Beverly Maddox was elected the new Alabama-West Florida Conference lay leader at the 2016 Annual Conference session. The AWF Office of Communications sat down with her to learn more about her ministry and passion for our denomination.
Q: What iss your church home?
Lifetime member of Clear Springs UMC
Q: In what capacities have you previously served in the AWF Conference?
A: Local Church Leadership and Dates
: Currently I am the Worship Leader, Choir Director, and Children’s Church leader. I have taught Sunday School for all ages beginning when I was 16 years old, I plan and direct Vacation Bible School and other children’s programs, I have served on every committee in our local church many different times, and served as Lay Leader from 2003 – 2014.
District Leadership and Dates
: My district leadership started in the 90’s serving in various positions with the Pensacola District United Methodist Women becoming the District President in 1995 and served until 1997. I am the Pensacola District Lay Leader and have served in that capacity since June 2006 for a total of 10 years. As District Lay Leader, I serve actively on the District CORE Team, and in many other District committees. I also have led many Local Church Lay Leader trainings in the Pensacola District. I have been on the Board of Directors of the Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries since it was started and it has been a blessing to see the change and development of this ministry. I have been a Certified Lay Speaker since 1998 and serve on the Pensacola District Lay Servant Committee. I have taught many District Lay Servant classes through the years. I lead Bible Study and head up the Ministry team for Wesley Haven Villa in Pensacola, Florida, and I am a member of the ministry team for Our Lady of Peace Haven Retirement, Rehab and nursing facility and have led worship services and Bible studies there since 1999.
Conference Leadership and Dates
: I have been a member of the Conference Board of Laity for the past 10 years, served on the Committee on Episcopacy 2008 to present, Conference CORE Team 2000- 2004, and 2012 to current, I served on the Committee on Investigations 2008-2010, and thankfully we did not have to meet! I have been on the Conference Lay Servant Committee 2006 to present. I have helped plan and facilitate at the Lay Academy for Lay Servants for the past 8 years.
Jurisdictional and General Church Leadership and Dates
: Delegate to Jurisdictional Conference 2008, Delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conference 2012 and 2016
: One of the most rewarding things that I do is provide hospitality and Bible Study in my home for women in my local area.
Q: What do you see as your primary role as Conference Lay Leader?
My role as Conference Lay Leader will be to support the Bishop and the cabinet in the ministry and mission of the Alabama-West Florida Church and to lead and support the District Lay Leaders in areas of lay ministry. I want to educate and empower all laity to serve in the ministry and mission of the church – to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As our church enters troubled waters, I want to remind our laity that Jesus spoke to the storm on the Sea of Galilee and he speaks to the storms in our personal lives, and he will speak to the storm that the Church is facing. It will be our job to listen to His voice, not the voices that seek to distract us from the work of the church.
Q: How do you think clergy and laity in The United Methodist Church can best work together to "Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”?
I think for clergy and laity to best work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, several things need to happen. The first is to build trust between the two – clergy and laity. As I meet conference lay leaders from around the country, I realize how fortunate we are in the AWF Conference. While we still have work to do in the trust area, we are leading the way across our Jurisdiction and the rest of the country. WE do kingdom work together, not as clergy and laity, but as members of the Kingdom of God and the AWF Conference. We can rejoice that we recognize that together we are better and we are continually moving to improve that relationship. I attribute the success in this to the leadership of Bishop Leeland and past conference lay leader, Dr. Steve Furr. Bishop Graves and I have spoken about this and the plan is to continue to foster this attitude of “together we are better.”
Q: What are you most excited about in this new quadrennium?
Wow! That’s a hard one. Everything is exciting for me right now, being new in this leadership role, at the same time it is also terrifying. It is an awesome responsibility and I just want to be the servant leader that God has called me to be. I see all that is before the United Methodist Church as an opportunity to redefine who we are, and who we serve. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9).
Q: Apart from the Bible, what's something you are reading?
I just finished reading Priscilla Shirrer’s Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer
and beginning her book Life Interrupted – Navigating the Unexpected
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
My free time is spent enjoying my Grandchildren and family, my children at church, and painting.
To reach Beverly, contact her here