#kac2022 final preparations: Clergy, laity excited to be back in person

June 05, 2022
By Alan Wild
OWENSBORO, Kentucky – More than an hour before the 5 p.m. start of registration Sunday, the Owensboro Convention Center lobby was already starting to fill with clergy and laity in preparation for the start Monday of the three-day 2022 Annual Conference.

“Part of the joy of Annual Conference is being together. We are grateful that we are able to gather, even in a limited capacity, to see each other and celebrate together what God is doing in our midst,” said Rev. Tami Coleman, the Conference Secretary.

Annual Conference is meeting in person for the first time in three years; the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 and 2021 sessions to be held online. Almost everything is back for 2022, although a few traditional pieces – such as the display area – are not back this year out of an abundance of caution.

In the temporary office of the Annual Conference staff on the third floor, Rev. Shirley Burke, serving at Coke Memorial in Louisville, was gearing up for her first year as Motions Secretary. That role involved making sure any motions presented are worded clearly and correctly.

“I’m pumped” to be back in person, she said. “I love going to Annual Conference!”

She wasn’t alone in that sentiment. There was a noticeable buzz in the first-floor lobby as members chatted near the registration tables. People seemed happy to be back in person after two years of pandemic precautions.

“That is great. Very excited,” said Donna Williams, a Lay Pastor who serves at Christian Heights in Hopkinsville and also is active in the Hopkinsville Community Dinner Church.

Her colleague Jose Macario, a Lay Supply person who serves at Corona de Vida in Hopkinsville, said: “I’m excited. This will be different for me. This is my first time” at an in-person Annual Conference.

“It’s good to be back and see everybody,” said Rev. Corey Nelson, Pastor at Grace Kids in Louisville, who was chatting with several other clergy near the registration tables.
Annual Conference had been scheduled to be in Owensboro for three years starting in 2021. The 2023 Annual Conference also is scheduled to be held here.

  • The Opening Worship Service will begin at 9 a.m. CDT (10 a.m. EDT). Bishop Leonard Fairley will preach.
  • The Service of Ordination and Commission will take place at 7 p.m. CDT. Lawson Bryan, retired Bishop of the South Georgia Conference, will preach.
Annual Conference will be livestreamed in its entirely on both the Conference website and on the Conference’s Facebook page.  GNTV is again serving as the Conference’s multimedia ministry partner.

View our photo gallery from Sunday!