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2007 South Carolina Annual Conference

June 3-7, 2007, Florence, S.C.

"To offer Christ is our highest calling, and that's what we've done this week," Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor said in her June 7 closing sermon of the South Carolina Annual Conference.

A highlight of the week was the Great Day of Service on June 5. Wearing bright yellow T-shirts, more than 600 delegates went into the Florence community to serve at retirement homes and the hospital, paint and repair homes and plant trees in parks.

Twelve resolutions were passed, along with two petitions that will be forwarded to the 2008 General Conference.

Three resolutions were brought by the Committee on Resolutions and Appeals:

  • "A Resolution to Support the United Methodist Church Global AIDS Fund" called for an affirming commitment to raise $1 per member for the committee, encouraging churches to observe a Global AIDS Awareness Sunday and affirming the appointment of a conference Global AIDS Committee;
  • "A Resolution to Require the Establishment of a Safe Sanctuary Policy in Every United Methodist Church and in Every United Methodist Conference Event in the South Carolina Conference" was presented and passed with some discussion;
  • "A Resolution Concerning the Confederate Flag" was similar to a resolution passed in 1999 and called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.

Three resolutions were brought by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society:

  • "A Resolution Concerning Predatory Lending Practices" lends United Methodist support to S.C. House Bill 3294, which will limit the interest rate charged by such lenders;
  • "A Resolution on Immigration" calls for "a workable comprehensive immigration bill that is not harsh and retributive but seeks to meet the standard of effective public policy and biblical faithfulness";
  • "A Resolution on Human Rights Violations of the People of the Darfur Region" underwent much discussion with some changes.

The Task Force on New Church Starts presented its report in the form of a resolution that would divide the costs of church starts between the Conference Board of Equitable Compensation and Congregational Development.

The Extended Cabinet brought two resolutions. The first encourages making ministry with the Hispanic/Latino population a priority and creating a Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries. The second sought authorization to create a committee to use money left to the conference by the late William Norman Bobo Jr.

The two petitions to General Conference were "A Petition in Support of Africa University" and "A Petition on Behalf of the Black College Fund."

During the ordination service, 57 pastors were licensed and ordained. The conference body approved a $16,995,194 budget for 2008, representing a 2.8 percent increase over the 2007 budget.

Lay delegates elected to the 2008 General Conference are: Carolyn Briscoe of Clemson; Joe Heyward of Florence; Kathryn Scarborough of Pelion; Elizabeth Patterson of Spartanburg; June Willson of Summerville; Rubielee Addison of Anderson; Kelsey Taylor of Sumter; John Redmond of Greenville; James Salley of Orangeburg; and Carolyne Rogerson of Georgetown.

Clergy delegates elected to the 2008 General Conference are: Tim McClendon of Columbia (delegation leader); Stephen Taylor of Sumter; Kathy James of Rock Hill; Frank Griffith of Camden; Ernest Etheredge of Walterboro; Sara Ann White of Rock Hill; Tim Rogers of Florence; Ken Nelson of Columbia; John Culp of Columbia; and Hayes Gainey of Cope.

Lay delegates elected to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference are: Betty Moss McGuirt of Pawleys Island; Skyler Nimmons of Orangeburg; Marilyn Murphy of Ninety Six; Michael Cheatham of Taylors; David Braddon of Summerville; Candy Benson of Anderson; Martha Thompson of Irmo; Emily Rogers of Florence; Kristian Roof of North Augusta; and Jim Futrell of Winnsboro.

Elected as reserve delegates are: Millie Carter of Blythewood; William C. Smith of Greenville; Leon Love of Columbia; Sue Owens of Liberty; and Mark Lott of Florence.

Clergy delegates to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference are: Jeannette Cooper Dicks of Florence; Patricia Parrish of Gilbert; David Nichols of Spartanburg; Susan Ulmer of Beaufort; Charles Johnson of Greenville; Ken Timmerman of Myrtle Beach; Mary Teasley of Greenwood; C.E. "Smoke" Kanipe of Spartanburg; Mike Alexander of Murrells Inlet; and Sonia Ortigoza of Columbia.

Reserve delegates for clergy to the Jurisdictional Conference are Delos Corderman of Columbia; Russell Freeman of Loris; Thomas Bowman of Taylors; Lillian Washington of Hartsville; and Willie Teague of Columbia.

Membership stands at 241,301, down 545 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 97,959, down 635. Church school attendance stands at 87,070, down 1,762.

The 2008 Annual Conference will be held June 1-4 at the Florence Civic Center.

-Allison Trussell