DECEMBER 10, 2015; LANSING MI: Today, Bishop Deborah Kiesey announced that Rev. John W. Boley will serve as the new Clergy Assistant to the Bishop for the Michigan Area, effective July 1, 2016.
Rev. Boley currently is the Superintendent of the Kalamazoo District in the West Michigan Conference, a position he has held since 2014.
At the request of current Clergy Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Melanie Carey, she will receive an appointment to a local church in the Michigan Area later in the upcoming appointment season. Rev. Carey began serving as Clergy Assistant to the Bishop in July 2015.
“I am thrilled that John has agreed to serve as the Clergy Assistant to the Bishop.” Bishop Deb said, “John brings gifts of listening and wisdom, with a deep faith that under-girds all he does. He has been a wonderful colleague at the cabinet table, and I have no doubt he will continue to bless the entire Michigan Area in the years to come.”
Rev. Carey expressed her deep gratitude for the opportunity during the past five years to serve the church in an administrative role and that she sensed a deep call to return serving the local church as a pastor. “I understand my announcement may come as a surprise to some,” Rev. Carey said, “but those who know me well, understand that my heart is in the local church. I believe it is the most significant arena for making disciples for Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” She added, “This change in my appointment comes not because of Bishop Deb’s upcoming retirement, but out of my love for the church, my sense of God’s call on my life, and my desire to serve where I believe I can be most effective.” Rev. Carey also expressed her appreciation for the leadership of Bishop Kiesey and for colleagues across the Michigan Area.
“Even though I am saddened to have Melanie leave, I fully support her decision and the reasons she has shared.” Bishop Deb said, “She has done an extraordinary job through a difficult time, and I have greatly appreciated her wise counsel, her ability to see straight to the heart of the matter, and her gift of building relationships with individuals across the board. Bishop Deb said Carey will be missed, “Melanie’s gifts will benefit wherever she serves next – gifts that can help change lives and hearts. She leaves with my heartfelt thanks and praise.”
Rev. Boley previously served as the Chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry. He was the lead pastor of Kalamazoo First UMC 2010-2014; Mt. Pleasant First 2002-2010, Lansing: Central 1997-2002 and Mancelona/Alba 1992-1997. Boley also served as a North Central Jurisdictional Delegate in 2004, 2008, 2012 and will be serving in 2016; and served as a General Conference alternate delegate in 2008 and 2012. He is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. This is a second career for Rev. Boley. Previously, he earned a B.A. in Political Science from Albion College and law degree from Case Western Reserve. He worked as an attorney for many years and is also a Navy veteran. John grew up in the Metro Detroit Area and attended Birmingham and Detroit Public Schools.
“I am surprised, humbled and honored to be asked by Bishop Deb to serve in the position of Clergy Assistant to the Bishop.” Rev. Boley said, “Melanie Carey has served exceedingly well, but I can understand her desire to return to the local church to make full use of her many skills. I will serve Bishop Deb and the Michigan Area to the best of my ability. We are living in dynamic times, and the Spirit is moving the Church in ways that we don’t always see. But God is good – all the time – and I hope to do whatever I can to hold together the life-giving proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ with the orderly administration of Christ’s Church.”
The Michigan Area of The United Methodist Church is comprised of the Detroit Annual Conference and the West Michigan Annual Conference. Together, they comprise nearly 1000 United Methodist churches across Michigan and represent nearly 150,000 members. The Michigan Area Office is located in Lansing, Michigan and is led by Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey. Bishop Deb has led the Michigan Area since September 2012.