Cannon is new Conference Director of Congregational Development, Edwards to serve 7th ward/Goff and Spencer are new district superintendents

June 30, 2015

Rev. John Cannon has been serving as the Acadiana District Superintendent since 2014, and while continuing in this ministry, he now begins serving in a dual role as the Conference Director of Congregational Development.

In this new capacity, he will be coordinating the strategy and resources for new-church starts and church transformation. Cannon will be working closely with the other District Superintendents to seek out and equip people with the passion and gifts for planting new congregations; to discern the right places for planting new faith communities; and to identify existing churches with a high potential for transforming their ministries of evangelism. He will also be seeking out and recruiting vital congregations willing to extend their outreach efforts by establishing "daughter" churches, multi-site ministries or other ministries designed to reach new people.

Rev. Cannon grew up in Shreveport and practiced law at the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office before attending St. Paul School of Theology. He served as a student pastor in the Kansas East Annual Conference, and upon earning his Master of Divinity degree and returning to Louisiana, he was appointed to start a new congregation in the Youngsville area of the Acadiana District. He next served as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Minden before being appointed as the Acadiana District Superintendent.

Rev. Hadley R. Edwards, who has served as the New Orleans District Superintendent for the past three years, has been appointed to the 7th Ward of New Orleans to start a new ministry in an area of the city which has not had a United Methodist church presence since Hurricane Katrina. This presence will be known as The Spirit Church: A Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Edwards is a native of Fulton, Missouri and attended seminary at Perkins School of Theology at SMU, ultimately earning his Master of Divinity degree.

In addition to serving churches in Missouri and Texas, Edwards was the pastor of Bethany UMC in New Orleans before he assumed the role of New Orleans District Superintendent. Under his leadership, Bethany UMC was restored and revitalized following its destruction by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Replacing Edwards, Rev. E. Andrew Goff has been appointed as the New Orleans District Superintendent. Goff has most recently served as lead pastor for Cornerstone UMC in New Orleans. A member of the Louisiana Annual Conference since 1993, he has served churches in the Acadiana and Baton Rouge Districts as well as serving as campus minister at Grambling State University.

A native of Belize in Central America, he is the youngest of five siblings. At the 2014 Louisiana Annual Conference, Goff was elected first on the clergy ballot to serve as a delegate to the 2016 General Conference and is co-chair for the delegation.

Rev. Juliet Spencer is the new Monroe District Superintendent. Most recently serving as pastor of St. Andrew's UMC in Baton Rouge, Spencer has served as associate pastor at Asbury UMC, Lafayette and First UMC, Alexandria and has pastored St. Mark's UMC in Monroe, Lakeview UMC in Shreveport and St. Charles UMC, Destrehan. While at St. Mark's, she met and married James (Jimmy) Spencer.

She received a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then USL) and her M. Div. in 1991 and her D. Min in 2008, both from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas. Juliet was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Rev. Spencer replaces Rev. Ellen Alston, who has served as Monroe District Superintendent for the last two years. Prior to that appointment, Alston served as Alexandria District Superintendent for five years.