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2010 Tennessee Annual Conference

June 13-15, Brentwood, Tenn.

The theme of the 2010 Tennessee Annual Conference was "Intentional Faith Development."

Multicultural Explosion

The celebration by conference delegates on Sunday afternoon and cooperation with various ethnic groups...was called "Multicultural Explosion." Led by Bishop Richard Wills, Patty Smith and children of the Conference, this was a celebration of the diversity of culture within our Annual Conference. An offering was received to support Clergy Pensions in Central Conferences.

Speaker for the Conference

Speaker at the Sunday evening worship service and for two extended teaching sessions on Monday was the Rev. Dr. Leonard I. Sweet

Sweet is an author, preacher, scholar and ordained United Methodist clergyman currently serving as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School in Madison, N.J..He is also a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University in Portland, Ore. In 2006 and 2007 he was twice voted One of the 50 Most Influential Christian Leaders in America.

Special offerings taken at the 2010 Session of the Tennessee Annual Conference

  • $27,131 was collected to fund clergy pensions in the Central conferences
  • $4,329.31 was collected in a special offering for the Bishop's Discretionary Fund.

Annual Conference Statistical Information

  • At the end of 2009 membership of churches in the Tennessee Conference was 119,446, up .4 percent from 2008.Sunday worship and Sunday School attendance stand about the same as in 2008.

  • 2,109 persons were received by Profession of Faith in 2009 - the lowest number in the past ten years.

  • Church Remittances, by month, were lower for 2009 from May through October and enjoyed a major spike in November and especially in December.Remittances for the first five months of 2010 remain lower than in any of the previous three years.

  • All pension reserves peaked in October of 2007 and fell with the market, bottoming out in March of 2009.

  • Pension Reserves have come back to over half of what was lost.The balance in all pension reserves have exceeded our pension liabilities for 2010.

  • Conference Health Plan Claims were down in 2008, so in 2009 we balanced the budget by cutting Health Plan funding by $947,232. Surprise, 2009 claims increased $651,612 from $3,254,809 in 2008 to $3,906,421 (2009).It can be projected that the claims will reach $4.3 million in 2011. The Conference Health Plan has had to request an increase in apportionment funding for 2011.

  • The budget recommendation for 2011 is $14,385,706, up 3.57% from the $13,890,282 approved for 2010.This is about the same as the amount budged in 2009.

The complete Treasurer's and Statistician's Report can be found on the "Administration and Finance" page of the Conference's website,

Presented with the Richard Allison Social Holiness Award-- This award was established by the 2001 Session of the Tennessee Annual Conference to recognize persons whose lives and ministries are focused on ministries of love and justice.

  • Laity-George Bass, founding and management of Mt. TOP ministries, member Blakemore United Methodist Church

  • Laity-Abraham McIntyre, Executive Director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat, leader in emergency response to earthquake in Haiti

  • Minister-The Rev. Jay Voorhees-For his ongoing leadership on many social justice issues

Presented with the Harry Denman Awards for excellence in Evangelism Leadership

  • Youth-Rose Newman, the first youth to be given a Denman Award in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Rose is a member of Gainesboro First United Methodist Church

  • Laity-Rick Sears, Fellowship United Methodist Church, Murfreesboro, honored especially for his work with persons battling addictions.

  • Clergy-The Rev. Dr. Ronald D. Lowery, former District Superintendent of the Clarksville District, and a Colonel in the Tennessee Air National Guard for his ongoing work in Evangelism and his efforts to have the church reach out to servicepersons and military families.

Presentation of the G. Ross Freeman Leadership award by The United Methodist Men of the Tennessee Conference and Southeast Jurisdiction

The G. Ross Freeman Leadership award was given to the Rev. Stephen E. Handy Sr., for his outstanding contributions to ministry to men.

Rev. Handy is the sixth pastor from the Tennessee Conference to receive this award. For his outstanding work and leadership, Rev. Handy was also given a Life Membership in United Methodist Men and a $200 donation was made to the UMM Foundation in his honor.

The Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry presented the Frances Asbury Award to Dr. Gloria Johnson for her significant contributions to fostering the church's ministries in higher Education.

Dr. Johnson is presently the Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Tennessee State University. She is a member of John Wesley United Methodist Church.

Nine Persons were ordained as Elders at the 2010 Annual Conference: John McFatridge Feldhacker, Peter Frederic Ferguson, Francis DeSales "De" Hennessy, III, Jodi Ann McCullah, Erin Ann Racine, Cynthia Annette Talley, Marilyn Eileen Thornton, Rickey Wayne Wade, and Vona Rose Wilson

Three Persons were ordained as Deacons: Wlizabeth Thompson "Libby" Baxter, Jackson Wayne Henry, and Holley Gaye Potts

15 Persons Officially Retired at the 2010 Annual Conference and their ministries were celebrated on Monday afternoon. The Retiring Class of 2010 includes: S. Thomas Baker, John W. Casey, Karen Y. Collier, Joaquin Garcia, Bradford H. Gran, D. Eugene Green, Lynn S. Hinkle, Paula C. Hoos, C. Vance Johnson, J. Edward McClellan, Thomas C. Rascoe, Jacqueline A. Sojourner, Donald Stone, J. Paul Tramel, and Reginald Ward

The following 24 lives were celebrated during a Monday Memorial Service: Happy Fred Blankenship, Yvonnie June Wheeler Blankenship, Marion Salisbury Clark, Jeannette Ollie Evans Dalrymple, Edith Grace Massey Denson, Evelyn Louise Alexander Fansler, Kenneth G. Fansler, Lucy Bedinger Finch, Mary Edith Carlock Freeman, Sandra Lynn Beatty Gilliam, Roy Lee Wesley Hardiman, Jr., Richard Everett Herrmann, Ernest Howse, Madge Lewis Hamilton Janes, Clifton Crenshaw Johnston, Cleo Virgie Henley Long, Horace Gunn Perkins, Jr., Judith Ann Patton Rickner, John Broadus Sessoms, Jr, Jesse Glea Shelley, Aleta Carol Catron Sutherland, Ruth Abbott Tipps, Tamara Sue Williams Unruh and Dogan Wilburn Williams.

The following resolutions were passed by the 2010 Tennessee Annual Conference

  • Resolution #1, related to rental/housing allowances for retired or disabled clergy persons of the Tennessee Annual Conference. Be it resolved that an amount equal to 100 percent of the pension or disability payments received from plans authorized under The Book of Disciple for each active, retired, or disabled Clergyperson who is or was a member of the Conference, or its predecessors, be and herby is designated as a rental/housing allowance for each such Clergyperson.

  • Resolution #2, Inclusiveness Training. Be it resolved that all persons serving under appointment in the Tennessee Conference shall be required to take at least one CEU each quadrennium in the subject area of inclusiveness training. Be it further resolved that inclusiveness training be included in lay speaking and lay ministry training programs.

  • Resolution #3, Disability Awareness Sunday. Be it resolved that disability Awareness Sunday, for The Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church, move to the 4th Sunday in October, and continue as an annually recognized Special Sunday as outlined in our Book of Discipline and the desire for receiving an offering remain at the discretion of each local congregation

  • Resolution #4, Gaile Owens.Be it resolved that the Tennessee Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church affirms the teachings of The United Methodist Church's Social Principles, its Resolutions, and its work against the death penalty; Be it further resolved that the Tennessee Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church calls upon Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to commute the sentence of Gaile Owens from death to life in prison; Be it further resolved that the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church calls for the abolition of the death penalty as a means of punishment in our state and federal criminal justice systems. The results of the vote on Resolution #4 were picked up by the news media. Two of stories can be found at:

  • Resolution #5, Funding Designated for McKendree Village, Inc.Resolved, the Council on Finance and Administration shall at an appropriate time disburse receipts for the apportionment line item currently designated as "McKendree Village" (Budget Line 59) to the McKendree Village Foundation, subject to terms and conditions appropriate to maintain a comparable ministry to retirees with limited resources.Resolution passed by voice vote.

    • Amendment to the resolution Max Mayo: "Be it further resolved that the annual conference recommends that a sufficient portion of these funds be set aside to provide the costs for a special session of the Tennessee Conference to be called by the Bishop and/or the Cabinet for the purpose of reviewing the conference's relationship with McKendree Village, Inc. When and if the sale of McKendree Village to the for-profit company National Healthcare Corporation of Murfreesboro, Tennessee is complete. The special session shall be called within 60 days of such sale.Motion voted by counting of ballots: 368 for, 188 against.

Resolutions from the Cabinet:

  • Resolution #1, Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Discontinued-Be it resolved that the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church is discontinued and be it further resolved that the Clarksville District Office will be the custodian of the Membership Roll.

  • Resolution #2, Name change in Murfreesboro District. Be it resolved that the church known as Hillsboro United Methodist Church located in Hillsboro, Tennessee will be officially renamed as Hillsboro First United Methodist Church.

  • Resolution #3, Charge Line Changes in Pulaski District. Be it resolved that in the Pulaski District, Beech Grove United Methodist Church be removed from the Dellrose Circuit and Frankewing United Methodist Church be removed from the Diana Circuit, and be it further resolved that Beech Grove United Methodist Church and Frankewing United Methodist Church be placed together to form the Beech Grove-Frankewing Charge.
    Be it further resolved that Dellrose United Methodist Church and Shiloh United Methodist Church be placed with Aspen Hill United Methodist Church to form the Aspen Hill-Dellrose-Shiloh Charge
    Be it further resolved that Diane United Methodist Church and McBurg United Methodist Church be placed together to form the Diana-McBurg Charge.

  • Resolution #4, Charge Line Changes in Pulaski District. Be it resolved that in the Pulaski District, Henryville United Methodist Church of the Henryville-Highland Charge be placed with the Summertown United Methodist Church of the Summertown-Mt. Lebanon Charge, forming the Henryville-Summertown Charge.
    Be it further resolved that Highland United Methodist Church of the Henryville-Highland Charge be placed with the Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church of the Summertown-Mt. Lebanon Charge, forming the Highland-Mt. Lebanon Charge.

  • Resolution #5, Charge Line Changes in Pulaski District. Be it resolved that in the Pulaski District, Campbellsville United Methodist Church of the Olivet Charge, be placed on the Campbellsville-Berea Charge.
    Be it further resolved that Olivet United Methodist Church of the Olivet Charge become a stand-alone church.

  • Resolution #6, Discontinuation of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church and Charge Line Change in the Columbia District. Enterprise United Methodist Church on the Enterprise/Sandy Hook Circuit is being discontinued and members of Sandy Hook Church, in a Church Conference, voted to move into the Enterprise church building. Be is resolved that the proceeds from the sale of the Sand Hook building be dispersed to the Enterprise building committee, and that the Enterprise United Methodist Church be renamed as the Enterprise Incorporated United Methodist Church.

  • Resolution #7, Charge Line Changes in Cookeville District. Be it resolved that in the Cookeville District, Dorton United Methodist Church be removed from the Pomona Charge and be placed with Clarkrange United Methodist Church to form the Clarkrange/Dorton Charge.

  • Discontinuation of Rickman United Methodist Church. Be it resolved that the Rickman United Methodist Church be discontinued and that the Cookeville District Trustees be authorized to take possession of the property, and after consultation with the District Committee on Church Location and Building, make the determination of how the property may best be used for the Kingdom of God. If it is determined by the Trustees that it is best that the property be sold, the Trustees are authorized to sell the property and the proceeds will be designated for Congregational and New Church Development in the Cookeville District.

Sexual Ethics Task Force Report recommendations approved by 2010 Session of Annual Conference

  • We recommend the immediate implantation of a Media Crisis Response Plan as a policy which is maintained and supported by the Conference Council on Connectional Ministry. This matches the plan of the Memphis Conference, which was approved and implemented in 2004

  • We recommend that every church submit their Safe Sanctuary policy during Charge Conference. The District Superintendent is responsible for ensuring this is done.

  • We recommend that three groups be established for the going work of Safe Santuary and Sexual Ethics throughout the Conference. Budgeted funds for each team need to be established for clarity and effectiveness: Team 1, Safe Sanctuary Team; Team, Team 2, Sexual Ethics Team; and Team 3, Conference Response Team.

  • We recommend that the new Safe Sanctuary Team be allowed to revise thePolicy for Safe Sanctuary and submit this to the CCOCM for approval and implementation.

  • We recommend that the 1995 Policy of Sexual Ethics be reviewed and revised by the new Sexual Ethics Team and submit this to the CCOCM for approval and implementation.

  • We recommend that an intentional culture shift be initiated to strengthen the Tennessee Conference in its provision of a safe a sacred space for children, youth and others of vulnerability so that we can say with certainty that we are shepherding God's people with honor and dignity.

  • And in a final recommendation the Sexual Ethics Task Force said:
    We recommend that the Director of CCOCM move aggressively forward in the development, feasibility and establishment of a structure which results in a full time staff assignment, with support, to administer and monitor the Safe Sanctuary commitments of the Tennessee Conference.

The following sixteen ministries were approved to be designated as Conference Advance Specials for the 2010-2011 conference years:

  • 61st Ave. UMC After School Program (Nashville)
  • Bethlehem Centers of Nashville
  • Community Care Fellowship (Nasvhille)
  • East End Children's Program (Lawrenceburg)
  • Edgehill Brighter Days After School Program (Nashville)
  • Feed America First (Food Ministry throughout Conference)
  • Grace Assistance Program (Clarksville Urban Ministries)
  • Gallatin Shalom Zone
  • Justice For Our Neighbors
  • Miriam's Promise
  • Mountain T.O.P.
  • Salvus Center (Clinic in Cumberland District, Dr. Ted Hill)
  • TN Conference Corrections Ministry
  • TN Conference United Methodist Relief
  • TN Conference Friends of Beersheba Springs Assembly
  • TN Conference Friends of Cedar Crest Camp
  • TN Conference Hunger Ministries
  • TN Conference Strength for the Journey (HIV/AIDS ministry)
  • TN Conference Volunteers in Mission