- The United Methodist Church
- The North Carolina Conference
- Conference Vision Statement
- Connectional Table
- Core Values
- The Five Conference Emphases
According to the Data Services department of The United Methodist Church, in 2016, there were over 6.9 million members in the United States and over 5.6 million outside the United States. The United Methodist Church ranks third in the United States in church membership, behind the Roman Catholic Church and The Southern Baptist Convention. The United Methodist Church recognizes as its founder, John Wesley, a Church of England missionary who, in 1738, experienced a transforming moment, when he sensed God’s presence and felt his heart “strangely warmed.”
In the years following, Wesley, along with his brother, Charles, succeeded in leading a lively renewal movement in the Church of England. The Wesleys and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living and putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today. We invite you to learn more about our rich theological heritage at The United Methodist Church website.
The North Carolina Conference is one of 54 conferences of The United Methodist Church in the United States. Conferences are geographical areas, organized under the leadership of a bishop, who is responsible for appointing pastors to serve local churches, performing ordinations, and safeguarding the doctrine and discipline of the Church as developed by the General UMC Conference. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward was appointed bishop of the North Carolina Conference in 2012.
The North Carolina Conference encompasses 56 counties in eastern North Carolina, from Elon to the coast, and from the South Carolina border to the Virginia border. Each conference is divided into districts, each under the leadership of a district superintendent. The district superintendent’s primary responsibilities relate to overseeing the work of the local churches and supervising the work of the pastors, including helping the bishop appoint pastors to local churches, a process called appointments.
Membership in the North Carolina Conference in 2020 was 209,680 persons worshipping in 792 churches within eight districts in eastern North Carolina.
Healthy Congregations and Effective Leaders in Every Place Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
Under the North Carolina Conference structure, the Connectional Table provides a forum for the understanding, casting forth, and implementation of the vision of the conference. It is where ministry and money come to the same table to coordinate the mission, ministries, and resources of the conference. The Conference Teams (Christian Formation, Leadership, Outreach Ministry, Racial Equity and Justice Ministries, and Operations and Administrative Resources) work together with various conference boards, committees, and agencies for visioning, strategic planning, budgets, and evaluations presented to the Connectional Table for consideration. For more information, download the Conference structure handout.
- Prayerful discernment and worshipful work centered on Christ
- Clarity of purpose in meetings
- Covenant to be prepared, present, and to participate fully
- Value diversity
- Build trust to embrace differences of opinion and move toward consensus
- Ongoing evaluation of measurable outcomes
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and the Cabinet (district superintendents) have identified five conference emphases that we will focus on as we center on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world:
- Effective Leaders
- Healthy Congregations
- Congregations for Children