Dr. Lawson Bryan
, senior minister at Montgomery FUMC
and AWF Episcopal Candidate, spoke to the Southeastern Jurisdiction today, May 18, 2016. Delegates and guests have gathered for the past two days during the lunch break to hear from fourteen candidates.
Yesterday, seven of the candidates spoke to the SEJ gathering. All candidates were asked to answer two questions within a six-minute time frame. The first question asked nominees to name two of the most important accomplishments in their ministry, while the next question allowed this group to inform SEJ delegates where their passion lies and how they would bring it to life, if elected.
Dr. Bryan focused on the AWF Academy for Congregational Excellence, the first conference agency created for the sole purpose of leadership development among laity and clergy, and the Montgomery FUMC Adult Respite Ministry as two of his most important accomplishments. The Respite program was launched by asking, "What needs to happen in our community that will not happen unless a church does it?” He continued to emphasize his core belief of having a positive impact on the Church by saying, "My passion is helping individuals, local churches, districts, and annual conferences discover that they can act immediately
to make disciples and transform the world."
Matthew Pinson, North Georgia Lay Leader, felt that these presentations were helpful in discerning our next class of leaders. The North Georgia Conference will be welcoming a new Bishop after the retirement of Bishop Mike Watson. Pinson stated, “It is important for all of the delegates of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to hear from Episcopal nominees directly as we all seek to discern who should lead our church into the future."
Elections for Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 12-15, 2016, a Lake Junaluska, NC. The candidates are listed below.
Tom Berlin, Virginia Conference
Lawson Bryan, Alabama-West Florida Conference
Leonard Fairley, North Carolina Conference
David Graves, Holston Conference
Tom Grieb, Kentucky Conference
Sue Haupert-Johnson, Florida Conference
James Howell, Western North Carolina Conference
Sharma Lewis, North Georgia Conference
Tim McClendon, South Carolina Conference
Sky McCracken, Memphis Conference
Robin Scott, North Alabama Conference
Ted Smith, BMCR of Virginia Conference
Stephen Sparks, Mississippi Conference
Farley Stuart, Red Bird Missionary Conference