, pastor at Lyons UMC, Rev. Michael Culbreth, pastor at ConneXion Church, and Rev. Mike Davis, pastor at Hahira UMC. Rev. Hanson also celebrated those churches who are growth leaders in worship attendance and professions of faith.
  • A Vital Sign moment was presented by the Conference Nurture Team. Karen Forrester, chair of the Nurture Team, presented Harry Denman Evangelism Awards to Rev. Matt Hearn, pastor of Gateway Pooler, and Mrs. Teri Nave, CFO at Harvest UMC in Byron. Both Matt and Teri shared how they are spreading the love of Christ in their local churches.
  • In another Vital Sign moment, Mrs. Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries, interviewed Mrs. Laura Haygood from Albany First UMC, and they shared how The United Methodist Church responded in the wake of disasters in the Albany area. Lindsey also gave a general update on conference disaster response efforts.
  • A Vital Sign moment celebrated the ministry of the two United Methodist Colleges within the bounds of the South Georgia Conference – Wesleyan College in Macon and Andrew College in Cuthbert. Wesleyan College President Ruth Knox and president-elect Rev. Vivia Fowler shared about the great ministry happening on the campus of Wesleyan College in Macon. “The work we do at Wesleyan is sacred work,” Rev. Fowler said. Andrew College President Linda Buchanan also shared about the ministry happening on the campus of Andrew College and the new programs they have begun. “Andrew College needs southwest Georgia and southwest Georgia needs Andrew College,” she said.
“The Amplify moments showcased during Annual Conference 2016 received such great feedback in the evaluations that we began planning for these highlights as a foundation for our 2017 gathering from the beginning,” said Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries. “With the new theme ‘Alive Together in Christ,’ these segments were called ‘Vital Signs’ to showcase vibrant and vital ministries happening across the South Georgia Conference. I loved the way these ‘Vital Signs’ evolved to be so interactive, informative, and creative through the various presentations. So many great things are happening across our Conference!”

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