Dear United Methodist friends,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
I would like to share with you that Eric Stevens has accepted my invitation to serve as Chancellor of the North Carolina Conference for the next six months, through June 2021.
We continue to mourn the sudden death of Wilson Hayman, who served for two decades in this essential role. May God continue to strengthen and comfort Jennie and Will, Wilson’s wife and son, in this difficult time. Wilson’s intellect, commitment, wisdom, counsel, and leadership are enduring grace to us. His influence upon our lives and ministry continues to be strong and sure into the future.
Eric Stevens is a gift of God to us. He brings Christian commitment, legal expertise, leadership experience, and graceful presence to the role of Chancellor. He is a faithful servant leader at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh, a partner in the law offices of Poyner Spruill, and a civic leader in Raleigh. Eric has already demonstrated in helpful ways the humility, strength, collegiality, and expertise needed to shepherd our conference in legal matters.
He shares, “Wilson Hayman was a law partner, colleague and close friend of mine, and I know that his long tenure of service as Chancellor of the North Carolina Conference was a labor of love and devotion. I will miss Wilson’s professionalism, dedication to service, and loyal friendship. I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as the interim Chancellor, and I will do my very best to carry forward Wilson’s legacy of faithful service and to provide wise and appropriate counsel to the Conference in this role.”
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, in Paragraph 603.8, describes the chancellor as legal advisor to the bishop and the annual conference. It directs that the bishop shall fill a vacancy until the next session of the annual conference.
Thank you for your prayers for Eric Stevens as he leads us as our Chancellor through this conference year. At the June session of the Annual Conference, after a process of consultation and prayer, I will nominate a chancellor for election by the Annual Conference.
May the hope, peace, love, and joy of Christ be yours as Christmas draws near.
With gratitude for our partnership in Christ’s ministry,
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
Eric is a partner at Poyner Spruill law firm, focusing his practice on intellectual property law and litigation. He received a BA from Wake Forest University and his JD from Mercer University.