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2015 Detroit Annual Conference


Members of the Detroit Conference voted on unification of Michigan's two annual conferences and creation of a single Michigan Board of Camping and Retreat Ministries, but the results were sealed until the West Michigan Conference votes.

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey officiated.

The conference also celebrated surpassing the Michigan Area's commitment to raise $1.5 million for Imagine No Malaria. A total of $1,634,362 has been raised to date.

The Rev. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor of Grace Church of Greater Fort Myers, Florida, was the keynote speaker told the conference “if the only place people can get into your church is through the front door on Sunday morning you are toast.”

“We try to be Christian rather than training to be Christian,” Acevedo said. “The faithful life is not without pain. . . . we choose either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret."

The guest preacher was the Rev. Scott Chrostek, campus preacher for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection Downtown, Kansas City, Missouri.

The Rev. William Dobbs, clergy assistant to Kiesey, preached on Luke 5:1-11.

"If Jesus really wanted to amaze Simon, he would have said the word and the fish would have jumped into the boat. Some are looking for that today. Just open the door and they will come. But Jesus told Simon, and he tells us, to go into deeper water," Dobbs said.

Other resolutions adopted by the conference including a resolution asking General Conference to base the formula for equalization of annual conference membership on average attendance of clergy and laity, a revised Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy for the Michigan Area, and a recommendation that congregations study then question government leaders about the 2016 Budget for Pentagon spending.

General Conference 2016 delegates in order of election are:

  • Clergy, the Rev. Charles Boayue (chair), the Rev. Joy Barrett, the Rev. Melanie Carey
  • Laity: Jackie Euper (vice chair), Wayne Bank, Diane Brown

Jurisdictional Conference delegates in order of election:

  • Clergy: the Revs. Megan Walther, Matthew Hook and Laura Speiran
  • Laity: Alexander Plum, Claudia Bowers, Ruby Anderson
  • Clergy Alternates to Jurisdictional Conference, the Revs. Sherry Parker and Tara Sutton
  • Lay Alternates to Jurisdictional Conference, Ruth Sutton, Isaac Garrigues-Cortelyou.

The Rev. Laura Speiran is the first deacon in full connection to be elected in the Detroit Conference. The total delegation numbers five men; 11 women; four African Americans; and three young adults.

Two provisional deacons and seven provisional elders were commissioned. One deacon and six elders were ordained. The average age of clergy is 40, and 16 clergy retired.

The current membership is 83,145, compared to 86,691 last year. 

Worship attendance was 38,087, down from 40,759 last year. Church school attendance was 10,650, the same as last year.

— Kay DeMoss, senior writer and content editor the Detroit and West Michigan conferences.