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Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Recap

(Montgomery, AL) - The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church met Wednesday July 18-Friday, July 20, 2012 at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Twenty-four delegates, half clergy and half laity, represented the Alabama-West Florida Conference during the quadrennial session.

The primary goal of the conference is to elect Bishops for fifteen conferences within the jurisdiction as well as appoint currently serving Bishops. Twenty-nine ballots were taken over the course of two days, electing five Bishops vacated by retiring Episcopal leaders. Fourteen nominees from annual conference and caucuses made up the pool from which Bishops were elected. Newly elected Bishops are:
Bishop Ken Carter from the Western North Carolina Conference
Bishop Young Jin Cho from the Virginia Conference
Bishop Jonathan Holston from the North Georgia Conference
Bishop Bill McAlilly from the Mississippi Conference
Bishop Debbie Wallace-Padgett from the Kentucky Conference

{Photo by Matt Brodie, South Carolina Annual Conference}

Dr. John Ed Mathison, from the Alabama-West Florida Conference and chair of the Episcopacy Committee, announced the report late Thursday evening delivering Episcopal assignments. All assignments were based on the needs of the conference, opportunities or needs matched with the strengths of the Bishops, the knowledge that all assignments are significant, keeping the Jurisdictional ministry in the forefront, they reached a decision by a dialog and consensus, and to work as long as it takes until it is good with the Holy Spirit and the committee.
The Bishop assignments for the next quadrennium are as follows:
-Alabama-West Florida Area (Alabama-West Florida Conference) Bishop Paul L. Leeland

-Birmingham Area (North Alabama Conference) Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
-Charlotte Area (Western North Carolina Conference) Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster

-Columbia Area (South Carolina Conference) Bishop L. Jonathan Holston

-Florida Area (Florida Conference) Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr.

-Knoxville Area (Holston Conference) Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor

-Louisville Area (Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary Conferences) Bishop Lindsey Davis

-Mississippi Area (Mississippi Conference) Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.

-Nashville Area (Tennessee and Memphis Conferences) Bishop William T. McAlilly

-North Georgia Area (North Georgia Conference) Bishop B. Michael Watson

-Raleigh Area (North Carolina Conference) Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

-Richmond Area (Virginia Conference) Bishop Young Jin Cho

-South Georgia Area (South Georgia Conference) Bishop James R. King Jr.

Many delegates, clergy, laity, spouses and friends gathered after the Episcopal announcements to welcome back Bishop Paul L. Leeland and his wife, Janet, to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The atmosphere was festive as those in attendance celebrated the return of the Leelands.

The conference also celebrated the retirement of five Bishops. Bishop Paul. L. Leeland of the Alabama-West Florida Conference presided over the retiring Bishops ceremony. Retiring Bishops are Bishop Al Gwin, North Carolina Conference; Bishop Charlene Kammemer, Virginia Conference; Bishop Timothy Whitaker, Florida Conference; Bishop Will Willimon, North Alabama Conference; and Bishop Richard Wills of the Tennessee Conference.

The Service of Remembrance was held to memorialize twelve Bishops and spouses. Bishop and Mrs. Paul Duffey and Mrs. Milah McDavid from the Alabama-West Florida Conference were memorialized having passed since the 2008 SEJ Conference. Candles lit in memory of those were made available to family members in attendance.

The committee on nominations presented their report consisting of 46 persons for eleven committees. The slate of nominees was approved. Pat Luna and Rev. Allen Newton from the Alabama-West Florida Conference were recognized as being a part of this integral committee. Alabama-West Florida clergy and laity approved to serve on behalf of the SEJ to General Boards and Agencies are as follows: 

-Pat Luna: General Board of Church & Society

-Rev. Robin Wilson: Board of Discipleship

-Dawn Hare: Board of Pension and Health Benefits

-Rev. David Goolsby: Division on Ministries with Young People/Young Adult

-Rev. Neil McDavid: CCA

-Frank Dunnewind: CFA

The following people were nominated by the College of Bishops from the Alabama-West Florida Conference to serve on various SEJ committees:
-Rev. Tonya Elmore: Committee on Programs and Arrangements
-Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon: Committee on Investigations
-Rev. June Jernigan: Committee on Investigations

The following people served on the 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Secretarial Staff:
-Rev. Jackie Slaughter, daily minutes
-Rev. Jonathan Hart, page
-Rev. Ralph Sigler, teller
-Rev. David Goolsby, teller
-Susan Hunt, teller

-Clara Ester, teller

The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will convene in 2016. To learn more about the conference, go to www.sejumc.org.

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