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2014 Mississippi Annual Conference

June 6-8, 2014 at the Jackson (Miss.) Convention Complex

Name of conference: Mississippi Annual Conference         

Dates of conference gathering: June 6-8, 2014

Location of conference gathering: Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, Miss

Officiating bishop:  Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr.

Guest speakers:  Bishop B. Michael Watson, Resident Bishop of the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church ; Bishop Thomas L. Brown Sr., Resident Bishop, North Georgia Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; the Rev. Heather Hensarling, District Superintendent, Seashore; Bishop James E. Swanson Sr., Resident Bishop, Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Memorable points or quotes by speakers:

Bishop James E. Swanson Sr., Resident Bishop, Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church — “God is not calling us to be good people, but God is transforming us into Godly people."

The Rev. Heather Hensarling, Seashore District Superintendent — “Don’t let anyone tell you that we are anything less than family bound together by that unshakable mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Bishop Mike Watson, North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church — “We are together, and we’re going to live out the power of being together in this mission as ambassadors of Jesus Christ.”

Main actions enacted and resolutions adopted by the conference:

One notable resolution passed by the Mississippi Annual Conference was the commendation of the Rev. James McRee. At age 95, McRee is the oldest active elder in the Mississippi Conference and has attended 65 consecutive annual conference sessions. The conference also surpassed its goal to pack 100,000 meals by end of the 2014 session for the hunger relief agency, Stop Hunger Now. Members packaged 102,168 meals. This effort was led by the first lady of the Mississippi Conference, Mrs. Delphine Swanson, who’s aiming to see the conference pack 1 million meals by annual conference session 2015. United Methodists (beyond members of the annual conference) were invited to participate in learning and mission workshops. The agenda included 20 classes of their choice. The workshop on domestic violence was led by Bishop James Swanson Sr. and the Rev. Andy Stoddard of Asbury United Methodist Church in Petal. Both of them lost their mothers because of domestic violence. Ginger Grissom, executive director of Wesley House who works to protect the abused, helped facilitate the conversation around how the church can help reduce statistics on domestic violence.  

Video clips from the 2014 Session of The Mississippi Annual Conference can be seen at Picture from the session can be viewed on Flickr at or

Name of delegates elected to 2016 General Conference and jurisdictional or central conferences:  We will elect our delegates at the 2015 Session of the Annual Conference

Clergy statistics (number and average age for each group):

Provisional deacon: 2 commissioned (48)

Ordained deacon:  None                              

Provisional elder:  11 commissioned (33)      

Ordained elder:  12 ordained (42)                             

Received into associate membership:  4 received (53)                                                   

Licensed local pastors: 16 licensed              

Retired: 1 Deacon, 14 Elders retired and  10 Local Pastors

Remembered at memorial service (may also include laity):

22 clergy, 15 clergy spouses, 9 laity               

Conference statistics:

Membership stands at 178,448, down 1,169 from the previous year.

Worship attendance stands at 68,706, down 1,048

Church school attendance stands at 30,832, down 661

Professions of faith stand at 1,874, down 166

Baptisms stand at 1,830, down 98 

— Tamica Smith-Jeuitt