Bishop Hope Morgan Ward announces a new configuration of responsibilities within the Cabinet and new Cabinet appointments, effective July 1, 2021, for the 2021-2022 Conference year.
Rev. David Blackman, pastor of Hay Street UMC in Fayetteville (GA), will become Superintendent of the Beacon District.
Rev. Chris Brady, pastor of Wilson Temple UMC in Raleigh (CA), will become Superintendent of the Capital District.
Rev. Gray Southern, Capital District Superintendent, will become Assistant to the Bishop.
Rev. Beth Hood will continue to lead Ministerial Relations with the new title Assistant to the Bishop for Clergy Life.
As Assistant to the Bishop, Gray Southern will lead in the transition for the conference and the Bishop assigned later this year. He will support the Bishop in this particular time of constraint and challenge while serving as leader of conference staff and ministries aligned with the Office of the Bishop.
As Assistant to the Bishop for Clergy Life, Beth Hood will lead the conference in all matters related to clergy, including calling, discernment, education, spiritual preparation, support, credentialing, ordination, conference relationships, retirement, and post-retirement.
These two leadership positions are a part of a wider configuration of ministry responsibility and will not impact the approved budget of the conference. Resources garnered from earlier and ongoing changes in conference staff leadership are more than sufficient to strengthen our conference in this way as we anticipate the virtual called sessions of the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2021 and the continued postponement of the 2020 General Conference.
Thank you for your prayers for these clergy, their families, the churches and ministries they now lead, and our expansive conference family as these transitions unfold.