Wrap-up ... 'See all the people’ was theme of 2018 Memphis Annual Conference in Paducah, KY


Bishop Bill McAlilly holds a framed collage of "selfies" that illustrate the theme of the 2018 Memphis Annual Conference: SEE ALL THE PEOPLE. The photos were a gift from Memphis Conference youth. (Photo by Lane Gardner Camp) See link at top of story for MORE PHOTOS from the 2018 Memphis Annual Conference.


(202 images) | Click Here 
(106 images) | Click Here
VIDEO | Click Here

(updated 6.21.18)
WORSHIP LITURGIES | Opening Service | Retirement Service | 
Memorial Service | Ordination Service | Closing Service
EVALUATION | Click Here  | June 30 is deadline to submit.
MORE INFORMATIONwww.memphis-umc.net/2018AC


“See All the People” was the theme for the 2018 Memphis Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church that took place Sunday through Tuesday, June 3-5, in Paducah, Kentucky, with Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly presiding.

McAlilly is the resident bishop for the Nashville Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church that includes the Memphis (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) and Tennessee (Middle Tennessee) Conferences.
The Purchase District (Western Kentucky part of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church) hosted the event, which it previously did in 2014. Delegates, along with family, friends and special guests, gathered to worship, learn, conduct business and celebrate accomplishments.
A total of 601 delegates registered and attended, according to Conference Secretary Dr. David Russell.
Worship Services

The Opening Worship Service took place Sunday evening, June 3, at The Carson Center. Rev. Junius B. Dotson, general secretary of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church was the guest preacher. Memphis Conference Ministries were recongnized and celebrated. A Purchase District choir performed and Project Transformation Memphis interns were commissioned. 

The Memorial Service took place Monday morning, June 4, at The Carson Center, to remember clergy members and clergy spouses who died in the previous year. Rev. Stephen Shapard, retiring senior pastor at Bartlett United Methodist Church in Bartlett, TN, preached.

Those remembered were John Allen Broyles, Frank Bulle, Harry E. Burkhead, Luther Allen Clark, Jr., John Bernard Clarke, Rebecca Jane Coke, Robert Lee Cole, John Thomas Cook, James R. DeBardeleben, Viola S. Denton, Eudora Nell Dotson, Paul Douglass, Gary Richard Drum, Ruth T. Mulroy, Wanta Potts (Newburn) Ford, Rachel Harting, Jerry Lee Hassell, Grover C. McNeill, Everett Gray Porter, Henry Ewell Russell, Deborah J. Smith, Elton A. Watlington, Helen L. Williams, Jerry Lynn Wilson and Rebecca Jane Yoder.

A Retirement Service took place Monday morning, June 4, at The Carson Center. Clergy retiring from active ministry were recognized. The "passing of the mantle" celebrated a new generation of clergy leaders.

Retirees included five elders, two associates and three local pastors: James Appleton, Eugene Burkeen, Marita Burkeen, John Holcomb, Stan McDaniel, Stephen Shapard, Susan Sharpe, Randy Stacy, Jim Stahler and Mary Stone.

Retirees who were present for the service spoke about their ministries and careers.

The Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination took place Monday, June 4, at Broadway United Methodist Church. Bishop McAlilly preached with music provided by the church. 

Those called to and affirmed for ministry were licensed as local pastors, commissioned and ordained as deacons and elders: 

  • One was licensed as a local pastor: Wallace Edwin Smith  
  • One was commissioned as a provisional deacon: Amy Wingrove Martin  
  • Seven were ordained elder: Sara Katherine Corum, Leah Mae Howe, John Keith Long, John Travis Penney, Robert Michael Potter, Kristofer Santos Roof, Dennis Vance, Jr.
The Sending Forth Service took place Tuesday afternoon, June 5, at The Carson Center. The closing service of the annual conference included a Renewal of the Baptismal Covenant and the fixing of clergy appointments for 2018-19. See link at top of this story for the appointment booklet with a complete list of clergy appointments.

Votes on Cabinet Resolutions

Resolutions for church discontinuances (closings) and charge line changes were approved:
  • Resolutions for Church Discontinuances | Click HERE 
  • Resolutions for Charge Line Changes | Click HERE 
Church closures included:
  • Metro District: Calvary Longview United Methodist Church, Spirit of Truth United Methodist Church and New Generation Empowerment Center
  • Mississippi River District: Bradford United Methodist Church and Brock’s Chapel United Methodist Church
  • Purchase District: Lynn Grove United Methodist Church and Temple Hill United Methodist Church
  • Tennessee River District: Big Sandy United Methodist Church
Delegates voted, though results were not announced, on an intent to form a new conference with the Tennessee Conference, also served by Bishop McAlilly. (The Memphis and Tennessee Conferences together make up the Nashville Episcopal Area.) The Tennessee Conference was scheduled to take its vote during its annual conference in Brentwood, Tennessee, June 13-15.
  • Cabinet Resolution: Intent to Form a New Conference  |  Click HERE 
Results of this vote will be announced by Bishop McAlilly some time after the 2018 Tennessee Annual Conference.
  • June 19 announcement: Resolution passes. | DETAILS
Votes on Other Resolutions

Four resolutions were submitted by individuals in the Memphis Conference. None passed. Revote on Constitutional Amendment

Delegates revoted on one General Conference constitutional amendment, the results of which were not announced. Vote totals will be reported to the Council of Bishops so all annual conferences may vote without influence from other annual conference vote results. Commission on a Way Forward & 2019 Called General Conference
Bishop McAlilly made time on the agenda to talk about the called General Conference of The United Methodist Church, set for Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, that will be limited to acting on a report by the Council of Bishops based on proposals from the Commission on a Way Forward.

The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to examine and possibly revise parts of the United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options to help maintain and strengthen the unity of The United Methodist Church.

Click HERE to keep up with news and statements from the Council of Bishops.

McAlilly welcomed Julie Hager Love, director of Connectional Ministries for the Kentucky Conference, a member of the Commission on a Way Forward, to talk about the commission’s work and recommendations.

Elyse Bell and Rev. Eddie Bromley guided delegates in prayer. They are two of the Memphis Conference’s elected delegates to General Conference.
Teaching Sessions

“See All the People” was the theme of two teaching sessions presented by Rev. Junius B. Dotson, who also preached the Sunday evening opening worship service. Offerings

Offerings received during annual conference benefitted three initiatives. Totals reported by the Memphis Conference Treasurer’s Office as of June 11 are:
  • $10,587.37 for Congo Women Arise / Mama Lynn Center, a program and center to address the needs of female rape survivors in central Africa. Women in Congolese culture are the foundation of the family, church and village and often targeted and used as pawns in war. Aggressors abandon the women, leaving them with physical, sexual, psychological, social and domestic problems.
  • $6,079.75 for The Jerusalem Fund, a confidential ministry that provides assistance to Memphis Conference clergy facing short-term financial hardships.
  • $2,912.98 for Memphis Conference youth initiatives 
Youth Participation

In addition to young people who led prayers during business and teaching sessions and participated in worship as musicians and vocalists, young people also organized a prayer walk and selfie scavenger hunt and sold refreshments.

Black College Fund Ambassador Taylor Willis from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, thanked the Memphis Conference for its support of the Black College Fund of the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.  

Conference youth and leaders also participated in a Youth Annual Gathering at nearby Broadway United Methodist Church, that ran Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, ending before the start of annual conference. Click HERE to read news story about YAG.

2019 Budget

The annual conference approved a budget of $5,498,509 for mission and ministry in 2019. This is a 9.2 percent decrease from the 2018 budget.
  • Click HERE to read/print the 2019 Narrative & Summary Budget brochure.
Bill Millikin, chair of the Memphis Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) reported that 96 percent of conference churches currently are tithing to the Memphis Conference and 99.9 percent of churches are paying their clergy pension and healthcare bills from the Treasurer’s Office.
In January 2018, the Memphis Conference began a new income-based, tithe (10 percent) for churches to fund the conference budget. This was approved at the 2017 Memphis Annual Conference to replace the conference's long-time apportionment formula system. The new direct billing to churches for the pension and insurance responsibility of appointed clergy also was approved during the 2017 Memphis Annual Conference to begin in January 2018.

Visit www.memphis-umc.net/2018 to find CFA's full report.


Harry Denman Evangelism Awards for the Memphis Conference were presented to three individuals by Rev. Will Clark, Memphis Conference chairperson for evangelism and pastor of Liberty and Post Oak United Methodist Churches in Camden, Tennessee:
  • Youth: Kelly Greer, Shiloh United Methodist Church, Somerville, Tennessee
  • Lay: David R. Reed, Martin First United Methodist Church, Martin, Tennessee
  • Clergy: Rev. James Luvene, pastor of Hughlett United Methodist Churchin Dyersburg, Tennessee; Lighthouse United Methodist Church in Alamo, Tennessee; and Ross United Methodist Church in Dyersburg, Tennessee
Sponsored by the Foundation for Evangelism, the Denman Award honors persons who have made outstanding efforts in Wesleyan evangelism by helping to bring others into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
One Matters Discipleship Awards were presented to four churches, one from each district:
  • Bolivar First United Methodist Church, Bolivar, Tennessee (Tennessee River District)
  • Lovelaceville United Methodist Church, Mayfield, Kentucky (Purchase District)
  • Rehoboth United Methodist Church, Dyersburg, Tennessee (Mississippi River District)
  • Temple United Methodist Church, Millington, Tennessee (Metro District)
Sponsored by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, the One Matters award recognizes churches that have moved away from zero professions of faith and baptisms to positive numbers. Each award includes a $1,000 gift.
Bishop’s Award of Excellence in Scouting was presented to Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 452, chartered by Arlington United Methodist Church in Arlington, Tennessee.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Larry Woodruff, and lay leader, Thom Henning, received the award for the scouts.
McRae-Lawson Peace with Justice Awards These inaugural awards of the Memphis Conference Peace With Justice ministry are named in memory of Rev. Frank McRae and in honor of Rev. Dr. James Lawson. They were presented by Memphis Conference clergy, Rev. Larry Chitwood and Rev. Jerome Scales.

Recipients were Rev. Billy Vaughn (clergy) and Hazel Moore (lay).

Laity News
A Board of Laity report was delivered by David R. Reed, Memphis Conference lay leader. He yielded his time to others to share information on two Memphis Conference ministries:
  • Exceptional Worship ministry for special needs children and adults (Susan Davidson, Mississippi River District resource leader) Click HERE to view video that was shown.
  • Youth Initiatives (Rev. Amanda Crice, campus minister of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee in Martin, Tennessee, and Memphis Conference youth coordinator.
Crice also was the speaker for a laity dinner on Sunday. “God is Doing a New Thing” was the title of her message.
There also was a lay servant lunch on Tuesday for active and prospective lay servants, lay speakers and lay ministers. Those who were certified during 2017-18 were commissioned.
Streaming, Social Media and Mobile App   

2018 marked the sixth time the Memphis Annual Conference was streamed, allowing non-attendees to watch live from their homes, churches and offices.

Using hashtags #2018mac and #seeallthepeople, among others, social media provided a way for conference attendees to participate in online discussion before, during and after the event. The Memphis Conference has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For the third year, a mobile app allowed delegates and others access to annual conference information and materials in electronic and digital formats before, during and after the conference.

2019 Memphis Annual Conference

Delegates voted to meet June 2-5, 2019, at Collierville United Methodist Church in Collierville, Tennessee, for the 2019 Memphis Annual Conference.
Other Business
Delegates and attendees also: 
  • Were led in worship and song by Amy Martin, worship leader, and Dr. Todd E. Hill, organist and pianist
  • Witnessed a 9-year-old organist who played “Fairest Lord Jesus (arr. Rhonda Stanton). Owen Wade is a member of Paris First United Methodist Church in Paris, Tennessee
  • Gazed on a stage mural titled “The Land Between,” created by artist Les MacDiamid
  • Celebrated the 100th anniversary of Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Celebrated the 50th anniversary of the creation of The United Methodist Church
  • Observed the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was assassinated in Memphis in 1968
  • Received greetings from Pastor Hector Costilla Diaz of the Eastern Mexico Conference of the Methodist Church of Mexico in recognition of the Memphis Conference’s pacto (covenant) for mission and ministry with the Eastern Mexico Conference
  • Received reports from the Council on Finance and Administration, Board of Ordained Ministry, Board of Pension and Health Benefits and Committee on Episcopacy. Visit www.memphis-umc.net/2018 to find some reports.
  • Voted to sell two conference properties: 1. parsonage for the campus ministry at University of Tennessee, Martin, TN; 2. property of Wesley Foundation on University of Memphis campus in Memphis, TN
  • Approved conference nominations report. Visit www.memphis-umc.net/2018 to find report.
  • Heard news from Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee and Project Transformation
  • Visited exhibits and displays of approximately 50 organizations with ties to the Memphis Conference and The United Methodist Church
  • Benefited from Spanish language translation/interpretation services accomplished with Memphis Conference volunteer interpreters and transmitter/receiver equipment from the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries
  • Benefited from signing by Logan Blewitt, an interpreter for the deaf
  • Benefited from free childcare services that included a nursery and kids’ camp coordinated by Broadway United Methodist Church 
  • Received ministry and board reports in pre-conference materials. Visit www.memphis-umc.net/2018 to find report.
  • Utilized a photo booth (backdrop) that provided a place for individuals, couples and groups to take photos with the repeating annual conference logo as a background. See link at top of this story for the photos.
  • Were welcomed to Paducah on Monday morning by Richard Abraham, city commissioner
~Compiled by Lane Gardner Camp, Memphis Conference Director of Communications