Lay Nominations

Lay delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference are elected by the Annual Conference. 

General Conference will be May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN and Jurisdictional Conference will be July 15-18, 2020 in The Woodlands, Texas. Lay delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences shall have been members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years.  (Par. 34, Article V, The Book of Discipline) 

The below individuals agreed to have their name considered as a potential delegate. 
Each name is a link to a biographical sketch and answers each of them submitted to questions online.

 

George Anding

Local Church Membership: Broadmoor United Methodist Church (Baton Rouge, LA)
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I want to utilize my experience as a prior delegate and as your conference chancellor, and whatever personal gifts I may have, to work toward the strengthening of our beloved denomination and God's Kingdom, so that we all may return--undistracted and with renewed energy--to our tasks of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and reaching out in love to those who need us.

Church Leadership

Past lay leader; past chair, church council; past chair, staff/parish relations committee; past chair, long range planning committee; past chair, Council on Ministries; past chair, Evangelism and Discipleship Commissions; chair, Columbarium Committee; delegate to Annual Conference, multiple years; Sunday School Teacher - 42 years; church attorney

District Responsibilities

Past Baton Rouge District Lay Leader; Past Certified Lay Speaker; Presenter-"Lay Leadership"-Baton Rouge District My Job Training Event

Conference Responsibilities

Past Conference Lay Leader; Past member, Conference Board of Trustees; Past Vice Chair, Conference Committee on Petitions; Past Member, Committee on Investigation for Diaconal Ministry; Past member and chair, Conference Committee on Episcopacy; Reserve Lay Delegate, 2000 Jurisdictional Conference; Lay Delegate, 2004 Jurisdictional Conference; First Reserve Lay Delegate, 2004 General Conference; First Elected Lay Delegate and Delegation Leader, 2008 General and Jurisdictional Conferences; Lay Delegate, 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences; past member, Bishop's Task Force to Revise Conference Rules and Structure, Bishop's Task Force to Study Conference Institutions; past member, Board of Directors, Southern University Wesley Foundation; Conference Chancellor, 2012-present; Member, Executive Committee, UMC Conference Chancellors Assoc.; Chair, Legislation for the Quadrennium Subcommittee, UMC Conference Chancellors Assoc.; Member, General Conference Advance Legislative Research Panel

Community Involvement

Past member and chair, Board of Directors of Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center; Lion's Club; Rotary Club; Habitat for Humanity

Occupation/Work

Attorney in the firm of Rainer Anding & Talbot


Kathleen Adams

Local Church Membership: St. John’s UMC
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

To learn more and to be a part of this special UMC theology

Church Leadership

President of St. John’s UMW VIM team (local) Vice President of UMW Baton Rouge District Congregational Care Team Usher, hostess, reader

District Responsibilities

Just for UMW not for UMC

Community Involvement

Visit other churches, help feed people, work with and support. Unity in the Community work at church whenever needed and asked

Occupation/Work

New Retiree


Edward Bee

Local Church Membership:  St. Timothy UMC

District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

My story is the best way to explain why I am a candidate. I came to Methodism in middle age and had doubts that a declining mainline denomination could meet my family’s spiritual needs. I found instead that Methodism’s roots in a Gospel of grace ministered to our spiritual needs while also having a vibrant influence on our community. In the past I was happy to serve my local church in teaching while serving on Building and Finance committees, Administrative Council, and Board of Trustees. I never considered Annual or General Conferences as significant institutions until I led a VIM mission to Cuba in 2018 and watched the last General Conference in St. Louis. I now believe that governance institutions are as important to discerning God’s will for the practice of Methodism as sound institutions of government are in my professional field of economics and economic development. I want to bring my professional and spiritual experience and more than 25 years as a practicing Methodist to the deliberative process that shapes the important institutions that govern the affairs of our Conference. My calling is not to use the General Conference to lobby for a single issue informed by contemporary events or political ideology. I want instead to bring my talents to the difficult questions that face Methodism since the General Conference of 2019. I have 40 years of experience leading for-profit and non-profit businesses plus numerous terms on association and charity boards of directors that help me prepare for the work at hand. I wish to serve the conference in the capacity of delegate.

Church Leadership

Chair, Building Committee; Member of Finance Committee and Board of Trustees; Administrative Council; Sunday School and Disciple Bible Teacher

Conference Responsibilities

Team Leader for LA Conference VIM Mission to Cuba (2018)

Community Involvement

Treasurer and Board Member of Northshore Housing Initiative, a public land trust to develop workforce housing in St. Tammany Parish

Occupation/Work

Adjunct Professor of Economics and Finance, Murray State U & Univ. of Southern MS


Lesh Nettles Brown

Local Church Membership: First United Methodist Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana
District: Shreveport

Why Do You Want To Serve?

My love of the Church and insight I have to offer because of my prior service

Church Leadership

Chairman, Administrative Council; Chairman Board of Trustees; Lay Speaker at local churches; Sunday School Teacher

District Responsibilities

Served on the District Finance Committee

Conference Responsibilities

Member of Conference Board of Ordained Ministry 2008-2016; Board Member and Past President of United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana

Community Involvement

Past International President of Kiwanis International; Past District Governor of Kiwanis and member for over 50 years; President and Board Member of Natchitoches Parish Port Commission; Elected and Served on Natchitoches Parish School Board 6 years; Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce; Natchitoches Association of Financial Advisors - Treasurer; Natchitoches Mental Health Advisor Board; Fuller Center of Natchitoches - Board Member;

Occupation/Work

Accountant/Financial Services Professional; USAF Retired after 33 years


Staphenae Carey

Local Church Membership: Boynton UMC

District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I am fully retired now and look forward to the opportunity to be involved in the global work of the Church in praying, worshipping with other United Methodists, and deciding legislation.

Church Leadership

Member of Trustees, Admin Council Chair, Worship Chair, member of Bread Basket Feeding Outreach; Spiritual Growth Coordinator United Methodist Women; church organist
District Responsibilities
Yes. Member of Finance Committee; At-Large Delegate to Annual Conf

Conference Responsibilities

Member Church Extension Comm; UMW Conf Dean, Youth Leader, Chair Con, song Leader

Community Involvement

Literacy Chair & Top Teens of America Mentor & Advisor of local chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.; volunteer One Book One New Orleans
Occupation/Work
Retired teacher/school administrator


 

Michelle DeRouen

Local Church Membership: First United Methodist Church

District: Acadiana

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I wish to serve as a delegate to insure Biblical principles are upheld and to have an opportunity to serve my church in a global manner. As a member of the global council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) and having attended two general conferences as an observer, I know what a big task is at hand in being a delegate. Being a delegate is more than just showing up to conference... you must prepare, understand the full scope and meaning of decisions, and most of all pray. It would be an honor to serve as a delegate

Church Leadership

Global Council Member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Church Council member Lay Delegate to Annual Conference Leader of Senior Adult Ministries

District Responsibilities

District delegate to annual conference

Conference Responsibilities

Conference Board of Laity member

Community Involvement

I am involved in our local chapters American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Junior League of Lafayette, Acadiana republican women, Quiz bowl, and am involved in our local theater.

Occupation/Work

Financial Advisor


 

Mary Beth Arceneaux Dionne

Local Church Membership: Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church
District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I would like to be and help others to become more informed and involved in the development of the Methodist movement. Although I am a lifelong Methodist, it has only been in the latter part of my life that I have felt called, moved, and pulled into activity in the life of the church and to learn how the Methodist church, in particular, does what it does. Our Christian foundations nurture, support and demand an aware and evolving relationship with all of God's creation, active stewardship of it, and responsibility to learn and communicate clearly what God's message, purpose and intentions are for humankind specifically through the Methodist church. I am not aware of how the church actually does a lot of what it does, and want to learn, become part of it, and help to share that information with others so we all are more vitally involved and invested in it.

Church Leadership

At Rayne I served on the Staff/Parish committee, have been reappointed to second consecutive term on Worship committee, and with husband as captain of mission cook team prepared and served meals to some 50 homeless persons in collaboration with Mt. Zion Methodist Church; also participated in week=long mission trip to Atlantic City after Superstorm Sandy; and in St. Thomas, served on school board for Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, on hospitality committee for Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and as Chancellor for Catholic Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands from 2004 - 2006 and started the Virtus program for compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, conducted many training sessions for parents, volunteers, and employees of all levels

District Responsibilities

Rotary District not church; for Rotary District 6200 I was Rotaract chair for all university clubs in south and southwest Louisiana; chaired the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge activity after club founded Rotaract Club at Southern University

Community Involvement

Everywhere I have lived, I have been involved in the local community. Here, in Orleans, that has been through church (cook team, mission team, worship committee, staff/parish relations committee, women's covenant and Bible study group, also fill in for staff on occasion; and Rotary (although I am no longer a member - chaired Community Service for two years and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2007). In Baton Rouge, I was active in the Bar Association (local regional delegate to state bar, publications committee member and Law Day participant) and named Outstanding Young Woman and graduated from Chamber of Commerce Leadership training program; in Rotary (publication editor, chair of Rotaract committee for club (Southern University) and for district); and St. Joseph's Cathedral community (hospitality). In the Virgin Islands, I was active in Rotary (community service chair, social/party coordinator, chaired USVI/BVI Friendship Day regional event, founded project to clean up Point Udall on St. Croix) and belonged to St. Croix Landmarks Society (historical preservation and cultural awareness). Also taught and worked on contract basis for Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning Center at University of the Virgin Islands and also worked for AARP on St. Croix in community outreach and communications/events.

Occupation/Work

Attorney at Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans


Amy Fine

Local Church Membership: St. John’s United Methodist Church

District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

As a young person in ministry, I feel that I have much to contribute to the United Methodist church as a whole by lending my voice. I was asked to run for delegate and when that happens, I tend to believe that it’s something I should listen to, to go where called. I have a passion for the church and care deeply about its body of Christ. I also believe that service of this manner is an honor and something that not only I can contribute to, but can learn much from.

Church Leadership

I am currently the youth ministries coordinator for St. John’s United Methodist. I have also been the youth director for St. Andrews Umc, and was youth director intern at Broadmoor Umc. I have led Sunday school at all three churches as well as children’s Sunday school at New Song Umc.

Community Involvement

I am heavily involved in work with alcoholics and addicts. Helping others recover from their addiction is one of the most rewarding things I do. I served on the board of directors for Paracletia Inc., A local non-profit organization. I am a local artist and lend my services to many community functions doing face painting for children.

Occupation/Work

Youth ministries coordinator


Valerie Fine

Local Church Membership: Clinton UMC
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I wish to serve the conference and represent my church in the denominational setting.

Church Leadership

Pastor's wife, UMW member, Bible study facilitator, women's outing organizer, greeter.

Conference Responsibilities

I have organized the clergy/spouse retreat and AC luncheon the past two years.

Community Involvement

I have taken part in multicultural worship with Firm Believers In Christ (FBIJ), which is a monthly worship gathering of participating churches. I also take part in a couple of local women's gatherings that promote fellowship with both members and non-members of our congregation.

Occupation/Work

Business manager at Trinity Lutheran Church/Baton Rouge Lutheran School and financial advisor and bookeeper at First UMC Denham Springs


John Fletcher

Local Church Membership: University United Methodist Church

District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I want our Church’s witness to the world to be love amidst disagreement. As a child I learned the Southern Baptist way of disagreeing: judgment, shame, and dark suggestions about where one’s opponents were headed in the afterlife. My parents became Methodist ministers when I was in high school (Oklahoma Conference), and I fell in love with the Methodist emphasis on Grace. For over twenty years since, I’ve watched my Church struggle with deep divisions about sexuality, service, and polity. At two General Conferences (2000 and 2004) I attended as an observer, I saw people of good faith and hope on all sides of the LGBTQ issue struggle to navigate disagreements in good faith. Today, my heart breaks seeing so many in our Church questioning whether we can, as Wesley says, “love alike” even as we think differently. I fear our Church has become mired in the bitter divisiveness of modern life. As a gay Christian who advocates for full inclusion, I regret that I have not always approached those who believe otherwise with the loving assumption of good faith that is due them. I am trying to be better. In my academic research and in my community work with Dialogue on Race Louisiana and Better Angels, I am learning to act as peacemaker and de-polarizer. I strive to help people—myself included—listen and learn from those who stand on opposing sides of history and belief. We can, I believe, find better ways to balance the demands of passionate conviction with the realities of neighbors who think differently. Were I a delegate, I would do my best to work for the depolarization of our Methodist community: listening, loving, and modeling the grace that should be our public witness. I want the world to say of us, “See how they love one another.”

Church Leadership

My main work at University UMC is as Chair of Discipleship and Faith Formation. In that capacity, I help the clergy and staff to plan and implement quarterly curricula such as Bible studies, topics classes, and book discussion groups. I have led or co-led many such studies, including Disciple I, Lent and Advent studies, and original courses in End of Life matters. For some years I taught the Young Adult Sunday school class, and now I substitute for other Sunday School classes that need or request me. I have occasionally preached for Laity Sunday, and I contribute a children’s moment lesson about once a month. Like many in our church, I also volunteer in several other areas, such as VBS, Missions and Outreach, and summer teach-ins. Finally, in my role as a Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, I serve on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, the Church Council, and the Executive Committee.

District Responsibilities

I have not formally served the Baton Rouge district. Informally, I work with the Reconciling United Methodists of the Capitol District, which puts me in contact with Methodists from across the area.

Conference Responsibilities

Aside from being a lay delegate to Annual Conference for the past several years, most of my activity has been at the local church level.

Community Involvement

For the past few years I have been involved with the Dialogue on Race Louisiana, an organization that encourages brave, open discussion about the past, present, and future of racial relations in our community. As a trained facilitator, I regularly co-lead six-week Dialogue courses about issues of historical and institutional racism. Over the last year, I have (as part of my academic research) begun working with Better Angels, a national organization dedicated to depolarizing America. Better Angels focus on small workshops that model how “reds” and “blues” might better listen to and learn from each other. I have recently completed training as a moderator for Better Angels and hope to organize several workshops in my local community over the coming months. At LSU, where I am a professor, I am a trained volunteer for the Lighthouse, LSU’s outreach for survivors of sexual assault and rape. Finally, I regularly assist with theatrical productions (acting, directing, advising) at LSU and at Theatre Baton Rouge.

Occupation/Work

Associate Professor of Theatre History, Louisiana State University


Ronald Helaire

Local Church Membership: Asbury United Methodist Church
District: Shreveport

Why Do You Want To Serve?

As a life-long United Methodist with historical ties to a small African American congregation and as a lay professional in the healthcare industry, my broad scope of experience uniquely equips me with recognized abilities in problem solving and group facilitation. Specifically, my abilities to listen with care for the person and responding to others in a Christ like manner helps us all as we build disciples for transforming the world. Thirty plus years as an active lay person walking in leadership positions at my local church and on the district and conference levels, has enabled me to use my gifts to approach my Christian family with an open and loving spirit, recognizing that every person I engage, despite whatever perceived differences we might have, is an equal and loving manifestation of our God. If chosen, I will prayerfully bring this and all that God sees fit to vest in me to the Table.

Church Leadership

Local Board of Trustees, Worship Coordinator, At Large Delegate to AC
District Responsibilities
United Methodist District Trustees

Conference Responsibilities

AC Worship Design Committee, Commission on Archives and History, Church and Society

Community Involvement

Board of Directors for the following: NSU Wesley Foundation, Ben Johnson Educational Foundation, African American History Museum

Occupation/Work

Manager, Healthcare Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers


Nancy Hopkins

Local Church Membership: Rayne Memorial UMC

District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

As a delegate to General Conference, I would bring a unique insight of someone who has the prospective of an older adult who has served for years in youth ministry and understands the views and outlook of youth and young adults. I am able to listen to those of different ages and backgrounds and to careful present my understanding of issues. I will prayerfully consider the resolutions presented at General Conference and vote as I am lead by the Holy Spirit. At Jurisdictional Conference I will carefully and prayerfully consider the candidates for Bishop and cast my vote for the candidates that are best suited to lead us forward in this difficult time.

Church Leadership

I have served as a Sunday School teacher, Confirmation leader and Youth counselor. I lead short term studies on a regular basis. I am a Certified Lay Servant and have completed all of the requirements for Certified Lay Speaker. I serve on the worship committee and assist the pastors by coordinating the Altar Guild, the Ushers and those who prepare the sanctuary for worship. I am also the Financial Secretary and serve on the mission team.

District Responsibilities

I served for 12 years as the New Orleans District Youth Coordinator. I have served on the District Ministry Team and the District Board of Laity. At present, I am the Associate District Youth Coordinator and I serve on the District Board of Laity. As a District Youth Coordinator, I meet with the District Council on Youth Ministry to help the youth plan and carry out the plans for district-wide youth events and worship.

Conference Responsibilities

I have served as a member of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry for the past 13 years. I served one term on the Executive Committee of the CCYM. As a member of CCYM, I meet with the youth and adult members to plan the retreats and events for the conference and attend all of the retreats.

Community Involvement

I am on the Great New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair. I am the judge coordinator for the fair, recruiting, training and assigning the judges for the 2 day fair. I also serve as a judge at the International Science and engineering fair. I am active in the alumnae chapter of my college sorority participating in several philanthropy projects and leadership events for our college chapter.

Occupation/Work

I am a retired biochemist and college professor. I work parttime at Rayne as a financial assistant posting pledges and preparing bank desposits.


Ronald Jones

Local Church Membership: Benton United Methodist Church

District: Shreveport

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I have gained experience and knowledge serving as a lay delegate to Annual Conference for 7 years. Combined with earnest prayer, I have been led to answer the call to be a loving part of the solution to the current conflicts of the Global Church.

Church Leadership

Board of Trustees (3 Years), Joseph Ministry Leader (8 Years), Lay Leader (6.5 Years), Mission Team (8 Years)
District Responsibilities
Camp Caney Trustee (7 Years)

Conference Responsibilities

Lay Delegate to Annual Conference (8 Years)

Community Involvement

Joseph Ministry, Lay Servant, Local and International Mission Trips and Local Mission

Occupation/Work

Retired USAF Pilot, Coach and Mathematics Teacher


Joseph Kelley

Local Church Membership: St Francisville UMC
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I love our church and would be honored to serve.

Church Leadership

Lay leader President of local UMM President of District UMM President of Conference UMM National board of UMM National prayer advocate Upper Room Prayer ministry.

District Responsibilities

District board of laity District president of UMM Mission in motion chair

Conference Responsibilities

President of UMM Conference board of laity.

Community Involvement

Local food pantry Chamber of Commerce

Occupation/Work

Sheriff department of West Feliciana


Dr. Sarah Kreutziger

Local Church Membership: Munholland United Methodist Church

District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

Isaiah's words: "Fear not, for I am with you" (41:10), echo through my call to be a delegate to the 2020 General Conference, just as they sustained me through the fire of the last two. God is preparing a new thing and I want to be part of His vision for a united and revived Movement that puts our Mission first. I offer my knowledge of all things United Methodist and my love of Christ as help in reaching that goal.

Church Leadership

Present: Church Council, Sunday school teacher, UMW, Historian, SMMunolland Scholarship (chair), Evangelism, Finance, and Nominations committees, delegate to Annual Conference: Past: Church Council (chair x2), SPRC (chair), Lay Leader, choir, COM (chair), St. Andrews's award for Evangelism

District Responsibilities

Present: District Board of Ordained Ministry, Cursillo (co-chair) Ultreya Rep, Past: Council of Finance & Administration (Secretary), Wesley Campus Ministries, DCOM, Committee on the District Superintendency (chair), Communications (chair), Nominations Committee, Delegate to Annual Conference

Conference Responsibilities

Conference: Conference Lay Leader (former) Conference Board of Laity, Daughenbaugh-Matheny Scholarship (chair), Extended Cabinet, Mission Cabinet, Wesley Board, Committee on the Episcopacy (Annual Conference and Jurisdictional Conferences), Cursillo Secretariat x2 and Rector (#55), Nominations Committee, FEMA Case Managers Grant (chair) Harry Denman Award for Evangelism. Delegate to General Conferences, (6) Delegate to World Methodist Conference (3) General Church: Foundation for Evangelism Trustee, Duke Board of Visitors, General Boards of Church and Society and Higher Education and Ministry

Community Involvement

Past president of six community organizations (PEO, Medical Alliances (State president)), Symphony Volunteers) plus on boards of ECHO, School Leadership Council, Odyssey House, and Raintree House.Worked six years in New Orleans Housing Development as part of HUD grant. Tulane University Volunteer of the Year Award for community service.

Occupation/Work

Associate Professor Emeritus Tulane Graduate School of Social Work. Specialized in Religion and Social Work with emphasis on female leadership in the United Methodist Church.


Mark Lubbock

Local Church Membership: Newsong
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

My heart is to serve, and to bring an open, loving perspective to the process

Church Leadership

Current LA Annual Conference President of UMM, Current Staff with the General Commission on United Methodist Men, former UMC Pastor for 15 years.

District Responsibilities

District UMM President

Conference Responsibilities

Board of Laity, UMM President

Community Involvement

Heavily invested in Racial Unity initiatives working with numerous Civic authorities and churches.

Occupation/Work

Full time ministry


Haylee Mayo

Local Church Membership: Faith United Methodist Church

District: Monroe

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I am a cradle Methodist who stands firm in my beliefs. However I am a calm observant person who wants to hear all sides of the discussion before looking for a solution. I have already researched and read on the issues that will be covered in general conference while closely following the special conference. I would be humbled for the opportunity to serve.

Church Leadership

Being from a small congregation , I generally help out with anything that is needed. Specifically I run the commutation department that includes social media , and outreach projects. I am also heavily involved in children's ministries which includes everything from Sunday school to VBS.

District Responsibilities

I am a District delegate at large to annual conference.

Conference Responsibilities

I am actively involved in the ULM Wesley Foundation.

Community Involvement

I am an active and faithful member of Faith UMC of West Monroe , the only college aged member. I have also been involved in community outreach programs through : Ulm Wesley , Faith UMC , Blackwater UMC, Grace UMC, and First united Methodist church of Monroe . I have chaperoned many of the youth trips and events for each of these churches and have had the pleasure of seeing these youth grow spiritually. We feed the needy every other Monday , this is one of my favorite outreach projects we do at Faith. ***** From Pastor Shelley Hill: Haylee's presence at Faith brings promise, hope and knowledge that the church is still alive to those under 30. She is intelligent and her work ethic is impeccable. She's smart enough to know what she doesn't know and isn't afraid to ask questions. There has never been a task that I've asked her to do that she hasn't happily stepped up to. She is humble and kind. She has compassion for everyone on either side of the issues facing the UMC today, both progressive and conservative. Haylee believes in one UMC; in her mind, there should be no division. She has faith that there is a way to work together toward our mission for Christ. She is not demanding or aggressive toward either side of the issues at hand and would be a delegate who would calmly listen before making assumptions of any issue. 

Occupation/Work

Student supervisor for University of Louisiana Monroe intramurals


Adam Philley

Local Church Membership: Broadmoor United Methodist Church

District: Shreveport

Why Do You Want To Serve?

One cannot deny that the recent decisions at the Special Called Session of General Conference have enlivened a desire for my voice to be heard. I am a young, gay man, and I have dedicated my life to serving the local church through music and worship leadership. Having been raised in an evangelical tradition, I came to the United Methodist Church while a student at Centenary College. I was drawn to United Methodism’s theology of grace and inclusion. Leaving an evangelical tradition, in which the theology was focused on exclusion, spurned me to delve deeper into my own theological studies, in an effort to greater understand my own beliefs. The outcome of the 2019 General Conference does not reflect the Wesleyan theology and heritage that I fell in love with as a college student. As a lay delegate from Louisiana, I will work to make sure there is a place for everyone at the table. I want to be a part of a church where people can hold different opinions and still work and serve together in the name of Jesus Christ. It is of paramount importance at this time in the life of our denomination that we have a diverse group of delegates representing our Annual Conference and I pray that I, a young, gay man can be a part of that group.

Church Leadership

As Director of Music Ministries at Broadmoor UMC, Shreveport I engage in a myriad of leadership roles. I direct the adult Chancel Choir weekly and coordinate and accompany the youth choir. I coordinate the Carillon Choir as well as maintain a strong relationship with Centenary College through an internship program for students in music ministry.

District Responsibilities

I have had the unique opportunity to help lead and coordinate district youth worship events as well as teach at a district-wide training on Creative Worship Planning.

Conference Responsibilities

I have been honored to serve on the Annual Conference Design Team for the past 5 years. Through that work, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with clergy and laity from across the conference and have been intimately involved in the inner workings of Annual Conference since 2014. Additionally, I served as the Music and Worship Coordinator for the six Listening Sessions hosted about the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.

Community Involvement

I am grateful to have many varied experiences in my local community. I am the director of the Prísma Vocal Ensemble, a community chamber vocal ensemble that often collaborates with the Shreveport Symphony. I have worked with the Shreveport Little Theatre and Academy for over 10 years music directing and teaching. I am a frequent accompanist for middle and high school choirs. I lead music weekly at B’nai Zion Temple, a Jewish Community, in Shreveport. I maintain a private voice and piano studio as well as teach on the collegiate level. These varied experiences shape my worldview and keep me in intimate relationship with the generation of tomorrow.

Occupation/Work

Director of Music Ministries, Broadmoor UMC, Shreveport, Adjunct Music Professor, Centenary College of Louisiana


 

Katrena Porter

Local Church Membership: FUMC Lafayette

District: Acadiana

Why Do You Want To Serve?

After being on GCSRW this quadrennium, I have been able to gain much insight into the General Conference process. I believe that serving as a lay delegate is a logical next step to my work with the UMC. As someone who is strongly entrenched in the life of the local church, I believe that becoming a lay delegate is a necessity to bring a variety of skills, knowledge, and experience to the Louisiana delegation.

Church Leadership

I help lead our youth group at FUMC Lafayette. I sit on our church’s transformation team and assist whenever I can.

District Responsibilities

I was an Acadiana District delegate last year. I also serve on the Uskichitto Retreat Center board.

Conference Responsibilities

I am a part of the Mission and Mercy team because of my role on GCSRW.

Community Involvement

I am a city planner for Lafayette Consolidated Government. My specific role is to focus on neighborhood building; I am involved in building community in the city of Lafayette. I am also on the Lafayette Habitat for Humanity Board.

Occupation/Work

City Planner; however, I also retain my license to practice law in Louisiana.
 


Olivia Pruett

Local Church Membership: First United Methodist Church Monroe

District: Monroe

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I have previously served on the delegation in 2012 and 2016 and I am currently the youngest member of the delegation. After much prayer and many conversations, I believe there is still work for me to do as a delegate. I have passion for our laity, our children, the United Methodist church, and the ministry we have left to do, because I believe God is not done with the people called United Methodist. I also believe the laity have the responsibility of leading our church alongside our pastors. I am called to ministry as laity in the local church, and I believe most ministry happens in the local church. I also know that General Conference helps direct how the local church will do ministry. I feel called to help give voice and direction for the future of our church through the Louisiana delegation. I thank you for your vote and chance to serve the people of Louisiana.

Church Leadership

I currently serve as Director of Spiritual formation and Children's Ministry. My responsibilities include all children's activities, Sunday school, family ministry, Bible studies, and prayer ministries. I enjoy volunteering with our youth group throughout the year. My favorite ministry within the local church is working with our 4, 5, 6th graders in our Bridge ministry. This age has such a passion for learning about God and their faith through hands on activities. I also enjoy leading a women's Bible study. Previously I served in youth ministry for 10 years.

District Responsibilities

I am excited to serve as the director for Monroe and Shreveport district's Camp Caney Pre-Camp this summer. For the past two summers I have served as an adult counselor for pre-camp and elementary camp at Camp Caney. At the district level I have served as Daughenbaugh-Matheny Scholarship coordinator, District Youth coordinator, and on the District Board of Laity for the Lake Charles and Monroe Districts.

Conference Responsibilities

I currently serve on the conference committee on the Episcopacy and the Board of Laity. I was a delegate to Jurisdictional conference in 2016 and a delegate to General Conference in 2012. Previously I have served on the Conference Council on Youth Ministries and the conference Board of Church and Society. I have been a delegate to Annual conference for over 10 years.

Community Involvement

Outside of my work in the local church I am involved in the local retreat ministry for women. I enjoy seeing how the retreats transform the lives of those involved, by deepening their relationship with Christ. I am also involved in helping with the revitalization of downtown West Monroe.

Occupation/Work

Director of Spiritual Formation and Children's Ministry at First United Methodist Monroe


Jennifer Swann

Local Church Membership: University United Methodist Church

District: Lake Charles

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I have a great love and appreciation for the United Methodist church and for the deep faith it is still teaching me, rooted both in head and heart. It is the church of my family and has been for at least four generations. There are a lot of places in my profession or community I could serve or volunteer, but I choose the church out of gratitude for all it has been for me, and because I need the church to help me pass this faith to my children ages 11, 9, and 6. I want to serve as a delegate because, whatever happens in 2020, I am still going to need the church. I do not yet know what it will be, but I am hopeful for a fair solution that honors the Kingdom work of all of the people who call themselves United Methodists.

Church Leadership

Co-Lay Leader 2017 Lay Leader 2014-2016 Lay Delegate to Annual Conference 2012 and 2013 Sunday School and Small Group Leader, 2007- present Vision Team Member (Unstuck) 2017-2018 Leadership Action Team Head (Unstuck) 2017-2018 Preferred Future Team Member (Shifts) 2013-2016 Church Mission Task Force Member (Rekindling the Vision) 2011-2013 Cursillo Community, 2011-present

District Responsibilities

Lake Charles District Lay Leader 2016-present Lake Charles District Ministry Team 2012-2016 Polity Lay Servant Class Leader, 2017

Conference Responsibilities

Vice Chair Conference Board of Laity 2016- present Observer of General Conference 2019 (unofficial) Certified Lay Servant, 2017

Community Involvement

Big Brother/Big Sister “Big Sister of the Year” 2016 Big Brother/Big Sister SW La Reading Readiness Volunteer 2013-2018 Southwest Louisiana Title Examiners Roundtable Member Southwest Louisiana Bar Association Women’s Section Member Fresh Start Initiative, Lake Charles Volunteer 2016 Order of the Coif

Occupation/Work

Attorney, 2005-present


Deborah Todd

Local Church Membership: First United Methodist Baton Rouge
District: Baton Rouge

Why Do You Want To Serve?

In 2012 I felt called to Disciple Bible study and to be more involved in my Congregation and Louisiana Conference after years of just sitting in the pew. God has asked me to step forward and offer myself and time to the Church in a greater capacity. I watched for 20 years as the same people attended Conference, made all the decisions and essentially left the rest of the congregation in the dark, That has to change.

Church Leadership

Church Council, Missions and Outreach, HYPE (Helping Youth Prepare For Excellence) Founding Member and current board member.

Conference Responsibilities

I have been a Louisiana Conference delegate and will be again in 2019

Community Involvement

I have been involved on Fine arts boards including the Baton Rouge Symphony and Opera Louisiane for many years.

Occupation/Work

Advertising


Margaret Washington

Local Church Membership: First Grace United Methodist Church

District: New Orleans

Why Do You Want To Serve?

I love and believe in the United Methodist Church. I sincerely believe that I am an objective individual who can faithfully represent the congregants of my church, the district and our conference.

Church Leadership

I currently serve as Lay leader of my church and as president of the United Methodist Women’s Unit of our church. I am a member of the Staff Parish Committee, the Administrative Council, the choir and a group leader for one of our membership groups. I have served a lay delegate to the LA Annual Conference for 10 years. I’m not just a member but an active participant in a variety of church activities.

Conference Responsibilities

No. Only as our church Lay delegate.

Community Involvement

I am a active volunteer with AARP Taxaide for 9 years. I volunteer with the St. Jude Research Phonathon, Additionally, I am a volunteer at Dillard University and its College of Nursing and serve as a mentor to several nursing students. I am the current treasurer of the Greater New Orleans Dillard University Alumni Chapter. I’m the president emeritus of the Dillard University Professional Organization of Nurses. I am a life member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc, a public service sorority, a past president of the local chapter and I participate in the chapter’s volunteer activities.

Occupation/Work

Retired from professional career but available for volunteer work.