The North Central Jurisdictional Conference is held every four years and will next convene in Peoria, IL July 13-16, 2016.
The primary focus of the gathering is to elect bishops to serve and supervise the conferences of the North Central Jurisdiction which include: the Dakotas, Detroit, East Ohio, Illinois Great Rivers, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, West Michigan, West Ohio and Wisconsin. In the meantime, Conference Delegations are beginning to endorse persons for the episcopacy.
The Indiana Conference Delegation has announced their endorsement of the Rev. Dr. Frank Beard. Dr. Beard currently serves as the senior pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church. He is the chairperson of the 2016 Indiana Delegation and has been a delegate to six Jurisdictional Conferences and five General Conferences. A former District Superintendent, Beard has served on the General Commission on General Conference, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Discipleship. He also has served as a member of the National Black Methodist for Church Renewal.
“My heart’s cry is for God to revitalize The United Methodist Church so that we can impact our communities for Jesus Christ,” the Rev. Dr. Frank Beard said.
Members of the Northern Illinois General/Jurisdictional Delegation have unanimously endorsed the Rev. Dr. Tracy Smith Malone as their episcopal nominee.
Rev. Malone serves as the Chicago Southern District Superintendent and is currently the Dean of the NIC Cabinet. Prior to being appointed as Superintendent, Dr. Malone served as the Senior Pastor of Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, IL. She has been a member of the board of directors for the General Board of Church and Society. She was the chair of the 2012 delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences and was recently elected to the 2016 delegation. Dr. Malone currently serves as a Board of Director for the General Commission on Religion and Race (Chair of Finance Committee) and Board Member of Trustees at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (GETS).
Rev. Malone says, “I believe my vision, hopes, experiences, gifts and passion can be a gift to the Church,” she said. “It is my hope that as a denomination we can move beyond the divide and unite our efforts in becoming God’s beloved community.”
The Detroit and West Michigan Conference Delegations will meet in joint session in November. Episcopal endorsement will be among other items on their agenda.