Ordained Ministry News Archive
North Alabama elder one of twenty outstanding Young Pastors selected for the Lewis Fellows Program
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary has selected 20 outstanding young clergy to participate in the 2012-2013 Lewis Fellows program. This year's class includes a clergy member of the North Alabama Conference.
Every year the Lewis Fellows program brings together outstanding young clergy persons (generally those under the age of 35) for intensive leadership development activities and sustained peer interaction. To date, more than 150 young clergy...
New wrinkle in appointment security
Supporters of guaranteed appointments for United Methodist clergy have a new reason for hope.
The Rev. L. Fitzgerald "Gere" Reist II, secretary of the General Conference, informed the Council of Bishops late June 11 that the language in the 2012 Book of Discipline “does not eliminate the security of appointment for elders.”
But, other denominational leaders question Reist’s interpretation of what the 2012 General Conference, the denomination’s top...
Clergy meet for annual Gathering of the Orders
Clergy throughout the North Alabama Conference journeyed to Camp Sumatanga this week for the annual Gathering of the Orders. Elders, deacons and local pastors meet each year to catch up with old friends and exchange ideas about ministry.
The focus of this year’s meeting was “Fresh Water from Ancient Wells: Exploring the Depths Wesley Drew From.” Using ancient teachings of spiritual guides all the way back to the desert fathers, speakers linked them to issues relevant to...
New rule for UM seminaries: More clergy, more funds
United Methodist schools of theology that educate more students for ordained ministry in the denomination will get more church funding in 2012 under a new formula for distributing money from the Ministerial Education Fund.
The Directors of The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry had approved the changes last fall, but tweaked the formula at the spring 2011 meeting to include money for full-time United Methodist faculty and senior administrators at the seminaries. That...
Cabinet explains clergy appointment process
This week the Appointive Cabinet of the North Alabama Conference is in session. The main focus of their meeting will be determining clergy appointments for North Alabama Conference congregations. However, the process of determining clergy appointments stretches beyond Cabinet Meetings.
In the video below District Superintendent of the Northeast District Rev. Dale Cohen and Associate District Superintendent of the Northeast District Rev. Sherill Clontz, explain the multifaceted process of how...
Bishop receives grant for sabbatical, encourages pastors to take time for study and spiritual growth
The Sabbath Leave Program, based at the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Samford University and funded by the Lilly Endowment, has just awarded Bishop Willimon funds to assist him in a two month sabbatical this summer. Bishops are granted three months Renewal Leave every four years. Bishop Willimon plans to use his leave for study, writing, rest and recreation.
“The Sabbath Leave Program is a great resource for our clergy. I am honored to be selected for this grant. Unfortunately, even...
Church court clarifies voting eligibility
When United Methodists start electing clergy delegates this spring to the denomination’s top legislative meeting, several new groups will be eligible to vote for those representatives.
The new categories of electors for the 2012 General Conference were clarified by the denomination’s Judicial Council in a special called session Feb. 12. The nine-member council serves as the church’s “supreme court.”
The new categories — related to elections conducted by the...
Northwest District’s Oscar Butler Scholarship Fund helps student-pastors with educational costs
The Northwest District’s Oscar Butler Scholarship Fund has been providing financial support for student pastors in the Florence area for more than 50 years.
Many young pastors leave seminary with a large debt because of the cost of theological education. This debt puts a financial burden on the pastors and her or his family as they enter the ministry. The Florence District Laity Club recognized this issue many years ago and began to help young pastors with their educational costs.
Cabinet announces mid-year clergy appointment changes
North Alabama Conference Cabinet Secretary Rev. Sherill Clontz announces that Bishop Willimon and the Cabinet have made the following clergy appointments.
Taylorville (Southwest District) - Matt Smith
New Life (Northeast District) - Mike Robinson
Lanett First (Southeast District) - Russell Williams
Five Points Circuit (Southeast District) - Baxter Chism
Springhill (Northeast District) - Clauzell Williams
Clay (Cheaha District) - Mark Clifton
GBHEM Board Approves MEF Distribution Change, Plan for Africa Theological Education
By Vicki Brown*
A plan for distributing $2 million to support theological education in Africa and a new formula for allocating church dollars to the 13 United Methodist theological schools were approved by board members of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry during their fall meeting.
The Board, meeting in Nashville Oct. 7-9, also approved a $40.4 million budget for 2011, and heard of the retirement of General Secretary Jerome King Del Pino, effective Oct. 15, 2010. John...
Memphis Theological Seminary announces the establishment of the Rev. Matthew Miller Endowment
This fall a group of students, alumni and faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary started an endowment in memory of Rev. Matt Miller. Matt was a North Alabama Conference pastor who died in a boating accident in January 2010 at the age of 25.
At the time of his death, Matt was a student of Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS) and pastor of Propst Memorial UMC in Millport, Ala. He was expected to graduate from the seminary in the spring of 2010. At the 2010 North Alabama Conference Matt was given...
GBHEM Announces Online Consortium with 13 UM Theological Schools
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church is pleased to introduce an Online Continuing Education Consortium in collaboration with the 13 United Methodist Theological Schools. United Methodist theological schools are offering 11 online continuing education classes for clergy and laity beginning fall semester of 2010.
The vision of the consortium is to provide theologically sound, financially affordable, and easily accessible continuing education programs...
Study shows young clergy increasing
By Heather Hahn*
Nathan Phillips grew up United Methodist, but it was as a participant in campus ministry at Mississippi State University that he first discerned a calling to enter ordained ministry.
“It gave me opportunities to grow not only in relationship to God but also in opportunities to serve,” he said. “It gave me space to hear him calling, ‘This is what I created you for.’ … My own relationship with him taught me that the greatest...
Program helps ministers settle into new assignments
The following article is re-posted with permission of The Anniston Star.
by Laura Tutor
Special to The Anniston Star
Jul 31, 2010
In his first month as senior pastor at Anniston's First United Methodist Church, the Rev. Bill Brown has learned a few things they don't cover in seminary.
The second time around at a church is more intimidating than the first. The congregation might not recognize the unofficial "honeymoon" period that United Methodist churches observe during the...
2010 Clergywomen's Dinner celebrates women in ministry
The 2010 Annual Conference Clergywomen's Dinner was held this year at Faith United Methodist Church on Thursday, June 3, hosted by Rev. Amelia Sims. Eighteen women in ministry in our Conference met to fellowship and enjoy a meal together. During the meal, all the women had an opportunity to share at least one happening in their lives that they were celebrating from this past year. Following the dinner, several women continued to dialogue about how to continue networking and supporting one...
Video conversation helps churches better understand clergy benefits
The United Methodist Church has three mandatory benefits programs for its clergy in the United States – health insurance, pension and disability.
One program which often causes confusion among local churches is clergy pension. So recently, Bishop Will Willimon and North Alabama Conference Treasurer Scott Selman sat down to discuss this topic. A video of this conversation is below.
One thing that makes this an important issue for local churches today is that beginning in 2007 clergy...
Scholarship event planned for aspiring seminary students
Emory University's Candler School of Theology is helping make theological education affordable for the next generation of Christian leaders by hosting a special scholarship event Feb. 28-March 2, 2010.
Leadership Candler will bring together a distinguished group of prospective Master of Divinity students from across the country and the world. The three-day event includes interviews with scholarship committees, visits to classes and conversations with Candler's faculty. Leadership Candler also...
Rex Manasco receives local pastor license
by Mike Stonbraker, Northwest District Superintendent
July 19, 2009 was a very special day for Rex Manasco pastor of Halltown United Methodist Church. Rex is beginning his second year at Halltown. The church has been both an honor and pleasure for Rex and his new bride Carla. However, physically it has been a real challenge since the very beginning of his ministry at Halltown.
On March 25, 2008 Rex was diagnosed with Leukemia. Chemotherapy and extended stays in the hospital became part of his...
New Class of Residents in Ministry gather for RIM Retreat
Last week 16 of our newest pastors gave up trips to the beach, family time and packing to come together at Camp Sumatanga for a 5 day Residents in Ministry or RIM retreat. They were led by various pastors in the North Alabama Conference in such subjects as Ministry by Strengths, Vision and Courage, Self-Care and Family Systems Theory.
However, the central feature of the retreat was forming Covenant Groups which will be the anchor for their budding ministries. "We can always read...
The United Methodist Young Clergy Network is hosting a 40-day prayer campaign for renewal, hope, and clarity of call.
The United Methodist Young Clergy Network is leading a 40-day prayer campaign for renewal, hope, and clarity of call for the church.
North Alabama Conference clergy Jack Hinnen and Mike Holly are two of the young clergy who are contributing to this 40 days of prayer.
In the campaign, which began May 18 on the organization’s revamped Web site, young United Methodist leaders from more than 20 annual conferences are asking God to guide them through the darkness of their times and to give...