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2011 Western North Carolina Annual Conference

Western North Carolina Annual Conference
June 8-12, 2011, Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster presided. Clergy and laity sessions were held separately to address issues significant to each group; however, both received information on the new clergy-evaluation process developed by the cabinet and the board of ordained ministry.

Members of the conference approved a recommendation from Goodpaster to reduce the number of districts and superintendents from 15 to eight, beginning at the end of the 2012 session of the annual conference. The new district structure is to be fully functional by January 2013. Goodpaster will name a transition team to assist in defining the boundaries of each district as well as the roles of the superintendents.

Members approved the 2012 conference budget of $14,353,102. Conference missional offerings designated for the Central Conference Pension Initiative totaled $82,516.10.

Preachers for the 2011 session of annual conference, in addition to Goodpaster, included the Rev. Shane L. Stanford, Gulf Breeze, Fla.; the Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, Durham, N.C.; Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, Illinois Great Rivers Conference; and the Rev. Ashley Crowder Stanley, High Point, N.C. Goodpaster led two times of teaching and Bible study.

The laity report was delivered by Robert Upchurch, conference lay leader; Mildred Carter, United Methodist Women president; Hank Dozier, United Methodist Men president; and Molly Clay, conference on youth ministries president.

Dr. Gregg Drabek, a surgeon and member of First United Methodist Church, Rutherfordton, N.C., gave the laity address.

Bishop Goodpaster, in an evening mission celebration, also reported that 33,038 persons were sent out to serve through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and other mission teams. A total of 1,096,938 people were served by community ministries in the areas of outreach, justice and mercy.

The bishop introduced three new staff members during the course of the week: Jennifer L. Burton, treasurer/director administrative services, the Rev. Pam Carter, mission specialist and Skyler E. Nimmons, communications specialist.

Goodpaster ordained five deacons and 21 elders as members in full connection, and transferred two elders from other denominations at the ordination service. The average age of those ordained was 43. In addition, 28 provisional members, including six deacons and 22 elders, were commissioned.

The bishop also took a moment during the ordination service to honor the Rev. Robert Allen Ingram who was to be ordained, but died on May 13. Members of his family accepted his stole.

The lives of 27 clergy and 25 clergy spouses who passed away during the previous year were honored at a Celebration of Life Service.

Thirty-nine clergy members retired.

Frequent updates on the conference were also made available via Twitter and Facebook. These active pursuits of social media lead to 7,902 page views for live streaming of the annual meeting times plenary and worship services, more than doubling the page views from the previous year.

Membership stands at 291,651, down 1,173 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 120,923, down 2,860. Church school attendance stands at 56,156, down 1,741. However, the total number of person participating in Christian formation groups stands at 109,263, up 3,118 from the previous year.

The following members were elected to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conference delegations:

Lay Delegates Elected to General Conference:
Jennifer P. Davis, Gastonia, N.C. (vice chairperson)
Robert Upchurch, High Point, N.C.
Jennifer L. Burton, Thomasville, N.C.
Betty Jo Hardy, Salisbury, N.C.
Kim Wright, Southmont, N.C.
Coley Hooker, Pleasant Garden, N.C.
Amy Johnson, Tobaccoville, N.C.
Jim Windham, Gastonia, N.C.
Neffie (Connie) Locklear, Greensboro, N.C.
Robert (Rob) Lee, Statesville, N.C.
Lynne Gilbert, Greensboro, N.C.

Clergy Delegates Elected to General Conference:
Dr. Ken Carter, Charlotte, N.C. (Chair/Head of Delegation)
Rev. Kim T. Ingram, Belmont, N.C. (Secretary)
Rev. Sally Langford, Concord, N.C.
Rev. Andy Langford, Concord, N.C.
Rev. Angela A. Pleasants, Charlotte, N.C.
Rev. Amy L. Coles, Albemarle, N.C.
Rev. David H. Christy, Canton, N.C.
Rev. Jeremy I. Troxler, Durham, N.C.
Dr. James C. Howell, Charlotte, N.C.
Dr. Arnetta E. Beverly, Greensboro, N.C.
Rev. In-Yong Lee, Asheville, N.C.

Lay Delegates Elected to Jurisdictional Conference
Joseph Lopez, Thomasville, N.C.
Denny Wright, Southmont, N.C.
John Howard, McLeansville, N.C.
Tonya Lanier, Lexington, N.C.
Mildred Carter, Yadkinville, N.C.
Sarah McKinney, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Dr. Harry Underwood, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Sandra (Sandy) Hieronymus, Charlotte, N.C.
Ann Aldridge, Morganton, N.C.
William (Willie) Green, Asheville, N.C.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Lazelle Free, Greensboro, N.C.

Clergy Delegates Elected to Jurisdictional Conference:
Dr. Nancy B. Rankin, Charlotte, N.C.
Dr. Mark J. Key, Asheboro, N.C.
Rev. Julianne (Jan) Brittain, Greensboro, N.C.
Dr. R. Alan Rice, Jr., Yadkinville, N.C.
Rev. Shelly F. Webb, Asheville, N.C.
Rev. Stephanie M. Hand, Charlotte, N.C.
Rev. Ashley Crowder Stanley, High Point, N.C.
Rev. Anthony E. (Andy) Lambert, East Bend, N.C.
Dr. Charles C. Kyker, Hickory, N.C.

Lay Reserves Elected to Jurisdictional Conference:
James Hastings, Boone, N.C.
Caroline Wood, Forest City, N.C.
Daphine Strickland, Jamestown, N.C.
Irma Ellwanger, Charlotte, N.C.
Dr. Philip Wingeier-Rayo, Monroe, N.C.
Megann Marbry, Hudson, N.C.

Clergy Reserves Elected to Jurisdictional Conference:
Dr. Terry L. Moore, Weddington, N.C.
Dr. Sam L. Moore, Madison, N.C.
Rev. Sarah E. Davis, Gastonia, N.C.
Dr. Elizabeth Coppedge-Henley, Charlotte, N.C.
Rev. C. Saxon Scarborough, Gastonia, N.C.
Rev. Sally M. Queen, Rutherford College, N.C.