The summer conference season began with General Conference in May and ended with the Kansas District Conference in July. Three district superintendent leadership transitions occurred, two districts voted to merge, one district elected its first woman assistant district superintendent, and each district shared an invitation for attendees to participate in 50 days of focused prayer and to invite others to join them!
Nearly 4,500 delegates, lay and clergy, cast votes at General Conference and the 23 subsequent district conferences; peer-elected delegates empowered to govern The Wesleyan Church (TWC). I love being part of this annual assembly of lay and clergy leaders, seeing the various parts of our body honoring Christ through their ministries — work and church. I love the shared responsibility we all have in fulfilling God’s mission through TWC.
Each district conference evidenced positive momentum coming out of General Conference, having declared there, “… our deep commitment to our core mission of evangelizing the lost, discipling believers, equipping the Church, and ministering to society …” and “… to proclaim, defend, and hold each other accountable for the historic and orthodox doctrinal positions of The Wesleyan Church ….” We are moving forward, leaning into God’s call for us.
District Conference season highlights
- Indiana South District Superintendent Doug Preston was elected to a two-year initial term and will be implementing a team leadership approach like Chesapeake and South Carolina districts.
- Chesapeake District Superintendent Todd Crofford was elected to a four-year initial term.
- Shenandoah District Superintendent Tim Kirkpatrick was elected to a four-year initial term.
- Crossroads District re-elected Superintendent Mark Gorveatte to an extended call.
- North Carolina West District re-elected Superintendent Jerry Lumston to a four-year call.
- Mountain Plains District elected newly ordained Rev. Arlynn Ellis as assistant district superintendent. She is the first woman and Hispanic leader to serve Mountain Plains in that capacity.
- Penn York District had its first in-person district conference since the Central New York and Western Pennsylvania merging conferences in 2019.
- Iowa-Minnesota District, at its final district conference, voted to merge with the Northwest District.
Our 2022 ordinands were significant in number and truly a Kingdom Force of women and men, of representing multiple generations and ethnicities — two districts alone ordained nearly 40! Districts witnessing their ordinands’ obedience to God’s call and praying over them is always a holy experience.
Each district, following General Conference action, voted on two Constitutional Memorials: Gifts of the Spirit and Membership Commitments.
Membership Commitments has met the required two-thirds aggregate vote of the delegates to the North American District Conferences and will be incorporated into “The Discipline of The Wesleyan Church 2022,” scheduled to be released in November.
Gifts of the Spirit has also met the required two-thirds aggregate vote of the delegates to the North American District Conferences. The next step required to activate the memorial, as announced at General Conference, is for Caribbean and Philippine General Conference delegates to reach a two-thirds aggregate vote of the General Conference delegates. Until the final vote occurs in 2026 and the memorial passes, changes related to Gifts of the Spirit will not be effective in the North American General Conference.
It has been a full and fruitful conference season. Wesleyan family, you conferenced together very well and, by honoring one another, glorified our God.
Thank you for praying continuously and serving courageously!
Dr. Wayne Schmidt is General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.