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AMEZ Bishop Hines to UMC ordinands: ‘You’ve got something on the inside’

AC 2018 | Monday, June 4, 2018

Updated throughout the conference day

Service of Ordination of Elders, Commissioning of Provisional Members, Recognition of Orders

The Right Rev. Mildred B. Hines made history Monday evening as the first bishop of another Pan-Methodist denomination to assist in a commissioning and ordination service in the South Carolina United Methodist Conference.

Bishop Mildred B. Hines preaching at Monday evening’s ordination service. (Photo by Matt Brodie)

Bishop Hines, bishop of the South Atlantic Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, delivered a soaring sermon – “From God’s Lips to Yours” – during the Service of Ordination of Elders, Commissioning of Provisional Members and Recognition of Orders.

In introducing Bishop Hines, Bishop L. Jonathan Holston pointed out that she was a trailblazer before her participation at AC2018: She is the first and still only female bishop elected in the AME Zion Church.

Bishop Holston also welcomed other representatives of the AME Zion Church, as well as emissaries from the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Bishop Holston and Bishop Hines. (Photo by Matt Brodie)

“As we celebrate 50 years of the United Methodist Church, we remember we were once separated on issues surrounding race,” he said. “How wonderful to come together tonight and share in worship together as one body in Christ.”

Bishop Hines centered her message to the ordinands on God’s call to Jeremiah to speak to the nations on his behalf (Jeremiah 1:4-9).

“God says to Jeremiah, ‘Don’t be afraid of their faces,'” she said. “How frequently we allow expressions to keep us from saying what God really wants us to say. Just let someone look at us the wrong way, and what we were going to say, we don’t say it out of fear – because of their faces.

“Why? God says, ‘I am with you. I am with you to deliver you from the ugly looks. There is not an ugly look that can overpower God. There is not an ugly look that has more power than our living God. There is not an ugly look that can do more than God can do.”


Marion District Superintendent Tim Rogers (Photo by Matt Brodie)

Bishop Hines spoke of how God told Jeremiah that God knew Jeremiah, that God was within Jeremiah, even before he was born. She also shared her own recent experience with back surgery, during which surgeons implanted small casts on her damaged vertebra and inserted tiny balloons along her spinal column to give her greater flexibility.

When she began post-surgery water therapy, she found that she couldn’t keep both feet on the bottom of the pool. She was much more buoyant than before, her doctor told her, because of the balloons inside her.

“Oh, I need you to grab this,” Bishop Hines said, making direct eye contact with the ordinands. “When my doctor told me I had something inside me that was keeping me afloat – oh, I got so excited! Because it reminded me that just about the time I think I’m going to go under, there is something on the inside that will pull me to the top.

From left, District Superintendents Stephen Love, George Howle and John Hipp. (Photo by Matt Brodie)

“I want you to walk out of here tonight knowing that you’ve got something on the inside. You go and speak the words that come from God’s mouth like Jeremiah did. Let them come into your mouth and you don’t have to be afraid, because you’ve got something on the inside.”

Bishop Hines then brought the ordinands and delegates to their feet by closing with a stirring delivery of the old Gospel hymn “Love Lifted Me.”

“I was sinking deep in sin | Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within | Sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea | Heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me | Now safe am I.”

Following Bishop Hines’ sermon, Bishop Holston led the ceremonial laying on of hands and examination of 16 ordinands, introducing the newest class of elders for the South Carolina Annual Conference:

  • Anthony Griffith Carosiello
  • Jeffrey Weldon Childress
  • Shawna Michelle Darnall
  • LaTonya Monique Dash
  • Eleanora Coaxum Ellington
  • Brandon Lee Fulmer
  • Katherine Marie Haselden
  • Jon August Hoin
  • James Stewart McDowell
  • Brian Edward Preveaux
  • Sara Elizabeth Relaford
  • Edward Tyler Strange
  • Sylvia Freeman Watson
  • James Timothy Whited
  • William McClary Wrighten
  • LaShelia Mack Wyatt

Bishop Holston led the Recognition of Orders in the United Methodist Church for two pastors, who were presented by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry::

  • Beverly CroweTipton
  • Kyu-Seok Shin

Bishop Holston commissioned 13 provisional elders, who were presented by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry:

  • Kenneth David Freeman
  • Tammy Nicole Grey
  • Steven Moore McNeal
  • Cynthia Wolfe Muncie
  • Sammy Omar Pazi
  • Pamela Denise Richardson
  • Justin Lee Ritter
  • Frances Hillary Taylor
  • Brenda Joyce Thomas
  • Lisa Montque Way
  • Sheri Yvette-Base White
  • Wade Anthony Wyatt Sr.
  • Cheryl Elaine Yates


  • The $13,127.25 offering at Monday night’s Ordination Service will go to the South Carolina Conference Seminary Students Scholarship Fund, and endowment of the South Carolina United Methodist Foundation.

Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

The Rev. Dr. Mike Alexander, senior minister of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet, spoke directly to the family of those in the South Carolina United Methodist Connection who have lost loved ones in ministry over the past year.

(Photo by Matt Brodie)

His message was inspired by the story of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, in the 11th chapter of John’s Gospel, in which Jesus promises life to all of those who believe in him, even after they die.

“I know some of you don’t want to be here today,” Rev. Alexander said. “You would prefer to be in some moment in the past; to have one more conversation; to say, ‘I love you,’ one more time. Maybe you need to say thanks, or maybe you need to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Maybe you just need to share one more laugh, one more tear, one more sunset.

“Jesus holds your loved one at this moment. All really is well. At this moment, your loved one lives with Jesus, and Jesus lives with your loved one. Jesus does come to you. You don’t have to lose your zest for life. You don’t have to give up and throw in the towel. You just have to keep saying over and over during the difficult times, ‘Give me Jesus, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life.”

He reminded the families and delegates that God’s love doesn’t mean we are spared from suffering and death in this life.

“Do not measure the love of God for you by the amount of health, wealth or comfort in your life,” he said. “Know how much God shows up in your grief and pain.”

Rev. Alexander closed his sermon by recalling the words of his “favorite philosopher,” Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it ends. Smile because it happened.”

Bishop Holston then read the names of 52 of those in ministry who have died over the past year. A bell tolled after the name of each, followed by a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace” from soloist Carol Strasser.

Those recognized in Monday’s service

Barbara Ann Gowan Alley
April 17, 1939 – January 9, 2018

Charles Jeffery “Jeff” Altman
April 21, 1951 – December 22, 2017

Jean Anne Amick Bobo
August 24, 1937 – November 15, 2017

Jean Casey Brittain
February 13, 1928 – February 7, 2018

Rev. John Deleon Boone Jr.
August 11, 1919 – April 26, 2018

Birdadean Jamison Calhoun
October 17, 1929 – February 25, 2018

Rev. James Boyd Chewning
September 5, 1938 – November 1, 2017

Rev. Paul Milton Cheezem Sr.
February 13, 1957 – July 1, 2017

Elizabeth Burnett Christopher
April 17, 1915 – September 14, 2017

Caroline Anne Owens Clary
April 24, 1930 – May 26, 2018

Rebecca Massabeau Parrot Colvin
February 8, 1936 – January 24, 2018

Jane Wilkerson Covington
February 22, 1937 – March 6, 2018

Rev. William Kelly Cross III
February 7, 1935 – October 18, 2017

Delphia Blankenship Fizer
December 2, 1927 – October 30, 2017

James Soloman Gadsden Sr.
June 12, 1930 – June 19, 2017

Rev. William Murray Gibbons
January 3, 1933 – April 1, 2018

Rev. L. Junior Graham
August 5, 1932 – August, 27 2017

Rev. James Allen Grigsby
September 10, 1920 – November 5, 2017

Rev. Eugene James Harper
August 7, 1928 – October 25, 2017

Rev. James Otis Harper
April 14, 1957 – January 18, 2018

Rev. Doris Nordan Hovis
March 13, 1938 – January 15, 2018

Rev. James Elmo Hunter III
August 25, 1935 – July 30, 2017

Elizabeth Candler Johnson
May 25, 1935 – May 4, 2018

Geneva Allen Jones
June 27, 1932 – August 5, 2017

Rev. Norman Lee Knight
October 2, 1929 – November 12, 2017

George Victor Kulik
June 7, 1934 – November 2, 2017

Emily Claire Funderburk Love
February 22, 1922 – February 4, 2018

Rev. Patricia “Pat” Caldwell McCain
January 12, 1940 – February 6, 2018

Rev. Edward Homer Lee McDowell Sr.
October 27, 1927 – November 11, 2017

Rev. Jerry Paul Nelson
August 30, 1936 – December 23, 2017

Rev. Cecil Ernest “Ernie” Nivens
May 29, 1947 – November 4, 2017

Margie Elizabeth Jones Page
August 28, 1922 – December 7, 2017

Brenda L. Parker
July 4, 1947 – March 15, 2018

Queen Elizabeth Cooper Pinckney
December 26, 1933 – March 13, 2018

Rev. Clarence Odell Pittman
October 14, 1928 – December 26, 2017

Madora Holder Pittman
December 22, 1929 – July 3, 2017

Barbara Jean Rollins
July 3, 1938 – April 26, 2018

Rev. Caroline Adams Salmans
February 13, 1945 – October 20, 2017

Rev. Dr. Talmage B. Skinner Jr.
April 2, 1934 – May 31, 2018

Margaret Perry Smith
April 13, 1922 – December 15, 2017

Rev. Thomas Raymond Smith
June 27, 1947 – October 15, 2017

Rev. Edward James Stiltz
September 18, 1930 – January 12, 2018

John Daniel “Danny” Summey
May 10, 1947 – January 12, 2018

Rev. Robert Williams Tanner
March 12, 1932 – December 20, 2017

Jennye Ellis Taylor
February 10, 1924 – August 27, 2017

Rev. Paul Y. Thomas
September 16, 1959 – March 28, 2018

Anne Whitehead Bassford Townsend
January 20, 1938 – June 24, 2017

Lois Watts Harper Vaught
September 7, 1924 – February 12, 2018

Dawn Elizabeth “Dee Dee” Albig Warwick
September 6, 1956 – February 17, 2018

Geneva Belton Williams
August 2, 1928 – February 23, 2018

Mary Leslie Williams
March 29, 1934 – August 4, 2017

Rev. Clark Thomas Wilson
May 8, 1936 – February 14, 2018

Connectional Ministries Report

The Rev. Ross Chellis, convenor of Conference Connectional Ministries, reported that Connectional Ministries exists to equip and empower local churches for vital and effective ministry.

Rev. Ross Chellis (Photo by Matt Brodie)

“It is my opinion that the uncertainty of tomorrow can often produce a fear that limits and dissuades us from living faithfully and obediently in the present,” Rev. Chellis said. “We have learned that living faithfully into our purpose will require Connectional Ministries to be ever developing skills for listening to the voices from local churches and hearing their needs expressed.”

Rev. Chellis recalled Bishop L. Jonathan Holston’s words from his opening worship sermon, that the church is founded upon Jesus Christ and does not belong to us.

“Rather, by God’s favor, we have been invited to participate in the beauty of the kingdom’s fulfillment,” he said. “In a world of uncertainty, you and I can rest safely and securely in the certain hope of God in Jesus Christ. By grace and stabilized by hope, we live in faith.

“Conference Connectional Ministries will strain toward this end. Our continued effort will be to faithfully live in the certain hope of God revealed in Jesus Christ by serving the purpose extended to us.”

He introduced a video report that touched on just a few of the ministries under the Connectional Ministries umbrella: South Carolina Ministries with Young People; Disaster Recovery Ministries; Come, Follow Me; Native American Ministries; Forward Focus and the Connectional Quilt effort.

“My hope is for you to see the effort of Conference Connectional Ministries to serve local churches,” Rev. Chellis said, “by providing resources and opportunities that equip and empower them for ministry in their local communities.”

Click here to watch the Connectional Ministries video report.

Committee on the Episcopacy

Chairperson Holbrook Platts reported that the committee is responsible to engage in annual consultation and appraisal of the bishop’s relationship and responsibilities to the annual conference.

“The Committee on Episcopacy fully agrees that during the past year Bishop Holston has continued to lead this conference by example and provided insight, encouragement, and motivation for our congregations to grow both spiritually and physically,” Platts said.

“During the past year, he continued ‘The Bishop’s Road Show,’ completing the 2016-17 Forward Focus tours and starting the 201718 ‘By Faith, On Mission, Together” tour, holding meetings in all 12 districts with our local church leadership teams to inspire faithful vision and mission work. The bishop and his wife, Felecia, traveled over 50,000 miles in 2017 visiting his church family.”

Bible Study

The Rev. Dr. Herbert Marbury spoke on “A More Excellent Way In Our Love” during Monday’s Bible Study session, drawing on Matthew 18:1-7, and Matthew 19:13-15.

Rev. Dr. Herbert Marbury leading the Monday Bible Study session. (Photo by Matt Brodie)

“In 2019, our church will face a major question, maybe even be a crisis – but it ought not be a crisis of love; we ought never disagree about love,” Rev. Marbury said.

“Right now, look to the person on your left and say, ‘Neighbor, the world may say you are the wrong person to love.’ Now turn to the person on your right and say, ‘But Jesus says that loving the wrong people is the right thing to do.’

Rev. Marbury advised delegates to spend as much time preparing themselves spiritually for mission as they do preparing themselves physically and medically.

“When we leave the country on a mission trip, we go to the doctor and get a checkup, to make sure we are healthy enough before we go out and start helping someone else,” he said “But how many of us get a spiritual checkup before taking that trip?

“In missions, there is something more important than where you go and what you do. It is who you are. It is about when you look at yourself in your spiritual mirror, who are you? Who are you bringing to the mission field?”

Rev. Marbury then turned to Matthew 7:16.

“Jesus said, ‘You will know them by their fruits,’ ” he said. “When was the last time you checked on the fruit of your tree? We have to look at ourselves first before we reach out to the world.”

Organizational Session

Rev. Michael Hood (Photo by Matt Brodie)

Day 2 of the 2018 South Carolina Annual Conference got down to business at the TD Convention Center in Greenville with an Organizational Session that established a few parliamentary ground rules and made changes to four standing rules designed to expedite the business of the conference, and a fifth that brings the conference into compliance with the South Carolina Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.umcsc.org/home/13236-2/


  1. Conny Mason


  2. Salley Palmer

    Bishop Hines’ message was wonderful; we really enjoyed watching and listening to her last night.

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