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Connectional Table Members: 2013-2016

CHAIRPERSON

Bishop Bruce Ough, Council of Bishops

Bishop Bruce Ough serves chairperson of the Connectional Table. He is the bishop of the Dakotas Minnesota Episcopal Area, which was newly formed in 2012. Previously, he served as bishop of the West Ohio Conference from 2000-2012. He also provides episcopal leadership for the growing United Methodist movement in Southeast Asia.

STAFF

The Rev. Amy Valdez Barker, Executive Secretary

Amy Valdez Barker serves as the top executive of the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church. An ordained deacon from the North Georgia Annual Conference, Amy has served as a leader throughout the UMC for more than twenty years. Most recently, she coordinated the Vital Congregations Initiative and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Christian Education and Congregational Studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. Amy lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.

Cynthia Dopke

Cynthia Dopke, Assistant Executive Secretary

Cynthia has been on staff at the CT since 2007, and currently serves as assistant executive secretary. She earned a M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion and lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and daughter.

The Rev. Meredith Hoxie Schol, Missional Collaboration Coordinator

Rev. Meredith Hoxie Schol is a provisional deacon in the North Carolina Annual Conference. She is working toward her PhD in Christian Education at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. She lives in the Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with her spouse Mark, who serves a local United Methodist church.

Joy Tournoux, Administrative Coordinator

Joy attended the University of Chicago graduating in 2012 with a master's degree in non-profit administration. Since 2007, she has worked as a local church administrator. Raised in the Midwest, Joy did her undergraduate studies at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and earned a bachelor's degree in biology.

MEMBERS OF THE CONNECTIONAL TABLE

Pete Aguila, South Central Jurisdiction

At the Louisiana Conference, Pete is serving as Secretary of Board of Laity, Chair Conference Hispanic Ministries, member of CMT and Personnel Committees, and was past Chair Conference BGM. Pete also served in the Executive Committee GCSRW. He is a retired Engineering Manager of chemical companies where financial responsibility, accountability, and sustainability were paramount.

Raúl Alegria, Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans (MARCHA)

Raúl Alegría serves as President of MARCHA, the national UM caucus advocating for Hispanics/Latinos within and outside the UMC. Raúl served as Treasurer of the Southeastern Jurisdiction from 2004-2012 and as Chief Financial Officer of Lake Junaluska Assembly, Inc. in North Carolina until his retirement in 2012.

Neil M. Alexander, United Methodist Publishing House

Neil M. Alexander was elected president and publisher in 1996 after joining the UMPH staff in 1988. Prior to joining the Publishing House staff, Neil served as an executive with the General Board of Discipleship and the Southern New Jersey Conference.

Turner Arant, Southeastern Jurisdiction

Turner Arant, an award-winning catfish farmer and member of First UMC in Indianola, MS, has served as first lay delegate to four General Conferences since 2000. He serves on the SEJ Episcopacy committee and the UM Higher Education Foundation as well as other UM institutions. Turner is married to the former Sybil Kirk. They have a son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

The Rev. Darryl R. Barrow, Northeastern Jurisdiction

The Rev. Darryl R. Barrow, an elder in the Upper New York Conference, is the District Superintendent for the Crossroads District in Syracuse, NY. Born in Trinidad, he has served pastorates in Jamaica and the Leeward Islands, and engaged in various ministries in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

The Rev. Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary of the General Board of Discipleship

The Reverend Doctor Timothy L. Bias began serving as the General Secretary of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) in January 2014. Dr. Bias previously served as senior pastor of both Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church (Cincinnati, Ohio) and First United Methodist Church of Peoria (Illinois). He also served the local church in the West Virginia Annual Conference. From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Bias was the director of proclamation evangelism at GBOD. Dr. Bias is the author of numerous books and articles about faith and the church.

The Rev. Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, North Central Jurisdiction

Kennetha Bigham-Tsai serves on the West Michigan Annual Conference Leadership Team and Board of Ordained Ministry. She is a member of Black Methodists for Church Renewal and past chair of the conference Board of Church and Society. She pastors Milwood UMC in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
 

The Rev. Ole Birch, Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference

Rev. Ole Birch is a district superintendent in the Danish annual conference, and a member of the Council of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference. He also serves as pastor of the UMC Copenhagen, a church with a missional approach to ministry through music, diaconal service and church plants. 

Rachel Birkhan-Rommelfanger, North Central Jurisdiction

Rachel Birkhan-Rommelfanger is a young adult seeking ordination through the Northern Illinois conference and has served at all levels of the global UMC. Rachel has participated in a variety of churches that were either on campus, multicultural, reconciling, large or small in Chicago, DC and Tennessee. She is currently the campus minister at the University of Maryland.

Barbara A. Boigegrain, General Secretary, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits

Barbara Boigegrain has served as chief executive of GBOHPB since 1994. Under her leadership, strategies have been established to secure the long-term viability of pension plans, retirement savings programs, and benefit plans for over 91,000 employees of the UMC. 

The Rev. Brad Brady, Southeastern Jurisdiction

Brad is Pastor of Perry United Methodist Church in the South Georgia Annual Conference. He has been active in almost every aspect of the Church including pastoring local churches, serving as District Superintendent, as Director of Connectional Ministries for 11 years, as Conference Secretary for 13 years and as SEJ Conference Secretary from 2008-2012.

 

 

Fred Brewington, Northeastern Jurisdiction

 

The Rev. Marc Brown, Southeastern Jurisdiction

The Rev. Marc Brown is an elder in the Virginia Conference who is currently appointed as the conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries. Prior appointments have included serving as pastor of small, medium, and large churches as well as service as a district superintendent.

The Rev. Dr. Tamara Brown, Southeastern Jurisdiction

Tamara L. Brown is an ordained deacon, licensed clinical psychologist, and psychology professor representing the southeastern jurisdiction (Kentucky). Originally from Virginia, she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Longwood College, her masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary. 

The Rev. Dr. Laishi Bwalya, Congo Central Conference

The Rev. Dr. Laishi Bwalya, a senior pastor of LIVING WORD, in Kitwe, Zambia, is a clergy member of the Southern Congo/Zambia Episcopal area. He is a former District Superintendent of Samaria in Lubumbashi (D.R. Congo). He is a spiritual coordinator at Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (Kitwe, Zambia) and lecturer at Copperbelt and North Western University.

The Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, General Secretary, General Board of HIgher Education and Ministry

Kim Cape was named chief executive of GBHEM in 2011. Her previous experience includes serving as the district superintendent in both Austin and McAllen, Tex., and working for the General Board of Discipleship on the Upper Room Development staff. She served the Texas Methodist Foundation and was senior pastor of four churches in Texas.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño, President of the General Commission on Religion and Race

Bishop Carcaño is the resident bishop of the Los Angeles Area, having previously served in the Desert Southwest Conference. Her ministries in Texas, New Mexico, California and Oregon have always involved work with the poor, farm workers, immigrants, and refugees, even as she encourages congregations to work ecumenically and to be active in community organizing.

Doris Clark, North Central Jurisdiction

Is a member of the Indiana Conference serving as an Associate Conference Lay Leader and Co-District Lay Leader. She married and has one son and one grandson.

Eduardo Carrillo, Division on Ministries with Young People 

Eduardo Carrillo serves as an associate pastor in the Virginia Conference working with young adults at Annandale UMC. In addition to representing the DMYP at the Connectional Table, he is also part of the Conference's Board of Church and Society. Eduardo is a graduate from Wesley Theological Seminary.  

Bishop Mike Coyner, President of the General Council on Finance and Administration

Bishop Coyner has begun his third term as the resident bishop of the Indiana Conference, having previously served the Dakotas from 1996-2004. He returns to the CT this quadrennium with GCFA, having served in 2005-2008 as president of GBOD. Bishop Mike and his spouse Marsha have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Josephine Deere, South Central Jurisdiction

Is a lay member from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and is also the Director of Interpretation and Programs for the Conference. Josephine served as a Director of the Women’s Division for eight years and also eight years as a director of General Board of Global Ministries.

Bishop James Dorff, President of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

Bishop Dorff is the resident bishop of the Southwest Texas and Rio Grande Annual Conferences. Dorff serves on the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Mission Home of San Antonio, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, the Texas Methodist Foundation, and the World Methodist Council and provides leadership to several other UM-related institutions.

 

Bishop Sally Dyck, President, General Commission on Communications

Bishop Sally Dyck, an ordained Elder from the East Ohio Conference, was elected to the episcopacy in 2004, where she served the Minnesota Area until 2012. She currently serves as resident bishop for the Northern Illinois Conference. She has been president of UMCom since 2008. She is a year-round runner and is married to the Rev. Kenneth Ehrman.

Jane Finley, Southeastern Jurisdiction

Jane is a member of Toccoa First UMC in Toccoa Georgia. She has served in various leadership roles within the conference including conference lay leader and is currently the North Georgia Conference Lay Delegation Head and Director of Leadership UMC. She has served as a member of the Board of Discipleship. She and her husband, Roger, have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren. 

Gil Hanke, General Secretary, General Commission on United Methodist Men

Gil Hanke, executive of GCUMM, teaches at Stephen F. Austin State University and manages the speech pathology department for the Nacogdoches Medical Center. An active local church leader, he also serves on the District Leadership Team, the District Lay Speaking Team, and on the Texas Annual Conference Episcopal, Missions, and Nominations Committees.

Dawn Wiggins Hare, General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Dawn is an attorney, mediator, and former Circuit Judge who has been an active member of the Alabama West-Florida Conference, serving as a delegate for the last two General Conferences, and receiving the 2012 Alice Lee Award. Dawn and her husband Chip have two sons, Nicholas and Eli.

Richard Harrison, South Central Jurisdiction

Ricky Harrison is a young adult from the North Texas Annual Conference. Currently a student at McMurry University, he is pursuing a major in religion. After completing his degree at McMurry, Ricky plans to attend graduate school.

Erin Hawkins, General Secretary, General Commission on Religion and Race

Erin Hawkins is lead official of the denominational agency General Commission on Religion and Race. Ms. Hawkins’ agency provides the church with tools to build a racially inclusive leadership throughout the connection and to engage precepts at the personal and corporate level that establish racial inclusion as asset, not liability.
 

The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society

Susan Henry-Crowe became General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society in February 2014. Before her election, she served as dean of the Chapel and Religious Life at Emory University for 22 years. For 16 years, Henry-Crowe served as a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s “Supreme Court.” She was the first woman elected president of the Judicial Council, serving in that role from 2008-2012. Henry-Crowe is an ordained elder in the South Carolina Annual Conference where she served in three pastoral appointments, and as associate director and then director of the Conference Council on Ministries.

The Rev. Larry Hollon, General Secretary, General Commission on Communications

UMCOM interprets the mission and ministry of the church to its global audiences through print, internet, television and radio. Before joining UMCOM, Rev. Hollon produced videos on global economic development, human rights and ecumenical programs to address poverty. He and his spouse Sharon have two daughters and a son.

Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, President of the General Board of Church and Society

Bishop Hoshibata was born and raised in Hawaii. He was elected into the episcopacy by the Western Jurisdiction in 2004. After serving two terms of episcopal leadership over the Oregon-Idaho Conference, at the 2012 Western Jurisdictional Conference, Bishop Hoshibata was assigned to the Desert Southwest Conference.

Emily Innes, Southeastern Jurisdiction

A Lay Member of the North Carolina Conference, Emily Innes has recently served as the Conference Lay Leader (2004-2012). She has also served as a director of GBGM (2004-2012). She is a 4 time delegate to General Conference (chairperson of the NC delegation -2012 and vice chairperson in 2008). She was elected as chairperson of the Global Ministries Legislative Committee at General Conference in 2012.

The Rev. Dr. Beverly J. Jones, South Central Jurisdiction

Rev. Dr. Beverly J. Jones is an elder in the New Mexico Conference and University Chaplain at U.M. related Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She is a former District Superintendent (El Paso District) and has served on Conference Boards of Ordained Ministry, Higher Education and the Envisioning Team (Strategic Planning).

Thomas Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries

Thomas Kemper is top executive of GBGM. From 1985-1994, he served as a missionary in Brazil before returning to his native Germany to lead ecumenical learning at the Lippische Landeskirche, a regional church of the Association of Protestant Churches. From 1998-2010 he served as mission leader for the United Methodist German Central Conference.

Cynthia Kent, Native American International Caucus

Cynthia Ann Kent is a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Colorado. She lives in Belleville, NJ with her sister, three nieces and a nephew. She is a member of Fairfield UMC of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Primary involvement is in Native American issues, community organizing and women's issues.

Moses Kumar, General Secretary, General Council on Finance and Administration

Moses is the General Secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration.

Andy Langford, Southeastern Jurisdiction

Andy Langford is a local church pastor in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. Andy was the editor of The United Methodist Book of Worship and over two dozen other books. He has been a delegate to 5 general conferences and has been active throughout the connection for decades. This is his second quadrennium on the Connectional Table. 

The Rev. William Meekins, Jr., Northeastern Jurisdiction

The Rev. Ronnie Miller-Yow, Black Methodists for Church Renewal

Rev. Ronnie Miller Yow serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. He serves as an Elder in the Arkansas Annual Conference as the senior pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church and chaplain at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Benedita Penicela Nhambiu, Africa Central Conference

Ms. Nhambiu serves as the secretary of the Africa Central Conference, and is a member of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. She has held leadership positions at the local, district and conference and general church levels. She is a member of the Mozambique South Annual Conference.

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park, President of the General Commission on Archives and History

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 and is currently serving in the Harrisburg Area after serving 8 years with the New York Area. He became President of the GCAH in September 2012. He has served as DS and Council Director for the Northern/Greater New Jersey Annual Conference as well as the associate director of the Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry of the NEJ.

The Rev. Tim Rogers, Southeastern Jurisdiction

The Rev. Tim Rogers is a member of the South Carolina Conference and serves as the senior pastor of Mt. Hebron UMC. He has previously served as Conference Secretary and Coordinator of Clergy Services. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, he and his wife live in Lexington, SC.

The Rev. Harald Ruckert

Harald Rückert, Germany Central Conference

Rev. Harald Rückert is a pastor in Reutlingen. He  served as a district superintendent from 2000-2010 in the South Germany Annual Conference.

 

Kevin Sauceda, Division on Ministries with Young People

Kevin is a member of the Pacific-Northwest Conference. He serves the CT as a youth rep from the Division on Ministries with Young People. He was born in Honduras and speaks Spanish fluently. He helps plan youth activities at his local church and is a student leader at his school.
 

Jovito Sermonia, Jr., Philippines Central Conference

Jun Sermonia is a member at Knox United Methodist Church and currently the Conference Lay Leader of Philippines Annual Conference. He supports various missions in the Philippines and overseas as well like UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. He is also involved in Medical missions particularly in the Baguio Episcopal Area. In business, he deploys Filipino workers for overseas employment.

The Rev. Mike Slaughter, North Central Jurisdiction

Mike Slaughter is lead pastor and dreamer of Ginghamsburg Church. He represented the West Ohio Conference as lead delegate of the 2012 General Conference. His life-long passion is to reach the lost & set oppressed free; he is a tireless advocate for the displaced people of Darfur, Sudan. 

Bishop Elaine J. W. Stanovsky, President of the General Board of Discipleship

Bishop Stanovsky is assigned to the Mountain Sky Area, including 400 churches spread across the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah in the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences. Prior to her election in 2008, Stanovsky’s 31 years of ministry were in the Pacific Northwest Conference as a local church pastor, ecumenical officer, district superintendent and director of connectional ministries.

Bishop Patrick Streiff, Central/Southern Europe Conference

Bishop Streiff serves on the Connectional Table as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and as Central Conference member of Central and Southern Europe.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops

Bishop Swenson continues her service on the Connectional Table, having served last quadrennium as president of the former ecumenical/interreligious agency of the UMC. Bishop Swenson, now retired, most recently served as resident bishop of the Los Angeles Area.

Bishop James Swanson, President of the General Commission on United Methodist Men

Bishop Swanson serves as the episcopal leader of the Mississippi Area. He served as a district superintendent and was instrumental in leading a church from 12 to 550 in average attendance. He and his wife, Delphine are the proud parents of six children and ten grandchildren.

Kunle Taiwo, Western Jurisdiction

A lay member of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. An architect by trade, Kunle serves as a district lay leader and lives in Aurora, Colorado.

Kathleen Thomas-Sano, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM)

Monalisa Tuitahi, Pacific Islanders National Caucus of United Methodists

Ms. Tuitahi is the executive director of the Pacific Islanders National Caucus of United Methodists (PINCUM). She is an attorney and has been an active leader of United Methodist Women.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, President of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Bishop Wallace-Padgett serves as resident bishop for the North Alabama Conference. Previous to her episcopal election in 2012, she served eight years as Lead Pastor of St. Luke UMC in Lexington, Kentucky. Past experience includes six years as District Superintendent, three years as pastor of Paris First UMC, and eleven years on staff at Lexington First UMC.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, President of the General Board of Global Ministries

Bishop Ward serves the North Carolina Conference after serving the Mississippi Conference 2004-2012. She is the president of the General Board of Global Ministries and of JustPeace. She and her spouse Mike are partners in Christ's mission, particularly with the young.

Matthew Williams I Esq., West Africa Central Conference

Mr. Williams joins the CT from the Liberia Annual Conference. His service spans the local, regional and general church, providing leadership for men’s groups, the building committee and the lay leadership and development committee, and with Bible studies. He has also led dialogue and discussion on the Social Principles of The UMC.

Robert J. Williams, General Secretary, General Commission on Archives and History

An elder of the Greater New Jersey Conference, Bob has served pastorates in New Jersey and taught UM studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served on various boards, including GCCUIC, the World Methodist Council, the Pennington (NJ) School and GCAH. He and his wife Renee have two daughters.

The Rev. Tommy Williams, South Central Jurisdiction

Rev. Tommy Williams is Senior Pastor of Westbury UMC, a multi-cultural congregation in Houston, Texas. He has served rural and urban churches and enjoyed a summer pastoral exchange in England. Tommy was a General Conference delegate in 2012. He and his wife treasure a growing family with three young children.