Mrs. Louise Short, widow of Bishop Roy Short, visited General Conference on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Mrs. Short, who is 106 years old, has attended every General Conference since the 1939 Uniting Conference. The 1939 conference united the Methodist Episcopal Church (the northern section) and Methodist Episcopal Church, South into The Methodist Church. Mrs. Short said that the 1939 conference was a very contentious conference with a lot of division over the use of tobacco.
After the 2012 General Conference recognized Mrs. Short, she was greeted by delegates and visitors alike. She then went on to grant an interview with United Methodist Communications. (Watch interview here)
Mrs. Short was accompanied on her trip from Tennessee by her youngest son, Rev. Riley Short. Rev. Short said of his mother, "She's an incredible woman." He told of how his mother and father were quite the ministry team and of the many changes his mother has witnessed throughout the years.
Mrs. Short sat in the afternoon plenary session and then after lunch she said her goodbye. Mrs. Short brought with her a sense of United Methodist history with her during her visit, and I believe that the body of the conference was a little better off for her presence with us today.