Clergy Nominations

All clergy in Full Connection, both Deacons, and Elders, are eligible for election as delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

Clergy in Full Connection, Provisional Members, Associate Members, and Local Pastors who have completed the Course of Study and served under appointment for two years will be voting at the 2019 Annual Conference for delegates to both General and Jurisdictional Conferences.


Note: All clergy in full connection are eligible for election and will appear on the ballot. The following persons have been identified as being willing to serve on the delegation, and have completed the process online.


Each name is a link to a biographical sketch and answers each of them submitted to questions online. 


Ellen Alston

  • Year Ordained: 1992
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Senior Pastor, Henning Memorial United Methodist Church, Sulphur

District and/or Conference Involvement

General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate, 2004, 2008, 2012, Jurisdictional Conference delegate 2016; Chair of Superintendency Legislative Committee at GC 2012; Participant and/or leader through events of Cursillo, Happening, camps at Uskichitto and Caney; mission trips both nearby and abroad; Conference Boards for Wesley Center and Louisiana Methodist Children's Home, Global Ministries, Ordained Ministry, Church and Society, Higher Education & Campus Ministry (both local and Conference Boards), Conference Worship Committee; Episcopacy Committee, both Louisiana Conference and SCJ


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I believe the people called Methodist have a grace-filled witness to offer the world, even - or perhaps especially - as new and different paths for our denomination are being carved out for the future. Having served as General and/or Jurisdictional delegate for Louisiana since 2004, I also bring a network of experience and varied relationships across conference lines for collaboration and creativity.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

In this challenging time where emotions are running high, I believe the most powerful way to cultivate transformative listening and responding is through fostering varied group settings as opportunities to learn and share. I value and seek to embody leadership that is less reactive and more purposeful, grounded in deep soul work and with focus on the mission before us, and holding space for entrepreneurial and adaptive work.

 


Mark Bray

  • Year Ordained: 1993
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Moss Bluff UMC

District and/or Conference Involvement    

I have served on the following boards or committees... District Comm. of Ordained Ministry, Annual Conference Design Team with two different Bishops, Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Candidacy Mentor, District Audit Team, Chair of Petitions Committee, and Spiritual Director for Cursillo.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I am called to be a delegate to General Conference because I believe it is time for the church to go in a new direction and I believe I can help lead in that new direction. For at least the last 20 years we (the church) have been struggling with the same issues and it is time to get past them. I believe that a fresh perspective can help lead the church to a new day. I also believe that my 25 years of experience in the local church can be valuable when it comes to issues that the church faces today.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

I would listen to people in their context. That means I will listen to all, understanding that everyone is a unique creation of God and that everybody has worth. I am of course am not perfect, but I will do all that I can to truly listen to others despite the differences we may have. I believe that it is critical that everyone is heard as we move forward to fulfill the great commission and the mission of the United Methodist Church.

 


John Cannon

 

  • Year Ordained: 2002
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Asbury, Lafayette

District and/or Conference Involvement    

I have served on DCOM, Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, Conference Restructuring Team, various other committees and task forces, and as a District Superintendent from 2014 to 2018.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I have a great love for the local church and want to work toward policies that equip clergy and laity to best reach out to their communities and contexts in order to grow, live, share of the love of Christ as broadly as possible. My greatest concern for General and Jurisdictional Conference is that we seek to increase our effectiveness in reaching new people. And while I feel particularly passionate about shaping a future for the Methodist movement that allows for full inclusion of LBGTQ+ persons, I also believe that I can work with those whose opinions differ from mine in order to achieve a unified purpose of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in as many contexts as possible.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

I value a diversity of theological perspectives and experiences and am eager to listen for creative ways that might move our denomination beyond our current struggles. The tenor of our debate on LGBT+ inclusion has been, in my opinion, harmful to LGBTQ+ people, their families, and their friends and has been detrimental to the Church's witness, and I am hopeful that new solutions might help us preserve a unity of mission and purpose while respecting faithful differences of biblical interpretation. Practically speaking, I am eager to make decisions that grow us toward perfection in love for God and neighbor and that enhance our common ability to reach new people in as many contexts and places as possible even if our structural organization needs to change in order to do that.

 


Simon Chigumira

 

  • Year Ordained: 2007
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Senior Pastor St Mark UMC

District and/or Conference Involvement

District Clergy Mentor New Orleans Vice Chair of the Superintendency Committee New Orleans Vice Chair of District Board of Ordained Ministry Conference Board on Ordained Ministry Member

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I feel called to be a delegate to the General Conference and or to the Jurisdictional Conference for a number of reasons: As a lifelong United Methodist, I am fascinated by the legislation process that allows for any member to submit a motion with the intention to introduce a practice, review a previous policy or clarify an aspect of what we do. I therefore view participation in such a process as a contribution sacred work. I believe that my participation will intentionally help create a new generation of leaders throughout the connection who will emerge and begin to work with those who have come before to sustain the denomination into the foreseeable future. I believe that I will learn to listen, and engage in dialogue about how we can globally work together to strengthen God’s ministry throughout the United Methodist Church. I realize that it is an honor to serve as a General Conference or Jurisdictional Delegate. It provides one with the opportunity to be involved in the church universal and to be amongst United Methodists throughout the nation and world, praying, worshipping together, and sometimes agreeing or lovingly disagreeing. With God’s grace I believe that I have ample energy to maintain alertness and calmness during a hectic two weeks of deliberations.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

As a delegate I will listen to every person in the process of understanding complexity of issues discussed at the conference. Listening is a key component of the discernment process which ultimately is expressed by voting to come up with the best possible outcome of competing options.

 


Ted Fine

 

  • Year Ordained: 2018
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Clinton/Clear Creek

District and/or Conference Involvement

I have served as clergy liaison for the Monroe District laity committee and have completed training for clergy mentoring.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I am well equipped to approach issues without bias and with fair treatment, which I feel is highly called for in bitterly contentious times such as these. I try to always put Jesus first and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in decision making and feel like these qualities will suit me well as a delegate to either or both General or Jurisdictional Conference.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

As I mentioned above, I will listen through bias and be open to every expression and idea presented. I will always hear people's hearts and allow every voice equal weight. This allows the full voice of the Holy Spirit to be heard and is the only true way to be in Christian community together. I believe this is the core of Wesley's own thinking when he said, "Condemn no man for not thinking as you think. Let every one enjoy the full and free liberty of thinking for himself."

 


E. Andrew Goff

 

  • Year Ordained: 1996
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Vinton, Welsh Memorial-Sulphur, Maplewood

District and/or Conference Involvement

I have served as the District Superintendent of the New Orleans District (2015-2017) as well as prior to that appointment I chaired the District Committee on Ministry for the New Orleans District. I currently serve on the Episcopacy Committee as well as the co-chair of the 2016 Delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I feel called to be a delegate to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences because I feel that our denomination is at a crossroads and we need to find a way to move us forward. I feel that I can help to do just that. Having come out of the called Special Session of General Conference, I feel that now more than ever we need delegates who are committed to moving us pass the impasse we currently find ourselves in and focus our attention on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our Church is divided and I believe I am called to help bring us together as a global body each striving to bring everyone under the same tent. I believe my record speaks for itself and my colleagues trust my leadership and commitment to the Church. I am a listener but I am known to speak what is in my heart and more importantly I know when to listen and when to speak. I believe I can bring all sides together as well as share our common goals and dreams as well as our varied theological differences. I am a team player who engages the team to get things done. I have been elected to the last four General and Jurisdictional Conferences and I believe that speaks of my leadership in the Annual Conference. If elected I will serve to the best of my ability.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

I am a listener who works with the team to do our best work for the kingdom. I know how to respond and when to respond and I believe I am capable of helping to multiply the United Methodist witness in all the world. I am able to listen to all sides and move us forward. I am caring, compassionate and committed to this Church and its witness in as many places as possible.

 


Norwood "Woody" Hingle

 

  • Year Ordained: 1997
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Lake Vista UMC

District and/or Conference Involvement

I have served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. I currently serve as a volunteer with UMCOR's Early Response Team for natural disaster areas, and have helped in such areas as the tornado-stricken Cullman, Alabama and flooded areas in Louisiana of Lake Charles and Varnado. About 13 years ago I initiated, organized, and lead the Traditional Wesleyan Fellowship breakfasts and lunches during annual conferences for theologically conservative, traditionally-minded clergy and laity seeking renewal in The UMC. The Traditional Wesleyan Fellowship has now changed its name to the Louisiana Wesleyan Covenant Association (LA WCA), and I still organize the lunches. I also serve on the LA WCA's Council.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

My Methodist roots go back at least to the early 1900s to my grandparents (on both sides) and my parents. I have completed just over 25 years as a minister in The UMC and have a great love for this denomination. I feel called to be a delegate to General Conference or Jurisdictional Conference not only because of my deep Methodist roots and experience in the ministry, but also for at least two other reasons. First, my strong educational background in biblical studies with my Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, U.K., has given me a solid understanding of the current crisis our beloved denomination is facing over the sensitive issue of homosexuality. My support of the current stance on homosexuality in the Book of Discipline has come through patient reading and listening to both sides on this issue, and much prayer. This background would be a great asset for me as a delegate as I continue to listen to both sides and learn from them. Second, I am committed to working toward the unity of and best outcome for The UMC as described in Ephesians 4, where Paul mentions not only that believers were called to one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (vv 4-6), but also that believers are called to speak the truth in love (v 15).

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

As explained above, I am committed to the Ephesians 4 approach to interacting with others in The UMC-- a strong focus not only on the unity and best for the denomination, but also to speaking the truth in love. This approach is necessary whether I am talking with those with whom I agree or disagree, whether the subject is controversial or not. This approach means that I do a lot of listening and ask a lot of questions. I am convinced that no one cares what I have to say unless that person knows I care-- and I really do. This approach has been my goal throughout my time in the ministry, and if I am elected a delegate it will continue to be my goal.

 


T. Lynn Malone

 

  • Year Ordained: 2001
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: First United Methodist Church, Monroe

District and/or Conference Involvement    

Monroe District Supt. 2011-2013 Chair, Monroe District Finance Committee, 2016 - Present Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, 2016 - Present Ruston District Ministry Team--Evangelism Chair, 1991 - 1994 Shreveport District DCoM, 2003 - 2011 Annual Conference Joshua Team LaFon Home Task Force

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

My experience as a pastor in small, medium and large churches affords me the opportunity to connect with all our churches, and with clergy regardless of the size of their appointment. Additionally, my experience as a District Superintendent gives me a unique perspective on some of the adaptive challenges facing the UMC as we seek to make disciples for the transformation of the world. I have also had the opportunity to build relationships across the connection that will be helpful in moving the UMC and our Annual Conference forward in this challenging time. For these reasons, I feel called to offer myself to serve the church as a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

I have spent the past 28 years seeking to build bridges within churches, communities and our Annual Conference. I earnestly come to every conversation with a teachable spirit, knowing that every person I engage knows something I do not, and has the ability to teach me. I will continue to live into this philosophy if chosen to serve on the La. Annual Conference delegation.

 


Ben McGehee

 

  • Year Ordained: 2006
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Lea Joyner Memorial UMC

District and/or Conference Involvement    

On the Conference level, I have served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Ministry since 2016. I have been part of the Local Pastor & Associate Member Division of the BOM since 2012. While on the BOM, I have also worked with the seminary scholarship funds and Pathways Call to Ministry events. I have also worked with the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits as part of the Health Care Task Force from 2018-2019, looking at the Retiree Health Benefits. On a District Level, I am the Registrar of the Monroe District Committee on Ministry and have served on the Statistical Reporting Team (Audit Committee) in Shreveport, New Orleans, and Monroe. I have also worked with the Youth, speaking on Missions at the Confirmation Day with the Bishop and starting Weekend of the Cross in Shreveport/Bossier and the Northshore.


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

After watching the proceedings and aftermath of General Conference in 2016 and 2019, I know we can do better. Acrimonious debate, name-calling, and vows to ignore General Conference and/or Judicial Council decisions is not befitting of the United Methodist Church. In the past, I have often been able to walk into heated situations and defuse them. I am not naive enough to think I can do this at General Conference, but I do believe I can be part of a larger effort to find workable solutions to our long-standing issues.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

I believe that the unique United Methodist witness to the world comes from the intersection of grace, service, biblical authority, accountability, and discipleship. I love hearing stories and ideas from pastors and laity that are trying to expand this witness throughout our Conference and our world.

 


Brian Mercer

 

  • Year Ordained: 2012
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: FUMC Minden

District and/or Conference Involvement    

DCOM Member and Chair (Monroe District) Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (Elder Division) 2016-2024 Louisiana United Methodist Children's Home Board Member 2019-2021 United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana Board Member (nominated 2019) Caney Camp Board Member (ex officio)

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I feel called to serve as a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference because of my love for God and our United Methodist Church. The Louisiana Conference of the UMC raised me in the church. I've been attending district and conference events since 1990 and have been attending annual conference since 1991 (with 2 or 3 absences). I have a diverse group of colleagues I trust, listen to, and seek input from. It would be my honor and humble privilege to serve as a delegate from Louisiana.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

I am an extreme extrovert who loves knowing people and being known. I would use this God-given gift to hear as many as possible so that I might be informed as to the beliefs and theology of the diverse Louisiana UMC.

 


James Mitchell

  • Year Ordained: 1982
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: St. Timothy on the Northshore

District and/or Conference Involvement    

Board of Ordained Ministry General Board of Church and Society Reserve Delegate to General Conference Delegate to Jurisdictional Conference Conference Council on Finance and Administration Conference Board of Trustees

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I feel called to put myself forth as a candidate. I did not and do not favor the One Church Plan.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

I believe that the United Methodist Church is a global church. I will listen and respond in that light.

 


Lamar Oliver

  • Year Ordained: 2005
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: FUMC - DeRidder

District and/or Conference Involvement    

CONFERENCE INVOLVEMENT: BOARD OF ORDAINED MINISTRY (2008 - 2016) Chair - Division of Local Pastors and Associate Members (2012 - 2016) Associate Dean - License to Preach School (2012) Member - Conference Relations Committee (2010 - 2012) COMMISSION ON EQUITABLE COMPENSATION (2008 - 2016) Vice Chair (2008 - 2016) USKICHITTO RETREAT CENTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2005 - 2010) Chair (2009 - 2010) LOUISIANA UNITED METHODIST CURSILLO Spiritual Director (2009, 2013, 2015) DISTRICT INVOLVEMENT: Lake Charles Committee on Nominations (2018 - 2019) Lake Charles Committee on the Superintendency - Chair (2015 - 2018) Lake Charles Audit Team (2015 - 2017) Lake Charles Lay Servant School Advanced Course (2016) New Orleans Committee on Finance & Administration (2013 - 2015) New Orleans Audit Team (2013 - 2015) [Chair - 2014/2015] New Orleans District Committee on Ministry (2012 - 2015) Acadiana District Audit Team (2007 - 2011) Acadiana District Committee on Ministry (2008 - 2011) Acadiana District Committee on Finance & Administration (2010 - 2011) Acadiana District Board of Trustees (2007 - 2009) [Chair - 2008/2009] Acadiana District Lay Speaking School Advanced Course (2007) Alexandria District Audit Team (2006) Alexandria District Committee on Finance & Administration (2005 - 2006) McNeese Wesley Foundation Board of Directors (2005 - 2006)


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

Having served in ministry in almost every part of our conference - as a student, laity, supply pastor, and elder - in churches large and small, and in connectional ministries in a few districts as well as on the conference level, I believe I bring a wide range of experience that makes me sensitive to the needs of our connection. As one part of a clergy couple, I also have helpful experience in the unique needs of clergy couples and as the spouse of one who is on leave due to health issues that are not obvious. I believe a delegate must be one unafraid to hold fast to our orthodoxy, regardless of the pressures brought to bear that might lead to a different outcome. I believe a delegate has the responsibility to look at their brothers and sisters in Christ as beloved children of God, not as part of special interest groups, and most certainly not pigeon-holed into preconceived notions because of their various demographic categories. I believe that while there is benefit in experience, it is also important for some who have not served be elected so more may step up and be involved in general church discussions. With respect to Jurisdictional Conference, I believe we must seek out bishops who will adhere to and uphold our Book of Discipline, for if we do not expect our leaders to uphold the tenets of our connection, then we no longer cease to be a connection.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

If selected as a delegate, I believe that the most effective way to hear and respond to others is to look at them as individuals, without the bias of assuming because someone checks various demographic, ideological, or theological boxes they must automatically be like everyone else who matches whatever checkboxes they might.

 


Karli Pidgeon

  • Year Ordained: 2011
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Associate Director of Church Transformation and New Church Development

District and/or Conference Involvement    

District Committee on Ordained Ministry- Alexandria, Shreveport and New Orleans New Orleans Disaster Response Committee Board of Ordained Ministry Order of Elders Chair Congregational Development Committee Annual Conference Design Team SCJ Mission Council Vice Chair Louisiana Interchuch Conference


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I feel called to be a delegate because this is a crucial time in the life of our beloved church. I believe I possess the sharpness and spiritual tenacity to represent our Annual Conference. As the youngest African American Elder in this Conference, I believe I bring a unique voice and perspective to this delegation. I possess a keen ability to listen to others with whom I disagree, a willingness to compromise and a sensible spirit. I love the Lord and I am committed to God's gracious work in and thru the United Methodist Church. The Wesleyan message of grace, love and justice is why I have dedicated my life to the work of the United Methodist Church.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

Throughout my life and my ministry, I have been blessed to sit at tables and converse with a variety of people from a wide array of backgrounds and beliefs. I believe the Holy Spirit works through me in each situation, as I am able to listen and respond in a manner that represents Christ. The gift of listening to understand, not just to respond has made a great impact on how I interact with people and thus allows God's message of love and grace to flow freely.

 


JoAnne Pounds

 

  • Year Ordained: 2018
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Bastrop, Memorial/Mer Rouge

District and/or Conference Involvement    

In what ways have you been involved in district and/or conference related matters? Please explain. I currently serve as a member of the Monroe District Committee on Ordained Ministry, the District Disaster Response Team, District Audit/Statistical Reporting Team, and as the clergy representative on the District Board of Laity. I also serve as one of two Louisiana Annual Conference Representatives to the Alumni Council of Perkins School of Theology and have been an active participant in the Young Adult Summit of the Louisiana Annual Conference since its inception. Some of my greatest experiences in ministry at the district and conference levels include: 1.    Partnering with colleagues to start the Northeast Louisiana Combined Small Church Youth Group-providing discipleship opportunities to youth from 6 area churches 2.    Organizing a flood relief drive for hygiene products to be distributed by our Conference Early Response Teams during the fall flood of 2016 3.    Opening the Young Adult Report to the Annual Conference in 2015 as selected by my peers 4.    Helping introduce Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey on behalf Louisiana’s clergywomen and young clergy at the Perkins School of Theology Distinguished Alumna Banquet of 2018


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

My primary calling is to serve as a tendon in the body of Christ. A tendon connects muscles to bones in a way that empowers the body by allowing movement even amidst tension. The connectional nature of the United Methodist Church, while tense at times, is a sacred gift that I have experienced in unique ways most notably by serving in ministry through the Louisiana, North Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas Annual Conferences. I first discerned my call to ministry and joined the UMC in 2004 in the Memphis Annual Conference, after reading every excerpt of the Discipline available on www.umc.org. I witnessed and experienced first-hand how the Discipline is interpreted differently by faithful United Methodists in several South Central Jurisdiction annual conferences, by different Boards of Ordained Ministry, and several bishops. As the body of Christ, and especially as United Methodists who value connection, we need delegates who can effectively understand and minister with others from different contextual and theological backgrounds. I have served in rural, small town, urban, and suburban churches, in camping ministries and Perkins Chapel. I have also ministered with congregations across the theological and economic spectrum. Offering myself to serve God as a clergy delegate of the Louisiana Annual Conference is another way in which I can fulfill my calling and help strengthen our connection.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

In many ways, the UMC is currently imprisoned by our impasse and behaviors. Sometimes, we find ourselves driven by fear. Fear and love are often considered the greatest motivators of humanity. Each of these motivations may be discerned. Yet, perfect love casts out fear (1st John 4). Love overflowing with knowledge and full insight will help us determine what is best. Plus, there can be a “harvest of righteousness” despite imprisonment when the gospel is proclaimed (Philippians 1). What happens when we truly allow perfect love to cast out fear, when we strive to truly know one another, and we dare to spread the gospel “with greater boldness and without fear?” I will strive to cast out fear, truly know others, and spread the gospel with boldness, empowered by the perfect love of God by: 1.    Praying for wisdom, courage, and discernment 2.    Seeking input and feedback from my peers, in person, online, through publications, and over the phone as I have done in the past when honored to represent others (in various capacities) 3.    Striving to form relationships by listening to and engaging in meaningful conversations By understanding another’s faith experience more deeply, we are better able to love them and form diverse, effective, though not yet perfected teams that make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform the world as the apostles did. One of my primary goals in life and ministry is to build and maintain these types of relationships with the children of God. As such, I celebrate time honored, tested, and trusted relationships with leaders in the Uniting Methodists Movement, Wesleyan Covenant Association, and Reconciling Ministries Network, while not maintaining membership in any of these or similar groups. As an individual and as a pastor/colleague, I strive to know, accurately understand, and accurately represent various theological and practical approaches in a way that does no harm, does good, and attends upon the ordinances of God.

 


Matt Rawle

 

  • Year Ordained: 2010
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Asbury United Methodist Church

District and/or Conference Involvement    

Board of Ordained Ministry (elder and deacon), Discerning the Call Leader, District Lay Speaking School Facilitator, Annual Conference Worship Planning Team, Church Extension Task Force

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

It has been an honor to have served as a Jurisdictional alternate these past four years, and I continue to feel called to lead The United Methodist Church on the General and Jurisdictional Conference level. It is a difficult task, but one I welcome with grace. Specifically, I feel called to give voice to the ministry happening in Louisiana across racial, economic, and theological lines as a model for the larger connection.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

As an author with Cokesbury, Abingdon Press, and the United Methodist Publishing House, I have had the blessed opportunity to be in ministry with United Methodists across the connection. This wide-angle perspective has lead me to listen well, and build bridges between many in our church.

 


AnnaKate Rawles

 

  • Year Ordained: 2017
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: St James

District and/or Conference Involvement    

DCOM, Religion and Race, Disaster Recovery Team

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I have attended the last 2 as a page and know the ins and outs of GC. I have also witnessed the injustices and scandals of GC. We keep sending the same people over and over expecting a different outcome, but until we have new delegates, young adults who will be in the church for 60 more years, we will continue to see the church decline and cause harm. Let me help us all help the church.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

We are called to share the love and grace of our creator in all places, to all who are created in God’s image and as a delegate I would attempt to create that culture of grace and love.

 


Kermit Curtis Roberson

 

  • Year Ordained: 2019
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Brooks-Shaw Temple & PeoplesUMC

District and/or Conference Involvement    

New Orleans District,LA Conference

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

Seeing the need to be responsive to the needs of the Holy Spirit in times like these. We are reacting to each other when we should be responding to the movement of God. I seek to serve God’s people in the toughest of times so that we speak life to the least, last, lost, and marginalized people we serve and serve with. That is what I believe sets me apart for this called ministry opportunity to serve now.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

Discernment, prayer, and listening to all of God’s people will be the guiding to know what God’s people are crying out for. I know God will use me as an instrument to bring about that great good. Through my commitment to read, serve in committee, voice the concerns and care about all the people in which my gifts may best serve God’s people in our UMC Connection.

 


Katie Simpson

  • Year Ordained: 2010
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: University UMC, Lake Charles

District and/or Conference Involvement    

Louisiana General Conference Delegation 2016 (Reserve to Jurisdictional Conference) and 2012 (First Reserve to General Conference), Board of Ordained Ministry (Vocational Discernment Chair/Division of Elders 2016-present), District Committee on Ministry— Lake Charles (2015-2019) and Baton Rouge (2013-2015), Lake Charles District Conflict Transformation Cohort (convener), Young Clergywomen's Cohort (convener), Annual Conference Planning Team 2016, Order of Elders Leadership Team (2008-2012), Commission on Religion and Race (2008—2012), Crisis Response Team, Discerner’s Academy Staff, Awakening Staff.


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

As a potential delegate, I bring a unique combination of having over 30 years left to serve as clergy in the UMC paired with significant leadership experience in General and Jurisdictional Conferences since 2012. I believe this gives me both significant "skin in the game" as well as the experience necessary to effect positive change. I want to do everything in my power to ensure our United Methodist Church grows to our full potential in both inclusion and evangelical witness. This is a unique moment in the life of our church, and we need the most relational and strategic leaders at the table. I lead with a pragmatic approach, with a desire for maintaining church unity, but also a willingness to consider other options. I am open to working towards any new form that would give us permission to shift into a more nimble structure, freeing us to respond more effectively to our mission fields. I will use all of my energy to negotiate, mediate, and help our denomination achieve an outcome that clergy like myself could live into for decades to come. I would be humbled to have the opportunity to serve as one of Louisiana’s delegates as we navigate this extraordinary time in the life of our church.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

Over the years, I have intentionally demonstrated a commitment to creating space where clergy colleagues and church members who hold differing viewpoints can serve in God’s mission alongside each other. I have cherished friendships with people from a variety of theological perspectives, and my life of ministry has been enhanced by that diversity. I’ve been able to make a wide variety of strategic partnerships with clergy, laity and leaders across the connection that our Louisiana Conference delegation can use for greater engagement and influence in the legislative process. I have had opportunity to have conversation with leaders from other Jurisdictions and our Central Conferences. I will take this knowledge and perspective into any decision I face as a voting delegate on the floor of General Conference, considering the flourishing of the whole church as a priority. Those who have led and served with me know that I have always been a bridge-builder at heart. The General Conference body is more polarized than ever before, and we need people who, even with deeply held convictions, are willing and feel called to come to the center to seek understanding, allowing new possibilities to emerge. We need more people who are committed to look for constructive and creative ways to imagine our future together globally and locally. We also need leaders that will remain committed to transparency and open to informing and engaging with you about the process each step of the way. I am more resolved now than ever to continue developing trusting relationships with all of our clergy and laity in the Louisiana Conference, regardless of how much our perspectives may vary.

 


Van Stinson

  • Year Ordained: Deacon 1996, Elder 2001
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Clergy Excellence

District and/or Conference Involvement    

I have made involvement in district and conference related matters a priority throughout my ministry in the Louisiana Conference. Baton Rouge District: District Committee on Ordained Ministry 2008-2013, Registrar 2008-2010; District Board of Church Location and Building 2001-2005, Chair 2002-2005; District Auditor 2002-2005; The United Methodist Mission Center Board of Directors 2000-2003; Founding Board Member, Hope Ministries 2003, Board Member 2003-2005, 2013-2017; District Ministry Team 2002-2005, 2013-current; District Committee on Finance and Administration 2013-current; District Committee on Lay Speaking Ministry 2013- 2017; Board of Directors, Camp Istrouma, 2013-2017. New Orleans District: District Committee on Ordained Ministry 2006-2008, Project Noah 2006. Louisiana Annual Conference : Board of Global Ministries 2000-2003, Secretary 2000-2003; Board of Ordained Ministry 2003-2008, Executive Committee 2004-2008, Chair, Conference Relations Committee, 2004-2008, Division of Deacons 2003-2004, Division of Local Pastors and Associate Members 2004-2008; Special Ministries Task Force 2004-2005; Joint Committee on Incapacity Leave 2000-2008; VIM Mission Teams, Reynosa, Mexico 2003, 2004, Mission Team Leader, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2005; Board of Directors, Wesley Foundation , LSU 2002-2005, 2008-2017; Board of Directors, Wesley Foundation, SELU 2013-2017, Board of Directors, Wesley Foundation, SU 2013-2017; Committee on Investigation 2012- 2017; Cursillo # 92; Board of Pensions and Health Benefits 2013-2017; Baton Rouge District Superintendent 2012-2016; Cabinet Secretary 2012-2014; Assistant to the Bishop/ Director of Clergy Excellence 2016-current.

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I was not raised United Methodist. I chose this church. I have given my life in service to this church. I love The United Methodist Church. It is my home. It is my calling. I feel called now more than ever to offer my voice, my votes, and my future to a process that can help us rediscover our vision, our mission, and our purpose. My experience as a Pastor, District Superintendent, and now as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Clergy Excellence have given me a unique perspective on the church and a deep understanding of the process. Our choices have consequences, and we need as many new voices and fresh perspectives engaged and involved in this process as possible if we are to find a path to a more vital and fruitful future.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

Three components of my ministry have always been a deep commitment to missional purpose, to meaningful dialogue and to transformational change in the church and in the world. All three of these require mutual respect, active listening, and an ability to find common ground. As a delegate I will commit first and foremost to listen with an open mind and an open heart, seeking to hear rather than to be heard. Second, I will strive to understand before I try to be understood. Finally, and most importantly, I will do all things in the spirit of Christ and according to the guidelines of Christian conferencing. This, in my mind, is the only path that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible.

 


Marissa Teauseau

  •  Year Ordained: 2016
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Rayne Memorial

District and/or Conference Involvement    

Shreveport District Committee Young Adult Representative - presenter at Leadership Training (2014-2015), Happening Spiritual Advisor (2017-Present), New Orleans District Board of Trustees (2018-present).


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference? 

I feel called to serve the UMC in a deeper way. I believe that the Church should reflect the table set for us by Jesus at the Great Thanksgiving. Enough room for all at the table and plenty for all. I want to work for a church that offers a seat at the table to those at the margins.


As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?    

I will be available and present - so that I can be as informed and thoughtful in my actions as possible. Through God's help, I will prayerfully seek discernment and guidance to be a witness of God's love and grace.

 


Brady Whitton

  • Year Ordained: 2004
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: First United Methodist of Baton Rouge

District and/or Conference Involvement

Board of Ordained Ministry, Member 2004-2012 LA Conference Church Extensions Task Force Order of Elders, Chair 2007-2012 Baton Rouge DCOM, 2008-2012 Board of Ordained Ministry Chair, 2016-Present

Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

We are at a turning point in the United Methodist Church and I'd like to lend my energy and gifts to help chart a course that will keep us focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ for generations to come. I believe we are better together than apart, although I recognize that "together" for the UMC needs to look different today than it did yesterday. It's time to find a way to honor and respect each other's differences and create an honest and workable way forward.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

I lived outside the U.S. as a child and have lived in different regions in the US throughout my life. I lived in community for two years with people whose language and religion I was trying to learn. All of this helped me develop a gift for listening and observing empathetically and for building bridges between people from different places and perspectives. This ability is essential if the United Methodist Church is going to move successfully into the future.

 


Alice Young

  •  Year Ordained: 2018
  • Conference Relationship: Elder in Full Connection
  • Current Appointment: Associate, University UMC BR

District and/or Conference Involvement    

I served on the Baton Rouge district mission strategy team in 2016-2017. I am part of the Conference Young Clergy Women Cohort. I also served in leadership for the Young Adults of the LA Annual Conference, and continue to be an active member of the group.


Why do you feel called to be a delegate to General or Jurisdictional Conference?

I have a deep love of Methodist Polity and feel that as the church continues to grow and enter into new places, we must adapt and evolve our polity to match the changing church. By participating in holy conferencing with United Methodist from across our connection, we can more discern how we can be the church more fully for the world around us. I also feel especially called as a young clergy person to be a voice for future generations of United Methodists and the church's rising leaders.

As a delegate, how will you listen and respond to others that will help to multiply the United Methodist witness in as many places as possible?

The beauty of the United Methodist Church is its diversity. I have deep ties to the global church. My younger sister spent the early part of her life in The Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is through my older sister’s time serving at that United Methodist orphanage in the DRC, we came to be sisters. This experience opened my eyes to the global church and allowed me to see how ministry is implemented and enhance by our connectionalism. Without the United Methodist’s presence in developing nations, and beyond, the church would be less than it is. It is essential to listen to as many voices as possible and to allow our differences to enrich how we are the church together instead of creating divisions. Each person brings valid experiences with them, and learning how to listen and honor those experiences will allow us to multiply our presence as United Methodist. My hope is that the UMC modeling loving disagreement will serve as a witness to our divisive climate in our society. I have a profound appreciation for the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and believe that our use of scripture, experience, reason, and tradition allow us to more fully understand one another and our God. There is no question that I carry strong opinions, but more than anything, I hope to model a heart at peace in my interactions with all people so I might more fully see God through God’s reflection in humanity.