It was a day of warm greetings and friendly smiles as nearly 1,200 United Methodists descended upon the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, GA for the start of the 2011 South Georgia Annual Conference Session. 

Both clergy and lay members began to gather at 3:00 for registration and fellowship.

The first official gathering was an evening worship service at 7:00 p.m.  

Bishop James R. King, Jr., episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, gave the evening message. 

With a message titled, “Never Alone,” Bishop King proclaimed that there is “no place to hide in the Kingdom of God; there is no place to hide in true fellowship.”

“In God’s Kingdom everyone deserves to be loved,” he said.

Bishop King ended his message with a challenge to clergy and laity alike to “recommit yourselves to Jesus being the Lord of your life.  And recommit yourselves to true fellowship so that as the world grows more Christlike no one will ever be alone.

“Through all the good times and the tough times I have been part of a great Christian fellowship, and I have never been alone.  Never have I ever been alone,” said Bishop King. 

A reception for both laity and clergy rounded out the evening.