“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
In this season of resurrection and new life, the Alabama-West Florida Conference proudly announces the launching of our new ministry strategy team. This team will lead our conference in planting new faith communities, as well as coaching churches to reach new people in new ways. Rev. Jean Tippit, current Marianna-Panama City and Pensacola District Superintendent, will serve as the director of this team while continuing her duties as a district superintendent. In addition to this director position, five new ministry cultivators have also been named:
-Rev. Dan Baughman, pastor of St. Mark UMC, Pensacola
-Rev. Mike von Keyserling, pastor of Sneads United Methodist Church
-Jenn Lusher, lay person and former AWF Director of Leadership Strategies
-Rev. Brennan Peacock, pastor of Luverne United Methodist Church
-Jennifer Precht, soon-to-be licensed local pastor
These five cultivators will be assigned to churches rather than regions or districts and will officially begin their work May 1, 2023. For those who are serving a local church they will continue in their current appointment in addition to this ministry strategy work.
"We have all experienced a very difficult season of life,” stated Bishop David Graves. “However, this news gives me energy and the promise of a new day in this conference. Our focus moving forward will be starting new churches in places where there is no longer a United Methodist presence while also working with our existing churches to reach their current communities in new and innovative ways. Join me in praying for these servant leaders as they guide this critical work of the conference.”
Eleven new churches/faith communities are also in the process of being launched. They are as follows.
-ARK New Church Start
-DeFuniak Springs New Church Start
-Destin/Niceville New Church Start
-Grand Ridge New Church Start
-Island New Church Start, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL area
-Opelika New Church Start
-Open Door United Methodist Church, Pace, FL
-Pike Road New Church Start
-Prattville New Church Start
-Restoration United Methodist Church, Cottondale, FL
-Troy New Church Start
“I am honored to serve in this new role in addition to my current appointment,” stated Rev. Jean Tippit, new director. “This new ministry will be life giving to so many in our conference and I look forward to seeing the fruit of this labor. We will be a stronger conference with the ability to make more disciples by making this work a priority. I am excited to see God work through this team.”
Clergy appointments will be announced at the 2023 Annual Conference session, to be held June 11-14, 2023.