The World Methodist Council and World Methodist Conference

The World Methodist Council met in Durban, South Africa August 1-3, 2011 before the August 4-8 World Methodist Conference. Dr. Karl Stegall and Dr. Steve Furr represented our conference at the Council meeting. Dr. Stegall presented the finance committee report before the whole Council. Bishop Mike Watson was also in attendance and was elected to serve as the evangelism committee chairperson. The Methodist Churches of The Gambia, Nepal and Tanzania became members during the council's meeting. Total membership is now 77 churches in 135 countries. The council also elected new staff and officers for the 2012-2016 quinquennium (a period of 5 years), including South African Bishop Ivan Abrahams as the new top executive, the first African to hold that post. He follows Dr. George Freeman who is retiring after ten years in this position. Bishop Paulo Lockmann (Methodist Church of Brazil) was elected as the President of the Council. The World Methodist Council approved a new Constitution and new By-Laws.

Mary Ellen Bullard, a former member of the Council from our conference, was remembered for her service.

Edna Williams from the Alabama West Florida Conference attended the 20th World Methodist Conference. A 30-member Africa University Chamber Choir officially opened the conference.

Featuring rhythmic marching and singing, the choir gave an African imprint to the conference being held on African soil for the second time in the council’s 150-year history. More than 1,800 delegates from 58 countries were part of the historic event, which concluded on Aug. 8. This year, the conference was being held under the theme, “Jesus Christ for the healing of the nations.”

For further information about the World Methodist Council you may follow the link to the following website,

Did you know that the Delta flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg South Africa was the scene this longest Delta connection flights in the world at 15 hours nonstop? My rear-end can attest to that.