Morning Worship: For the third year at annual conference, each day began with morning worship. Bishop David Graves made this addition so that the conference session would start with a sense of Holy time and carry that worship-filled spirit throughout the day. Rev. Eric Soard from the Tanzania Annual Conference preached a sermon titled, "Who Are We Pointing To?" based on 1 Samuel 3:1-10. Rev. Virginia Kagoro of River City UMC offered the greeting and Call to Worship. Powerful music from this morning's service was provided by Elevate of Clanton FUMC. A highlight of the service was a covenant signing between the Alabama-West Florida Conference and the Tanzania Annual Conference. Rev. Soard and Susan Hunt, AWF Director of Mission and Advocacy, led the conference members through a responsive commitment and the agreement was signed with Bishop David Graves. A photo was projected of Bishop Mande Muyombo signing the same agreement in Tanzania.
Business Session: After joining our voices together in the traditional singing of, "And Are We Yet Alive?" Rev. Sara Shaver, District Superintendent of the Dothan District, welcomed everyone on behalf of the host district. Rev. Ashley Davis, AWF Conference Secretary and Director of Connectional Ministries, led the conference in approving the bar, secretarial staff, journal, agenda and consent agenda. A parliamentary procedure video was shown featuring Dr. Wesley Wachob of Pensacola FUMC to instruct clergy and lay members on Roberts Rules of Order. At this annual conference, voting members will elect ten clergy and ten laity to represent the conference at the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Instructions were given and a test ballot was taken before voting began. A prayer was offered before each vote took place. Electronic voting machines were used for the first time this year. Rev. Davis gave her report of the nominations, it was approved. A video celebrating 40 years of the Alabama-West Florida Foundation was shown.
The voting results, thus far, are as follows:
Ballot One, clergy elected:
Larry Bryars, 170
Lisa Ausley, 158
Sung Kuk Hong, 158
Ballot One, laity elected:
Steve Furr, 270
Beverly Maddox, 237
Ballot Two, clergy elected:
Lester Spencer, 164
Ballot Two, laity elected
Gene Floore, 229
George Mingledorff, 228
Ballot Three, clergy elected
Ballot Three, laity elected
Frank Moore, 235
Notalsia Whiting, 228
Ballot Four, clergy elected
Ballot Four, laity
A final ballot was taken prior to the afternoon adjournment. Those results will be announced in the Tuesday morning business session.
Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference from 2000-2008, was in the house at today's session and was honored with a rousing standing ovation. He brought greetings from Candler School of Theology and wished the conference well.
Connectional Ministries Report: The connectional ministries video was a morning highlight. It featured Rev. Richard Williams and Honey Austin from Aldersgate UMC (Montgomery) with a special edition of the "Honey and Richard Show."
2019 Missional Offering: An update on the Teaming with Tanzania/Wesley College collection was given. $36,522.48 has been collected thus far. Thank you for your generosity.
Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion: Thirty-seven clergy and clergy spouses who passed since the 2018 AWF Annual Conference session were remembered today during the Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion. Bishop David Graves offered the opening prayer and Rev. Dan Morris of Gulf Breeze UMC delivered the inspiring and uplifting sermon entitled, "The Lamb Our Shepherd." It was based on Revelation 7:9-17, which was read responsively by the congregation under the leadership of Rev. Richard Williams of Aldersgate UMC, Montgomery. Morris described how in the thirty-seven people we have lost, two were veterans, one was a chaplain, one was a missionary to Japan and many raised families in parsonages. He went on to describe many attributes of them and mentioned that collectively they have close to 1,000 years of service. He expressed how the communities will miss them. The one thing they all have in common is that all names were appointed and went and represented Jesus, the one they love. Each individual name was read aloud by Dr. Olivia Poole of St. Luke UMC, Enterprise, AWF Commission on Archives and History Chair. The acolytes lighted a candle for each person we remembered today. Jarvis Wilson and Keith Wilson led the congregation in favorite hymns while communion was served. The AWF Commission on Archives and History hosted surviving family members at a special luncheon prior to the service. To see photos from this service, click here.
Commissioning & Ordination Recognition: Dr. Jim Sanders of Dothan FUMC spoke to the conference on behalf of the board of ordained ministry. He introduced those on the board and in the office of ministerial services. Sanders also walked through the six characteristics of future leaders and reviewed the board's mission. Those approved for commissioning and ordination as deacons and elders were introduced by Rev. Allison Posell and Dr. Brian Miller of Aldersgate UMC in Montgomery, AL. A brief word about each of the honorees was given. This group was confirmed by their clergy peers at last evening's clergy executive session.
Local Pastors: Those local pastors receiving their license for the first time were introduced and recognized by Rev. Dunford Cole of Campground UMC/Rutledge UMC and greeted by Bishop Graves during today's afternoon business session. Cole also introduced those who have completed the Basic Course of Study.
Extension Ministers: Rev. Emily Kincaid of Orange Beach UMC gave a brief introduction to members of our annual conference who are in extension ministry (appointments outside the local church). Each in attendance introduced themselves and briefly told of their appointments. This time is always a highlight of the conference as we are able to see the many areas our clergy reach beyond the bounds of the conference.
Retiring Clergy Recognized: Eighteen clergy were recognized upon their retirement by Rev. Kathy Knight of Kingswood UMC during today's order of the day. Rev. Doc Kirby of Pine Level UMC spoke on behalf of the retiring class. Back by popular demand was the "passing of the torch." Rev. Brad Goode of Good News UMC, who was ordained an elder in full connection this evening, spoke on behalf of the newly ordained class, signifying new leadership in the conference. Together, these eighteen clergy have 434 years of service in our conference. The retirees are:
John L. Bracther
M. Vann Bush
John C. Friedman
David Mitchell Kirby
Roy C. Lane, Jr.
James Calvin Moore
Freddie S. Nichols
Jamie E. Pickard
William Robbins Sims
Joel Thaddius Wasson, Jr.
Paul Douglas Wolfe
Robert Charles Yawn
Service of Commissioning & Ordination: The Service of Commissioning and Ordination was held this evening in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. The congregation represented family members and special friends of those being commissioned and ordained. Prior to the start of the service, the cathedral choir of Montgomery FUMC presented worshipful music led by Dr. James Seay. The service included the commissioning of one provisional deacon and seven provisional elders and the ordination of two elders in full connection. Bishop Tracy Smith Malone preached a spirited sermon entitled, “The Courage of Conviction," based on John 14:15-31. She challenged the ordinands and commissionees by saying, "We are here tonight because we celebrate your journey of faith, the manifestation of God's spirit that is already at work in you and through you. We are here to remember and give thanks for your 'YES' to God's calling on your life." She continued to urge them to have courage by doing the following acts: to show hospitality, to have unconditional love, to perform the work of doing justice and to walk humbly with God. She continued by explaining that as much as we want to stay here in this evening, ministry calls us to the mission field. A special offering was collected for the Ministerial Education Fund. To see photos from tonight's service, click here.
Ashley Wilkinson Meyer
Elders in Full Connection:
Biometric Health Screenings: The biometric health screenings will continue tomorrow and Wednesday in rooms 3103/3105. The hours are 7:30am-12:30pm. This is offered as a part of our health and wellness initiative designed to help you maintain good health. For more information, click here.
UMCOR Relief Kits: Bring your UMCOR relief kits and supplies to the truck in the parking lot during annual conference. All assembled and unassembled kits and supplies are welcome. The truck will be open to receive the kits and supplies during these hours:
View photos from the 2019 Annual Conference session (added daily, all photos by Luke Lucas).
Watch selections of the 2019 Annual Conference LIVE from your home or office.
Remaining Streaming Schedule
All sessions available at www.frazerumc.org/live. All times are CDT.
Tuesday, June 4
-Morning Worship, 8:30am
-Conference Business Session, 9:30am
-Conference Business Session, 1:30pm
-Conference Business Session, 7:00pm
Wednesday, June 5
-Morning Worship, 8:30am
-Conference Business Session, 9:30am
-Sending Forth Service (following the morning business session)
Archived Sessions: The Frazer UMC AV staff is working tirelessly to archive sessions as soon as possible. All sessions will be archived here. Below are specific service links. (The Ordination and Commissioning service will be archived at a later date).
Get a Copy: CD and DVD copies of many portions of annual conference are available for purchase. Click here for the order form.
Hashtags: Use #awfac19 to join the Twitter and Facebook conversations and to tag your Instagram photos.
Stay connected throughout Annual Conference at www.awfumc.org/ac2019.