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2020 General Conference Delegation

At the 2019 Annual Conference, held June 10 - 12, we elected five clergy members and five lay members to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference at the 2020 General Conference in May 2020. Also listed below are the five clergy and five lay members elected as Jurisdictional Delegates and the three clergy and three lay members elected as alternates.

Meet our delegates:


Clergy

General Conference

 

 

IOSMAR ALVAREZ

 

Biographical Statement:

Rev. Dr. Iosmar Alvarez, a native of Cuba and formerly a practicing veterinarian doctor, was ordained Elder in the KY Conference in 2014. He is the founding pastor of Fuente de Avivamiento, the largest and fastest growing Hispanic UMC in the nation. Currently, Dr. Alvarez serves as the Lexington District Superintendent in our Conference.

 

Position Statement:

The Kentucky Annual Conference has demonstrated an open heart to people from all nations. I can testify to this fact as I was elected as one of our five Elder delegates to General Conference 2016 and 2019. Today, I come before you once again asking for your vote to represent us during the next General Conference in 2020. The issues at hand are more pressing than ever. The challenges we are facing in relation to human sexuality require special attention and decisive action to provide intentional healing for all. We will continue loving all people as persons of sacred worth, but also as a covenant person I will continue living out the uncompromised Word of God, and upholding the Book of Discipline to honor our church order of life and ministry.

 

As a person elected by you I will bear the responsibility not only as a delegate, but also as a leader who will walk side by side with you in our local churches, creating spaces for healing and hope. Regardless of which decisions come from General Conference, my role as an ordained Elder is to invest myself in bringing spiritual leadership to our church for the sake of people inside and outside of the UMC, for the sake of my family and for the sake of you. If elected, I promise to give myself to the duties of my election and finish the work God began in me for our church.


 

 BILL T. ARNOLD

 

Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary (1995-present)

Ph.D., Hebrew Union College

M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary

 

Ordained in 1984. Pastored congregations in the KAC for six years before going into extension ministries for theological education. Author/editor of fourteen books.

 

Denominational Service:

General Conference Delegate 2019, 2016, 2012, and 2008 (first alternate)

University Senate, 2013-present, elected by the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences 

Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, 2012-present

Chair, SEJ Committee on Episcopacy Task Force for Episcopal Evaluation, 2013

Jurisdictional Conference Delegate 2016, 2012, 2008

The Wesley Study Bible (Coeditor; Abingdon, 2009)

Common English Bible (Co-translator of Genesis; UMPH/Abingdon, 2011) 

The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (author of several articles; Abingdon, 2006-2009)

KAC, Personnel Committee, 2009-present

KAC Committee on Episcopacy, 2012-present

KAC Board of Ordained Ministry, 2002-2014

 

Position Statement:

At the 2016 General Conference, I was elected to serve as chair of the Faith & Order Legislative Committee. I also sponsored legislation to clarify and strengthen our statement on the primacy of Scripture in the quadrilateral. That petition was referred to the 2020 General Conference. If elected to return, I will continue to focus on revising “Our Theological Task” (BOD, 105) in order to refine the statement on Scripture as it relates to reason, tradition, and experience. I will also support the effort to include the Nicene Creed in our Doctrinal Standards (BOD, 104), an effort that was defeated in 2016. 

 

As of this writing (March 2019), I am convinced we must avoid a repeat of the dynamics at work in the Saint Louis General Conference. I will support efforts to empower the two main coalitions in the current UMC to minister in the freedom of their principles independently of each other, and without recrimination or denigration of each other’s convictions.

 


 

TAMI COLEMAN

 

The United Methodist church has shaped my life since I was five years old.  My call into ministry began at LaGrange College (a UM school) through leadership opportunities and a summer ministry project (similar to the Isaiah project).  After graduating from Asbury Theological Seminary, I was ordained an elder in the South Georgia Conference in 2000 where it was my honor to serve for ten years as an Associate Pastor, at Warner Robins First and Albany First.  My family moved to Kentucky in 2008 and I pastored South Shore First for four years and also served as District Staff, which included planning and implementing LACE for the Ashland District.  For the past seven years, it has been my privilege to serve this Conference as the Associate Director of Connectional Ministries where I have worked to strengthen the ministries of Higher Education, Vital Congregations, ANOW (Advocacy, Nurture, Outreach, Worship), Safe Sanctuaries, Boundaries training, ELCC, Coaching and Board of Laity (LACE). 

 

My ministry and leadership values include experiencing the extravagant love of Jesus and the call to love all people as God does.  I value maintaining Scripture as a plumb line that speaks to people where they are. I value our Wesleyan distinctives of grace, Christian conferencing, and holiness that flows from the heart into everyday life.  I value the beautiful tapestry of our denomination where ministries thrive because of our connection.  I value the gift of harmony where people who believe differently hold space to find the common ground we share.  I value the discerning work of the Holy Spirit in and through our church.  I value the United Methodist church and prayerfully seek its witness in the world for this season.


 

DAVID GROUT

As a lifelong UMC member I have a deep commitment to the church. I am blessed to have served as a local pastor, a DS, and as a General Conference delegate twice. I am committed to the current statements on human sexuality, marriage and ordination in the Discipline, because I believe they are compassionate and biblically sustainable. As the proud father of a gay son, I am deeply moved by the emotions of this issue. I am absolutely convinced the church must welcome all persons. I am also convinced that the truths our Discipline upholds were true long before either my son or I arrived and will be true long after both of us are gone.

 

I am also committed to our UMC being a global church, not only in financial assistance and deed but in heart-felt trust and respect. The voice of the international church must never be taken for granted nor quieted. To discount it, or ask it to abstain, is to desecrate the graves of countless missionaries, our forebears, who went at great cost and sacrifice to share the Gospel message.

 

I believe it is only right to allow a local church to separate itself from the denomination, upon showing conscientious objection with the Discipline and meeting appropriate financial responsibilities in terms of retirement and perhaps other responsibilities, with their assets and properties intact. Finding a way to do that that is amicable and respectful, may be our greatest witness of love to the world for years to come. Forced love is not love. Forced unity is not unity.

 

As a delegate from Kentucky, I will faithfully represent the Annual Conference in matters of legislation at the General Conference and in election of bishops at the Jurisdictional Conference.


 

JAMES A. WILLIAMS

Age: 50

Master of Divinity: Asbury Theological Seminary

Appointments:

Bryantsville, 1995-1998

St. Andrews, 1998-2004

Winchester First, 2004-2013

Lexington District Superintendent, 2013-2018

Centenary Lexington, 2018-Present

District/Annual Conference Experience:

Dean of Cabinet

Bishop’s Operational/Planning Team

Good Samaritan Redevelopment (Foundation) Task Force

Trained Mediator-Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Coaching Operational Team

Primary Task

Cabinet Rep. to Board of Ordained Ministry

Board of Pensions and Health

Conference Evangelism Team- Chair

Board of Ordained Ministry- 12 yrs. -Executive Committee and Barnabas Team Leader

District Committee on Ministry-Lexington

New Church and Congregational Development

General Church Experience:

2016 Jurisdictional Delegate

2019 Special General Conference Delegation, St. Louis

Southeastern Jurisdiction Nominations Team

Statement:

I am passionate about the United Methodist Church being vital and true to the Great Commission. Our vision, “Make Disciples for Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World” is right and good. Because this is one of the tensest times in the history of our denomination, our focus needs to be recaptured. One of the ways this can happen is by supporting the decision of our 2019 General Conference to hold to scriptural authority on human sexuality. I do not support redefining marriage and the ordination of practicing LGBTQ+ clergy. This would further plunge our church into decline. I will represent Kentucky by praying, listening, holding to orthodoxy and voting in alignment with our current Book of Discipline and our Wesleyan theology and doctrine. My time as a pastor and DS with small, medium and large congregations has helped me to grow in my desire to see vitality in the local church. I also have experience with districts and Annual Conferences beyond Kentucky and an understanding and appreciation of the issues facing the UMC across our connection.

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Clergy 

Jurisdictional Conference

 

TOM GRIEB

After much prayer and discernment, I respectfully submit my name for consideration as a delegate to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.  This is indeed a time of great stress upon the life and ministry of our church.  We can only pray that God is leading us through this time of uncertainty. 

 

Having been a delegate to the 2016 General Conference as well as to the Special Session in 2019, I am well-positioned to continue the dialogue that marked those two conferences.  In many ways, the 2020 General Conference will be an extension of both.  If elected, you can count on me to faithfully and prayerfully dispatch the duties of a delegate.  I will keep a level head, an open heart, and a listening ear, all the while operating from a more orthodox base.  I will also seek to lend my experience as a delegate to the past seven General Conferences to the new delegation that will soon form. 

 

Aside from the many things we face regarding human sexuality, I feel that my 38 years as a pastor of local churches positions me well to better understand those things dealing with local church ministry.  Down through the years I have consistently voted with local church ministry in mind. 

 

Being the Chairperson of our Board of Pensions and Health Benefits fits me well to consider the upcoming pension legislation recommended by Wespath. Having been Chairperson of our Board of Ordained Ministry fits me well to consider any ministry issues that might arise. 

 

My experience as Chairperson of the Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees fits me well to consider any issues related to higher education. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of me and others who might be called upon to serve in this way.


 

REBECCA HEID

Although I was raised by Christian parents and professed faith myself at a young age, I did not become part of the UMC until I was well into adulthood.  I was drawn by Wesleyan theology, with its emphasis on grace, the fullness of salvation, and the call to holy living.

I enjoyed two careers (nursing and business) before entering seminary at Louisville Presbyterian, where I graduated in 2005.  I was subsequently commissioned a provisional elder in 2006 and fully ordained in 2009.  My first appointment (2006-2014) was as Associate Pastor to Christ Church in Louisville.  Since 2014 I have been serving Harned/Horsley Chapel in Breckinridge County.

What can I offer as a potential delegate to GC2020?  The years of nursing taught me to relate to a wide variety of people, to be observant of what was happening around me, to make accurate assessments, and to maintain a calm and non-anxious demeanor in the middle of very stressful situations.  Running the family business following the untimely death of my father meant not only taking charge of day to day operations, but also managing a staff of about 20, some of whom had worked for our family since I was a preschooler.  In both situations I learned the importance of both listening and making the tough decisions.  The years of seminary and ministry have sharpened my theological thinking, and I have maintained (even grown!) a love for Scripture.

My approach to Scripture and social issues is quite orthodox.  GC2020 will doubtless offer challenges and items for decision that are yet unknown.  If I have the honor of serving as a delegate, I aim to approach those matters humbly, prayerfully, and on the foundation of our historic Wesleyan way. 


 

KELLY McCLENDON

Since I became a Christian in college, the UMC has been my beloved spiritual home.  I’ve served in pastoral ministry for 33 years - 26 years in Kentucky.  I’m a graduate of Duke Divinity School (M.Div) and Asbury Seminary (D. Min). 

I prefer to work in the local church, however, the current crisis compels me to attempt to serve as a GC delegate to try to help if possible.  I support our Discipline’s current positions on human sexuality, marriage, and ordination. While still imperfect, they balance grace and truth and offer a welcome to all persons without affirming behaviors or beliefs contrary to Scripture.  However, maintaining these positions will not create unity because our crisis is more complex.  This presenting issue reveals deeper divisions on issues such as: the authority and interpretation of Scripture; the validity of basic Christian doctrines; the authority of our Book of Discipline and General Conference governance; and respect for our global church.  I sadly conclude that the progressive and conservative wings of our church can no longer coexist within the same denomination as it now exists.  Many of our differences are deeply held moral convictions and further concession would require a compromise of conscience or a kind of rebellion against our view of God’s will.  Our “big tent” cannot be stretched any further without collapsing or becoming a ridiculous parody of church unity.

I don’t wish to see a future where one side destroys the other (or both perish) or where people are forced to scatter or resort to lawsuits.  I believe it is time to carefully consider ways to live in peace on very different paths.  See Acts 5:38-39.  I hope amicable separation will become a viable option, however, short of that I will work to maintain our current position if elected. 


 

WILLIAM MOORE

It is my honor and joy to be in ministry in the Kentucky Annual Conference.  As a pastor and now as the District Superintendent of the Pennyrile District I have been privileged to be in ministry on the local church, district, and conference levels.  I have a great love for the United Methodist Church, the people called Methodist, its mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” and the Lord our church serves. 

Following the traumatic experience of the 2019 General Conference, it is now time for the UMC to focus.  We must first focus on our theological heritage found in the doctrinal standards of the church and the sermons of John Wesley.  What should hold the church together is a shared theology and a shared mission and not shared institutionalism.  I believe our theological heritage supports the church's current position on human sexuality. Also, I think that it will help us to be loving and compassionate as we all move on to perfection.  Commitment to our theological heritage will also help us to live faithfully into the covenant and promises that we make both individually and collectively. 

We also need to focus on the mission of the church, shifting away from being an institution towards being a movement.  This means shifting resources towards those most effectively living out the mission of the church.  It also means a change in thinking away from being U.S. centric to being a movement that has a global impact. 

I would be honored to represent the United Methodists of Kentucky at the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences as we work to live into the mission of our church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

 


 

ANDREW SINGH

 

My name is Andrew Singh and I am currently serving at Erlanger United Methodist Church in Erlanger, Kentucky since June of 2018.  I grew up in India and attended Methodist Churches where my parents served as Pastors for over 20 years. I consider myself a product of American Methodist Missionaries who came to India many generations ago to sow the seeds of the Gospel. I am a fruit of their labor. God brought me to the United States at the age of sixteen to pursue my senior year of high school in a small town of Neodesha, Kansas. Rev. Carl and Sandra Ellis who were serving as Pastors of Neodesha United Methodist Church at that time opened their hearts, home and saw in me the call to ministry. They discipled and helped me to explore my call at Southwestern College, a United Methodist College in Winfield, Kansas. After graduating from Southwestern, I attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. At Southwestern College and Asbury Seminary, God expanded my vision and love for the Global church though meeting and developing friendships with Christians from all over the world.

I have served as a pastor in the Kentucky Annual Conference for almost 15 years serving as a Pastor at Wesley Meadows UMC (2004-2011) and Levelwoods UMC (2009-2011) charge and as an associate pastor at Georgetown First UMC (2011-2018) in Bluegrass District. I would love the opportunity to serve as a delegate from the Kentucky Annual Conference because I greatly believe in the mission, vision and future of our United Methodist Church. My humble prayer as a young adult Clergy person is to be an instrument of revival and continue to be in covenant with my Kentucky Conference family in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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Clergy 

Alternates

 

ESTHER D. JADHAV

It is my honor to be a part of the Kentucky Annual Conference and serve as an ordained elder in the many ministries of our conference. I currently serve as the Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Affairs at Asbury University, Wilmore, KY. As a lifelong Methodist I am committed to help the church do the hard work of living a life of faith in the market place, resulting in making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Service to the United Methodist Church:

2019- Kentucky Conference Scenario Planning Team

2018- Board of Ordained Ministry, KAC

2016- Jurisdictional Conference Delegate (First Alternate)

2019- General Conference (Reserve Delegate)

2015- World Methodist Council Member

2015- General Board of Church and Society, Board Member

2016- Social Principles Task Force & Editorial Team Member

2014- District Operational Team, Lexington District, KAC

2014- District Committee on Ministry, Lexington District, KAC

2013-2017: Commission on Religion and Race, KAC

2008-2012: Worship Committee, KAC (Chair)

 

Education:

Current - Ph.D. Intercultural Studies, Emphasis: Contextual Theology

    Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA.

2013     Th.M., Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA.

World Missions and Evangelism

Scholarly Paper: A Wesleyan Theology of Cultural Competence

2003     M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA.

1998     B.A., Mumbai University, Mumbai, India.

Majors: Sociology and Anthropology

Position Statement:

Our denomination faces pragmatic challenges and opportunities that need us to think biblically and respond culturally. The complex issues before us impact individual lives, and our denomination as a body of believers and as a religious organization. In its current form the Social Principles are consistent with biblical understandings. They help inform the work of the church in our society and in the world. If given the opportunity to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference, I will work to cultivate and develop a culturally competent Christ centered mission.


 

MATT SEEL

My name is Matt Seel and I have served as an ordained Elder since 2011.  I am currently serving as the Pastor of Petrie Memorial UMC in the Pennyrile District. I have served on the Conference ANOW Team since 2013 and am currently serving as the chair. I served as the Conference Outreach Chair from 2016 to 2018. At the District level I have served on the District Operational Teams in both the Lexington and Pennyrile Districts. I also served on the Lexington dCOM from 2012-2016.

I have covenanted to serve alongside my fellow clergy through Word, Sacrament, Order and Service. To that end, I believe and teach that the Bible is God’s Word and the primary way the Holy Spirit speaks to humanity. I believe the Word is best understood through the lens of tradition, experience and reason, with Scripture being our primary authority. I believe and uphold the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism as means of God’s grace open to all persons. I believe the Book of Discipline to be in harmony with the Scriptures and I will continue to uphold that as I covenanted with you to do upon my ordination. I believe our service in the church stems from our love of God and neighbor as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

As a delegate my goals would be to continue to uphold the covenant that connects us all as United Methodists. I will seek to understand rather than to be understood and I will continue to listen to God’s leading as he reveals himself through Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. I will seek to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference graciously as a steward of your trust.


 

MICHAEL SWEENEY

My name is Michael Sweeney, and I currently serve as the pastor of Cairo UMC in Henderson, KY. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Finance and from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. I have had the honor and the privilege to serve in many different ministries throughout the conference including: Ida Spence Mission, Micah Mission, Owensboro District Operational Team, Winter Blitz and Aldersgate Camp. Currently, I serve on the Camp and Retreat Ministries Team, Henderson Methodist Hospital Board as the secretary of the board, Aldersgate Camp Committee, and I co-lead the Winter Blitz Team.

 I have been a lifelong Methodist, and I received my call to ministry at Aldersgate Camp. I am honored to have been ordained in this conference, where I have covenanted to serve with my sisters and brothers through the ministries of Word, Order, Sacrament, and Service. I believe in the primacy and the authority of God’s Holy Word, and I also believe that the Book of Discipline is in line with scripture.

If I am elected as a delegate, I plan to prayerfully represent the Kentucky Conference and honor the covenants that we have made together.  There is a lot of uncertainty around the future of the United Methodist Church, but I know that God is not done with the church yet because the Triune God has already secured the future.

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Lay

General Conference

 

ALAN L. BEUSCHER

1979-89 – Community Developer for Red Bird Missionary Conference

1989-94 – Research Associate at UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging while earning a gerontology-related master’s degree

1995-present – Initial marketing /current V.P. of Community Relations for Wesley Village Senior Living Community, Wilmore, KY

1989-present – Member of Lexington Centenary UMC; frequent lay representative to the KY Annual Conference.

My family tree is full of Evangelical, EUB, UMC and Mennonite pastors; also family members fiercely in defense of both sides of the current debate on human sexuality.  The future of our denomination is therefore of profound concern to me. Thus I’m asking for your support to be a 2020 General Conference Lay Delegate. 

I am so grateful and proud to be part of a global denomination that invested the time and resources necessary to bring our UMC brothers and sisters from around the world together in St. Louis to meet, discuss, pray and decide what’s best in regards to human sexuality going forward.  Now that the decision is made the time has come for those on both sides of the debate to make peace with one another and a clean break from one another (if and where necessary) with genuine mutual expressions of God’s love, good will and best wishes for each other’s future. 

I fully support the global decision of the recent special General Conference to remain a Traditional Church; and I fully support the most gracious and generous exit plan possible for those who do not agree.  Both sides must now make the appropriate concessions and provisions to make this dignified dual vision a reality.  And the sooner the better so as not to destroy further what credible witness of God’s love both sides have sincerely tried to offer our lost and dying world so desperate to know our Savior! 

 


 

SANDRA C. GRAY

 

Dr. Sandra C. Gray is in her 12th year as Asbury University’s president. She has faithfully served the institution for 30 years — as business professor, business department chair, provost and president. She is finishing her last academic year at the helm, currently leading the largest campaign ($63 million) in Asbury’s history. Under her strategic leadership, Asbury has experienced significant growth and advancement.

 

Gray is a native Kentuckian and University of Kentucky alumna, where she earned her MBA and Ph.D. She served in banking and finance for many years before being called to Asbury. Gray and her husband, Ken (an architect), reside in Nicholasville, Ky., and are active members of Centenary United Methodist Church. With deep convictions of the importance of the local church, her involvements at Centenary have been extensive, from teaching Sunday school to serving in many leadership roles over the past 35 years.

 

A 35-year member of the United Methodist Church, Gray is thankful to the UMC for cultivating a heart for the things of God and a deep yearning for God’s Truth to prevail in all circumstances. It was at her local UM church where she first encountered the power of His Word and presence of His Holy Spirit. She remains committed to orthodox teachings of the UMC and fully supports the connectional life of the UMC. The Book of Disciple has appropriately guided the UMC with faithfulness to historic Christian teachings while remaining relevant.

 

The increasing intensity of cultural divides within today’s nation and world, especially around issues of Truth and identity, are a clarion call for God’s people to remain steadfast as His image bearers. This may very well be the most compelling opportunity for the UMC since John Wesley’s day — if she remains faithful — to point others to the power of the cross.

 


 

BETHANY HARTING

I am a proud United Methodist who was raised in the United Methodist Church. I will be graduating from Lindsey Wilson College in May 2019. I have been active in the church since I was a young child helping with children’s church and have continued to be active through my college years. I currently lead a young adult group at Alexandria UMC and am very involved with the Lindsey Wilson College Christian Ministries program on campus. One day, I am hoping to become a medical missionary, bringing healthcare to those who need it most while sharing about the Ultimate Physician.

One thing, I love about the United Methodist Church is the connection we have all across the world. This partnership allowed me to serve for two months in Nicaragua as a Global Justice Volunteer, an opportunity out of the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. I believe the connectional life of the church allows us to truly live out the call in Matthew to go into all nations.  This connection also permits us to be in communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe. We are able to spur each other on, celebrate in our successes, and support each other in our weaknesses.

I believe the church is called to welcome people from all walks of life while holding true to biblical orthodoxy. As a denomination, our discipline should continue to hold up the Gospel in its entirety. Together, we form a family of believers. A group united by a belief in a common mission, share a vision, and hold similar core values. As a denomination, we are then a part of an even larger family, the body of Christ, which crosses denominational lines.


 

MARK STALLONS

Member: Owenton First UMC. 

Current Offices: President, Kentucky United Methodist Men; Conference Board of Laity; Member of SEJ United Methodist Men’s Conference Presidents; Member United Methodist Men’s National Association Conference Presidents; Owenton 1st United Methodist Administrative Council Chair & Chair of United Methodist Men.

Past Offices: Frankfort District United Methodist Men’s President; Frankfort District United Methodist Men’s Vice President. 

Professional Career: BS, Electrical Engineering, 1979; MBA, 1986; President & CEO of Owen Electric Cooperative.

Statement: I was raised in a Christian family where my grandfather was pastor, my aunt played the organ and my uncle was choir director. The rest of my family either sang in the choir or taught Sunday school. I met my wife at her home church and was introduced to the Wesleyan theology of prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. Everything about John Wesley and the formation of the Methodist movement strongly resonated with me. My family joined the United Methodist Church in 1978 and have been United Methodists ever since. In regards to my faith, I believe that God’s grace and love are available to all.  I believe we are called to love God and love others in all we do.  I believe we are all called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  As a delegate, I covenant with you: 1) to uphold the discipline that is aligned with scripture and binds us together as United Methodists;  2) to seek to listen and understand as opposed to be understood; 3) to speak with love and carefully choose my words to be respectful of all; 4) to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading through reason, scripture and tradition; and 5) to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference with dignity, grace and respect as a steward of your trust.


 

 MICHAEL WATTS

 

Biographical Information

I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky.  I am a graduate of Asbury College with a BA in History, Secondary Education and a minor in accounting and have a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky. My business background includes 20 years in the banking industry in banks ranging from a small community bank to a large, superregional bank. I served as the treasurer and director of administrative services for nearly ten year for the Kentucky Annual Conference.  I am currently serving the St. Matthews United Methodist Church as its administrator and financial secretary.

 

Local Church

I have been a lifelong Methodist and am currently a member of the Shelbyville Centenary UMC.  I was also a member of Lawrenceburg UMC, St. Luke UMC, and Lexington Aldersgate UMC and served in various positions including chair of the church council, chair of the finance committee, lay leader, board of trustees, treasurer, and staff parish relations committee.

 

Position Statement

 It would be an honor to serve the Kentucky Annual Conference as a delegate to the general and jurisdictional conferences. I believe that holding the general and jurisdictional conferences to be fiscally responsible is a high priority. There will be matters coming to General Conference that will have tremendous financial implications for years to come and I believe that I have the understanding in these issues to be a strong resource for the delegates to the conferences. These matters will affect the ministry of the conference and of local churches. As a member of the board of the United Methodist Publishing House, I can also support both the board and the annual conference in matters relating to the discipleship at the general conference.

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Lay

Jurisdictional Conference

 

DELACE CANADA

I was raised at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church in Owensboro where I participated in the choirs and youth groups.  Upon graduation from Memphis University I served for six years as an education and youth director in Texas and Tennessee at two United Methodist churches. I have been married for 39 years to Michael Canada, a retired elder in the Kentucky Conference; we have three grown children and two grandchildren.  We have lived in Kentucky since 1969 serving at churches in Burkesville, Maysville, Hawesville, and presently we are at Mt. Lebanon UMC in Nicholasville.  I helped co-dean a Jr. High camp for 10 years at Loucon.

I am active in my local United Methodist Women's unit and I am serving as the Spiritual Growth coordinator for the Lexington District UMW. I have written, illustrated, and published a children's book. Also I have several published articles.

I would consider it a privilege to participate as a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. These are critical times for the United Methodist church to move ahead.  We need to focus on our relationship with our creator God and how we can reach the world through the power of His love. I support the Traditional Plan.  My prayer is that our denomination will continue to stand for truth, righteousness, and justice. My life scripture comes from Hosea 10:12: “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”

 


 

ELAINE DAUGHERTY

I am a “cradle Methodist”, nurtured in the Wesleyan faith since infancy.  During my formative years, God’s grace led me to profess my faith and be baptized into the Methodist church.  The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” describes the God I worship and praise, who has not changed or wavered in compassion, mercy and grace during the ups and downs of my life. 

I graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Western Kentucky University with majors in elementary education and school administration.  My 34-year career as teacher and school principal taught me to identify persons’ strengths, help meet their needs, and appreciate individual differences. While working with a variety of students, families, faculty and staff, I learned to listen carefully and try to understand others before seeking to be understood.  I believe all persons are of sacred worth and should be treated with respect.  Sometimes that requires speaking difficult truth with love.

God has blessed me with many opportunities to serve in the United Methodist Church.  My husband and I attend Morgantown United Methodist Church, where I teach Sunday school, lead music, serve on several committees and on the Morgantown Mission board of directors.  I am a United Methodist Women local president and district secretary.  As Owensboro District Lay Leader, I serve on the district Committee on Ordained Ministry and Owensboro Operational Team.  I am a Lay Speaker, help facilitate district L.A.C.E. classes, serve on the conference Board of Lay Ministry and have attended numerous annual conferences as a delegate. I completed Lombard Peace Center’s Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders.

I hold a traditional view of scripture as described in the Book of Discipline and feel called to serve as a GC2020 delegate. If selected, I will prayerfully consider the work and always seek God’s guidance.


 

JOHN R. DENHAM

Personal: Beef Cattle Farmer Retired Wholesale Distributor/Comptroller, treasurer and general manager married to Fran Newell Denham, three adult sons, and four grandchildren

Education: Agriculture Economics degree from the University of Kentucky

Church: Lifelong Member of Maysville Trinity Lay Leader, Sunday school teacher, Youth Council, SPRC, Missions, Reach Out program for youth, Trustees, Finance, Church Council

District: Previous NKY district lay leader, District Operational Team, D Com, Trustees, Methodist Men

Conference: Conference Lay Leader, Board of Laity, Extended Cabinet, Episcopacy Committee, Primary Task, Planning and Arrangements, Personnel Committee, DiscipleShift, LACE, previously served on the Health Insurance Task Force

Beyond: General Conference 2012, 2016, 2019 Jurisdictional Conference 2008, 2012, 2016 Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders SEJ Lay Leaders Association UMVIM team leader to Central America, South America and East Africa UMVIM projects on the local, state, national and international levels. Ruggles Methodist Camp, Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, Boy Scouts Senior Citizen ministries, Recovery Ministries Previously served SEJ Committee on Coordination and Accountability Previous Chair of Maysville Community & Technical College Foundation Board Northeastern KY ReEntry Council, Jail Ministry “Inside Out Dads”

I am a youth Sunday school teacher, for over thirty years and coached youth football for over twenty years.  Our family is blessed to be active in United Methodist Churches in Kentucky, Ohio and Alabama.  The Special General Conference has revived the Denham family and our church families to honor our faith and grow our faith to answer God’s call to reach others for Christ.  I am thankful that our children and future generations are seeking deeper connection in the church and a deep desire to become disciples. If elected as your lay delegate, I will prayerfully and thoughtfully consider all petitions and support the principles and beliefs of the United Methodist Church.


 

MAGGIE MAE HOFFMAN

My name is Maggie Mae Hoffman. I am a 20 year old math education major at WKU. I was born and raised in the United Methodist Church and have been blessed to be a part of churches all across the Kentucky Conference. Currently, I am a member of Hindman UMC and an associate member of Faith UMC in Bowling Green. In addition, I serve on the Leadership Team at the WKU Wesley Foundation. I have served as a delegate to Annual Conference several times. For six years I served at Hindman UMC on the Administrative Council as the youth representative. For the past two summers, I was a Counselor at Camp Loucon. This summer, I am very excited to be interning with the Isaiah Project. It would be an honor to serve the Kentucky Conference as a delegate to General Conference.

Position Statement

The United Methodist Church has largely shaped who I am. I love our Church. As the future of our Church is uncertain I want to help shape the way forward. During the Special General Conference my generation was reduced to one voice. We do not speak with one voice and are not of one mind on the issue of human sexuality. I am a traditionalist because though I have searched, I have found no convincing explanation of the scriptures to the contrary. I believe the Bible is also clear that we are to love everyone and our current church battles are not loving. It broke my heart to watch the special General Conference. This issue has consumed our time, money, and resources to bring us only more uncertainty. If elected, I would support a mutually prepared amicable separation. It is time we all move forward to focus on loving God and loving people.


 

 LARRY WELLS

I have been a United Methodist since 1974 and a member of Christ United Methodist Church since 1978.  I have been blessed to serve in several leadership roles within the church, including Church Council Chair, Finance Chair, Lay Leader and delegate to Annual Conference.  I currently serve as the Chair of the South Central District Trustees and on the WKU Wesley Foundation board.  I am a graduate of Western Kentucky University and retired from Fruit of the Loom after 37 years working in Information Technology.  My wife and I have lived in the Plano community in Warren County for the past 40 years.

I present myself as a delegate to the 2020 General Conference for several reasons.  I believe my life experience and my involvement in the church qualifies me to be a delegate.  I believe the Kentucky Annual Conference delegation to General Conference should include delegates from all the districts in the conference. 

I am generally conservative and consider myself to be orthodox with regard to scripture and church tradition.  This, together with my Christian experience and understanding of the church and secular culture, leads me to believe the current language in the Discipline regarding human sexuality is the correct teaching.

I believe the connectional nature of our church requires that we agree on the major parts of our theology as well as how the church exists within society.  Decisions must be made during the 2020 General Conference to ensure the Discipline is honored and its provisions enforced across the entire church.

As a delegate to General Conference I will be respectful to everyone and remain true to the way God leads me.

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JANIS BROWN-THOMPSON

I have been a member of Coke Memorial United Methodist Church for over 27 years.  I am married to Taft Thompson, Jr., a lifelong United Methodist.  I earned a B.A. degree at Murray State University and a Master’s degree from Western Kentucky University.  I have done post graduate work at the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University in Administration.  I taught in the public school system for over 30 years.  I currently serve at my local church as Administrative Council Chairman and Lay Leader and on the Episcopacy Committee and District Committee on Ordained Ministry. I was a recipient of the Ecumenism Award.  I would be honored to serve as delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020. Having served as delegate in prior years, I am committed and strengthened to continue the mission of our denomination.  As the focus of the 2019 special called General Conference was centered around the work of the Commission on the Way Forward and the vote on the Traditional Plan, One Church Plan and Connectional Plan, I saw the passion and commitment to our church from United Methodists all over the world.  I believe that every individual is of sacred worth, loved by God and should be welcomed into our church.  Our denomination should reflect biblical teachings and stand on the Word of God. Our Book of Discipline has been our guide.  The delegates at General Conference voted in favor of the Traditional Plan.  As other legislation is sure to come before the body in 2020, as delegate, I would pray for discernment and the leading of the Holy Spirit in all of my deliberations and decisions on issues that come before us.  Our denomination must come together in unity and be prepared to transition our church into the future. 


 

LINDA UNDERWOOD KING

 

Christ Church United Methodist

Widow of Rev. Carman King

Lindsey Wilson College, AA

Western Kentucky University BS, MA

Taught 27 years in Kentucky

Director of Gifted Education for Fort Campbell Schools

Taught at Austin Peay State University

Taught Sunday school and Children’s Musicals in numerous churches.

United Methodist Women

Served on Conference trustees committee

Episcopacy Committee

Board of Pensions

Lindsey Wilson College Board of Trustees

Wesley Manor Board of Trustees

Kentucky Annual Conferences

General Conference 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019

Jurisdictional Conference 2008, 20012, 2016

Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals

 

I have been fortunate to experience Methodism across our Commonwealth in all sizes of churches and communities. I see the strength of our connectional system as it supports congregations, allowing them to make strong Christian statements as they minister to those near and far.

There will be much to be decided at General Conference 2020. Pension and Health Benefits, Social Principles, candidacy process for ministry, lay/minister partnerships, apportionments, budget, and ministering in a global world. I continue to believe our beloved United Methodist Church is one of Open Hearts, Open Minds, & Open Doors. Our People are making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.

 

I would be honored to represent the Kentucky United Methodist, during this time in the life of our denomination.


 

ADAM McCORMICK

My name is Adam McCormick, I am 42 years old and have been a member of Cairo United Methodist Church my entire life and make the fourth generation United Methodist at Cairo.

Currently, I am blessed to serve as our Sunday School Superintendent, the Sunday school teacher for the high school students and serve on several boards at my church. God has blessed me beyond measure in my home life, as well with a church family that also models the Wesleyan tradition.

 I have been married to the love of my life for 20 years and we have three beautiful daughters ages 18, 15, 12. Our oldest daughter is currently a freshman at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, KY.

I have always had a relationship with our Lord but in the past four or five years, I have experienced the renewal of the Holy Spirit in my life. This led me to a much closer personal relationship with God and also has me seeking ways to serve, thus here I am.

I believe that God’s Word as revealed in the Holy Bible should be the main consideration in every decision we make that pertains to the future direction of the United Methodist Church. If chosen as a delegate to the General Conference 2020, I would use the scale of the Holy Bible by which I measure every decision brought before us; along with prayer and fellowship of every United Methodist member that I represent.



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