The major item on the agenda for Thursday, June 22nd was the Clergy Session held at 3:00 PM in Stuart Auditorium.
With an estimate of about 1000 clergy in attendance, we kicked off the 49th executive session sine the uniting conference in 1968.
Bishop Paul L. Leeland presided over his first clergy session of the Western North Carolina Conference.
Jarvis Wilson and Robert McMichael led the gathering in a rousing rendition of “Marching to Zion” to start this traditional Wesleyan way of ordering the ministry of the church.
The clergy were led through the “Business of the Annual Conference”, which includes 72 questions related to the clergy of the conference, by Kim Ingram, Conference Secretary, Donald Jenkins, chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and Ann Langford Duncan, a member of the board.
During the course of the session, the clergy approved for provisional membership 16 persons, and 20 persons for full connection membership. Provisional members will be commissioned on Friday evening, and elders and deacons will be ordained on Saturday evening.
Also during the session, the clergy retired 41 members in full connection, and 14 local pastors.
At the close of the session, they honored 21 clergy who had died in the past year in a time of since with each one named.