Two ‘PKs’ find Annual Conference an uplifting experience

June 07, 2023
OWENSBORO, Ky. – When it comes to having adventures at Annual Conference, leave it to a couple of preachers’ kids to set the bar high.

Buddies John Maynard, 17, and Noah Sparks, 14, had been swimming Tuesday evening, June 6, at the indoor pool at the Hampton Inn & Suites, which is next to the Owensboro Convention Center, where the 2023 Annual Conference has been taking place since Sunday.

As they were riding back upstairs to change before meeting some friends, they heard a snap and the elevator suddenly stopped between the second and third floors.
“It was unexpected, and kind of frightening because it was unexpected,” Noah said later.

They saw the emergency button but didn’t want to create a ruckus, so John used his phone to call his mom, the Rev. Leigh Ann Maynard, who serves at Christ Church in Louisville. She called the front desk clerk, who summoned the Owensboro Fire Department.

About half a dozen firefighters climbed the stairs to where John’s mom and Noah’s dad, the Rev. Adam Sparks, senior pastor at St. Matthews in Louisville, were waiting with about a dozen other Kentucky Annual Conference friends who were providing not just moral support, but a nice helping of humor.

The boys, who were trapped for a little over an hour, were never in serious danger. Firefighters lowered a ladder through a top hatch in the elevator, put safety harnesses on them and brought them out one by one. They were smiling as they emerged to applause from the roughly dozen people waiting in the hall.

Bishop Leonard Fairley even opened Wednesday’s session joking about their adventure. He said some people will do anything they can to end up on Facebook.

It was both boys’ first time staying for an entire Annual Conference session – and certainly will be one they will never forget. Neither will their parents.

“I’ve been told that it was my dad’s most eventful Annual Conference,” Noah said.