The Clergy Session of the 2012 Annual Conference was held at Brown Chapel, Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Rev. Mickey Cloud offered an organ prelude, and Rev. Danny Gleason led in the call to worship. The clergy sang the Charles Wesley hymn “Jesus, United by Thy Grace.” Rev. Connie Saizon offered the opening prayer, and Rev. Rita Chiasson presented the offertory.
The clergy gave an offering designated for the pension program of the Central Conferences of The United Methodist Church. Rev. Drew Sutton read Acts 20:17-38, and Bishop William Hutchinson presented a sermon entitled “And Now….”. The Bishop knelt in prayer for the clergy of the Louisiana Annual Conference.
The Bishop called the Clergy Session to order.
Part II of the report “Pertaining to Ordained Ministers and Local Pastors,” Disciplinary Questions 17 through 56, was presented by various members of the Board of Ordained Ministry. Corrections, deletions, and additions were made to the pre-printed report and noted by Rev. John Edd Harper for printing in the Conference Journal. Bishop Hutchinson conducted election and votes as necessary. Rev. Harper recorded election results.
The Clergy Session also considered the following parts of the Disciplinary Questions: Part III, “Certification in Specialization and Certified Lay Ministry (questions 60 through 65); Part IV, “Diaconal Ministers” (questions 66 through 75 of the 1992 Book of Discipline); and Part V, “Appointments and Concluding Business” (questions 76 through 84). Bishop Hutchinson conducted votes as necessary, and Rev. John Edd Harper recorded the results.
Rev. Danny Gleason moved that the entire report be approved, as corrected during the proceedings, by the Clergy Session. The vote was recorded by Rev. John Edd Harper.
Rev. Danny Gleason noted that the Board of Ordained Ministry has approved guidelines for use when Conference leadership requests surrender of credentials. The guidelines are published in the report of the Clergy Session of the Annual Conference.
Rev. Charlie Langford presented the Harry Denman Evangelism Award to Rev. Robert E. Johnson, Sr., a part-time local pastor.
Rev. Brady Whitton, chair of the Order of Elders, gave information on activities and nominated Rev. Donnie Wilkinson to be elected as the new chair of the Order of Elders. No other nominations were offered from the floor. The elders voted unanimously to elect Rev. Wilkinson.
Rev. Bernadine Johnson, chair of the Order of Deacons, reported that Rev. Mimi McDowell has been nominated as the next chair of the Order of Deacons. The election will be conducted among deacons on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Rev. Bill Strawbridge, chair of the Louisiana Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members, reported that the Fellowship has elected Rev. Pattye Hewitte as the new chairperson.
Rev. Danny Gleason led the clergy in the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer, and Rev. James Haynes led in the singing of “A Charge to Keep I Have.”