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Leslie grew up in Danville, KY and moved to Louisville after college. She has lived here over twenty years, mostly in Oldham County. Leslie found her love for God and God’s love for her at Aldersgate Camp and in youth group growing up. Her call to ministry began in college and she has served as a youth minister and pastoral care minister. She was a teacher for many years before becoming a local pastor and returning to seminary to complete her Masters in Divinity.
The greatest desire in Leslie’s ministry to to help people discover God’s deep love for them and the unique gifts God has given them to help serve the church and the world. Leslie’s greatest passion as a minister is helping people know and understand God’s infinite, amazing, healing love for them and helping them to understand and materialize this love. Her personal passion is being a mother to her daughters, Ella and Carrie. She says being their mom is her greatest joy.
When Leslie is not working you can likely find her hanging out with her daughters, hiking, camping, being outdoors, and enjoying nature or cheering on her girls at a horse show. If you want to stay on Leslie’s good side you better remember to refill the ice cube tray! It’s her #1 pet peeve! She says, “It seems obsolete now of days, but not with my cheap refrigerator! Nothing like going for a nice cold glass of tea and finding no ice cubes! If you love someone, fill up the ice trays after you use them!”
Jennifer grew up in Spencer County, KY and graduated from Spencer County High School in 1994 – GO Bears! “Once a Bear always a Bear”. After graduation she took a job working with children in a child care center and began volunteering at her church helping with Sunday School classes and Vacation Bible School. Jennifer loves the Christian environment and that is how she was led to the Middletown United Methodist Child Development Center in 1999.
Jennifer is most passionate about helping children find their passions. She says that all of us are given gifts to use in ministering to others and not to keep these talents hidden as they greatly impact and benefit others.
When she is not at work you can find Jennifer spending time with her family. She has been married since October of 1994 and has two wonderful boys, Clay (2001) and Zack (2005). They love baseball! Her family attends Wakefield Baptist Church in Taylorsville, Kentucky where her husband is Deacon of the church.
“Do not neglect the gift that is in you.” 1 Timothy 4:14
Dr. Sandra C. Gray is in her 12th year as Asbury University’s president. She has faithfully served the institution for 30 years — as business professor, business department chair, provost and president. She is finishing her last academic year at the helm, currently leading the largest campaign ($63 million) in Asbury’s history. Under her strategic leadership, Asbury has experienced significant growth and advancement.
Gray is a native Kentuckian and University of Kentucky alumna, where she earned her MBA and Ph.D. She served in banking and finance for many years before being called to Asbury. Gray and her husband, Ken (an architect), reside in Nicholasville, Ky., and are active members of Centenary United Methodist Church. With deep convictions of the importance of the local church, her involvements at Centenary have been extensive, from teaching Sunday school to serving in many leadership roles over the past 35 years.
A 35-year member of the United Methodist Church, Gray is thankful to the UMC for cultivating a heart for the things of God and a deep yearning for God’s Truth to prevail in all circumstances. It was at her local UM church where she first encountered the power of His Word and presence of His Holy Spirit. She remains committed to orthodox teachings of the UMC and fully supports the connectional life of the UMC. The Book of Disciple has appropriately guided the UMC with faithfulness to historic Christian teachings while remaining relevant.
The intensity of cultural divides within today’s nation and world, especially around issues of Truth and identity, are a clarion call for God’s people to remain steadfast as His image bearers. This may very well be the most compelling opportunity for the UMC since John Wesley’s day — if she remains faithful — to point others to the power of the cross.
Jane Ryan was born in Glasgow, Kentucky but has lived in Louisville for 70 plus years. She worked at UofL NROTC for many years before becoming a stay at home mother when her daughter was born.
In 1980 she was blessed when she desperately needed a job. The minister at her church, Aldersgate UMC, spoke to the Louisville Conference Treasurer who needed a new secretary – she was hired. Jane worked for the Louisville Conference for 16 years before it was merged with the Kentucky Conference and became the Kentucky Annual Conference in 1996. She worked in the Conference Treasurers Office for 30 years and retired in 2010. She worked with 6 Treasurers and 6 Bishops over the years and was given a chance for a part-time job at Middletown UMC doing financial work.
She says the opportunity to continue serving the Lord like he had prepared me to do for so many years seemed like a good opportunity. It is amazing how the Lord works. Her goal in life was to be an Airline Stewardess and travel the world. But the Lord had other ideas for Jane. She met a wonderful man, got married and has served the Lord in many capacities over the years.
Lynelle Flora was a “Navy Brat” and had the opportunity to move around quite a bit. She came to Kentucky by way of: Pittsburgh to Rhode Island to Cuba to Maine, and back to Pittsburgh after college. She finally landed in Kentucky in 2014 when her previous job in logistics relocated her to Eminence, Kentucky.
Her grandfather is a retired Methodist Pastor and her mother has been the Minister of Music in a Methodist Church as long as she can remember. She has grown up with church as the center of her life and very happy to be part of the work here at MUMC.
Professionally and personally, Lynelle is most passionate about the church. She sites “Hymn #558 – We Are The Church,” and says if you have not sung/read this hymn, you should! She says God’s people are absolutely amazing. She gets very emotional seeing individuals with their unique gifts and personalities coming together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Lynelle prefers to be outdoors – going on walks, riding bikes, kayaking, camping and taking road trips just about anywhere. Her german shepherd, Mable, goes on every adventure. If she could be any fictional character she would choose Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Polifax. Emily Polifax is an elderly lady who sought more meaning for her life and accidentally became a CIA spy. She is an unassuming and hilarious woman who is full of wonder and relishes in wacky adventures.
Jennie Pepoon’s first home was in Centerfield, Kentucky in Oldham County. Her parents were serving at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church. From the beginning, the church has played a significant role in her life.
As the pastor’s kid, Jennie was often asked to sit in committees and councils as the youth representative. So from early on, she learned about the United Methodist Church from the inside-knowledge that later would be a blessing in my career.
It didn’t take long in college for her to figure out that the medical field was not for her. So, she switched to business and found a better fit. Just as she began to contribute to the working world, Jennie met her future husband, Dale, at a church potluck dinner.
Following graduation, Dale took an IT position in Florida where eventually their son, Josh, was born. Her next move took them to Indiana and she began working for their church as their financial secretary. That is when Jennie discovered her ‘perfect fit’! All of the church knowledge that she had acquired through the years was an asset every day. In addition to Indiana, Jennie has served churches in Ohio and Virginia. Throughout her career, she has personally witnessed God’s faithfulness. When she was offered the position at Middletown UMC, it was an answer to her prayer.
Trent is originally from northeast Indiana and got to Kentucky by way of Atlanta, GA. After graduating from college at Huntington University, he attended seminary at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. While in Atlanta he co-founded a new United Methodist Church called Eastside Church and spent 4 years as the Assistant Pastor of Worship and Discipleship. Trent met his wife Katie at the church plant, they worked together for two years and they joke that their first real argument was over Advent readings. Katie is also an ordained elder in the Kentucky Conference and in 2015 they moved to Kentucky to pastor churches here. Katie is serving as the head pastor of Buechel UMC.
Professionally, Trent is passionate about church being a welcoming and inclusive space, especially for young people. He gets excited when those who have felt disconnected or unwelcome in church find a place of welcome. Personally, he’s passionate about his family, the Indianapolis Colts, running, and camping!
When Trent’s not working, he enjoys spending time with Katie, running or hiking at the Parklands, exploring different parts of Louisville, playing piano, camping, gardening, or playing with their dog Wendell.
Gary grew up on a dairy farm near Edmonton, Kentucky. He entered the pastoral ministry from Beaumont UMC. He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Psychology and Religious Studies. Gary has a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.
God’s call on Gary’s life led him to pursue ordination in The United Methodist church. Gary took his first appointment in 1984 and has served a variety of congregations; rural, urban, and suburban. His congregations include Scottsville Circuit UMC in Scottsville, KY; State Street UMC (Associate) in Bowling Green, Ky; Epiphany UMC in Louisville, KY; Florence First UMC in Florence, Ky; St. Paul UMC in Louisville, Ky; and District Superintendent of the Heartland District.
Gary is most passionate about the church being open to everyone regardless of their station in life. His passion also extends to accepting people where they are and being patient with them as they discover Christ. The church’s job is not to push or pull people, but rather journey with them at their pace.
When Gary isn’t working, you’re likely to find him spending time with his family; his wife Tammy, their two sons Kyle and Caleb, and their two grandchildren Ryder and Anastasia. If he is not with family, he will be playing golf or attending a sporting event. Please don’t ever try to get on an elevator when Gary is trying to get off, this is his greatest pet peeve.
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My name is Adam McCormick, I am 42 years old and have been a member of Cairo United Methodist Church my entire life and make the fourth generation United Methodist at Cairo.
Currently, I am blessed to serve as our Sunday School Superintendent, the Sunday school teacher for the high school students and serve on several boards at my church. God has blessed me beyond measure in my home life, as well with a church family that also models the Wesleyan tradition.
I have been married to the love of my life for 20 years and we have three beautiful daughters ages 18, 15, 12. Our oldest daughter is currently a freshman at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, KY.
I have always had a relationship with our Lord but in the past four or five years, I have experienced the renewal of the Holy Spirit in my life. This led me to a much closer personal relationship with God and also has me seeking ways to serve, thus here I am.
I believe that God’s Word as revealed in the Holy Bible should be the main consideration in every decision we make that pertains to the future direction of the United Methodist Church. If chosen as a delegate to the General Conference 2020, I would use the scale of the Holy Bible by which I measure every decision brought before us; along with prayer and fellowship of every United Methodist member that I represent.
I have been a member of Coke Memorial United Methodist Church for over 27 years. I am married to Taft Thompson, Jr., a lifelong United Methodist. I earned a B.A. degree at Murray State University and a Master’s degree from Western Kentucky University. I have done post graduate work at the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University in Administration. I taught in the public school system for over 30 years. I currently serve at my local church as Administrative Council Chairman and Lay Leader and on the Episcopacy Committee and District Committee on Ordained Ministry. I was a recipient of the Ecumenism Award.
I would be honored to serve as delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020. Having served as delegate in prior years, I am committed and strengthened to continue the mission of our denomination. As the focus of the 2019 special called General Conference was centered around the work of the Commission on the Way Forward and the vote on the Traditional Plan, One Church Plan and Connectional Plan, I saw the passion and commitment to our church from United Methodists all over the world. I believe that every individual is of sacred worth, loved by God and should be welcomed into our church.
Our denomination should reflect biblical teachings and stand on the Word of God. Our Book of Discipline has been our guide. The delegates at General Conference voted in favor of the Traditional Plan. As other legislation is sure to come before the body in 2020, as delegate, I would pray for discernment and the leading of the Holy Spirit in all of my deliberations and decisions on issues that come before us. Our denomination must come together in unity and be prepared to transition our church into the future.
I have been fortunate to experience Methodism across our Commonwealth in all sizes of churches and communities. I see the strength of our connectional system as it supports congregations, allowing them to make strong Christian statements as they minister to those near and far.
There will be much to be decided at General Conference 2020. Pension and Health Benefits, Social Principles, candidacy process for ministry, lay/minister partnerships, apportionments, budget, and ministering in a global world. I continue to believe our beloved United Methodist Church is one of Open Hearts, Open Minds, & Open Doors. Our People are making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.
I would be honored to represent the Kentucky United Methodist, during this time in the life of our denomination.
I have been a United Methodist since 1974 and a member of Christ United Methodist Church since 1978. I have been blessed to serve in several leadership roles within the church, including Church Council Chair, Finance Chair, Lay Leader and delegate to Annual Conference. I currently serve as the Chair of the South Central District Trustees and on the WKU Wesley Foundation board. I am a graduate of Western Kentucky University and retired from Fruit of the Loom after 37 years working in Information Technology. My wife and I have lived in the Plano community in Warren County for the past 40 years.
I present myself as a delegate to the 2020 General Conference for several reasons. I believe my life experience and my involvement in the church qualifies me to be a delegate. I believe the Kentucky Annual Conference delegation to General Conference should include delegates from all the districts in the conference.
I am generally conservative and consider myself to be orthodox with regard to scripture and church tradition. This, together with my Christian experience and understanding of the church and secular culture, leads me to believe the current language in the Discipline regarding human sexuality is the correct teaching.
I believe the connectional nature of our church requires that we agree on the major parts of our theology as well as how the church exists within society. Decisions must be made during the 2020 General Conference to ensure the Discipline is honored and its provisions enforced across the entire church.
As a delegate to General Conference I will be respectful to everyone and remain true to the way God leads me.
General Conference 2012, 2016, 2019 Jurisdictional Conference 2008, 2012, 2016 Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders SEJ Lay Leaders Association UMVIM team leader to Central America, South America and East Africa UMVIM projects on the local, state, national and international levels. Ruggles Methodist Camp, Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, Boy Scouts Senior Citizen ministries, Recovery Ministries Previously served SEJ Committee on Coordination and Accountability Previous Chair of Maysville Community & Technical College Foundation Board Northeastern KY ReEntry Council, Jail Ministry “Inside Out Dads”
I am a youth Sunday school teacher, for over thirty years and coached youth football for over twenty years. Our family is blessed to be active in United Methodist Churches in Kentucky, Ohio and Alabama. The Special General Conference has revived the Denham family and our church families to honor our faith and grow our faith to answer God’s call to reach others for Christ. I am thankful that our children and future generations are seeking deeper connection in the church and a deep desire to become disciples. If elected as your lay delegate, I will prayerfully and thoughtfully consider all petitions and support the principles and beliefs of the United Methodist Church.
I am a “cradle Methodist”, nurtured in the Wesleyan faith since infancy. During my formative years, God’s grace led me to profess my faith and be baptized into the Methodist church. The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” describes the God I worship and praise, who has not changed or wavered in compassion, mercy and grace during the ups and downs of my life.
I graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Western Kentucky University with majors in elementary education and school administration. My 34-year career as teacher and school principal taught me to identify persons’ strengths, help meet their needs, and appreciate individual differences. While working with a variety of students, families, faculty and staff, I learned to listen carefully and try to understand others before seeking to be understood. I believe all persons are of sacred worth and should be treated with respect. Sometimes that requires speaking difficult truth with love.
God has blessed me with many opportunities to serve in the United Methodist Church. My husband and I attend Morgantown United Methodist Church, where I teach Sunday school, lead music, serve on several committees and on the Morgantown Mission board of directors. I am a United Methodist Women local president and district secretary. As Owensboro District Lay Leader, I serve on the district Committee on Ordained Ministry and Owensboro Operational Team. I am a Lay Speaker, help facilitate district L.A.C.E. classes, serve on the conference Board of Lay Ministry and have attended numerous annual conferences as a delegate. I completed Lombard Peace Center’s Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders.
I hold a traditional view of scripture as described in the Book of Discipline and feel called to serve as a GC2020 delegate. If selected, I will prayerfully consider the work and always seek God’s guidance.
I was raised at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church in Owensboro where I participated in the choirs and youth groups. Upon graduation from Memphis University I served for six years as an education and youth director in Texas and Tennessee at two United Methodist churches. I have been married for 39 years to Michael Canada, a retired elder in the Kentucky Conference; we have three grown children and two grandchildren. We have lived in Kentucky since 1969 serving at churches in Burkesville, Maysville, Hawesville, and presently we are at Mt. Lebanon UMC in Nicholasville. I helped co-dean a Jr. High camp for 10 years at Loucon.
I am active in my local United Methodist Women’s unit and I am serving as the Spiritual Growth coordinator for the Lexington District UMW. I have written, illustrated, and published a children’s book. Also I have several published articles.
I would consider it a privilege to participate as a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. These are critical times for the United Methodist church to move ahead. We need to focus on our relationship with our creator God and how we can reach the world through the power of His love. I support the Traditional Plan. My prayer is that our denomination will continue to stand for truth, righteousness, and justice. My life scripture comes from Hosea 10:12: “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”
My name is Maggie Mae Hoffman. I am a 20 year old math education major at WKU. I was born and raised in the United Methodist Church and have been blessed to be a part of churches all across the Kentucky Conference. Currently, I am a member of Hindman UMC and an associate member of Faith UMC in Bowling Green. In addition, I serve on the Leadership Team at the WKU Wesley Foundation. I have served as a delegate to Annual Conference several times. For six years I served at Hindman UMC on the Administrative Council as the youth representative. For the past two summers, I was a Counselor at Camp Loucon. This summer, I am very excited to be interning with the Isaiah Project. It would be an honor to serve the Kentucky Conference as a delegate to General Conference.
The United Methodist Church has largely shaped who I am. I love our Church. As the future of our Church is uncertain I want to help shape the way forward. During the Special General Conference my generation was reduced to one voice. We do not speak with one voice and are not of one mind on the issue of human sexuality. I am a traditionalist because though I have searched, I have found no convincing explanation of the scriptures to the contrary. I believe the Bible is also clear that we are to love everyone and our current church battles are not loving. It broke my heart to watch the special General Conference. This issue has consumed our time, money, and resources to bring us only more uncertainty. If elected, I would support a mutually prepared amicable separation. It is time we all move forward to focus on loving God and loving people.
I am a proud United Methodist who was raised in the United Methodist Church. I will be graduating from Lindsey Wilson College in May 2019. I have been active in the church since I was a young child helping with children’s church and have continued to be active through my college years. I currently lead a young adult group at Alexandria UMC and am very involved with the Lindsey Wilson College Christian Ministries program on campus. One day, I am hoping to become a medical missionary, bringing healthcare to those who need it most while sharing about the Ultimate Physician.
One thing, I love about the United Methodist Church is the connection we have all across the world. This partnership allowed me to serve for two months in Nicaragua as a Global Justice Volunteer, an opportunity out of the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. I believe the connectional life of the church allows us to truly live out the call in Matthew to go into all nations. This connection also permits us to be in communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe. We are able to spur each other on, celebrate in our successes, and support each other in our weaknesses.
I believe the church is called to welcome people from all walks of life while holding true to biblical orthodoxy. As a denomination, our discipline should continue to hold up the Gospel in its entirety. Together, we form a family of believers. A group united by a belief in a common mission, share a vision, and hold similar core values. As a denomination, we are then a part of an even larger family, the body of Christ, which crosses denominational lines.
I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. I am a graduate of Asbury College with a BA in History, Secondary Education and a minor in accounting and have a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky. My business background includes 20 years in the banking industry in banks ranging from a small community bank to a large, super regional bank. I served as the treasurer and director of administrative services for nearly ten year for the Kentucky Annual Conference. I am currently serving the St. Matthews United Methodist Church as its administrator and financial secretary.
I have been a lifelong Methodist and am currently a member of the Shelbyville Centenary UMC. I was also a member of Lawrenceburg UMC, St. Luke UMC, and Lexington Aldersgate UMC and served in various positions including chair of the church council, chair of the finance committee, lay leader, board of trustees, treasurer, and staff parish relations committee.
It would be an honor to serve the Kentucky Annual Conference as a delegate to the general and jurisdictional conferences. I believe that holding the general and jurisdictional conferences to be fiscally responsible is a high priority. There will be matters coming to General Conference that will have tremendous financial implications for years to come and I believe that I have the understanding in these issues to be a strong resource for the delegates to the conferences. These matters will affect the ministry of the conference and of local churches. As a member of the board of the United Methodist Publishing House, I can also support both the board and the annual conference in matters relating to the discipleship at the general conference.
I was raised in a Christian family where my grandfather was pastor, my aunt played the organ and my uncle was choir director. The rest of my family either sang in the choir or taught Sunday school. I met my wife at her home church and was introduced to the Wesleyan theology of prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. Everything about John Wesley and the formation of the Methodist movement strongly resonated with me. My family joined the United Methodist Church in 1978 and have been United Methodists ever since.
In regards to my faith, I believe that God’s grace and love are available to all. I believe we are called to love God and love others in all we do. I believe we are all called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As a delegate, I covenant with you: 1) to uphold the discipline that is aligned with scripture and binds us together as United Methodists; 2) to seek to listen and understand as opposed to be understood; 3) to speak with love and carefully choose my words to be respectful of all; 4) to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading through reason, scripture and tradition; and 5) to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference with dignity, grace and respect as a steward of your trust.
My family tree is full of Evangelical, EUB, UMC and Mennonite pastors; also family members fiercely in defense of both sides of the current debate on human sexuality. The future of our denomination is therefore of profound concern to me. Thus I’m asking for your support to be a 2020 General Conference Lay Delegate.
I am so grateful and proud to be part of a global denomination that invested the time and resources necessary to bring our UMC brothers and sisters from around the world together in St. Louis to meet, discuss, pray and decide what’s best in regards to human sexuality going forward. Now that the decision is made the time has come for those on both sides of the debate to make peace with one another and a clean break from one another (if and where necessary) with genuine mutual expressions of God’s love, good will and best wishes for each other’s future.
I fully support the global decision of the recent special General Conference to remain a Traditional Church; and I fully support the most gracious and generous exit plan possible for those who do not agree. Both sides must now make the appropriate concessions and provisions to make this dignified dual vision a reality. And the sooner the better so as not to destroy further what credible witness of God’s love both sides have sincerely tried to offer our lost and dying world so desperate to know our Savior!
It is my honor to be a part of the Kentucky Annual Conference and serve as an ordained elder in the many ministries of our conference. I currently serve as the Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Affairs at Asbury University, Wilmore, KY. As a lifelong Methodist I am committed to help the church do the hard work of living a life of faith in the market place, resulting in making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Our denomination faces pragmatic challenges and opportunities that need us to think biblically and respond culturally. The complex issues before us impact individual lives, and our denomination as a body of believers and as a religious organization. In its current form the Social Principles are consistent with biblical understandings. They help inform the work of the church in our society and in the world. If given the opportunity to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference, I will work to cultivate and develop a culturally competent Christ centered mission.
My name is Michael Sweeney, and I currently serve as the pastor of Cairo UMC in Henderson, KY. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Finance and from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. I have had the honor and the privilege to serve in many different ministries throughout the conference including: Ida Spence Mission, Micah Mission, Owensboro District Operational Team, Winter Blitz and Aldersgate Camp. Currently, I serve on the Camp and Retreat Ministries Team, Henderson Methodist Hospital Board as the secretary of the board, Aldersgate Camp Committee, and I co-lead the Winter Blitz Team.
I have been a lifelong Methodist, and I received my call to ministry at Aldersgate Camp. I am honored to have been ordained in this conference, where I have covenanted to serve with my sisters and brothers through the ministries of Word, Order, Sacrament, and Service. I believe in the primacy and the authority of God’s Holy Word, and I also believe that the Book of Discipline is in line with scripture.
If I am elected as a delegate, I plan to prayerfully represent the Kentucky Conference and honor the covenants that we have made together. There is a lot of uncertainty around the future of the United Methodist Church, but I know that God is not done with the church yet because the Triune God has already secured the future.
My name is Matt Seel and I have served as an ordained Elder since 2011. I am currently serving as the Pastor of Petrie Memorial UMC in the Pennyrile District. I have served on the Conference ANOW Team since 2013 and am currently serving as the chair. I served as the Conference Outreach Chair from 2016 to 2018. At the District level I have served on the District Operational Teams in both the Lexington and Pennyrile Districts. I also served on the Lexington dCOM from 2012-2016.
I have covenanted to serve alongside my fellow clergy through Word, Sacrament, Order and Service. To that end, I believe and teach that the Bible is God’s Word and the primary way the Holy Spirit speaks to humanity. I believe the Word is best understood through the lens of tradition, experience and reason, with Scripture being our primary authority. I believe and uphold the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism as means of God’s grace open to all persons. I believe the Book of Discipline to be in harmony with the Scriptures and I will continue to uphold that as I covenanted with you to do upon my ordination. I believe our service in the church stems from our love of God and neighbor as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As a delegate my goals would be to continue to uphold the covenant that connects us all as United Methodists. I will seek to understand rather than to be understood and I will continue to listen to God’s leading as he reveals himself through Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. I will seek to represent the Kentucky Annual Conference graciously as a steward of your trust.
Although I was raised by Christian parents and professed faith myself at a young age, I did not become part of the UMC until I was well into adulthood. I was drawn by Wesleyan theology, with its emphasis on grace, the fullness of salvation, and the call to holy living.
I enjoyed two careers (nursing and business) before entering seminary at Louisville Presbyterian, where I graduated in 2005. I was subsequently commissioned a provisional elder in 2006 and fully ordained in 2009. My first appointment (2006-2014) was as Associate Pastor to Christ Church in Louisville. Since 2014 I have been serving Harned/Horsley Chapel in Breckinridge County.
What can I offer as a potential delegate to GC2020? The years of nursing taught me to relate to a wide variety of people, to be observant of what was happening around me, to make accurate assessments, and to maintain a calm and non-anxious demeanor in the middle of very stressful situations. Running the family business following the untimely death of my father meant not only taking charge of day to day operations, but also managing a staff of about 20, some of whom had worked for our family since I was a preschooler. In both situations I learned the importance of both listening and making the tough decisions. The years of seminary and ministry have sharpened my theological thinking, and I have maintained (even grown!) a love for Scripture.
My approach to Scripture and social issues is quite orthodox. GC2020 will doubtless offer challenges and items for decision that are yet unknown. If I have the honor of serving as a delegate, I aim to approach those matters humbly, prayerfully, and on the foundation of our historic Wesleyan way.
Since I became a Christian in college, the UMC has been my beloved spiritual home. I’ve served in pastoral ministry for 33 years – 26 years in Kentucky. I’m a graduate of Duke Divinity School (M.Div) and Asbury Seminary (D. Min).
I prefer to work in the local church, however, the current crisis compels me to attempt to serve as a GC delegate to try to help if possible. I support our Discipline’s current positions on human sexuality, marriage, and ordination. While still imperfect, they balance grace and truth and offer a welcome to all persons without affirming behaviors or beliefs contrary to Scripture. However, maintaining these positions will not create unity because our crisis is more complex. This presenting issue reveals deeper divisions on issues such as: the authority and interpretation of Scripture; the validity of basic Christian doctrines; the authority of our Book of Discipline and General Conference governance; and respect for our global church. I sadly conclude that the progressive and conservative wings of our church can no longer coexist within the same denomination as it now exists. Many of our differences are deeply held moral convictions and further concession would require a compromise of conscience or a kind of rebellion against our view of God’s will. Our “big tent” cannot be stretched any further without collapsing or becoming a ridiculous parody of church unity.
I don’t wish to see a future where one side destroys the other (or both perish) or where people are forced to scatter or resort to lawsuits. I believe it is time to carefully consider ways to live in peace on very different paths. See Acts 5:38-39. I hope amicable separation will become a viable option, however, short of that I will work to maintain our current position if elected.
It is my honor and joy to be in ministry in the Kentucky Annual Conference. As a pastor and now as the District Superintendent of the Pennyrile District I have been privileged to be in ministry on the local church, district, and conference levels. I have a great love for the United Methodist Church, the people called Methodist, its mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” and the Lord our church serves.
Following the traumatic experience of the 2019 General Conference, it is now time for the UMC to focus. We must first focus on our theological heritage found in the doctrinal standards of the church and the sermons of John Wesley. What should hold the church together is a shared theology and a shared mission and not shared institutionalism. I believe our theological heritage supports the church’s current position on human sexuality. Also, I think that it will help us to be loving and compassionate as we all move on to perfection. Commitment to our theological heritage will also help us to live faithfully into the covenant and promises that we make both individually and collectively.
We also need to focus on the mission of the church, shifting away from being an institution towards being a movement. This means shifting resources towards those most effectively living out the mission of the church. It also means a change in thinking away from being U.S. centric to being a movement that has a global impact.
I would be honored to represent the United Methodists of Kentucky at the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences as we work to live into the mission of our church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
My name is Andrew Singh and I am currently serving at Erlanger United Methodist Church in Erlanger, Kentucky since June of 2018. I grew up in India and attended Methodist Churches where my parents served as Pastors for over 20 years. I consider myself a product of American Methodist Missionaries who came to India many generations ago to sow the seeds of the Gospel. I am a fruit of their labor. God brought me to the United States at the age of sixteen to pursue my senior year of high school in a small town of Neodesha, Kansas. Rev. Carl and Sandra Ellis who were serving as Pastors of Neodesha United Methodist Church at that time opened their hearts, home and saw in me the call to ministry. They discipled and helped me to explore my call at Southwestern College, a United Methodist College in Winfield, Kansas. After graduating from Southwestern, I attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. At Southwestern College and Asbury Seminary, God expanded my vision and love for the Global church though meeting and developing friendships with Christians from all over the world.
I have served as a pastor in the Kentucky Annual Conference for almost 15 years serving as a Pastor at Wesley Meadows UMC (2004-2011) and Levelwoods UMC (2009-2011) charge and as an associate pastor at Georgetown First UMC (2011-2018) in Bluegrass District. I would love the opportunity to serve as a delegate from the Kentucky Annual Conference because I greatly believe in the mission, vision and future of our United Methodist Church. My humble prayer as a young adult Clergy person is to be an instrument of revival and continue to be in covenant with my Kentucky Conference family in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
After much prayer and discernment, I respectfully submit my name for consideration as a delegate to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. This is indeed a time of great stress upon the life and ministry of our church. We can only pray that God is leading us through this time of uncertainty.
Having been a delegate to the 2016 General Conference as well as to the Special Session in 2019, I am well-positioned to continue the dialogue that marked those two conferences. In many ways, the 2020 General Conference will be an extension of both. If elected, you can count on me to faithfully and prayerfully dispatch the duties of a delegate. I will keep a level head, an open heart, and a listening ear, all the while operating from a more orthodox base. I will also seek to lend my experience as a delegate to the past seven General Conferences to the new delegation that will soon form.
Aside from the many things we face regarding human sexuality, I feel that my 38 years as a pastor of local churches positions me well to better understand those things dealing with local church ministry. Through the years I have consistently voted with local church ministry in mind.
Being the Chairperson of our Board of Pensions and Health Benefits fits me well to consider the upcoming pension legislation recommended by Wespath. Having been Chairperson of our Board of Ordained Ministry fits me well to consider any ministry issues that might arise.
My experience as Chairperson of the Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees fits me well to consider any issues related to higher education. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of me and others who might be called upon to serve in this way.
I am passionate about the United Methodist Church being vital and true to the Great Commission. Our vision, “Make Disciples for Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World” is right and good. Because this is one of the tensest times in the history of our denomination, our focus needs to be recaptured. One of the ways this can happen is by supporting the decision of our 2019 General Conference to hold to scriptural authority on human sexuality. I do not support redefining marriage and the ordination of practicing LGBTQ+ clergy. This would further plunge our church into decline.
I will represent Kentucky by praying, listening, holding to orthodoxy and voting in alignment with our current Book of Discipline and our Wesleyan theology and doctrine. My time as a pastor and DS with small, medium and large congregations has helped me to grow in my desire to see vitality in the local church. I also have experience with districts and Annual Conferences beyond Kentucky and an understanding and appreciation of the issues facing the UMC across our connection.
As a lifelong UMC member I have a deep commitment to the church. I am blessed to have served as a local pastor, a DS, and as a General Conference delegate twice. I am committed to the current statements on human sexuality, marriage and ordination in the Discipline, because I believe they are compassionate and biblically sustainable. As the proud father of a gay son, I am deeply moved by the emotions of this issue. I am absolutely convinced the church must welcome all persons. I am also convinced that the truths our Discipline upholds were true long before either my son or I arrived and will be true long after both of us are gone.
I am also committed to our UMC being a global church, not only in financial assistance and deed but in heart-felt trust and respect. The voice of the international church must never be taken for granted nor quieted. To discount it, or ask it to abstain, is to desecrate the graves of countless missionaries, our forebears, who went at great cost and sacrifice to share the Gospel message.
I believe it is only right to allow a local church to separate itself from the denomination, upon showing conscientious objection with the Discipline and meeting appropriate financial responsibilities in terms of retirement and perhaps other responsibilities, with their assets and properties intact. Finding a way to do that that is amicable and respectful, may be our greatest witness of love to the world for years to come. Forced love is not love. Forced unity is not unity.
As a delegate from Kentucky, I will faithfully represent the Annual Conference in matters of legislation at the General Conference and in election of bishops at the Jurisdictional Conference.
The Kentucky Annual Conference has demonstrated an open heart to people from all nations. I can testify to this fact as I was elected as one of our five Elder delegates to General Conference 2016 and 2019. Today, I come before you once again asking for your vote to represent us during the next General Conference in 2020. The issues at hand are more pressing than ever. The challenges we are facing in relation to human sexuality require special attention and decisive action to provide intentional healing for all. We will continue loving all people as persons of sacred worth, but also as a covenant person I will continue living out the uncompromising Word of God, and upholding the Book of Discipline to honor our church order of life and ministry.
As a person elected by you I will bear the responsibility not only as a delegate, but also as a leader who will walk side by side with you in our local churches, creating spaces for healing and hope. Regardless of which decisions come from General Conference, my role as an ordained Elder is to invest myself in bringing spiritual leadership to our church for the sake of people inside and outside of the UMC, for the sake of my family and for the sake of you. If elected, I promise to give myself to the duties of my election and finish the work God began in me for our church.
The United Methodist church has shaped my life since I was five years old. My call into ministry began at LaGrange College (a UM school) through leadership opportunities and a summer ministry project (similar to the Isaiah project). After graduating from Asbury Theological Seminary, I was ordained an elder in the South Georgia Conference in 2000 where it was my honor to serve for ten years as an Associate Pastor, at Warner Robins First and Albany First. My family moved to Kentucky in 2008 and I pastored South Shore First for four years and also served as District Staff, which included planning and implementing LACE for the Ashland District. For the past seven years, it has been my privilege to serve this Conference as the Associate Director of Connectional Ministries where I have worked to strengthen the ministries of Higher Education, Vital Congregations, ANOW (Advocacy, Nurture, Outreach, Worship), Safe Sanctuaries, Boundaries training, ELCC, Coaching and Board of Laity (LACE).
My ministry and leadership values include experiencing the extravagant love of Jesus and the call to love all people as God does. I value maintaining Scripture as a plumb line that speaks to people where they are. I value our Wesleyan distinctives of grace, Christian conferencing, and holiness that flows from the heart into everyday life. I value the beautiful tapestry of our denomination where ministries thrive because of our connection. I value the gift of harmony where people who believe differently hold space to find the common ground we share. I value the discerning work of the Holy Spirit in and through our church. I value the United Methodist church and prayerfully seek its witness in the world for this season.
At the 2016 General Conference, I was elected to serve as chair of the Faith & Order Legislative Committee. I also sponsored legislation to clarify and strengthen our statement on the primacy of Scripture in the quadrilateral. That petition was referred to the 2020 General Conference. If elected to return, I will continue to focus on revising “Our Theological Task” (BOD, 105) in order to refine the statement on Scripture as it relates to reason, tradition, and experience. I will also support the effort to include the Nicene Creed in our Doctrinal Standards (BOD, 104), an effort that was defeated in 2016.
As of this writing (March 2019), I am convinced we must avoid a repeat of the dynamics at work in the Saint Louis General Conference. I will support efforts to empower the two main coalitions in the current UMC to minister in the freedom of their principles independently of each other, and without recrimination or denigration of each other’s convictions.
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Phil Rowley and his family moved to Louisville from San Diego. They had been thinking for years that they should move out of California, and finally decided to take the plunge before his oldest daughter started high school. He bought a tiny vintage trailer and just set out across the country with no real destination. They looked at many different places, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and just happened to land in Louisville on their way to somewhere else and immediately fell in love with the city.
His path into serving at churches started through music. Phil had been a professional musician for many years, playing with everyone from well known artist, to wedding bands, top 40 bands, jazz bands, musical theater, you name it. He was hired by a church in San Diego as they were starting a contemporary service. Over the next few years that contemporary service grew to where they were doing three services every week. He kept staying busy playing gigs around town as many as 8-10 per week, but found himself growing to be less and less satisfied doing those gigs. Phil started to realize that the church gig was his favorite part of the week. The worship leader noticed a change in him and started fostering his interest. She asked Phil to organize special events for the church and eventually asked him to fill in for her. Her and her husbands support lead to him to being a worship leader.
Karen Smith has two beautiful daughters, Amy and Carrie as well as three grandchildren – Peyton, Camryn and Rylee. All three grandchildren have attended the CDC where Karen is the Director.
Her passion is the education of children in a Christian environment and teaching in ways that prepare children for the future. She has always known God wanted her to teach children in a Christian setting and says God has opened doors for her and her family. When Karen was looking for a job in the Louisville area, she checked the local Sunday paper and the first ad that she saw was for the Lead Teacher at the Middletown United Methodist Child Development Center. Needless to say – she got the job and has ascended to the Director position.
For 18 years Karen has been the Director of the CDC and considers our school to be a ministry to her church, Middletown UMC. The CDC is providing a loving Christian foundation the children’s future lives are built upon.
Her dream is to live happily ever after with her friends and family and to ALWAYS be close to God (hopefully in Naples, Florida someday). Karen’s goal is to one day write a book about her amazing experiences with the children so that everyone would always appreciate the hope, joy and happiness that all the children bring to the world.
God called Mona to serve in spiritual formation in the local church almost 38 years ago, however, God called her to lead, teach, and love children long before then! Mona is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and has served churches in Iowa, Illinois, and Tennessee. She received her Master of Christian Education degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. Her BA is in elementary education.
Mona and her husband, Ken, met at Wesley Foundation at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and were married in 1979. They have grown daughters. Melissa, and her husband, Matt, live in western Washington State and have a ten-year-old daughter, Madelyn, and a four-year-old son, Marcus. Kimberly and her husband, Joe, live south of Chicago with their two-year-old son and their cats, Gabby and Elphie. Mona and Ken currently have two cats, Penuche and Oreo.
She was born and raised on a farm in Iowa. Mona likes college football (Go, Hawkeyes!) and the Chicago Cubs. She and Ken enjoy exploring new places together, reading, spending time with their family, cooking, and playing card and board games. Mona’s favorite Scriptures are Philippians 4:4-7 and John 14. It fills her heart and says it is comforting to know she may take anything to the Lord and that He is making sure she has a home with Him someday.
Rick Smith was born and raised in Louisville’s west end. He is married to Donna F. Smith whom he dearly loves. He found his way to MUMC from his life long friend Charles Shepherd, the head custodian.
Most of his life he has spent working with the public. From being a delivery driver, to working with mentally disabled adults, to working in an assembly line machine shop, to shipping/receiving. Rick has always loved his jobs and loves working here at MUMC.
Personally, Rick is passionate about his two grandchildren – whom him and his wife take care of. He is a christian and was raised to love one another and to treat people fairly.
Charles hasn’t filled out his bio yet. Don’t be like Charles…
Kevin Vest is originally from New Market, Tennessee, a small town between Knoxville and Gatlinburg. After graduating college, he moved to Louisville to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Kevin grew up in a small Southern Baptist Church and was always fascinated by music, especially the piano. He received a piano for Christmas when he was 12 years old and started lessons – eventually leading him to play at his church. In his high school days his family changed churches – one that was short an organist. The Director of Music asked if he wanted to give it a shot and he has been playing organ in churches ever since.
Professionally, Kevin’s greatest passion is helping people. Whether it is through leading the organ during worship, helping someone with a personal problem, or figuring out a technical solution to an issue at his day job. Personally, his greatest passions are his kids, Matthew and Michaela. He loves watching them grow into loving, Christ-filled teenagers that are eager to serve and help others.
Growing up he always wanted to be a medical doctor and was actually a pre-medicine major his first two years of college before changing his major to religion and psychology.
If there was one thing Kevin wished people understood about him, it is that he is off-the-chart introverted. Social situations are not his forte but if you get him chatting in close quarters he is nice as can be.
Vernon was born in Baltimore, Maryland and first came to Louisville to study piano performance and church music, earning a Masters degree in 1975. Almost 20 years later he returned to Louisville to finish his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1997.
He began to play for junior church when he was 10 years old, and has continued to serve as a church pianist for over 60 years. Along the way Vernon acquired a second Masters in education/administration. Later, he served as the headmaster for the Agape Christian School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he also taught kindergarten.
As a church pianist, it is his goal to present high quality music in worship and to draw congregations beyond music excitement to the spiritual truth of the text of each arrangement.
She has been married to her husband Chris for 21 years and they have three awesome children; Kylie, Cassidy and Alex. Kristen is involved with her children’s sports and enjoy watching them play field hockey, lacrosse and soccer. She also loves and adores her dog Barkley!
Kristen has taught preschool for over 10 years and is now entering her fifth year as Preschool Director of MUMP. She knew after her first day of teaching here, that this is where she was supposed to be. She believes that God brought her here because he has a bigger plan for her.
Andy Stearman is originally from Louisville (Go Cards!). He attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Broadcasting & Electronic Media. He never in a million years thought he would work for a church, much less the one he grew up attending. Rev. Nancy Tinnell officiated his wedding in 2017 and informed him of an opening – a few months later he started working at MUMC.
Professionally, Andy is most passionate about producing a quality product – whether that be graphics, videos, pictures, social media engagement, etc. Personally, he is most passionate about music and travel (16 countries and counting).
As a kid, Andy wanted to be a professional basketball player. That dream was short lived as he realized he was short and unathletic. When not working, you can most likely find Andy playing guitar and going to concerts with his wife Abbie. If he could have any superpower it would be the ability to turn invisible, but only when people aren’t looking.
Kristen Furches is originally from Upstate New York. She then lived in Virginia for 7 years after undergrad before God called her to full-time ministry, which led her to Belmont University in Nashville for a graduate degree and then on to Louisville and MUMC. In 6th grade, her piano teacher asked if she wanted to learn how to play the organ; a year later, she was hired as the organist at the Lutheran church down the street and has been a musician ever since.
Professionally, Kristen is most passionate about ‘the singing church’ and the deep roots the church has that can be found in our worship. Personally, Kristen loves to read and loves the peacefulness of being out in nature, even if it’s just sitting on her front porch watching the sunset, or in the backyard around the firepit.
As a kid, Kristen always wanted to be a mathematician. In undergrad she took coursework on the side in math, philosophy and symbolic logic. If she had not been called to ministry she probably would have pursued degrees in philosophical logic or methodology and taught at a university.
When Kristen is not working she is exploring the adventure of her life with her fiancé and his son, fixing something around the house, gardening, or playing with the dogs.
Emily Allen is from Louisville – yes a Louisville native! And she proudly proclaims, Go Cards! She has always been involved in the church growing up in VBS and youth group. When she was in college she served as a Children’s intern and felt her call to ministry during college.
Professionally, Emily is most passionate about seeing the “ah ha” moment in the life of young people – those moments where they see God acting in their loves and in the world. Personally, she is most passionate about her Chicago Cubs!
When Emily was growing up she wanted to be a chef – her youth minister in high school actually took her to see Emeril Lagasse cook on Good Morning America when he came to Louisville. When Emily is not working she is most likely at the Louisville Zoo with her 3 year old son William. And don’t you dare go to Emily’s house and leave dirty dishes in her sink, as that is her number one pet peeve!
Nancy Tinnell is from Louisville, KY and grew up at Bethany United Methodist Church. In addition to Methodism, music was a constant in her life. Singing in the church led her to leading worship in church, which led to ordination and full time ministry.
The second half of her ministry has been spent serving in discipleship and spiritual formation ministries. She organizes our small group ministries and some of our missional efforts. Professionally, her passion is teaching the Bible and working with our Mobile Medical Ministry. Personally, she is most passionate about reading and reflecting. Someday she hopes to put those reflections on paper.
If Nancy was a fictional character, she would want to be Jane Eyre – the protagonist of the novel “Jane Eyre” by the English writer Charlotte Bronte. This character is described as passionate and strongly principled, values freedom and independence, has a strong conscience and is a determined Christian.
If Nancy could choose any superpower it would have to be the ability to time travel – just think about those vacations!
He was raised in the church and some of his first memories are of participating in VBS and Christmas plays at First Methodist Church in Henderson. As an adult lay person, he served in essentially all the local church boards and committees and was trained as a Stephen Minister and Stephen Ministry Leader. His Stephen Ministry experience is what led him to finally answer the call to ordained ministry.
Professionally, Lee is most passionate about being present with those who need the assurance of God’s love in order that they might have restored hope. Personally, he is most passionate about his faith and personal relationship with Jesus.
As a kid, Lee wanted to grow up to be a Commanding Office of a submarine. He served in the Navy for many years before beginning his career as a pastor. Don’t show up late to an appointment with Lee, as his number 1 pet peeve is tardiness. That probably goes back to his days in the military. If Lee could be a fictional character he would choose Horatio Hornblower – a Napoleonic Wars era Royal Navy officer who is the protagonist of a series of novels by C.S. Forester.
What is 7+4?
We welcome and encourage children to get started with music at a young age. Throughout the year the kids are invited to perform in front of the congregation during our services. We offer children’s chimes and children’s choir. The kids always enjoy both of these activities so consider signing up for either today! Contact our Children’s Minister, Mona Walker, if you are interested.
Friday Fellowship is designed for 3rd-5th graders and their families to meet together two to four times a year for fun fellowship opportunities! For more information about dates and activities, please contact our Children’s Minister, Mona Walker.
Our way of keeping children connected and engaged through fun and educational activities. Begin the night with Children’s Hand Chimes from 6:30 to 7:10pm for rhythm, music, and fun. This is a great way to get children involved in music at an early age through an instrument that is fun and easy to learn. This is open to children in grades 1 through 8. From 7:10pm to 8:00pm is spiritual formation time where kids have the opportunity to learn real stories and lessons from the Bible. Contact our Children’s Minister, Mona Walker, for more information.
The Worship Choir leads every week in the 8:30am and 11am sanctuary worship services and for special seasonal worship services. They also prepare a programmatic concert each Christmas to share the story of the birth of Christ with the church and the community. They rehearse on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00pm in the Choir Room, located in the lower level. No experience is necessary, only a love of music and a love of Jesus, and the desire to share both with the church!