Nelson Smith appointed as new director of Connectional Ministries

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, has appointed the Rev. Millie Nelson Smith, a conference congregational specialist, as director of Connectional Ministries.

The appointment is effective Sept. 1.

The Rev. Jim Arant, a conference congregational specialist, has served as interim director since March, when former director the Rev. Kathy James stepped down.

“I am grateful to Rev. Arant for his proactive leadership during this transition, made all the more challenging by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” Holston said.

“Rev. Nelson Smith’s unique combination of experience in ministry, management and team-building,” he said, “will serve the South Carolina Conference and its churches well as we continue to lead through uncertain times.”

Nelson Smith was born in Camden and graduated from Columbia College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was ordained in 2012 after graduating from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Divinity degree.

As a congregational specialist for the past 14 years, Nelson Smith has consulted with local churches to engage, equip and empower them to fulfill their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. She worked with churches in the Florence and Marion districts from 2006 to 2016. Since then, she has worked with congregations in the Columbia and Hartsville districts, while also serving as the conference African-American Ministries specialist.

Before answering a call to ordained ministry, Nelson Smith served as operations manager of WCTG Lighthouse Radio, a Columbia station with a Christian/talk format, and as supervisor of major accounts for Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.

In addition to her work in local churches, she has served in many ways, including six years as the conference secretary of Global Ministries for Connectional Ministries, six years as South Carolina’s representative to the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries, two years as coordinator of administration and administrative assistant to the director of Connectional Ministries, and five years as program coordinator of the conference’s Fostering Families Ministry.

Nelson Smith’s service has extended into the community, having served as the family readiness coordinator for a U.S. Army Reserve unit, and as secretary and public relations chairperson for the Kershaw County First Steps Partnership Board.

She is married to Dr. James P. Smith, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Camden. They have six adult children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys writing, singing, camping, boating, gardening and traveling with her spouse.

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