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2008 Northwest Texas Annual Conference

June 3-6, 2008, Glorieta, N.M.

The 2008 Joint Annual Conference of the Northwest Texas and New Mexico Annual Conferences opened June 3 with a unified entry into opening worship.

Clergy and lay delegates, spouses and guests gathered outside Holcomb Auditorium to await the call to worship. At the sound of trumpets, all doors leading into the auditorium opened, beckoning those gathered inside.

Bishop D. Max Whitfield gave the opening address to the nearly 1,000 members of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas Conferences. He implored those gathered to get up and do what God had called them to do.

"Most of us know how to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. What's missing is the action," Whitfield said. "Jesus calls us to rise and go into the unknown to do what we already know and to do it now."

Campaign exceeds goal

Members of the Northwest Texas Conference celebrated the completion of a yearlong capital campaign. "Build, Renew, Rejoice! Campaign Director Clark Williams and members of the campaign committee announced that the $3.2 million goal had been exceeded and surpassed. A total of $3,773,247.12 was pledged to build new churches, renovate churches and construct a new conference service center.

"Thanks be to God," Whitfield said. "I've been a part of lots of different campaigns. This one was different. I made calls to ask for people to help with this campaign. I had 'yes' responses for the first two calls and when I got that third straight 'yes' I knew at that moment that God was working in a wonderful way." To date, 158 churches made pledges to the campaign, 70 percent of clergy made personal commitments and 55 individuals pledged their support.

Delegates showed their support of a resolution requesting "in the strongest possible terms" the reassignment of Whitfield to the Northwest Texas-New Mexico Episcopal Area for the 2009-2012 quadrennium.

The 2008 annual conference preacher for evening worship services was the Rev. Tyrone Gordon, pastor at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas. He reminded the congregation that there is room for everyone at Jesus' table. Everyone is on the guest list and all should be invited to the table, he said.

"You are on the list," Gordon said. "Come with your failures, your faults, your dreams. You are on the list. Tell folk that 'you are on the list.'"

A total of $14,854 was collected by members of both conferences during special offerings to be distributed to Lydia Patterson Institute, United Methodist Committee on Relief Domestic Disaster Fund and McMurry Student Ministries. Another $20,000 was raised for Nothing But Nets.

Ordinations and recognition

Three clergy were ordained as full elders: Bailey Dayton Barkley, Lou Ellerbrook and Phillip Patrick Hernandez. Recognized as an associate member was Horace Paul Abbott. Probationary elders are William Brian Brownlow, Philip Arthur Huston, Mona Gayle Lara and Amy Wilson.

The following were honored for their service to the Northwest Texas Conference and The United Methodist Church as they began retirement: Lewis Cass Holland, George Winston Butler, Charles Edward Addington, Edward "Eddie" Carl Allsup, Hilda Cavazos, Michael Warren Schafer and Jack Thomas Woodward.

Membership in the Northwest Texas Conference stands at 65,229, down 543 members from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 21,758, down 3.9 percent. Church school attendance stands at 12,382, down 3.9 percent.

--Karla Abernethy-Thetford