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2012 North Georgia Annual Conference

North Georgia Annual Conference
June 12-14, 2012, Athens, Ga.

Bishop B. Michael Watson presided over the 146th session of the North Georgia Conference, featuring the Rev. Eddie Fox, Director of World Methodist Evangelism, as keynote speaker. The conference, nearly3,000 members strong, gathered in Athens for three days under the theme, "Seeing the World Through the Waters of Baptism." The spirit throughout the entire conference was uplifting and filled with contagious enthusiasm for the future.

The North Georgia Conference commissioned 21 provisional members, ordained one full connection deacon, ordained 12 full connection elders and recognized 37 people who are retiring from active ministries.

Delegation leader Sharma Lewis moved, and the conference unanimously endorsed, the Rev. Jonathan Holston as its candidate for bishop. The annual conference also adopted a motion, followed by a standing ovation, to request "in the strongest terms possible" to the Southeastern Jurisdictional episcopacy committee that Bishop Watson be returned to serve for 2012-2016.

Bishop Watson shared his vision for the mission of the conference, emphasizing, among other things, strengthening ministry to children and youth, camping and campus ministries, strengthening lay and clergy partnership, and expanding our global impact by building Bridges of partnerships between North Georgia and Uganda, El Salvador, Bahamas, Israel, Portugal, Russia, the Philippines, locally with our own Action Ministries organization, and to the entire world through World Methodist Evangelism. The Bishop also explained the continued effort toward efficiency and effectiveness at the United Methodist Center.


  • Conference Mission Offering collected $135,496 toward World Methodist Evangelism.

  • A budget of $24,036,338 was approved by the conference.
  • Approved a realignment of the Connectional Ministry teams to support the Vital Congregation effort. The five teams are: Witness, Outreach, Resourcing, Leadership, Discipleship (or W.O.R.L.D.)

  • Passed a resolution in support of repealing the Georgia
  • Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011
  • Acknowledged the 2012 Conference Denman Evangelism Award winners:
    • Youth - Kayla Ingle of Center Valley United Methodist Church;
    • Lay - Dallas and Terilynn Ivey of University Heights United Methodist Church;
    • Clergy - The Rev. John Beyers of Conyers United Methodist Church
  • Celebrated 20 years of new church development and revitalization and the 87 churches that have been launched

  • 85 pints of blood were given at the Red Cross Blood Drive
  • A resolution was passed designating Epworth, Ga., United Methodist Church as a historic site.

Membership is at 358,800, up 1,070 from last year; average worship attendance was 127,413, up by 1,198 from the previous year; there were 5,821 professions of faith last year; total apportionment funds received were $25,068,897; 674 churches gave 100 percent.

- Glenn Hannigan, editor of the North Georgia Advocate