Bonson to be new Director of Connectional Ministries
Dr. John Bonson has been named as the new Director of Connectional Ministries. He will also continue as Memphis Conference secretary.
Bonson said, “First, I want to thank Kevin Conrad for his leadership in helping the conference build a structure that can be flexible enough to meet the changing demands placed on the church in our present economy.
“I’m also grateful to the cabinet for the trust that they have placed in me,” he said. “I pray that I may be found worthy of such trust. I will depend on God’s grace to guide my steps.”
Bonson said he’s looking forward to working with the Lay Resource Leaders from the districts and the Chairs of the Actions Teams and conference agencies as they prepare for a ministry that not only proclaims but also demonstrates abundance during these times of scarcity.
“The church has the opportunity to show our society how, with God’s help, we can do more to help those most affected by the financial meltdown that we are witnessing,” he said. “God has provided sufficient resources for each of us to respond to the needs of those around us. Please pray with me that we will all have the vision to use those resources faithfully as God guides us. Let us all pray for God’s Spirit to guide us as we move forward.” He will take office in June.
Bonson received his Bachelor of Arts from Lambuth College in 1967, his Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1970, and his Doctor of Education from Vanderbilt University in 1992. He also took part in the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program (Lily Foundation) at Memphis Theological Seminary.
His pastoral appointments before 1974 include: Student Associate Pastor at Henderson-Trinity (Chester County, TN), student appointments at Franklin First UMC, Cornersville-New Hope, Inglewood (TN Conference), Harris Grove-Oak Grove (Jackson District), Associate Colonial Park, Symsonia, Ky., Associate Whitehaven.
In 1974, Bonson took Voluntary Location. During the period from 1974-1993, he was employed as Regional Personnel Manager for Federal Express (Western Division, San Francisco, CA), was Dean of Students at Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, TN), Director of Administrative Services, Lambuth College (Jackson, TN), Director of Education, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, Comptroller, Jackson Psychiatric Hospital, and, in 1988, was Part-time Local Pastor Enville – Holly Springs.
In 1993, he returned to full time pastoral appointment at Kevil & New Liberty in the Paducah District followed by appointments at Aldersgate (Jackson), Trinity (Memphis), and Lambuth Memorial (Jackson).
During the period between 1974-1993, Bonson served on United Way of West Tennessee; was County Commissioner for District 2 of Madison County (for three elected terms); began the drive for Metro Government and Consolidation of Jackson and Madison County Schools; was on the Mayor’s Diversity Committee in Jackson; was on the Madison County Budget Committee; and Leadership Jackson.
After returning to full time pastoral appointment, Bonson served as Chair of the Memphis Conference Higher Education Division, Chair, Paducah Urban Ministries Development Team, on the Paducah District Committee on Ordained Ministry, on Conference Finance and Administration, on the Board of Trustees of Lambuth University, as a Spiritual Director of the West Tennessee Emmaus Community, as Chair, of the Jackson District Program Ministries Team, as Chair, Asbury District Witness Committee, on the Clergy Team, Churches Uniting in Christ (Memphis TN), on the United Methodist Advisory Committee for Memphis Theological Seminary, on the Jackson District Superintendency Committee, and is serving as Memphis Conference Secretary. Bonson will continue as pastor of Lambuth Memorial United Methodist Church until Annual Conference. •