S.C. General Conference delegation preparing for global gathering

By Dan O’Mara and Jessica Brodie

Members of the South Carolina Conference Delegation have been meeting regularly by Zoom to prepare for the upcoming denomination-wide General Conference, postponed since 2020 because of the pandemic.

General Conference is scheduled for April 23-May 3, 2024, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Delegates have been praying together and discussing logistics for the rapidly approaching gathering of the General Conference, which originally was scheduled to convene May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. However, it was postponed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel challenges that have followed in its wake.

They also have been reviewing the significant amount of proposed legislation that will come before the General Conference. Each delegate is assigned to a General Conference committee, and each focuses on proposed legislation that will be handled by their committee.

Delegates have been sharing their research with the full delegation so all can be kept apprised of what they will be considering when they convene in Charlotte.

Delegates were elected at Annual Conference in June 2019. Eight lay and eight clergy delegates, plus alternates, were elected to General Conference. They will join eight more lay and eight more clergy, plus alternates, to represent South Carolina at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.

Some of those originally elected are no longer able to serve; for instance, one—Dr. Robin Dease—is now a bishop serving in the North Georgia Annual Conference.

The updated list of delegates is as follows:

General Conference Delegation 

Clergy Delegates:

  • Rev. Ken Nelson

  • Rev. Keith Hunter

  • Rev. Susan Leonard

  • Rev. Emily Sutton

  • Rev. Will Malambri

  • Rev. Tiffany Knowlin

  • Rev. Karen Jones

  • Rev. Tim Rogers

 Lay Delegates:

  • Jackie Jenkins

  • James Salley

  • Michael Cheatham

  • Herman Lightsey

  • Chris Lynch

  • David Braddon

  • Betty Void

  • David Salter

Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Delegation

Clergy Delegates: 

  • Rev. Cathy Mitchell

  • Rev. Fran Elrod

  • Rev. Connie Barnes

  • Rev. Mary Teasley

  • Rev. Kathryn Hunter

  • Rev. Elizabeth Murray

  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Love

  • Rev. Sara White

Lay Delegates:

  • Valerie Brooks-Madden

  • Marlene Spencer

  • Jennifer Price

  • Tony Watson

  • Lou Jordan

  • Doug Coffeen

  • Marvin Horton

  • Vicki McCartha

General Conference is typically held once every four years, with the exception of the special session in February 2019 to address a report from the Commission on a Way Forward on unity amid church strife over differing views on human sexuality. At General Conference, delegates discuss and vote on petitions and resolutions proposed by individuals, conferences and other groups within the UMC, from budgetary concerns to issues such as sexuality, poverty and more.

General Conference, comprised of roughly 1,000 representatives from every conference in the worldwide UMC, is the only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination. Legislation passed at General Conference results in revisions to the Book of Discipline (a book of law) and Book of Resolutions (a book of policies on social issues).

Jurisdictional Conference gathers representatives from every conference in the Southeastern Jurisdiction to elect new bishops, approve the budget for the next four years and conduct general business.

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