Bishop David Graves, resident bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, has announced the four district superintendents who will serve and lead the implementation of the new district model, announced on May 5, 2020.
Dr. Mike Pearson, current pastor at Graceville UMC, will be appointed to the cabinet. Dr. Pearson received his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry from the Beeson International Center at Asbury Theological Center and his PhD in Organizational Leadership from Piedmont International University. He will receive his certification as an executive coach in May. He received the district Denman Evangelism Award both as a lay and clergy recipient. He is married to the former Lisa Day and they have one daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren.
The district superintendents and their appointments are as follows:
Dr. Debora Bishop, Baypines and Mobile Districts
Dr. Mike Pearson, Demopolis and Montgomery-Prattville Districts
Rev. Jean Tippit, Marianna-Panama City and Pensacola Districts
Dr. Jeff Wilson, Dothan and Montgomery-Opelika Districts
Dr. Doug Pennington, current Marianna-Panama City District Superintendent and dean of the cabinet, has served eight years on the cabinet and will retire at the upcoming annual conference. Dr. Tim Trent, current Pensacola District Superintendent, will also retire at the upcoming annual conference. Dr. Ed Glaize and Rev. Alan Gantzorn will receive appointments into the local church.
“I give thanks for the countless ways the current cabinet has adapted in the past appointment year,” stated Bishop Graves. “It is not easy to lead in a pandemic and amidst denominational uncertainties but these seven leaders have given their best when our world felt like it was at its worst. For the four superintendents going back into the local church and retiring, I will miss their guidance, perspective and witness. They will continue ministry in different ways but will certainly have a positive impact on the conference and denomination. The four projected superintendents will work in strategic ways to ensure each church and pastor in their districts are given intentional time and attention. I am excited to welcome Dr. Pearson to the cabinet as his leadership skills and strengths will be a tremendous benefit to our team.”
Supervision duties were shared this past year in the Montgomery districts. That arrangement will no longer be needed with the new model taking effect July 1, 2021. District lines will not be changed.
Rev. June Jernigan, current AWF Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Ministerial Services, will now solely focus her work on the Assistant to the Bishop role. Rev. Jenni Hendrix, current pastor at Bethel UMC, will be appointed to serve as Director of Ministerial Services. Hendrix is an ordained elder and has served on the AWF Board of Ordained Ministry. She is the current chair of the AWF Board of Higher Education and Ministry, a residency in ordained ministry leader, has served on the Dothan District Committee on Ministry (DCOM) and is the DCOM registrar. She has one child.
“As the denomination continues to adapt in sustainable ways, our conference staff needs also shift as we prepare to potentially share a bishop with another conference,” stated Graves. “Rev. Jernigan is a high-capacity leader and I’m grateful she will be able to focus her time in this one role. Rev. Hendrix’s gifts and talents are well suited for the Office of Ministerial Services. These two clergy people will diligently work to ensure a seamless transition. I am grateful we were able to make this change using current funds so that our conference budget will not increase.”
All appointments are effective July 1, 2021. Other clergy appointments will be published at the conclusion of annual conference.