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Decision No. 253

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February 04 1968
In Re: Consolidated Petitions for a Declaratory Decision Concerning the Consequences Under Amendment IX of the Vote Taken By Annual Conferences on the So-Called Omnibus Resolutions Submitted to Them By the 1966 Session of the General Conference Insofar as Those Resolutions Purported to Authorize the Transfer of Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into Other Jurisdictional Conferences and the Merger of Certain of Such Annual Conferences With Annual Conferences of Other Jurisdictions

Digest of Case

The North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction has voted by the requisite majority to transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and to merge with the Western North Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction; and the said three Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, by aggregate vote, have given the requisite approvals, as have the several Annual Conferences of the Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions not directly involved in the merger. The Central Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Upper Mississippi Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction have voted by the requisite majorities to transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Likewise, the Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction have voted by the requisite majorities to transfer into the South Central Jurisdiction. The several Annual Conferences of the Central, Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions have given their consents to the foregoing transfers by the requisite aggregate majorities. The transfers will become effective upon announcements by the respective Colleges of Bishops that the transfers have been approved in the manner mandated by Amendment IX. Upon completion of the merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction with the Western North Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, a delegate elected by the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference to the General Conference and the Central Jurisdictional Conference will become a delegate to the General Conference and to the 1968 session of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference from that one of the three receiving Annual Conferences with which such delegate is affiliated by church membership or Annual Conference relation after the transfer and merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference. Delegates elected to the General or Jurisdictional Conference of 1968 by Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction which transfer into the Southeastern or South Central Jurisdiction prior to the date of the General or Jurisdictional Conference of 1968 will continue to be delegates to General Conference from the Annual Conference which elected them and will be delegates to the 1968 session of the Jurisdictional Conference into which their Annual Conference has transferred. STATEMENT OF FACTS We have before us four petitions for declaratory decisions, one each from (1) the Committee on Interjurisdictional Affairs of the North Carolina-Virginia Conference of the Central Jurisdiction; (2) the Central Jurisdictional Conference; (3) the College of Bishops of that Conference; and (4) the Commission on Interjurisdictional Relations of the General Conference. In substance, each requests an interpretation of the legal effect under Amendment IX of the votes taken by the several Annual Conferences of the Central, Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions at their 1967 sessions on a series of resolutions submitted to all Annual Conferences by the 1966 session of the General Conference (hereinafter referred to for convenience as the "Omnibus Resolutions"), particularly as they relate to the transfer of Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern or South Central Jurisdiction and to the concurrent agreement on terms of merger of two of such Annual Conferences into Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction with which they are geographically identified. The Omnibus Resolutions read as follows: "1. By the adoption of this Resolution each Annual Conference, each Jurisdictional Conference, the General Conference, each College of Bishops and the Council of Bishops pledge their best efforts to eliminate as soon as possible all forms of racial structure from the organization of The Methodist Church, and further pledge to do everything possible to develop greater understanding and brotherhood in all aspects of church life and work. "2. Each Annual Conference and Jurisdictional Conference which has been part of a merger of churches or Conferences formerly separated by racial distinctions pledges its best efforts to work out all remaining adjustments, to use the ability of both clergy and laymen wherever they can be most effective in the work of the Church, and to serve all people without regard to race. "Where such mergers have not yet been realized, each such Conference expresses its earnest determination to work toward such merger at the earliest possible date and hereby pledges to establish a Committee on Inter-Conference Relations composed of an equal number of ministers, laymen and youth to implement the recommendations and resolutions of this report and recommendation of the Plan of Action for the elimination of the Central Jurisdiction adopted by the 1964 General Conference and that each board and agency of the Church be alert for opportunities to assist each Committee in every possible way. "3. Whenever such mergers hereafter take place the continuing Annual Conference will: a. Accept into its membership, with all the same rights, privileges, status and obligations, all ministerial members (whether on trial or in full connection) appointed to charges located geographically within the continuing Conference, and all ministerial members under special appointment or retired ministerial members who hold Quarterly Conference membership in a local church located geographically within the boundaries of the continuing Conference. b. Insofar as possible, the ministerial and lay persons now serving on boards and agencies of both of the merging Conferences shall serve during the current quadrennium on like or similar boards and agencies of the continuing Conference, and thereafter membership in all such Conference boards and agencies shall be open to all persons on the basis of their qualifications without regard to race. In the event any Disciplinary provision limiting the number of members of a board or agency should prevent the continuation of all members during the current quadrennium, the Cabinet shall determine which members shall continue, in the spirit of this Resolution, being careful to provide for a continuing representation of both of the former Conferences. c. Within the boundaries of such a continuing Conference opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth in Christian service shall be made available to all without regard to race or color. Such equal opportunities shall be provided particularly in such aspects of Conference programs as activities of the Woman's Society of Christian Service, Wesleyan Service Guild, youth work, leadership training enterprises and the Board of Lay Activities. "4. Upon the adoption of this Resolution by the requisite vote in the North Carolina-Virginia Conference, each of the Western North Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Conferences, all of the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and all of the Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference will be dissolved. Each church formerly part of the North Carolina-Virginia Conference shall thereupon be merged with and become part of the other of said Annual Conferences within the geographic bounds of which it is located. "5. Upon the adoption of this Resolution by the requisite vote in the Tennessee-Kentucky Conference, in each of the Holston, Tennessee, Memphis, Kentucky and Louisville Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, in all of the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and in all of the Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conference will be dissolved. Each church formerly part of the Tennessee-Kentucky Conference shall thereupon be merged with and become part of the other of said Annual Conferences within the geographic bounds of which it is located. "6. Upon the adoption of this Resolution by a 2/3rds vote of those present and voting in each of the Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, in all of the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, and in all the Annual Conferences of the South Central Jurisdiction, the bishop formerly serving the Southwestern Area of the Central Jurisdiction shall be transferred to the South Central Jurisdiction for residential and presidential service, and the Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas Conferences formerly part of the Central Jurisdiction will be Conferences of the South Central Jurisdiction. "7. Upon the adoption of this Resolution by a 2/3rds vote of those present and voting in each of the Central Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Upper Mississippi and South Carolina Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and in all of the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and all of the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the bishops who are then serving the Atlantic Coast and Nashville-Carolina Areas of the Central Jurisdiction shall be transferred to the Southeastern Jurisdiction for residential and presidential service, and the Central Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Upper Mississippi and South Carolina Conferences formerly part of the Central Jurisdiction will be Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The transfer and merger of Conferences under paragraphs 4 and 5, and the transfer of Conferences under paragraphs 6 and 7 will be effective upon the close of a special session of the Central Jurisdictional Conference of 1967, and the Central Jurisdiction will thereupon be dissolved. "8. By the adoption of this Resolution by the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictional Conferences and by the Colleges of Bishops of Southeastern and South Central it is determined that beginning in 1968 the episcopal residences and Areas will be so arranged that no Area will be composed solely of Annual Conferences formerly part of the Central jurisdiction. "9. By the adoption of this Resolution the Council of Bishops evidences its readiness to transfer bishops across Jurisdictional lines in order to effectuate the purpose of this Resolution, and the bishops individually affirm their readiness to serve wherever they can be of greatest use. "10. By the adoption of this Resolution each Annual Conference, each Jurisdictional Conference, the General Conference, each College of Bishops and the Council of Bishops express their determination to do everything possible to bring about the elimination of any structural organization in The Methodist Church based on race at the earliest possible date and not later than the close of the Jurisdictional Conferences of 1972. They further express their earnest determination to do everything possible to develop greater understanding and brotherhood in Methodism as well as in the world." (Italics added throughout) Five of the Omnibus Resolutions (Numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) are specifically directed to the transfer of Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern or South Central Jurisdictions and to the terms on which such Annual Conferences are to be merged, either presently or "as soon as possible," with Annual Conferences of those jurisdictions with which they are geographically identified. We are advised that the Annual Conferences of the Central, Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions (as well as all other Annual Conferences) voted on these resolutions as though they were a single resolution, rather than seriatim. The results of that voting by the above-mentioned Conferences are listed in Appendix 1 attached hereto. Prior to the 1966 session of the General Conference, the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction had voted by the requisite two-thirds majority to transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and to merge with the North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The terms of such proposed transfer and merger are set out in a resolution, which will be referred to hereinafter as the "Durham Resolution," a copy of which is attached as Appendix 2. Approval of such transfer and merger was voted by more than a two-thirds majority vote of the total Annual Conference members present and voting in the North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction at their spring meetings in 1966. The sufficiency of that vote was sustained by this Council in its Decision No. 245. In the spring of 1967 all the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction approved the Durham Resolution by an aggregate affirmative vote of 902 to 329, more than the required two-thirds affirmative vote of the total Annual Conference members present and voting. In the spring meetings of 1966, the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction adopted a resolution concerning the transfer and merger of Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction by an aggregate affirmative vote of 5,944 to 1,808. A copy of that resolution which will be referred to, hereinafter as the "Southeastern Resolution" is attached hereto as Appendix 3. In the spring meetings of 1967, the Omnibus Resolutions, previously quoted, were approved by the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction by an aggregate affirmative vote of 5,712 to 2,719; by an aggregate affirmative vote of 4,717 to 323 in the Annual Conferences of the South Central Jurisdiction; and by an aggregate affirmative vote of 1,145 to 360 in the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction. However, the Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction, which is one of the parties to the transfer and merger proposed by Omnibus Resolution 5, voted against the adoption of that and the remaining Omnibus Resolutions by a vote of 131 to 10.

Statement of Facts

JURISDICTION Jurisdiction is grounded on Paragraph 914 of the 1964 Discipline. ANALYSIS This decision has to do with the transfer of certain Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions and to the merger of two of those Annual Conferences with Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction with which they are geographically identified. The questions on which rulings are requested by each of the four petitioners are the following. 1. The Committee on Interjurisdictional Affairs of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction requests a decision that the necessary authorization has been given to permit that Conference to transfer from the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction and to merge with the North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction under the terms of the Durham Resolution so far as action by Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction is concerned and by the requisite approval of either the Southeastern Resolution or the Omnibus Resolutions by the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. 2. The Central Jurisdictional Conference of 1967 requests a decision as to whether the votes cast by the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction favorable to the Durham Resolution, coupled with the votes of the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction favorable to the Southeastern Resolution constitute an authorization to the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction to transfer from that Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction and thereafter to merge with the North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. 3. The College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction requests a ruling that the Omnibus Resolutions are not legally effective to authorize a transfer of Annual Conferences out of the Central Jurisdiction because they were not approved by the requisite vote in each Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction. 4. The Commission on Interjurisdictional Relations of the General Conference requests a ruling that the Omnibus Resolutions have been legally adopted and therefore authorize (a) the transfer of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction and its merger with the Western North Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, and (b) the transfer of the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern or South Central Jurisdiction, with the exception of those three Annual Conferences (Tennessee-Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina) that did not approve the said Resolutions by the required two-thirds majority vote. The North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference Issue The petitions of the Committee on Interjurisdictional Affairs of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference and of the Central Jurisdictional Conference of 1967 are both addressed to this issue and will be discussed together. Both request clarification of the status of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction in the light of the various votes taken on its transfer and merger. In Decision No. 245 we held that the approvals of the three Annual Conferences with which the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference would merge had been sufficiently obtained. Since that decision, the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction have likewise approved this transfer and merger by adoption of the Durham Resolution by the required two-thirds majority. The Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction have not voted on the Durham Resolution but have adopted both the Southeastern Resolution and the Omnibus Resolutions by an aggregate two-thirds majority of all Annual Conference members present and voting. We do not regard adoption of the Southeastern Resolution by the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction as an approval of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and its merger with the three previously identified Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The Southeastern Resolution is an unqualified invitation to the several Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction located within the geographic boundaries of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to transfer into that Jurisdiction, but its commitment to the merger of such Annual Conferences with Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction is conditioned upon negotiation of terms and timing to be worked out by joint commissions to the mutual satisfaction of the Annual Conferences concerned. It is essentially a two-step program and is therefore not to be treated as an unqualified acceptance of the transfer and merger program adopted by the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference in the Durham Resolution. However, it is our decision that the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction gave their consent to the transfer of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and to its merger with three Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction by their adoption of Omnibus Resolution 4. The terms of these resolutions, previously quoted, are in all essential respects the same transfer and merger terms as are contained in the Durham Resolution. It is urged upon us that Omnibus Resolution 4 required the approval of "each" of the merging Annual Conferences and "all" of the Annual Conferences of the Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions, a test it failed to meet. This suggestion overlooks a key word in the resolution, "requisite," as well as Amendment IX and our Decision No. 245. Omnibus Resolution 4 was adopted by the General Conference two days before the decision in No. 245 that an aggregate two-thirds majority vote in the Annual Conferences of the receiving Jurisdiction meet the requirements of Amendment IX. Hence, the "requisite" vote required to approve Omnibus Resolution 4 was obtained. If anything more were required, it would amount to a legislative attempt to change the voting test laid down in Amendment IX. While Amendment IX deals explicitly with the transfer of Annual Conferences from one Jurisdiction to another rather than the merger of Annual Conferences, this Council ruled by a majority vote in Decision No. 233 that a merger of Annual Conferences agreed upon and consummated as part of an agreement of transfer of an Annual Conference from one Jurisdiction to another should be treated as a part of the transfer, and that both were properly adopted under the procedures spelled out in Amendment IX. Consequently, under present circumstances consent is not required of the Jurisdictional Conferences to a change in the number and boundaries of the Annual Conferences involved in the transfer of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference and its merger with Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. We therefore conclude that the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction may transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and may merge with the North Carolina, Western North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, on the terms delineated in the Durham Resolution and reiterated in the third and fourth Omnibus Resolutions, contingent only upon announcement by the Colleges of Bishops of the two Jurisdictions that the required majorities have been obtained to effect the transfer and ensuing merger. The proposed transfer of the Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern Jurisdiction and its merger with certain Annual Conferences of that Jurisdiction as proposed in Omnibus Resolution 5, is conceded by all concerned to have been defeated by the adverse vote of that Annual Conference on Omnibus Resolution 5. The Effect of the Omnibus Resolutions We next address ourselves to the conflicting positions taken by the College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction and the Commission on Interjurisdictional Relations of the General Conference with respect to the adoption of Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7. These resolutions were not adopted by the required two-thirds majority of Annual Conference members present and voting in the Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction. However, they were approved by the required majorities in each of the eight remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction; namely, Central Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Upper Mississippi, Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas. Likewise, each such proposed transfer has been approved by the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction by their adoption of Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7 by an aggregate two-thirds majority vote. The Omnibus Resolutions likewise received an aggregate favorable two-thirds majority of the members voting in the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions. The Commission on Interjurisdictional Relations takes the position that only the Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conferences are affected by their adverse votes, but that in all other respects, the approvals mandated by Amendment IX have been given for the transfers called for in Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7. The Commission concludes from this position that the Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction by their respective approvals of Omnibus Resolution 6 have voted to transfer into the South Central Jurisdiction; that in approving the same resolution by the requisite aggregate vote, the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction have given their consents to each such transfer; and that the Annual Conferences of the South Central Jurisdiction have voted, by the requisite aggregate majority, to receive these Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the South Central Jurisdiction. The Commission on Interjurisdictional Relations likewise contends that the Central Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Upper Mississippi Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, in severally approving Omnibus Resolution 7, have voted to transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction; that in approving the same resolution by the requisite aggregate vote, the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction have given their consents to each such transfer; and that the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction have voted to receive these Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern Jurisdiction. These positions are contested by the College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction on the grounds that Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7, by their terms, must be approved by each Annual Conference and, three having failed to approve, the Resolutions are defeated in their application to any and all Annual Conferences. With deference, we cannot accept this position as sound. Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7 call for an approving two-thirds vote in "each" of the Annual Conferences for which a transfer is proposed and in "all" of the Annual Conferences of the Central, Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions. As we read the resolutions, "each" of the Annual Conferences involved in the proposed transfers must approve before the transfer can be applicable to it. But when an Annual Conference gives approval of its own transfer, that decision is not subject to veto by the refusal of another Annual Conference to vote for its transfer. Each Annual Conference makes its own decision, subject only to the necessity of obtaining an aggregate two-thirds approving majority of all Annual Conference members present and voting in all of the other Annual Conferences of its Jurisdiction and in all of the Annual Conferences of the Jurisdiction into which it is transferring. This is consistent with Amendment IX. The approval of "all" of the other Annual Conferences must also be read in the light of Amendment IX, which calls for an aggregate two-thirds approving vote of Annual Conference members present and voting in all Annual Conferences not directly involved in the transfer. This is also the construction we place upon Omnibus Resolutions 6 and 7 and, if we read them otherwise, they would contravene Amendment IX. We therefore conclude that the four Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction which are identified in Omnibus Resolution 6 (Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas) have voted to transfer out of the Central Jurisdiction into the South Central Jurisdiction and that the four Annual Conferences identified in Omnibus Resolution 7 (Central Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Upper Mississippi) have voted to transfer out of the Central Jurisdiction into the Southeastern Jurisdiction. We also conclude that the requisite approvals of the remaining Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and of the Annual Conferences of the South Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions have been given in each instance. By the terms of Amendment IX, the additional approval of the Jurisdictional Conferences is not required under these circumstances. These transfers can be effected as soon as the Colleges of Bishops of the affected Jurisdictions announce the results of the voting. The Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Conferences remain in the Central Jurisdiction by reason of their failure to approve Omnibus Resolution 7 by the required majority. All other Annual Conferences of the Central and Southeastern Jurisdiction have given the required consents to their transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Hence, if any of the three Annual Conferences were to reconsider their vote on the Omnibus Resolutions, they could do so at any time before the United Methodist Church replaces our present Church. The Commitment to Merge The Omnibus Resolutions have been approved by the General Conference of 1966 and by almost all of the Annual Conferences of the Church. They represent the concern and the commitment of The Methodist Church that racial structures within the Church be ended as soon as possible. Likewise, they represent the acceptance of responsibility on the part of the entire Church to share in every effort of the Annual Conferences to achieve this result. These resolutions were adopted by every Annual Conference of the South Central Jurisdiction by an aggregate vote of 4,717 to 323 and by the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction by an aggregate vote of 5,712 to 2,719. Omnibus Resolution 10 includes the commitment that each Annual Conference is determined "to do everything possible to bring about the elimination of any structural organization in The Methodist Church based on race at the earliest possible date and not later than the close of the Jurisdictional Conferences of 1972." Omnibus Resolution 2 commits each Annual Conference not yet merged with its geographical racial counterpart "to work toward such a merger at the earliest possible date." And Omnibus Resolution 3 commits the Annual Conferences continuing after merger to three definite principles calculated to eliminate racial discrimination within the Annual Conferences. We have no doubt that these commitments were influential in persuading the eight Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction to transfer at this time into the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions. This places a responsibility upon all bodies involved in the adoption of Omnibus Resolutions 2, 3 and 10 to implement the commitments made therein as soon as possible. We have every confidence that it will be met in good spirit and in full measure and that the Annual Conferences will proceed to negotiate the details of merger-already agreed upon in preliminary form-in the same spirit of mutual accommodation and Christian brotherhood. For this reason we do not deem it necessary to decide the question whether a vote of Jurisdictional Conference concurrence on the merger of Annual Conferences is necessary where transfer has been effected in accordance with Amendment IX and the Omnibus Resolutions adopted. Status of Elected Delegates There remains only to determine the status of delegates elected by the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction to the General Conference and the Central Jurisdictional Conference. These delegates will become delegates to the 1968 sessions of the General Conference and the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference from that one of the three receiving Annual Conferences with which such delegate is affiliated by church membership or Annual Conference relation. The same reasoning will be applicable if any of the eight remaining Annual Conferences which have voted to transfer out of the Central Jurisdiction should do so before the 1968 sessions of the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. The delegates from any such transferring Annual Conference will in each instance continue to represent such Annual Conference at the 1968 sessions of the General Conference and of the Jurisdictional Conference into which the Annual Conference has transferred.

Decision

All constitutional requirements have been met to permit the transfer of the North Carolina-Virginia, Central Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Upper Mississippi Annual Conferences from the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction; to permit the contemporaneous merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference with the Western North Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction; and to permit the transfer of the Louisiana, Southwest, Texas and West Texas Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction into the South Central Jurisdiction. Such transfers and merger will become effective upon announcement of the authorizing votes by the Colleges of Bishops of the Jurisdictions affected. Delegates from an Annual Conference which has merged with another Annual Conference will become delegates from the merged Conference, both to the 1968 General Conference and to the Jurisdictional Conference of which the merged Conference is a member. February 5, 1968 Appendix 1 Record of Voting in The Central, Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions on the OMNIBUS RESOLUTIONS entitled "Resolution for the Elimination of the Central Jurisdiction and The Development of an Inclusive Church" Spring and Summer, 1967 Central Jurisdiction For Against S. Carolina 364 434 Central Alabama 86 17 S. Georgia 221 289 Florida 96 0 Tennessee 258 40 Georgia 83 54 Virginia 721 260 Louisiana 113 0 W. N. Carolina 849 86 Mississippi 90 16 N. Carolina-Virginia 140 20 Total 5,712 2,719 S. Carolina 35 121 Southwest 56 0 South Central Jurisdiction Tennessee-Kentucky 10 131 For Against Texas 179 0 Central Kansas 323 0 Upper Mississippi 90 1 Central Texas 324 2 West Texas 167 0 Kansas 260 0 Little Rock 116 59 Total 1,145 360 Louisiana 234 176 Missouri East 243 0 Southeastern Jurisdiction For Against Missouri West 345 0 Alabama-W. Florida 207 267 Nebraska 306 0 Florida 620 108 New Mexico 144 33 Kentucky 256 5 North Arkansas 204 4 Holston 505 16 North Texas 406 14 Louisville 228 0 Northwest Texas 307 0 Memphis 188 10 Oklahoma 492 18 Mississippi 127 291 Rio Grande 104 0 N. Alabama 312 339 Southwest Texas 403 1 N. Carolina 308 162 Texas 506 16 N. Georgia 425 242 N. Mississippi 123 170 Total 4,717 323 Appendix 2 THE DURHAM RESOLUTION Entitled "Resolution for the Transfer and Ultimate Merger of The North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference of The Central Jurisdiction of The Methodist Church with The Virginia Annual Conference, The North Carolina Annual Conference and The Western North Carolina Annual Conference of The Southeastern Jurisdiction of The Methodist Church." "WHEREAS, it is the earnest hope of the membership of the Annual Conferences referred to herein that The Methodist Church shall become truly a racially inclusive church; and WHEREAS, it is the desire of the membership of the Annual Conferences referred to herein to eliminate all forms of discrimination based upon race in The Methodist Church; and WHEREAS, the General Conference of The Methodist Church has urged that action be taken to bring about transfers and mergers of Annual Conferences from the Central Jurisdiction into the regional jurisdictions of The Methodist Church; and WHEREAS, the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference has urged that invitations be extended to the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction lying within the boundaries of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to transfer into the Southeastern Jurisdiction; and WHEREAS, we believe that the time has come when the churches and membership of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference can be transferred into and subsequently merged with the other Annual Conferences referred to herein; and WHEREAS, it is the desire of all of the Conferences involved to adopt similar resolutions with reference to the transfer and merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT: 1. The North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference, by the adoption of this resolution in accordance with the provisions of Amendment IX of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, shall be deemed to have voted to transfer from the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction. 2. The other Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, and The Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction, by adoption of this resolution, in accordance with the provisions of the said Amendment IX shall be deemed to have voted to approve the transfer of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference from the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction. 3. The North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference, the North Carolina Annual Conference, the Virginia Annual Conference, and the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, by the adoption of this resolution agree that the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference, after it shall have been transferred to the Southeastern Jurisdiction, shall no longer continue to exist as a racially segregated conference; and the said conferences further agree to proceed with the merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference, with the North Carolina, the Virginia and the Western North Carolina Annual Conferences pursuant to the aforementioned Amendment IX. 4. By the adoption of this resolution the North Carolina Annual Conference, the Virginia Annual Conference and the Western North Carolina Annual Conference shall be deemed to have agreed to accept into their respective memberships, with all the rights, privileges, status and obligations as may be enjoyed by other members of said Conferences, the following persons: (a) All ministerial members of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference (whether on trial or in full connection) appointed to charges located geographically within their respective boundaries. (b) All ministerial members of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference (whether on trial or in full connection) under special appointment who hold their membership in a Quarterly Conference located geographically within their respective boundaries. (c) All retired ministerial members of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference who hold their quarterly conference membership in a local church located geographically within their respective boundaries. 5. The ministerial and lay persons now serving on boards and agencies of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference shall serve during the current quadrennium on like or similar boards and agencies of the North Carolina Annual Conference, the Virginia Annual Conference, and the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, RESPECTIVELY. And said Conferences further agree that it is their intent and purpose that henceforth all of the boards and agencies of said conferences shall be racially inclusive. 6. The North Carolina, the Virginia, and the Western North Carolina Annual Conferences, by the adoption of this resolution, shall be deemed to have agreed that within their respective boundaries opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth and Christian service shall be made available to all without regard to race or color. it is agreed that such equal opportunities shall be provided particularly in such aspects of conference programs as activities of the W.S.C.S, W.S.G., Youth Work, Leadership Training Enterprises, and the Board of Lay Activities. 7. It is hereby agreed that wherever necessary existing congregations of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference shall be continued until such time as a more favorable climate has been created for the consideration of possible merger of congregations in close proximity. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a vote on this Resolution for the transfer and merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference, and the votes of any and all other conferences of the Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions, shall revoke and render void any and all other votes taken heretofore, relating to the plans of merger of the North Carolina-Virginia Annual Conference. This Resolution shall remain in full force and effect until revoked by appropriate action on the part of one or more of the Annual Conferences referred to herein. BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Secretary of this Annual Conference shall forward certified copies of this Resolution, together with a record of the voting thereon, to (A) the College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction, (B) the College of Bishops of the Southern Jurisdiction, (C) the secretaries of the other Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, and (D) the secretaries of the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Appendix 3 THE SOUTHEASTERN RESOLUTION entitled "Plan for Completing the Elimination of the Central Jurisdiction within the Geographical Area of the Southeastern Jurisdiction in Accordance with the Recommendations of the 1964 General Conference" WHEREAS, it is the established policy of The Methodist Church to dissolve its Central Jurisdictional Conference, and achieve racial inclusiveness at all levels of the church, and WHEREAS, the 1964 General Conference recommended as the first step that the Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction transfer to the other jurisdictions within which they are geographically located and that the second step of merging such Annual Conferences with the Annual Conferences of the geographic jurisdictions "will be a Jurisdictional matter to be worked out when such merger is mutually agreeable," and WHEREAS, the Central Jurisdiction and its Annual Conferences, and the Southeastern Jurisdiction and its Annual Conferences desire to take such actions, individually and conjointly, as will implement as expeditiously as possible the said policy of The Methodist Church, recognizing that the problems and procedures involved in the merger of the Annual Conferences transferred from the Central Jurisdiction to the Southeastern Jurisdiction differ in many material particulars in the several areas involved, and that the best interests of The Methodist Church, of both Jurisdictions and of all the Annual Conferences will be best served by the second step of merger being taken when the same is mutually agreeable to the Annual Conferences affected, BE IT RESOLVED, therefore, as follows: 1. That the adoption of this resolution, in accordance with the requirements of Section 2 of Amendment IX of the Constitution of The Methodist Church, by the following Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction shall constitute a vote of each to transfer to the Southeastern Jurisdiction: (a) Central Alabama (e) Upper Mississippi (b) Florida (f) North Carolina-Virginia (c) Georgia (g) South Carolina (d) Mississippi (h) Tennessee-Kentucky The same vote of each of the Annual Conferences named above shall constitute the required approval of the transfer of all the other said Annual Conferences to the Southeastern Jurisdiction. 2. That adoption of this resolution (in accordance with the requirements of Section 2 of said Amendment IX) by the other Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction, and by the Annual Conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction shall constitute a vote to approve the transfer to the Southeastern Jurisdiction of all of the Annual Conferences named in Section 1 hereof. 3. The adoption of this resolution by the Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and the Southeastern Jurisdiction shall constitute an agreement that any one or more of the Annual Conferences named in Section 1 hereof may merge, at any time subsequent to transfer, with one or more other Annual Conferences in such manner or on such basis as will eliminate one or more racially segregated Annual Conferences, provided that the details of merger shall be formulated by joint commissions of the Conferences involved in the proposed mergers and approved by such Conferences prior to merger, with due consideration to the re-drawing of district boundaries, reorganization of boards and agencies, real and other properties, equal rights and status for all ministerial members (full and on trial and approved supply pastors), pensions and minimum salary. Following the transfer of the Annual Conferences named in Section 1, we pledge continued progress toward the merging of Annual Conferences at the earliest date mutually agreeable to the Conferences concerned. 4. That this resolution shall become effective upon: (a) A vote of the Central Jurisdictional Conference to transfer the resident bishops of its Atlantic Coast Episcopal Area and its Nashville-Carolina Episcopal Area to the Southeastern Jurisdiction; and (b) A vote of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference to approve the transfer of the bishops of the said Episcopal Areas into its College of Bishops for residential assignment by that Jurisdictional Conference. 5. That each Annual Conference's adoption of this resolution shall constitute an urgent request of the bishops of the Central Jurisdiction, the Southeastern Jurisdiction, and the South Central Jurisdiction to convene special sessions of their respective Jurisdictional Conferences prior to the 1968 General Conference, said sessions to be held concurrently and in the same city, for the specific purposes of: (a) Transferring and reassigning Central Jurisdiction bishops. (b) Dissolving the Central Jurisdictional Conference of The Methodist Church. 6. That the secretary of each Annual Conference of the Central and Southeastern Jurisdictions shall certify the records of voting on this resolution to each of the following bodies of The Methodist Church: (a) College of Bishops of the Central Jurisdiction. (b) College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction. (c) College of Bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction. (d) Council of Bishops.

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