It’s time: Annual Conference

By Jessica Brodie

GREENVILLE—Two mission initiatives, three petitions and 32 delegates—all in five days. That’s what is ahead of United Methodists from every corner of South Carolina this month as they travel to the Upstate for Annual Conference.

From June 2-6 at the TD Convention Center, the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church will gather for the yearly meeting, tackling business, legislation, elections and passage of the coming year’s budget.

This year’s theme is “A Future with Hope: Seeking a More Excellent Way.” In addition to an opening worship preached by South Carolina Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston, a host of other church leaders will bring a word for the body. Mississippi Resident Bishop James Swanson will preach ordination; South Carolina Director of Congregational Development the Rev. Sara White will preach the memorial service; and Dr. Greg Jones, dean and theologian at Duke Divinity School, and the Rev. Susan Jones, ministry associate at Church Transformation Ministries, will lead the Bible study.

“I believe Annual Conference is a time to reinforce our identity as a community of faith, mission and ministry,” Holston wrote in his column this month for the Advocate (see Page 4), calling this year’s event an opportunity to look to the future with enthusiasm and hope. “I also believe that we are a people who love God, seek to do God’s will and love and cherish each other, as well as treat others with dignity and honesty.”

This year, South Carolina United Methodists will help two annual conference mission initiatives: Native American elder baskets and a food drive for Harvest Hope Food Bank of Greenville.

Three petitions up for vote

This year’s event comes at a time of difficulty for many United Methodists who are still reeling from decisions made at the special called session of General Conference, held Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis. There, delegates from around the world—including from South Carolina—had hoped to carve out a united future together despite vastly different theological differences surrounding human sexuality.

However, the close vote to uphold the existing language in the UMC’s Book of Discipline—it passed 438 to 384—has caused hurt, dissension and debate for many.

Out of this decision, clergy and lay members of the South Carolina Annual Conference will vote on three petitions to go before the 2020 General Conference: 1) Petition to Change Language in the Book of Discipline (to remove the sentence found in Para. 161G of the 2016 Discipline that states, “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching”); 2) Petition to Create Separate Books of Discipline (to create a separate Discipline for Central Conferences so the United States Annual Conferences can move forward with language changes in the Discipline if they choose to regarding sexual orientation; and 3) Petition to Repeal and Replace the Traditional Plan (to have a full repeal of the Traditional Plan, for a return to the language in the 2016 Discipline and for the 2020 General Conference to recommit itself to the work of reconciliation and peacemaking).

These petitions will be presented on Monday at Annual Conference.

Delegates to be elected

Also at Annual Conference, the body will elect 16 delegates to the UMC’s 2020 General Conference and an additional 16 delegates to the 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, plus alternates. Half of the delegates will be clergy and half will be laity, each elected from a pool of eligible people who have expressed a desire to be considered as a delegate.

There are 35 lay nominees, each selected through their district or approved group, and currently 84 clergy who have articulated a desire to be a nominee. (See names below.)

More information

Full information on Annual Conference 2019 is available at

The Advocate will again produce the free printed Daily Advocate given out at Annual Conference each day they are there. (Read it at

Lay Nominees for General and Jurisdictional Conference 2020

Full bios at

  • 1) Theodore Andrus (Landrum UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 2) Robert Bethea (Wesley UMC, Florence District)
  • 3) David Braddon (Bethany UMC, Charleston District)
  • 4) Valerie Brooks-Madden (Bethlehem UMC, Greenville District)
  • 5) Michael Cheatham (Faith UMC, Greenville District)
  • 6) Doug Coffeen (Macedonia UMC, Marion District)
  • 7) Baron DeKalb (Covenant UMC, Greenville District)
  • 8) Edward Enlow (Montgomery Memorial UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 9) Emily Evans (First UMC, Marion District)
  • 10) Jan Fleming (Bethel UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 11) Scott Fleming (Bethel UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 12) David Graham (Loris First UMC, Marion District)
  • 13) Marvin J. Horton (Good Samaritan UMC, Rock Hill District)
  • 14) Jeanette Jackson (Central UMC, Florence District)
  • 15) L.Wayne Jackson (Central UMC, Florence District)
  • 16) Jacquelyn Jenkins (St. Mark UMC, Walterboro District)
  • 17) Lou Jordan (Central UMC, Florence District)
  • 18) Herman Lightsey (Ashland UMC, Columbia District)
  • 19) Joe Locke (Bethel UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 20) Chris Lynch (Trinity UMC, Anderson District)
  • 21) Vicki McCartha (Inman UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 22) Kenneth Moore (Advent UMC, Greenville District)
  • 23) Shirley Jean Pressley (Friendship UMC, Florence District)
  • 24) Jennifer Price (Highland Park UMC, Florence District)
  • 25) Lorine E. Price (Friendship UMC, Florence District)
  • 26) Wilbur Reames (St. Luke UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 27) Rebecca Rochester (Duncan Acres UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 28) William Rochester (Duncan Acres UMC, Spartanburg District)
  • 29) James Salley (Edisto Fork UMC, Orangeburg District)
  • 30) David Salter (Warrenville UMC, Greenwood District)
  • 31) Larry Sanders (Church of the Palms, Walterboro District)
  • 32) Marlene Spencer (St. James UMC, Rock Hill District)
  • 33) Martha Thompson (Mount Horeb UMC, Columbia District)
  • 34) Betty Void (Wesley UMC, Columbia District)
  • 35) Tony Watson (Edgefield UMC, Greenwood District)

Clergy Nominees for General and Jurisdictional Conference 2020

  • 1) Gene Aiken
  • 2) Jim Arant
  • 3) Mel Arant
  • 4) Connie Barnes
  • 5) Ben Barnett
  • 6) Ralph Bowling III
  • 7) Doris Bright
  • 8) Steven Brown
  • 9) Laura Canine
  • 10) Derrick Cattenhead
  • 11) Ross Chellis
  • 12) Clayton Childers
  • 13) Wally Culp
  • 14) Kevin Dalton
  • 15) Robin Dease
  • 16) Jerry Dicks
  • 17) Roger Dodds
  • 18) Fran Elrod
  • 19) Ernest Etheredge
  • 20) Angie Etheredge-Erwin
  • 21) Terry Fleming
  • 22) Jody Flowers
  • 23) Russell Freeman
  • 24) James Friday
  • 25) Brandon Fulmer
  • 26) Jerry Gadsden
  • 27) Telley Gadson
  • 28) Meegian Gossard
  • 29) Christopher Greene
  • 30) Rett Haselden
  • 31) Scarlett Hester
  • 32) Jon Hoin
  • 33) Kitty Holtzclaw
  • 34) Michael Hood
  • 35) Darren Hook
  • 36) Amiri Hooker
  • 37) Kathryn Hunter
  • 38) Keith Hunter
  • 39) Narcie Jeter
  • 40) Karen Jones
  • 41) Jeff Kersey
  • 42) Steven King
  • 43) Ann Kovan
  • 44) Marvin Lare
  • 45) Brandon Lazarus
  • 46) Susan Leonard
  • 47) Chris Lollis
  • 48) Stephen Love
  • 49) Susan Maddox
  • 50) Will Malambri
  • 51) Tim McClendon
  • 52) Mack McDowell
  • 53) Barry McFadden
  • 54) David McManus
  • 55) Elizabeth Murray
  • 56) Angela Nelson
  • 57) Ken Nelson
  • 58) Tom Norrell
  • 59) Weston Pendergrass
  • 60) Richard Reams
  • 61) Sara Relaford
  • 62) Tim Rogers
  • 63) Tony Rowell
  • 64) Mike Smith
  • 65) Randy Smith
  • 66) Thomas Smith
  • 67) Tyler Strange
  • 68) Kim Strong
  • 69) Emily Sutton
  • 70) Kelli Taylor
  • 71) Mary Teasley
  • 72) Redonia Thomas
  • 73) Chris Thompson
  • 74) Phil Thrailkill
  • 75) Ken Timmerman
  • 76) Michael Turner
  • 77) Tom Wall
  • 78) Morris Waymer
  • 79) Sara White
  • 80) Eddie Williams
  • 81) LaShelia Wyatt
  • 82) Matt Yon
  • 83) Neil Yongue
  • 84) Mandy Young

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