The International Conference of The Wesleyan Church convened in Orlando, Florida, January 11-13, with delegates attending from many nations.
Following a parade of flags representing more than 90 nations, delegates heard Dr. Delia Nüesch-Olver, area director for Latin America for the Free Methodist Church, give a keynote address about “Unfinished Frontiers.”
Dr. Alberto Patacsil, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of the Philippines, presided over business sessions, which began with reports from the various regions of the International Wesleyan Church, including the South Pacific Regional Conference, and the General Conferences of the Caribbean, the Philippines, and North America. Fraternal delegates from Immanuel General Mission of Japan, the Wesleyan Holiness Church of Korea, and the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Brazil also greeted the conference.
Intermingled with business sessions, delegates could attend seminars on ministering in Muslim regions, disaster relief, financial aspects of mission partnerships, the JESUS Film Partnership, and the pathway to global Wesleyan interdependence.
Rev. Joel Cumberbatch, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Holiness Church of the Caribbean, and Dr. Richard Waugh, Regional Superintendent of the South Pacific Regional Conference, gave devotions during the conference.
A Prayer Concert was conducted during one session, highlighting stories of how God is moving in the various areas of the world. Small group prayer followed each story, with specific prayers targeting needs in the various areas.
The business sessions included election of the International Board, which resulted in Thabsile Thwala of Swaziland elected as secretary, and Lindsay Cameron of Australia and Alfred Kalembo of Zambia elected as members-at-large. These persons join Dennis Jackson, executive director of Global Partners, treasurer, and the three General Superintendents: Jo Anne Lyon of the North American General Conference, chair of the International Board for the next quadrennium; Joel Cumberbatch, vice-chair; and Alberto Patacsil, to complete the International Board. Dr. Patacsil presided over the installation of the newly-elected International Board.
The business sessions also included the reading and discussion of position papers on homosexuality and refugees.
It was announced that the 2019 International Conference will be held in Barbados, West Indies.